The degree of employee engagement depends on a large number of variables, from financial compensation to the nature of their work, co-worker social profile, professional fulfillment, and a myriad of other factors that shape the employee’s view of the employer. While a number of variables are not entirely under the company’s control, there is also a whole bunch of steps that can be taken to try to actively engage and motivate employees.
The continuing technological advancements both provide us with new means of employee engagement and push us to implement them in order to address employees in their familiar formats, which is especially important for remote team communication.
Why audio podcasts?
Despite existing in an era of absolute focus on visual contents in the field of information, marketing, and communication in general, audio podcasts have emerged as a popular modern-day format. The lack of visual distractions focuses the full attention on what is being said, which a lot of people apparently prefer, even in the age of the briefest attention span.
Podcasts are rarely mentioned as a potential tool for internal communication, even though they are a commonplace communication vehicle in the “outside world”. Still, there are numerous reasons why companies should consider a podcast, whether as an alternative or a supplement to an internal newsletter or as its own communicational entity. Here are a few:
- It’s simple: Making a podcast is a relatively small and undemanding production that doesn’t require too much time or company resources. All you need is a decent microphone, basic knowledge of audio editing and fundamental technical literacy to distribute it among your colleagues (we will show you how to do that with the BlogIn platform a bit further below). Additionally, you may want to include some of your colleagues, but planning ahead will ensure that no everyday work suffers.
- It’s more personal: The immediacy and the expressiveness of the human voice make for a more personal experience than reading text on a screen. It allows the listener to become more familiar with the speaker, which can help resolve the feeling of alienation common in large and remote teams. Involving other colleagues by interviewing them and allowing them to contribute will also let their voices be heard and create a shared, more communal experience.
- It’s convenient: Unlike a newsletter or a blog post, which require reader’s complete attention, podcasts are excellent for multitasking. We are sure that many of you listen to podcasts in your workplace or have colleagues who do it. Podcasts are a popular soundtrack in the modern workplace, and perhaps they will help you reach some of those colleagues too busy or disinterested to read through internal communication.
How to use podcasts in internal communication
Podcasts don’t have a fixed format - they are your playground. You are free to use them in any way you feel suits the company and its needs. There are three main areas you must consider:
- Content: sharing the latest company news, reflecting on recent events and highlighting individual and collective achievements, sharing and discussing future plans, introducing colleagues and their work, having some fun and being creative - you can do any and all of it. Focus on what you are trying to achieve with the podcast and think of the most effective content to achieve it.
- Format and frequency: mind the time! Somebody will have to record, edit, and distribute the podcast, and chances are that it won’t be their only regular task. Think of the ideal frequency of podcasts that will not interfere with the other work of the creator(s). Also, think of the listener - it is a delicate balance between engaging and being overbearing. There is no standard formula, and both the length and the frequency will be dictated by company-specific circumstances, but try not to tread water; keep it informative, relevant, and interesting. Once you settle on the frequency, try to stick to it.
- Logistics: once you create a podcast, you will have to find a way to share it with your colleagues. Popular public options like SoundCloud or MixCloud will do the trick since they allow you to adjust the privacy settings of your uploads and control who gets to hear your podcast. They also include listener stats, which will allow you to determine whether you are on the right track and you’re achieving your goal.
How to distribute your podcast through the BlogIn platform
After you have uploaded your podcast to one of the public platforms, you can simply share the URL address through a company-wide chat or in an intranet post. Additionally, you can embed the player into a BlogIn post. Simply copy the embed code from the source address, then click on the icon shown on the screenshot below:
A dialog box will appear, asking you to paste the embed code:
Once you paste the embed code and click "OK", the embedded player should appear in the post editor. We will use one of our favorite podcasts, Harvard Business School, as an example of how the embedded player should look in the post editor:
And that's it! As easy as ABC!
An internal podcast may not necessarily be the best option for your company. It is a bit unconventional, and it won’t suit every work environment, but you should definitely consider it before writing it off. For some companies, however, it may just be the perfect solution for employee engagement and involvement that will make the employees feel more like a true team.