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I seriously cannot stop talking about the power of internal podcasting for organizations. And it’s for good reason! Consider this episode your crystal ball, because I’m going to share six reasons I am absolutely confident most companies will have podcasts in the five years. Think an internal podcast won’t work at your company? I’d challenge you to think again - and give the episode a listen before counting it out!
In this episode you’ll learn:
The six reasons you should be starting an internal podcast today.
Why having a podcast makes your communication more equitable.
The oversized impact a podcast has at scaling companies, where time is often more valuable than money.
How an internal podcast helps solve the relationship and connection issues many companies are facing as remote and hybrid teams.
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Here's the paraphrased transcript:
6 Reasons Podcasting is the Future of Internal Communications
My top strength is Futuristic. Here’s the definition: "relating to, describing, or depicting events in an imagined future", or in short, "very modern".
I was telling companies to build employer brands starting in 2010 – back when most of them said, “what in the heck is an employer brand.”
So in this episode, you can trust me again: I've got a good feeling I'm ahead of the curve!
6 reasons you should consider it - and once your sold, six reasons you can use to get your executive team onboard.
Example: Have you ever heard the founder of your company explain why they started the company? It’s magical. You feel the passion that existed during launch, share their pain through setbacks, and celebrate the times they persevere against all odds. No one can tell the story like they can. If you’re employee #5, you got some version of that story from the founder themself - likely over coffee or dinner. If you’re employee #500, it’s more likely you won’t hear the story - and if you do, it’s one slide with a picture of the founder that is presented by HR as part of onboarding. Employee #10 is inspired and bought in. Employee #500 likely couldn’t repeat any part of the story back to you a week later. That difference is the power of storytelling. And storytelling is the heart of podcasting.
This is how we do things around here. The Nordstrom Way.
It’s evergreen - allowing the team to work smarter, not harder.
Content is queen in the remote and hybrid workplace. Documentation becomes one of the most important tools you have to build a cohesive, engaged, aligned, and supported team.
When you capture content via an internal podcast, it becomes what marketers call evergreen - meaning it is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers over a long period of time. In the world of remote and hybrid work, evergreen content is scalable.
Example: Let’s go back to the founding story. Say you’re all in agreement that the company's founder tells the story like no one else can. Now imagine you’re HR, trying to convince said founder to block 30 minutes every week to tell the story to that week’s new hires. I’d say your odds are slim to none. But if you ask that founder to sit down and record the story once for a podcast episode, they would likely not only say yes but be excited.
Now you have the story captured in the founder's own words, without them having to dedicate 30 minutes every week to telling it. A win-win!
Of course, this extends far beyond the founder’s story. Think of all the things you tell employees over and over again. How many of them could be captured via podcast? My guess is quite a few.
Use the podcast to work smarter, not harder, as your team scales without losing the human touch.
Podcasts are equitable from a distribution perspective
Knowledge hoarding has been a power move in organizations for centuries. Sometimes it’s intentional - someone is withholding information to give themselves an advantage or feel powerful. Other times, it’s logistical.
Picture this: “Well, Katie was in the office, so I told her the big news on Wednesday. Now it’s Friday and I’m telling you, but you already heard through back channels and feel less important than Katie."
When information is distributed simultaneously, it doesn’t matter if you’re working in an office or from your dining room table. Everyone has access to the same information at the same time.
Everyone doesn’t have to be in the room at the same time!
Flexibility is a huge part of the future of work - which makes gathering people in the same room at the same time to distribute information really tricky. Don’t fall back on what’s best for the majority - allow people to access the information in the same way at a time that’s best for them.
Podcast creation would also drive a culture of transparency and make it easier for leaders to disseminate information to managers and all employees.
It gets people away from their screens.
I get so happy when someone selects "phone call" instead of "video call" from my calendar link - do you?
In increasingly distributed work environments, we need to find creative ways to get people away from their screens - this allows that. Go for a walk and take a listen! Or unload their dishwasher.
And no, I don’t think employees should be encouraged to listen outside of work hours, but rather to use some work hours to listen and learn without being tied to their desks.
It scales relationship building/connection.
One of the most common challenges I am hearing from employers today is, “my team feels disconnected now that we’re not in the office.” An internal podcast is one way to solve for that!
I want you to think about a podcaster or celebrity of which you’ve said, “we would totally be friends in real life!” “Or I feel like I know them.” That is the power of storytelling! Specifically the power of hearing someone’s voice vs reading an email. Think about how powerful that feeling of connection could be between coworkers who’ve never met if they begin to hear the other’s voice and ideas via a podcast episode. Suddenly, Jamie over in customer success is a very real person. The next time you (a developer) are being asked to prioritize a bug fix vs writing some green code (which I understand is much more preferable to most developers) you’ll think of Jamie, not some nameless department with asks.
Connection is also about being in the know. No one wants to be the last one to find out you’re selling the office or one of your biggest clients didn’t renew their contract.
It will save you money.
It's not expensive to do it or host it. It's more accessible and cost-effective than video. Employees don't have to repeat themselves 100 times – they can record it once! In short? A more engaged workforce = increased retention.
Ready to get rolling? Check out these internal podcast categories to get you started.