A relatively new type of original podcast is gaining in popularity: the internal podcast. Internal podcasts are privately produced podcasts meant solely for a company’s employees as the audience. Some very large companies make their internal podcasts available to the public like American Airlines’ Tell Me Why or Trader Joe’s Dig In.
Why would a company want an internal podcast? We’ll examine the benefits of an internal podcast so you can decide if it’s a valuable investment for your company.
Why choose audio to share company content?
Most employees find themselves inundated daily with internal communications via emails, Slacks, and videos. Communications that require on-screen time add more stress to the employee’s already busy workflow.
Rani Molla describes this trend as ‘the productivity pit’ in a piece for Vox and shares that, “On average, employees at large companies are each sending more than 200 Slack messages per week, according to Time Is Ltd. Power users sending out more than 1,000 messages per day are “not an exception.”
Communications that require on-screen time add more stress to the employee’s already busy workflow. Filza Naveed writes, “With new social media platforms, an array of online collaboration tools and instant messaging apps such as Slack, your internal communications are fighting a losing battle for your employees’ attention.”
As a unique and novel medium, audio offers a different solution to captivate employee’s attention that comes across as less formal and more friendly by creating a conversational tone. Podcasts reach employees where they’re convenient for them—away from their desks, in-between meetings, or while they’re performing other duties. Shaun Wither writes that audio can hold attention for more extended periods. “When we listen, we direct our attention to a single stream of dialog. If that dialog is interesting, our attention tends to stay there and we slip into deep focus.”
Podcast episodes can go into more depth while exploring a topic than a screen-based communication. Companies can deliver critical and relevant communications with an internal podcast where employees are engaged and not overburdened by more on-screen interactions.
How are companies using internal podcasts?
Podcasts reinforce messages that leaders send through other channels by emphasizing voices and personality. Podcasts also complement a communications plan by appealing to employees with aural learning styles. Steve Pratt highlights why companies are investing in internal podcasts:
Here are how some companies are using internal podcasts:
- Company communications — keep all of your employees current on important internal notifications, discussions, and updates on policies and procedures. You can also keep your employees engaged as to how the company is changing, growing, and evolving.
- Build company culture — In an interview for Forbes, CMO of Igloo Software Mike Hicks states, “Podcasts can be an effective way to communicate to employees in any organization. Millennials and Gen Zers are demanding more accessible leadership, and podcasts provide a medium for executives to reach all employees efficiently.” Executives can share company values, boost team performance, and celebrate company wins that define and build a company’s culture. Podcasting lends itself well to storytelling that can give employees a greater sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves.
- L&D (learning and development) — create opportunities for employees in different roles and different stages of their careers to build new skills, learn new strategies, and discover new ideas.
- HR Onboarding — provides all new employees, or people in new roles, the critical information they need to hit the ground running in their new position. HR can give them upfront what the company is expecting from their role, how the company positions their culture, and what it will take to be successful at the company. Make the onboarding process more efficient and engaging.
- Retention — humanizing your corporate voice and making the executive team more accessible to your employees will give them confidence that you care about them. Connecting organizational communication has financial impacts for both retaining and attracting new talent. In a study by Watson Wyatt, it was found that over 50% of companies that communicate effectively are more likely to report levels of turnover below the industry average, compared to 33% with the least effective communication. Steve Pratt also points out that “…making a great internal show about topics that matter is also a progressive way to become an employer of choice. Showing your staff that you care, that you are communicating effectively, and giving them information that they need to succeed is a fantastic retention strategy.” You’ll be able to retain and attract new talent to your organization.
Is an internal podcast right for your company?
Internal podcasts aren’t a perfect fit for every company. If you have a smaller organization that relies on face-to-face interaction, your employees may find podcasts as distancing or off-putting. Internal podcasts work well for companies that:
Are large. If you have hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of employees, internal podcasts are a fast and efficient method to deliver company communications.
Are dispersed. If you have a team of remote workers dispersed around the country or globe, podcasts are an ideal medium for company communications to each individual.
Are already doing video. Busy executives find the time and energy to produce video communications a huge turnoff. In the time it takes to produce one video from shooting to finished product, you can easily record five to ten internal podcast episodes and broadcast them over several weeks or months.
Are rapidly growing. Evergreen onboarding podcasts can deliver policies and protocols quickly if you are continually adding new employees to your workforce.
Internal podcasts can offer value to your company in terms of increasing employee engagement, morale, and operational efficiencies while simultaneously decreasing costs and employee turnover. If you would like to take the next step to see if internal podcasts are the right fit for your organization, schedule a complimentary discovery call with Podcast Taxi. We handle all of the heavy lifting behind producing internal podcasts so you can focus on your business and keeping your employees engaged.