Whether the family business or a Fortune 100 corporation, communicating effectively with all stakeholder groups is essential. Genuine, authentic communication with employees illustrates to them they are valued. Sadly, too many workers feel unnoticed and unappreciated. Hubspot uncovered that 39% of employees report they don’t feel appreciated at work.
Ergo, employee engagement is critical in cultivating a positive work environment and it is also smart business. Companies that enjoy high employee engagement are 21% more profitable. Just as braiding individual fibers into rope creates a composition stronger than the separate strands, effective employee engagement creates a company/employee bond stronger and more cohesive than that of its discrete components.
“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.”
- Simon Sinek
As we forge onward into the 21st century, the tools for employee engagement have contorted and morphed into a profusion of options for organizations of all sizes. To be sure, tried and true modalities like group meetings and company newsletters still have a place on the communications landscape, but burgeoning technologies have given way to newer and often more efficient forms of communication.
Enter – Internal Company Podcast
When we think of a podcast, most envision one-way communication to external audiences; however, that paradigm is rapidly changing. Several large corporations like American Airlines – and even some midsize organizations – are beginning to repurpose the podcast. Case in point, our firm has had a handful of client inquiries about internal podcasting, with two actually beginning the practice. The reasons for the uptick in popularity are relatively clear:
· Greater Employee Engagement
Easier access and notable entertainment value make higher employee interest and engagement virtually guaranteed. More than merely citing updates in the new attendance policy or the most recent addition to executive leadership, several companies are committing to production value and thematically based content. These creative initiatives are paying dividends as companies are reporting increases in overall product knowledge and message penetration.
· Mobile Device Friendly
Unlike the company newsletter or email, podcasts boast nearly limitless portability. Be it on the work commute, an after-dinner stroll or getting in your steps on the treadmill, podcast access is readily available. Additionally, younger members of employee populations, ofttimes less interested internal company matters, are significantly more likely to listen to podcasts than review the company newsletter.
· Greater Ease In Production
Company newsletters, magazines and videos can often be rather labor intensive with scores of moving parts. Conversely, podcasts are relatively simple to produce with quick turnaround. Companies will often hire a firm like Sagassé to record and produce podcasts, or if top shelf production isn’t a requirement, many smaller organizations and micro businesses simply do the recording themselves. In either case, producing the finished product takes only a fraction of the time needed for more traditional corporate communications tools.
The ever-present and insidious company rumor mill, ethnically and culturally diverse employee populations, increases in telecommuting and remote work due to COVID-19 and a host of other factors, both known and unknown, conspire to further complicate employee engagement. Nonetheless, one of the bright spots on the horizon of both corporate communications and employee engagement is the versatile and effective podcast. Not only are they for consumer-facing messaging, but now many organizations are recognizing the value of podcasts for internal communications, and kudos to them for doing so! Because at the end of the day, anything that facilitates more effective communication with employees will be beneficial for the company as well. Around here, we call that a win-win!