How To Improve Your Employee Development Program With Podcasting


While it has been a particularly difficult time for all of us around the world, many of the challenges for employee development are not new. How do you stay relevant and fresh? How to engage and motivate employees? Are our programs having significant results or do people quickly forget what they have learned or find it difficult to apply it? And, as we reflect on the changing nature of work, how will we adapt?

At Podbean, we’ve seen significant growth (230% year over year) in companies using podcasts in-house. We’ve learned that while this may have its roots in podcasts being a ‘hot thing’, it’s also an answer to many of the issues mentioned above. More importantly, companies that use this medium find healthy returns on their podcasting investments.

How can your program benefit from podcasts?

Convenience and mobility

Podcasts can be consumed on demand and on the go, making them a particularly convenient medium for communications, training, leadership, and more. We’ve worked with many companies that have turned to podcasts based on employee surveys. When employees prefer a particular medium, that alone is a reason to consider the option. Podcasts are easy to use anytime, anywhere, and they’re easy to create and distribute. So businesses can be nimble with timely updates and keep everyone connected without additional hassle, scheduling issues, etc.
Podcasts can be a great fit for remote teamswhether distributed worldwide or working from home.

Reduced screen fatigue
Audio is an intimate form of communication; Podcasts can use principles of storytelling and conversations to reach employees who have various development goals. “Zoom fatigue” is one of the most popular search terms of 2020. We all know what it feels like to have tired eyes looking at screens all day. Listening to a podcast can give our eyes a break while our brain absorbs knowledge.

Increased understanding
Unfortunately, when we read a text, we are only decoding about 7% of the meaning. This increases to 38% when listening, so switching a piece of content from an email or written guide to a podcast could lead to 500% better comprehension. Data from podcast advertising studies also indicates high retention and action as a result of what people hear in podcasts.

Better engagement
For all of these reasons and a general interest in podcasts, they can boost employee engagement.

How to use podcasts?

  • Coaching
  • Sales activation
  • Integration
  • CEO updates or fireside chats with executives
  • Team, product or service updates
  • Interviews and testimonials from employees or customers
  • Role games
  • Knowledge of the industry or subject: interviews with experts in the field (internal and external, partners, suppliers, etc.), recordings of events, webinars, conferences
  • Re-adaptation or replay of existing meetings, webinars and other content (or taking selected elements to reinforce key learnings)
  • In almost every way imaginable, if that makes sense and serves a purpose

Considerations for success

1. What is the benefit for the company? What is the benefit for the employee?

2. Who should be involved in planning and decision making?

3. What format (s) will you use? What content?

4. Who will assume what roles and responsibilities? How can internal forces be used to produce the best podcast (s) most efficiently?

Return on investment measurement

What do you need to build a successful business podcast?

  • Equipment / Technology: It can be as simple as recording from a cell phone, but most of the time you’ll want to invest in (or reuse from other uses) a microphone, headphones, and basic editing software. . To verify “How to record a podcast“to learn more.
  • Platform: A podcast hosting platform designed for business, like Podbean, has all the built-in features you’ll need to securely and conveniently stream podcasts to your employees.
  • Content plan: A plan for what you want to podcast and how you plan to achieve your goals with that podcast is necessary. It could be just a plan for a pilot series or an editorial calendar for your weekly podcasts for the year or the overall strategy for your employee development content.

Join me at ATD TechKnowledge to dig deeper into this topic.


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