Back in the 80s, when I started the experiential marketing company GMR, I selected every employee. But as we grew to a workforce of hundreds of people I had to rely on HR to take over the recruiting process.
Nevertheless, every hire remained personal. Before we made an offer, I made time for a one-on-one with our final candidates for every single position. I never asked the typical interview questions – I wanted to dig in and know their values.
Years later, after selling GMR to Omnicom, I’m still in touch with many of those employees, one of whom recently emailed me on LinkedIn saying “I remember the day you hired me and we sat down and you listened to my story. It was a great day in my career because you took the time to get to know me.”
“You took the time to get to know me.”
Human beings are wired for such interaction; the birth of civilizations has depended on it. And while the world has acquiesced to the mindless scrolling of social media posts, it’s become clear that we as a society are going back to our roots. We want Authenticity. Stories. Meaning.
The challenge for business leadership is staying connected to employees as the company grows in scale and across geographical boundaries. So, the emergence of podcasts for business couldn’t have come at a better time. Millions of people each week immerse themselves in podcasts on their commutes, traveling on airplanes, in between sales calls, and while working out. These are also the pockets of opportunity to access each day to reach your staff – and it’s all through innovative storytelling on demand.
It only makes sense, then, that your company should utilize the power and convenience of podcasts to educate, motivate, train – and yes, even entertain – your employees. This all helps to build company culture at any level you choose – from sales teams to company-wide.
3 reasons to launch an internal podcast today
1. Your sales people are the lifeblood of your company, yet a lot of them are working remotely.
After forty years in business, I’ve seen companies fail to communicate effectively with their employees, especially their sales teams. A lot of these folks work remotely, out of their homes, and are not connected to the mothership in any way, making it hard to stay focused and motivated. Podcasting is an ideal way to inspire them on their time whenever they want and wherever they are.
2. How many times do people at work ask, “Have you seen my email?” How many times do people respond with a blank stare?
While corporate email is a necessary tool, people’s eyes tend to glaze over the countless messages they get each week. We’ve all seen how a thread can explode into 20 or 30 emails, with new recipients being added along the way. If email is the primary way a company communicates trying to keep up with the ever-expanding volume easily leads to employee burnout.
When it comes to actual human connection, email really misses the mark. But if you’re serious about shaping and motivating corporate culture, your message will come across with great power in a podcast. Your authenticity, professional insights, your “how I got here” stories will help them relate to you. They will follow you into battle if you make a connection and know you value them as people.
3. Podcasts will save you money.
Statistics show that employees are desperately seeking connection. When they don’t feel it, they flee. Some 42 million people will leave their jobs this year, costing businesses $600 billion in turnover costs. On the other hand, business units focused on engaging employees cognitively and personally have lower turnover costs, more loyal customers, and higher profits.
“Workplace turnover is increasing, and the employee-driven marketplace calls for CEOs and managers to focus more effort on employee retention,” according to the 2018 Retention Report published by the Work Institute, an employee engagement, retention and HR consultant. “The successful economy and growing job marketplace allow a large percentage of employees to make career moves when current employers are not meeting their expectations and needs.”
I know the challenges of hiring and retaining rock-star employees, and most executives today don’t have the luxury of time to meet every single person. Yet every employee is still charged with a corporate and team mission. You can get them focused and motivated with a podcast.
Gary Reynolds is Founder of FieldCast, a company that produces podcasts for corporations with large distributed networks of employees. He founded experiential marketing agency GMR, which represented hundreds of global brands over his 40 years at the helm. Contact Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org or 312.626.3620.