Podcasts being used for business is not a new concept, but have you thought about using them internally for training and development? Here are the top five reasons you should consider investing in podcasting for training purposes.
1. It is more engaging than reading
Ever started a new job and been presented with a big pile of paperwork to read through? This is the traditional way of passing on tips, tricks and important details about a subject, be it a new starter’s training pack or information on a new system that employees need to start using.
But how engaging is that stack of reading? Not very, nor does it feel very welcoming. Delivering some of your induction content via audio communications could literally introduce your new starters to the voice of your company, starting with interviews about the company’s strategy and direction with senior leaders, all the way through to more relatable, everyday advice from people who will become their close colleagues.
If you approach podcasting in a smart and targeted manner, the outcome can be hugely successful. Research commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) asked active podcast listeners why they listen to podcasts regularly. At 71%, the most popular answer by far was “to learn or be entertained”.
Why not utilise the podcast trend for your company’s benefit?
2. Conversational language is more accessible
Could you say you would respond to a question in exactly the same way in writing as you would in the spoken word? Often, so much more value can be taken from a conversation where people are able to speak freely on a topic, using their own words rather than being restricted to specific or – in some environments – more formal wording for written communications.
A podcast recording of two internal experts talking about a subject is a great way for your team to learn more about any given topic that is important to your business. Creating content in this more accessible way could also help to ensure that every learner gets a similar experience. This means that topics that are important to you are covered more uniformly.
3. Podcasts are rising in popularity
The popularity of podcasts has boomed in recent years, so it’s pretty likely some of your employees are already big fans of the format.
According to Edison Research and Triton Digital, there are now 62 million people listening to podcasts each week in the US alone, up from 19 million in 2013. Creating a training programme using a format your team is already enthusiastic about is a smart way of engaging them and hopefully making them feel excited about learning. However, there’s also no harm in introducing something new to your teams if the podcast craze somehow passed them by.
4. Accessible anytime, anywhere
Driving home? On the bus? Walking your dog in the park? Having a bubble bath? One of the best things about podcasts is that they can be listened to anywhere at any time, as long as you have a mobile device to hand. This appeals to different types of learners, as some will like to multitask while consuming learning content.
Of course, those who don’t want to do this can stop and start the audio as it suits them. The flexibility of podcasts as a training solution means they can meet the needs of different learning styles. For some people, listening to learning content while doing something else – like navigating through their daily commute for example – will help improve their recall of the subject matter. The more engaging you make the content, the more all your listeners are likely to remember it.
5. It’s less expensive and stressful than video content
While it’s true that people like to watch video content, they’re often less keen on being filmed for it. Many a lucid and interesting employee has been rendered monosyllabic and ashen-faced by the appearance of lighting and cameras in their faces. But podcasts are delightfully free of any pressure to be having a good hair day – plus it’s possible to get high-quality recordings over the phone, meaning that those in global teams can include voices from colleagues all over the world without racking up exorbitant additional production costs.
And that’s not all – you can still turn high-quality audio content into visual content, simply by creating animated typography videos emphasising the speakers’ key points to accompany audio recordings. This inexpensive technique has the added benefit of helping the learner recall key points, too.
So, using podcasts for training is engaging, has learning benefits and allows learners to choose how and when to consume the content. In addition to that – it’s extremely cost effective. What’s not to love?