With many employees focusing on more than just remuneration as a reason for staying with their employers, many businesses are turning to more innovative learning and development interventions to increase retention within their organisation. So how can you breathe new air into your online training program? Well, one those is using podcasts for employee learning and here are some great reasons why to incorporate this into your learning culture.
As technology changes the world around us, employees find themselves in a constant effort to pick up more new skills. However, learning new information to address this expanding skill gap is easier said than done. Employees are inundated with tons of material but often have little time or interest to engage with it. For this reason, organisations are looking for new modes of training their workforce to achieve maximum engagement and effectiveness. Such an example is podcasts, a medium that has been rising in popularity in recent years. In this article, we explore five benefits of using podcasts for employee training that will certainly convince you to include them in your training program.
- Create A Personalised Learning Experience
One of the main benefits of using podcasts for learning is the ability to personalize training based on the preferences and needs of each individual. Podcasts come in various forms and durations, allowing your workforce to choose which they prefer. For example, some could opt for longer conversational podcasts while others for shorter, storytelling ones. By putting learners in the driver’s seat, podcasts encourage them to involve themselves more actively in the learning process and achieve better learning outcomes. Not to mention that studies have shown that aural material can reinforce traditional learning tasks by helping learners gain a deeper understanding and sustain engagement levels for longer.
- Combat Information Fatigue
Where, until a few years ago, text was the predominant material used in training courses, now it has been replaced to a great extent by visuals, such as images, animations, and videos. And despite them being very successful in captivating the attention of the learner at first, sometimes they can have the opposite results. In a world where people are constantly being “attacked” by vibrant colors, rapidly changing images, and loud sounds, it’s possible that, after a certain point, they start tuning it all out. On the other hand, podcasts offer a laid-back way of learning by asking them to only engage their hearing. Without any visual distractions, learners can truly concentrate on what they are listening to and end up comprehending much more than if the content was in video form.
- Reduce Development Costs
Most traditional training methods require a large number of resources for their development. For example, when it comes to written material, you are looking at printing and distribution expenses for dozens, if not hundreds, of trainees. Even if you take your written content online, you still need to put aside enough resources for the online learning platform that will host it. Videos are another expensive alternative, as their development demands a studio, recording equipment, editing software, and more. Contrary to all that, podcasts can offer learners quality learning material for a fraction of the cost. This is because you can create them in a very short amount of time using equipment that is readily available to you, such as a smartphone.
- Foster A Community
Another great benefit of using podcasts in your training program is that they promote social learning by creating a community where learners can share information, knowledge, and opinions. The platforms where podcasts are shared often give users the ability to pose questions and discuss various topics that could benefit their overall learning journey. If not, they can still exchange their views and clarify grey areas in forums held on social media or an internal communication platform. The same goes for instructors and educators. Apart from creating content for their audience, they can also create podcasts to help their colleagues improve the effectiveness of their training strategies, attract more learners, diversify the materials they use, and much more.
- Make Material Accessible At Any Time
Podcasts are one of the most flexible and versatile learning tools you can provide your audience with. All they need is their phone, and they can listen (and learn) while walking, exercising, commuting, cooking, or during any other task one can accompany with audio stimuli. Podcasts don’t even require a stable internet connection, as their small size allows them to be quickly downloaded and used whenever needed. Their inherent characteristics of portability and adaptability make podcasts the perfect tool for everyone, from busy employees who need to develop their knowledge base to easily distracted college students that can only stay focused if they are multitasking.
The hectic rhythm of the modern lifestyle paired with the necessity to constantly expand our knowledge have caused employees to continuously search for better ways to learn. Podcasts, with their wide variety, adjustable duration, and audio-only form, have come to the foreground to provide a solution to this problem. Although they can’t—and shouldn’t—replace all other forms of training, podcasts can shine a new light on how we acquire new skills. Hopefully, the benefits of using podcasts that we shared in this article have convinced you to give them a shot. Incorporate them into your training program today and explore new ways to engage your audience.