Podcasting in the Time of COVID-19

podcasting for employee communication and engagement

As the world continues to be disrupted by current events and advancements in digital technology, it's (understandably) becoming more difficult to cut through the endless online chatter to truly engage your employees.

It's understandable why a litany of Fortune 500 companies and CEOs are jumping on the bandwagon: Podcasts are already established in the mainstream, with one in three Americans tuning into at least one show every single month. But until recently, very few people had heard of, or even considered implementing, an employee-oriented podcast. But as COVID-19 continues to shape and change the way we work, business leaders are being presented with a unique opportunity to transform the way they approach communication across their company. That’s why more and more leaders are turning to internal podcasting to effectively reach their workforce.

But even before working from home and social distancing were the buzz phrases on everyone's lips, employees were already craving more transparency and access to management, especially at larger organizations where executive teams tend to be “faceless ghosts” (Example: according to a recent study, nearly a quarter of employees working at mid-and large-sized companies don’t even know their CEO’s name).

By implementing a well-crafted podcast, you humanize key figures in the company, give workers the access they need to feel more connected, and ultimately, will find your entire workforce better aligned with company goals--even if your working arrangements look much different than they did a year ago.

Why Podcasting is So Powerful During a Pandemic

Sure, we’re proponents of starting a podcast at your organization at any time (heck, some of the biggest companies in the world are already doing it), but reaching your workforce audibly is actually a pretty powerful communication tool to have in your back pocket during a pandemic.

It’s essential to be human and create connective feelings between upper-management and employees in times of crisis

Disruptive events create a range of issues from general confusion to lost productivity (and beyond) for leaders. During these times, it's crucial that employees hear facts and updates from you in order to regain a sense of normalcy in an otherwise uncertain situation.

Of course, it's always tempting to send a general email, which may or may not get lost in a chaotic shuffle of communication. But for the most forward-thinking leaders, podcasting gives more control over messaging, outlines the latest in a more personalized way, and allows the speaker to be viewed as the voice of reason and stability at critical moments.

Better team alignment with business objectives

Perhaps unsurprisingly, distributing company-wide communications effectively is difficult on the best of days. So it's not unreasonable to think that even a second wave of the pandemic would stress your communication channels even further.

A recent report showed 74% of employees have the feeling they are missing out on company news. By implementing a proper podcasting tool, organizations are able to quickly produce an asset that keeps teams on the same page, and operating in a cohesive manner by capturing information like:

  • What actions staff should be taking
  • What steps the company is taking to reduce the overall impact on business
  • Team all-hands and/or department meetings
  • Department issues and how to troubleshoot them
  • Tutorials/best practices on how to use particular programs

Creates a “single source of truth” for company announcements and information

Here’s a sobering truth for you: The rise of new communication technologies in the workplace is causing "information overload" for your employees. Couple that with new work habits and a pandemic and you have a recipe for disaster.

85% of employees say they’re most motivated when management offers regular updates on company news, which is why it’s so important to create a central hub where employees can access the latest, most official information on demand. Not only does this cut down on the rumors and misinformation that tend to fly during times of distress, but it also has the added benefit of providing teams with an organized repository where updates and knowledge can be accessed 24/7 from anywhere in the world, regardless of location, time zone, or wifi connection.

Encourages employee collaboration

Consider this: only about a third of US workers feel engaged at work...and if your employees are stressed and frustrated, your customers will sense it right away. While we’ve talked at length in this article about all the ways podcasting helps leadership communicate more effectively, the truth is, it’s also a highly-effective team-building tool. When you empower your team members to create their own podcast content that can be shared across the organization, you begin to bring them together in a more cohesive way. They can try creating podcast content around:

  • Interviews with each other
  • Tips the department can use
  • Thoughts on industry trends and how they might shape your business
  • A particular problem and how they solved it
  • Fun content talking about their work from home set up

Getting Started WIth Podcasting

Unfortunately, there is still this pervasive idea that producing a podcast is a large endeavor that requires a lot of overhead. But the technological advances in audio broadcasting platforms means that is no longer true. Podcasting solutions like CastDesk allow leaders to quickly record high-quality content directly from desktop or mobile and upload it within a matter of minutes for distribution.

But for podcasting to become a natural part of your company’s communication strategy, you should employ the use of a platform that can seamlessly integrate with your existing tech stack (we’re biased, but CastDesk is a great choice). These features are particularly important:

  • Modern, up-to-date, enterprise-grade security protocols: You’ll likely be sharing sensitive information in your internal podcast, so it’s absolutely essential that the platform you choose incorporates the latest security protocols to keep communication from getting leaked.
  • Access controls: The capability to restrict viewing to specific groups, teams, and individuals should be available.
  • Mobile-friendly: Information should be readily available, allowing your employees to access the most up-to-date information at any time, from anywhere, regardless of if they have wifi access or not.
  • Analytics: Communication managers should have access to an extensive analytics suite that gives them insight into who is listening to content, what they are listening to, how engaged they were with it, and more. This will give you a holistic picture of the impact your podcast is having across the organization and what adjustments may need to be made.

Over half of managers have said remote work will stay in place post-pandemic, so it’s critical to implement a communication structure that will work for your organization now and into the future. By incorporating podcasting into your company’s tech stack, you’ll enable workers and management to build a bridge that leads to more effective information distribution, increased engagement, and better collaboration in the long run.

Would you like to learn more about how CastDesk’s secure podcasting solutions can help propel your team to a more effective remote-working environment. Let’s talk.