Over the past year and a half the world of work has changed; the pandemic had legions of knowledge workers shacked up at home in their tracksuit bottoms, surrounded by their newly purchased house plants thinking, “Why on earth was I bothering with that commute?”
It wasn’t just the workers feeling like this either – with the opportunity to save on office space, travel, environmental impact, and generally see an increase in productivity due to less distractions, many company directors have embraced work from home moving forward.
“Hooray for work from home!” I hear you sing. But in business, as in life, this new way of working doesn’t come without cost. One thing that’s been hit hard is both difficult to define and vital to success: company culture.
A healthy company culture is something that permeates almost everything within an organisation, affecting the actions of the staff who make the organisation what it is. A company is the sum of its people and their actions, and things run the smoothest when the message the brand projects marries perfectly with the attitudes present internally.
But in a WFH arrangement this is harder. Culture in part comes from the C-suite leading by example, affecting the actions of middle managers and those under their supervision. This happens as much in the process of carrying out work as it does during a lunch break – but its a constant ongoing process created by the daily interactions of the people who make up the company.
So how might we go about solving this? Well, one exciting solution has been growing in popularity. Its immersive, infinitely scalable, it avoids more screen time and it’s called an internal podcast.
For your ears only: what is an internal podcast?
A podcast, for anyone that’s been under a rock for the last few years (given what’s gone on I don’t blame you) is a form of audio broadcast available via the web, which anyone can stream or download via their phone or computer.
An internal podcast is just the same, except that it can only be listened to by people who have received a private access link, to listen to in their preferred podcast app.
Internal podcasts in action
So the thing about internal podcasts is they’re, well, internal. This makes case studies a bit tricky – but there are exceptions. Arguably the most famous is Tell Me Why by American Airlines, due to the fact that it’s an internal/external hybrid, available to the public. The show is hosted by Ron DeFeo, the company’s Vice President of Global Communications, and releases short episodes every couple of weeks.
Tell Me Why ticks a lot of the boxes for an internal comms podcast. It promotes the values of the company, answers employee’s questions and keeps everyone up to date with company news. This democratises information across all levels of the organisation, and makes the senior positions of the company seem more attainable, which has been shown to increase employee retention.
By choosing to distribute their podcast publicly, American Airlines achieve the same thing for the shareholder and the consumer. A company with this level of openness is surely one we should trust, right?
Why podcast beats email and video
An internal podcast falls under the umbrella of a companies’ internal communications, which often takes the form of a regular company wide email.
However, we send and receive a lot of email. According to research done by Mckinsey, the average professional spends a staggering 28% of their day on it, that’s about 2.2 hours from an 8 hour day. Email fatigue is real.
Many professionals spend the day juggling priorities, balancing what’s urgent with what’s important, and continually re-shuffling around incoming requests (many from email). As a result, internal comms emails fit neither the urgent nor important quadrant, easily getting left behind.
This is where audio presents us with a unique opportunity. Listening to an internal podcast that’s done well should be genuinely enjoyable. It can be fun, entertaining, with the ability to make your staff remember that they are part of something awesome, much bigger than themselves.
Listening can be one of those wonderful ‘work but not work’ activities. It can feel the satisfaction of productivity, away from the screen, perhaps while taking the dog for a walk.
This can become a ritual to reduce stress, not add to it. This ritual, on a company wide scale, builds culture effectively.
How to create a company podcast
How to go about creating an informative, entertaining, all-round remarkable podcast is a topic that Fascinate has lived and breathed for a number of years. If you’re wondering how to do this, then we’re always up for a chat, but it’s something that goes far beyond the scope of this article.
Instead, I’ll focus on how we get your recorded podcast into the ears of your staff. Fortunately in 2021, there are a number of platforms that make this incredibly easy for a minimal starting fee.
This allows you to post your episodes to to a private feed, which you can then invite your listeners to with a link. They can listen and subscribe using their preferred podcast player, so they’ll receive a notification on their phone every time you release a new episode.
Sound like something your company could benefit from?
If you think an internal podcast could be just the thing your company needs, and you’d like some help, then do get in touch for a chat.