Recalibrating Because of COVID? It Might be Time for an Internal Podcast

In the face of unprecedented change — in business and beyond — a company podcast may be the answer to your woes.

Needless to say, our professional landscape has seen some major changes since the onset of the pandemic. One of these changes is a lack of security — for employees and employers alike.

While some unlucky team members were hurt by mass layoffs, many workers either took on roles out of necessity or — let‘s be frank — found themselves questioning what it is they’re doing with their lives, exactly. The pandemic also put company policies, practices, and systems under a microscope. Faced with unprecedented circumstances, businesses that survived were challenged to handle this catastrophe effectively, either adapting with grace or floundering and losing the respect of their teams.

Late in 2020, one Ceridian study found that 64% of folks in the US were looking for a new job or would consider changing roles if approached. In Canada, this number was a similarly staggering 68%. Early this year, William Vanderbloemen wrote a piece for Forbes in which he predicted “unprecedented turnover” as a ripple effect from the outbreak of the COVID-19. Not long after, a survey from Prudential found that one in four of US workers planned to leave their current roles once the threat of the virus faded.

It should come as no surprise, then, that in May of this year, Alexander Bick and Adam Blandin of Arizona State and VCU reported that one third of US citizens who were employed in February of 2020 had since changed employers or lost their jobs. This is double the turnover and job loss rate seen across the prior two decades.

Today, companies are faced with the challenge of accommodating and onboarding new and growing teams with a few tall orders at hand.

Brands looking to rebuild effectively should be asking themselves the following:

  • How can we onboard with a lighter load and greater ease?

  • How can we build authentic connections with our new teams?

  • How can we redefine, or drive home, the mission, values, and purpose of our company?

  • How can we create culture among telecommuting or disjointed teams?

  • How can we foster the loyalty and investment our company really needs?

Well, friends, we’re happy to offer a solution to your woes. The answer to these (and many other) questions is the increasingly popular internal podcast. Let’s take a look at some of the ways this medium helps industry-leading companies.

Provide new staff with a clear picture of what your company is about.

Provide new staff with a clear picture of what your company is about.

Orient your team.

First thing’s first. If you’re like many of the brands we chat with, and are currently onboarding a lot of new folks, an internal podcast offers unique opportunities to help orient your team with ease. We all have a lot on right now, so why not lighten the load?

A well-produced series will include content that provides a fleshed-out picture of an employee’s new company. It will tell stories crucial to their understanding of your brand and what you do, and delve into topics and themes that paint a picture more complete than anything leaders or team members can share in a one-on-one capacity.

This is made even better by the fact that an eager new employee can dig deeper on their own time, when they’re open, and away from their screen. When you offer an internal podcast, your new team players can get on board while walking their dog, hitting their Peloton, or grabbing a morning coffee.

Learn how to measure the ROI of your podcast. 

Translate your vision, mission, and purpose.

Translate your vision, mission, and purpose.

Forge meaningful connections.

An internal podcast also provides the opportunity to forge connections early on that are greater than “Here’s your desk,” “Here’s your Slack channel,” or “Here’s some new-hire reading.”

By telling complex stories that translate your vision, mission and purpose — and making those stories easily accessible to your employees — you’re able to build a stronger connection with them that doesn’t just scratch the surface, but really gets to the heart of your company.

Podcasts provide an opportunity for humor, humanity, and complexity you simply can’t match with any other form of internal communication.

Want to build a culture of respect, reciprocity, and loyalty?

Want to build a culture of respect, reciprocity, and loyalty?

Foster investment.

There’s an added perk to building complex narratives — and translating that vision, mission, and purpose effectively — that should not be overlooked by any comms savvy company. By telling more meaningful stories, you foster investment in new members of your team. If you want to build an atmosphere of respect, reciprocity, and loyalty, you need to create value-driven, emotion-centred connections with your team. We know folks are buying with their hearts these days — but are we really thinking about how they choose their companies?

In the wake of the pandemic, and after taking a good, long look at their lives, many workers are asking their brands for more than just a paycheque and a decent living wage. Our time and energy is more valuable than ever and, for many folks with the luxury of choice, decisions are being made more selectively.

 

Looking to facilitate change?

Looking to facilitate change?

Redefine and recalibrate.

Just as these unusual and terrible circumstances have caused individuals to question their choices, values, and priorities, the same should be happening at companies.

Whether the pandemic exposed holes in your systems and your thinking, or you’d just like to use this new chapter to spark growth and change, an internal podcast presents a unique opportunity. Through this medium, you can redefine your approach, mission, even your entire company with thoughtfully constructed narratives and messaging that efficiently facilitates change.

Reach your team members personally — not through a company wide email, please — and express those intentions with humanity.

Podcasts are more popular than ever.

Podcasts are more popular than ever.

A medium for a changed world.

The internal podcast was popular before the pandemic, granted, and has long been employed by world-leading companies (hello, lululemon) but is perhaps more valuable than ever in a post-COVID world.

Whether your team is telecommuting or readapting to handshakes, eyecontact, and in-office life, a podcast can make this new, complicated chapter a whole lot easier — for everyone that makes up your company.

Need a little help getting started? Don’t be afraid to contact our team.

Roger Nairn is the Co-Founder & CEO of JAR Audio

Learn how to measure the ROI of your podcast.