If the last few years have taught us anything about leadership, it’s that we need to find new and innovative ways to communicate in a changing world of work. With more businesses adopting hybrid working models, the potential exists for us to disconnect from our teams.
The other side of this coin is screen and printed information overload. Your team gets hundreds of texts, emails, briefs, and other documents every month. What are the chances that when your company newsletter adds to that pile, they’ll even read it?
What if, instead, they could listen to that newsletter? Business-to-Employee (B2E) podcasts are set to change the landscape of internal communication forever.
Recent data shows that close to 60% of the US population has listened to a podcast. This explosion in podcast creation and consumption is due, in no small part, to the changing way in which we consume content. In a world that demands greater engagement to cope with the increased flow of information being broadcast at us 24/7, we simply no longer have the time to sit and read endless reams of text. Podcasts are often more engaging and more convenient to consume than written content, and this doesn’t just apply to leisure content either.
As audio and video podcasts continue to grow, product manufacturers in other spaces are taking notice and setting up their prototypes to engage with this content format. Cars have internet connections. Mobile phones, computers, and smart watches all have podcast buttons. Voice recognition devices like Alexa and Siri are now programmed to search for podcasts.
It just could not be any easier to get into someone’s ears right now, and if true crime Tina can do it, why can’t this theory apply to your business?
A Shift in Internal Communication
An internal communication strategy is one of the most important team-focused plans a business leader will ever create because internal communication does not just impact what happens inside your business. It has ripple effects, far beyond what you see in the office. After all, your team members don’t stop being associated with your business outside of working hours, and what they do, even when they aren’t on the clock, matters to your brand.
With a massive 4.6 billion people around the world using some form of social media daily, every single one of your team members is a brand ambassador, regardless of how directly they interact with customers in their role. This can, of course, have positive ramifications, or things can go horribly wrong. In 2017, a young McDonald’s employee shared photographs of a dirty ice-cream machine on his Twitter account. The post had enormous ramifications for the brand worldwide.
This incident is far from isolated and it’s also not an indictment of social media policies within businesses. Rather, it’s the result of a breakdown in internal communication. Had the employee communicated the issue internally, or if he had perhaps understood the implications of what he was doing for his employer’s brand, he would likely have thought twice.
Having solely text-based internal communication channels may well cut out a large percentage of your team, especially if you’re in the manufacturing sector, where a good portion of the team is not desk-bound. B2E podcasts can change this and shift the way your team sees your organization. By creating content that can be accessed by employees in convenient ways, you are positioning yourself as an employer that understands your team’s needs. In addition to that, you’re providing your business with a direct line of communication with your team.
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Is It Viable for All Businesses?
With the myriad of tools available for podcast production today and the low barrier to entry, a B2E podcast is a viable internal communication option for everyone, from startups to large corporations. If you prefer, outsourcing production to one of the many companies offering this service is another option.
Once you have established a B2E podcast to replace or enhance your company newsletter, the concept can be expanded into other aspects of your business. USG — a major manufacturer of building materials with 49 manufacturing locations across North America — uses podcasts for training and development of employees. Other options include onboarding and connecting the C-suite to grass-roots level employees. Really, the possibilities are endless.
Remote sales teams will benefit immensely from having podcast material to listen to about the products they’re selling. These team members are on the road, traveling between customers for much of their day, and they could utilize that time to prepare their pitches and update their knowledge on the products and services they’ll be presenting to their prospects.
Bitten By the Podcasting Bug?
Many businesses that have shifted from traditional newsletters to B2E podcasts for their internal communication have also started to use the medium to communicate with their customers and grow their brand.Podcasting to your customer audience helps you to connect with your audience on a far more personal level, it provides social proof that your brand is relevant, and it gives your brand a literal voice.
There’s No Reason Not To
If you want a fresh and impactful way to communicate with your employees, a B2E podcast is the answer. It’s an exciting new project for the entire office to get involved in and will bring your team together like never before. Turn every single one of your employees into a positive brand ambassador by ensuring they’re tuned into the heartbeat of the business they work for. Get into their ears and minds today.