“Training is now going to employees rather than the other way around.” 1
A few months ago I posted some podcast ideas that you could use in HR. Harvard Business Review recently listed a few excellent reasons to continue expansion of this format as it applies to HR and your employees, and how to do it:
- Podcasting is relatively inexpensive: You can create podcasts with free software. I’ve converted audio tracks that I’ve recorded into MP3 formats for my masters program. It’s pretty simple and costs nothing but a few minutes. You can also note that the vast majority of your employees have some sort of a MP3 player these days, so your investment in the technology should be nothing.
- You can pilot the technology with more receptive audiences to get adoption right from the start: People who work in the filed or in sales are often great candidates for the first roll-out. They can’t come into the office for training as readily, and are always complaining about the lack of formal programs for them. If you can get these people on board, they can also spread the message and get others excited about it.
- Promote the idea: this is really just change management. As HBR says, “just because you’ve built it, doesn’t mean they’ll come.” Part of this is the grassroots adoption mentioned above. However, you should keep encouraging your employees to use the podcasts and remind them that it’s out there.
- Using a format that employees enjoy helps: Who actually enjoys sitting in a stuffy room listening to a trainer for 4 hours or more? Instead, we can listen to a podcast while on the subway or on the drive home. This increases the productive hours employees have in the office, but also takes the boredom out of training.
- More on formats: Make the podcast sound like a radio show. Lectures are boring. Interviews and high levels of excitement will keep them listening, and then keep them coming back.
- Keep episodes short: A song lasts for about 3-5 minutes. A good podcast lasts about 15 minutes. You’re having a discussion where the listener has no chance of jumping in. Keep it short and simple.
- Get feedback: Allow your podcast to be downloaded from a blog engine like the one here on systematicHR. This not only gives you a place to frame the podcast in text, but also allows comments to come in. If you’re lucky, this might also turn into a discussion area.
- Encourage employees to podcast: We here at systematicHR have been talking about web 2.0 and how employees will use some of these technologies. Bogs, wiki’s and podcasts are great ways to encourage sharing. Once you have a culture of building on-line communities, see if you can expand this to multiple employee initiated podcasts and blogs. 2