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16% of companies in the world are 100% remote and this number is on the rise. In fact, by “2028, 73% of all departments are expected to have remote workers”.
Working remotely personally gave me the flexibility and freedom to live in places that brought me happiness and financial stability. I’m a huge advocate for working from home and its benefits. That being said, I’m also incredibly aware of the hurdles that need to be tackled in order to have a productive and united remote workforce. In fact, my journey into podcasting started as a direct result of the issues that need to be overcome with remote work.
From Zoom calls to live Google docs, there are endless tools that have made working remotely a much more streamlined and collaborative process. Using these tools efficiently can transform the way your team collaborates. However, keeping employees motivated, up to date with company training, and in the loop with regular work announcements is still something that businesses struggle with. In fact, 17% of remote workers say one of their biggest challenges is communication.
This is one of the key areas an internal podcast can shine, as they have the power to really unite a workforce.
What is an internal podcast?
An internal podcast is just like any other podcast you may listen to, only you cannot access it publicly. You won’t be able to search for it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or any other players. Instead, it’s set up in a secure, designated place and only the people you want to listen to your show will have access to it. More and more businesses are tapping into internal podcasts as a way to communicate with their staff members.
Internal podcasts are an easy and efficient way to provide your staff with key company updates. A weekly or monthly podcast would allow you to deliver messages in a captivating and engaging way that truly motivates your employees.
I chatted to Ben Barney (Auddy’s Head of Growth) about this topic. Ben says: “We’ve got more and more people working from home and podcasting is such an intimate experience and it allows us to be able to talk in a more personalised way”.
“The ability to weave your message into a narrative is key. It can trigger the release of chemicals such as cortisol and dopamine. Cortisol is the stress hormone which makes us alert and helps with memory formation, and dopamine is the ‘feel-good’ chemical.” (Read more about the power of storytelling here).
Podcasts can increase staff productivity
Not only can a podcast help to captivate and engage your staff, it can also increase productivity! All those weekly Zoom meetings, Slack Memos and long emails can be digested by staff members in a way that allows them to process information while working on other projects.
This could be particularly appealing to a workforce that is looking to reduce their screentime – perhaps they’re fed up of being in front of their computer all day. A podcast allows people to listen to staff updates while out and about, getting on with other daily tasks. They aren’t bound to their work desk.
On this topic, Ben mentioned: “when people are listening to their podcast on their phones, we have the luxury of being able to tap into a moment when they might be doing something else, like going to the gym or going for a walk and they’re not having to be in front of the computer getting pinged by Slack the whole time”. That’s time and energy they can devote to more important work.
Building a community
But perhaps you aren’t looking to share updates or training with your staff. Maybe you’d like to focus on getting your staff excited about their community, or up to date with world news. Well, that works too. A podcast’s power of storytelling and soundscaping allows you to create a truly immersive experience that staff are excited to listen to regularly.
Ben said: “We’re certainly seeing big growth in wellbeing and some of the more motivational kind of training. One of the wonderful things about podcasting is we can have lots of different channels for different content sets. You can decide to give certain audiences access to only certain parts of the content”.
Things to keep in mind
In order to make the best podcast possible, which will truly unite a workforce, here are 5 things we recommend thinking about.
1. Accessibility and security
Use a service that allows staff to easily access the podcast whilst keeping it secure. (We can help in that regard! Find out more here.)
2. Look at the analytics
Are staff tuning in to every episode? Are they listening through to the end? Is there a section with a bigger drop-off? Looking at the data and adapting your output accordingly is the key to success.
3. Encourage interaction
You want your staff to be fans of the show. Getting staff to give their input and to feel involved is therefore really important. You could have a dedicated Slack channel or Discord where staff can discuss past and future episodes, give feedback, and offer suggestions. Internal podcasts are also an easy format to incorporate staff questions, call-ins, interviews etc. On this topic, Ben said: “People don’t necessarily want to put that hand up and ask a question when they’re in front of a thousand people. So podcasting allows for people to feel comfortable asking questions on their own.”
4. Keep it regular
All the rules that apply to online content still apply here. People like knowing what they’re getting into. So keeping the format, host and release time regular will help staff know what to expect – and ultimately keep them hooked.
5. Choose your host wisely
Make sure the host is someone people can warm to, relate to, and feel comfortable listening to. This will make it easier for staff to (a) want to tune in and (b) will encourage other staff to tune in.
A podcast can be an invaluable asset for your remote workforce.