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Founder and CEO, uStudio Inc., helping the world’s most innovative businesses adopt media communications.

I hate to break it to you: If you are an executive in a large corporation, you might be considered an “invisible boss,” according to a new survey of workers in companies of 500 or more. A solid 23% were unsure of their CEO’s name.

Many company leaders do not do an adequate job of engaging with their employees. Especially now, when many workers are at home and anxious about the future, effective leadership communication is paramount to providing clarity and sustaining employee motivation. By making relationship-building and employee engagement a priority, your company will reap the benefits — both culturally and financially.

Leadership communication through private podcasting can establish a more personal relationship between employees, especially with those workers who are remote and might already feel distant from headquarters. And, your workers will receive the messages in an engaging medium that they already know and love, as one-third of Americans age 12 and over are consuming podcasts regularly.

Although private podcasts can be used for training or sales enablement, they are a great way to increase executive communications within your company. Since this is a secure, internal-only channel, executives can have the freedom to speak frankly about opinions, new ideas, company myths and key dynamics shaping the industry. As always, the more engaging your message is, the higher impact you will have.

 

Don’t Build, Find A Provider 

Even if you have development capabilities within your company, it’s rarely cost- or time-effective to build your own app. To launch a podcast that only targets internal employees, it’s essential that you opt for a private hosting provider whose security features meet the most stringent IT requirements. Especially if your content contains sensitive or proprietary information, you want to make sure it is not discoverable online and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Many providers offer user management capabilities to automatically edit users as new employees join your company or move on to somewhere else. It’s also important that your hosting platform offers named-user analytics, live streaming and video podcast capabilities. While there are many podcast consumer apps out there trying to develop enterprise offerings, to be as secure as possible, it is wise to go with a 100% business-centric end-to-end solution. 

Pick Your Format

The format of your leadership podcast will depend on the objectives you place and the goals you are hoping to achieve. A solo-cast is best for brand building and can be a great format to use for leadership communications. With a recurring host, employees will be able to establish a relationship with their leader more quickly than other formats. A live audio podcast can be a great format to get important messages out quickly when on-demand isn’t fast enough. Putting a face to your name (and voice!) with video podcasts can also be a great transparent way to communicate with your employees and humanize your messages. However, if your show is meant to be consumed while commuting, this might not be the best option. It is important to review your internal resources and show objectives to pick the best format for your private podcast.

Record And Produce 

Pandemic or not, launching, recording and producing your content is something that can be done 100% remotely and it’s not as complicated as you might think. As far as equipment, I recommend buying a decent microphone and pair of headphones, and you’re ready to roll. Recording your podcast can be as easy as using the technology you likely already use, such as Skype or Zoom. And beginner or not, there are many third-party production companies that can do any post-production work in a short turnaround. Remember that length consistency with your episodes are important to establish listener expectations and further brand your podcast.

When speaking, it is important to be transparent and communicate with empathy. Showing common ground in the stories you tell can help bring teams together and humanize leadership across the business. 

Promote Your Podcast

Your employees need to know your shows exist. Before and after your podcast launch, send an email blast out to your employees notifying them of the new medium. Explain the type of content they can expect to receive and what benefits consuming it will bring them. Make sure your employees also know how to login to your private podcast platform and where to find the content. Many of our clients have found success leveraging internal champions and establishing some podcast adopters from the peer or management level.

Get Feedback

The only way to continually improve your podcast show and leadership communications is to continually monitor your podcast analytics. Is there a certain episode length or niche topic that performs better? What time of day are employees listening to your messages? Consider starting a shared inbox where employees can submit questions, comments or concerns relating to your podcast. Even if you aren’t featuring employees in your episodes, asking for their general feedback will help them feel as if they have a voice in the company. 

Remember, you are likely starting your leadership podcast to connect with your employees, not to become internet-famous. By being truthful through a Spotify or Netflix-style experience, you will boost information transfer and transform from an invisible boss to an all-star leader. 


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