Seeking new ways to engage your employees? Eager to embrace open communication? Love the sound of your own voice? An internal podcast is a no-brainer.
If you’re anything like us and want to wave goodbye to outdated, top-down, transactional communication in the workplace, an internal podcast is a great step. Podcasts allow you to be as formal or informal as you like, to engage people more effectively, and
practise your standup routine topple the barriers that so often exist between teams, departments, and different levels of an organization.
Investing in these areas will be absolutely critical in this new era, where more and more companies are going hybrid, emotional connection is key, and workers are prioritizing more human and compassionate workplaces.
As our CMO, Gidi, previously told Digiday’s Jessica Davies, “The core problem in remote-working situations is lack of meaningful connections, meaningful bonds and relationships, the kind that are formed in an office environment, or bumping into the CEO or other senior team members in the parking lot and getting a pat on the back for a job well done.
“And it results in people being unhappy, disconnected, and less motivated. The connection to the culture of the workplace and your colleagues is really at an all-time low.”
Enter the internal podcast!
4 things your internal podcast needs
1. A raison d’être
Why are you starting an internal podcast? Is it to give the CEO an accessible platform for async company-wide updates? To facilitate knowledge sharing across departments? Or to help colleagues learn more about each other’s interests and hobbies?
Any and all of these are great reasons to invest in an internal podcast, but it’s important that you set out clear objectives before diving in. Even in an informal fireside chat, a lack of planning can make your podcast harder to get off the ground.
One solution is to center your podcast around your company’s values. As an example, here at Workvivo we pride ourselves on taking what we do very seriously, but not taking ourselves too seriously. Basically, we like to have fun, and we sum this value up in with the phrase ‘Rolling Down The Hill’.
Our own internal podcast is called ‘The Hill’, and it’s a great representation of our company culture. Colleagues are invited on to talk about their work, hobbies, and, most importantly, their all-time-favorite songs.
A key part of a healthy company culture is having people who share the same values. If your internal podcast can help align your teams while engaging them effectively, it’s a win-win.
2. More than one voice
The point of an internal podcast is to engage your people. It makes sense, then, that it actively involves them as much as possible. You want to eliminate siloes, not reinforce them. That’s why inclusivity and accessibility are non-negotiable.
If your podcast invites employees on as guests, for example, they should be from a range of levels across the organization. Inviting only members of your C-Suite on might come across a little exclusive.
If your company is remote or hybrid and has teams spread across different countries, people are probably eager to get to know each other better in ways that aren’t restricted to in-person gatherings or company-wide calls.
To make that possible, keeping your podcast open to as many employees from diverse departments, cities, and levels of seniority is key.
3. Openness and authenticity
As with any aspect of an open communications model, your internal podcast should be used to spark conversations – ideally ones that are honest and authentic. Today, people want to be themselves and feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work each day rather than putting on a professional persona.
When you use your podcast to invite guests to be themselves in front of the rest of the company, it inspires their colleagues to do the same. The sense of belonging that follows will elevate your company culture to a more inclusive and more genuine work environment.
Honesty, authenticity, and vulnerability are some of the top traits expected of leaders in modern workplaces, and all three play important roles in building and maintaining one of the most challenging but critical values of our time: emotional connection.
4. The right tool
Getting your internal podcast off the ground might sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Embracing the right technology (like Workvivo) will help in a number of ways, from recording the content itself to having it available to all of your employees at the touch of a button.
Taking a simplified and streamlined approach to your podcast with Workvivo makes it much easier to maintain and lessens the workload on your team, meaning they can focus more on the important part – the content – rather than the technical minutiae. It will also keep your podcast accessible to all staff no matter where they are or how they work – whether they’re desk-based or frontline – by housing it in one central hub.
Having the right tool in place also gives you flexibility. Internal podcasts are great for engaging staff, but they’re also invaluable during critical communications. Companies across the globe are heading into 2023 apprehensively due to economic instability, and it’s clear that
In tandem with frank company-wide townhalls, use your internal podcast to be transparent with your employees about business developments. Honesty will always be the best policy, and your podcast is one key channel to employ here.
Internal podcasts to take inspiration from
One of our Product Managers here at Workvivo, Nathan Mayes, says that podcasts make for “a powerful and versatile method of communication that we see our own customers making fantastic use of”.
“When compared to traditional content types, internal podcasts are often much more personal, easier to consume, and allow employers to engage a younger audience in a format they’re used to consuming,” he explains.
“There’s something really nice about hearing someone’s voice; it feels far more personal and offers a nice alternative to reading something they’ve written in an article, post, or email. We’ve heard this time and again in customer interviews.
“From a product perspective, we see strong engagement with internal podcasts on the platform. They offer a completely different consumption experience and work well alongside more traditional content types.”
Clearly, internal podcasts are a popular feature for Workvivo customers. So, here are some examples to help inspire your own.
First up is Arlo Technologies’ internal podcast, ‘The Virtual Watercooler’, which the smart-home device company kicked off during COVID lockdowns in 2020. Senior HR Director Maeve O’Leary told Marketing Brew that the podcast helped “enable that connection and engagement between leadership and our employees while everybody was working remotely”.
While ‘The Virtual Watercooler’ began as a way for teams to get to know senior leaders in their own time, Maeve and her colleagues also use it to interview employees, particularly around diversity and inclusion.
As a leading broadcaster, an internal podcast was a no-brainer for A+E Networks. The company’s series ‘BASEcast’ comes out weekly with a mix of current affairs, pop culture, team and social news, and informal interviews.
If you’re planning a podcast that gives your colleagues better insight into the ‘why’ of your business, follow Bupa’s lead. The global healthcare group’s podcast, called ‘The Running Elephant’, sees its CEO about the company’s strategy and vision.
Over at Telus International in Canada, ‘Learning Hacks’ welcomes all kinds of conversations, but encourages employees to discuss work-life balance and professional development in particular. The company told Marketing Brew that the podcast takes a “relaxed, casual, and conversational approach”, and that episodes have been played tens of thousands of times.
For a podcast dedicated to workplace tools and a learning mindset, take a leaf out of HERE Technologies’ book. Its ‘Unbox Your Learning’ series takes a deep dive into each of the tools the company uses and invites experts to come on and share their tips for getting the most out of them.
Internal podcasts like these are made easy as pie with Workvivo. Want to learn more? Book your free demo today.
*Free pie not guaranteed