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Podcasting for an internal audience? If you’re not a podcast listener yourself, you might be thinking, “what, what? why would we do that?” If you are a fan of podcasts, you may only think of them as a source of entertainment. But today’s forward-thinking employers know that in order to engage employees, you’ve got to entertain them. The companies we work with look for innovative ways to connect with employees where they already are. Today, podcasts have grown up – the platform itself has been widely accepted for over two decades – and are today more popular than ever before. That’s why you may want to take another look at hosting an internal podcast.
Your employees may be far more comfortable getting information in an audio format than you know. Listening while driving, exercising, even doing work around the house has become more and more commonplace. With the workforce continuing to be remote, podcasts are a natural choice to engage, entertain, and inform team members in a personal and intimate way that no other medium can. Ready to learn more? With Projections’ own ProjectHR podcast more than a year into production, we’ve got everything you need to know to understand the platform, develop great content, overcome tech barriers and stay consistent.
This is a simple question to answer. An internal podcast is shared on the business’s intranet or delivered to employees via a private link. Employee podcasts offer a great way for your company to connect with employees. Content can include business updates from executives and interviews with outstanding employees who have innovated in the workplace, and great customer success stories. Any event or person that’s a point of pride for the company is a great source for content. Got a new benefits rollout coming? Interview your Benefits Coordinator. New safety program? Interview those on the committee. Now that you know what an internal podcast is, let’s take a moment to understand why you might want to have one.
One of the most important qualities of effective communication is communicating with people in a way they appreciate and pay attention to. A recent consumer survey found that more than one-third of the 104 million Americans aged 12 and over consume podcasts regularly. Monthly podcast listening is at 37 percent. Seventy-five percent of Americans over 12 years old are familiar with podcasting. “Audio,” said Tom Webster, SVP of Edison Research, “is becoming a bigger part of everyday lives.” In fact, the new Clubhouse app is based entirely on listening in to audio rooms.
LinkedIn’s research confirmed that younger generations in particular embrace podcasts. Forty-two percent of people under the age of 35 listen to podcasts. Roughly a third of those over 35 are also listening in regularly. Statista found that 75 percent of the population is aware of podcasting.
If at least a third of the U.S. population is listening to podcasts, your employees want podcasts. Podcasts are on the same path as social media. Social media was first used in personal lives to connect with friends and family. Eventually, businesses took note and realized the value of using enterprise social media to connect the workforce members and external social media as a brand building and recruitment tool. Today, podcasting is offering you the same opportunity.
If you’re not among those already listening to podcasts, dive in! Our industry has a wide variety of shows offering up advice, resources and more. The ProjectHR podcast delivers insights on a wide range of topics, from building high-performance teams to differential training and the future of work, to name a few. A podcast dedicated to building better workplaces, each episode of ProjectHR delivers expert advice from a different business professional.
DriveThruHr delivers 30-minute shows that include discussions on topics like HR technology, recruiting, and organizational culture. HR Happy Hour also focuses on management, human resources, workforce technology, and leadership.
There are plenty of examples of internal podcasts in use already. For example, American Airlines publishes the internal podcast Tell Me Why, hosted by the company’s Vice President of Global Communications. Interestingly, the podcasts are available publicly and cover topics like why certain decisions were made or the company’s approach to various things.
TD Bank has an internal podcast called The Power of WOW. The podcasts are narrative-style and avoid the typical corporate talk. Instead, they focus on employees telling their stories and expressing emotions. The bank not only wanted to engage employees. It wanted to help employees better understand customers and realize the impact of their experiences to deliver better customer service.
Most employee communication and engagement platforms include blogs, videos, webinars, email, and internal social media posting. Internal employee podcasts offer an alternative that reflects changing consumer trends. They communicate with people in the way they want to be communicated with, they’re easily accessible (think about putting a link to your latest episode into a QR code and printing that on table tents in employee common areas), and they can be absorbed on the go. Employees appreciate the fact that internal podcasts are respectful of their work-life balance by allowing them to listen any time, anywhere.
Internal podcasts are excellent employee engagement tools because of their flexibility and adaptability. Following are some of the reasons they are so effective.
Internal podcasts are used to deliver various messages, information, and instructions. The following is just a sample.
Experience has taught us that there are some great tips to follow that can make your internal podcast more effective for employee engagement. Each company must decide what works best for their workplace and culture.
Still not convinced? A great way to determine if your workforce is interested in podcasts is to ask them! Do a quick online survey about how they’d like to hear from their company.
Where to start? Think of podcast development along the same lines as building a business case. The mission is to engage employees, but you still need to identify the particular audience and how the podcasts will fit within the brand’s culture. Organizational culture is quite different from business to business, and your podcasts must support the culture.
All content should be internally driven, but you can outsource the actual recording, editing, and publication of your podcast. Some companies work with employers on podcast development and delivery as part of the employee engagement strategy. Supporting Cast, Messy.FM, Castos are examples of podcast delivery platforms.
Projections offers companies assistance in developing effective internal podcasts to connect with and engage employees. When leveraged with leadership training on effective communication, the podcasts become doubly powerful tools. Internal podcasts support your position in the marketplace as an employer of choice and can help improve retention rates. Your internal podcast can play a significant role in enhancing your employer brand, helping you recruit and hire the best new talent.
In over 25 years of helping companies connect with their employees, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.