How to Improve Your Employee Development Program with Podcasting

While this has been a particularly difficult time for all of us around the world, many employee development challenges are not new. How do you stay relevant and fresh? How do you engage and motivate employees? Are our programs having meaningful results or do people quickly forget what they learn or have difficulty applying it? And, as we reflect on the changing nature of work, how will we adapt?

At Podbean, we’ve seen significant growth (230% year-over-year) in the number of companies using podcasts internally. We’ve learned that while this may have roots in podcasts being a “hip thing”, it’s also an answer to many of the issues mentioned above. More importantly, companies using this medium find healthy returns on their podcasting investments.

How can your program benefit from podcasts?

Convenience and mobility

Podcasts can be consumed on-demand and on the go, making them especially convenient for communications, training, leadership, and more. We’ve worked with many companies that have turned to podcasts based on employee surveys. When employees prefer a particular medium, that’s the only reason to investigate the option. Podcasts are easy to consume anytime and anywhere, and they’re easy to create and distribute. So businesses can be nimble with timely updates and keep everyone connected without additional inconvenience, scheduling issues, etc.
Podcasts can be great for remote teams, whether they are spread across the globe or working from home.

Reduced screen fatigue
Audio is an intimate form of communication; podcasts can use storytelling principles and conversations to reach employees who have a variety of development goals. “Zoom fatigue” is one of the most popular search terms of 2020. We all know the feeling of eyestrain from staring at screens all day. Listening to a podcast can give our eyes a break while our brain processes knowledge.

Increased understanding
Unfortunately, when we read a text, we only decode about 7% of the meaning. This rises to 38% when listening, so moving content from an email or written guide to a podcast could lead to 500% better understanding. Data from podcast advertising studies also indicates high retention and action as a result of what people hear on podcasts.

Better engagement
For all these reasons and a general interest in podcasts, they can boost employee engagement.

How can you use podcasts?

  • Coaching
  • Enabling Sales
  • Integration
  • CEO updates or fireside chats with executives
  • Team, Product or Service Updates
  • Interviews and testimonials from employees or customers
  • Role games
  • Industry or topic knowledge: interviews with domain experts (internal and external, partners, suppliers, etc.), event recordings, webinars, conferences
  • Refocusing or reruns of existing meetings, webinars, and other content (or taking selected items to reinforce key learnings)
  • In almost every way imaginable, if it makes sense and serves a purpose

Considerations for Success

1. What is the benefit for the company? What is the benefit for the employee?

2. Who should be involved in planning and decision-making?

3. What format(s) will you use? What content?

4. Who will assume which roles and responsibilities? How do you use internal strengths to produce the best podcast(s) most efficiently?

ROI measurement

What do you need to create a successful business podcast?

  • Equipment/Technology: It can be as simple as recording from a cell phone, but most of the time you’ll want to invest in (or repurpose other uses) a microphone and headphones and some basic editing software. To verify “How to record a podcastto learn more.
  • Platform: A podcast hosting platform designed for business, like Podbean, has all the built-in features you’ll need to deliver podcasts securely and conveniently to your employees.
  • Content plan: A plan for what you want to podcast and how you plan to achieve your goals with this podcast is necessary. It can be just a plan for a pilot series or an editorial calendar for your weekly podcasts for the year or the overall strategy for your employees’ content development.

Join me at ATD TechKnowledge to dive deeper into this topic.