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Your Employees Aren't Reading Anymore. Podcasts and Short-Form Videos Can Help.

And it's not their fault. As a culture, we're moving on from books for knowledge acquisition.

Man reading while he drinks his morning coffee at a kitchen table.

The average American is reading fewer than five books a year (that's self-reported, by the way) and often spending as much as 120 minutes daily on platforms like TikTok and Netflix.

In contrast, the average book length is about three hundred pages. It takes the average person 1.7 minutes to read a page (300 wpm). If a person reads five books, they're spending an average of about 4 minutes per day reading and acquiring new information.

That's a 30:1 ratio. You should already be doing video and podcasts. Why haven't you started yet? Now that it's apparent that the way we consume information has fundamentally changed, it becomes important to highlight an essential opportunity for improving and supercharging internal business communications. By using podcasts and short-form videos, businesses can better align with the communication habits of their employees, ensuring messages not only reach but also resonate with their teams.

Short Form Videos for Business and Podcasts for Business

Customization and Relevance: Traditional communication methods like emails can easily be overlooked. Multimedia formats offer a more direct and engaging way to communicate company policies and updates, ensuring the information is both seen and absorbed.

Training and Onboarding: Video and audio formats can simplify complex information, making it more accessible and easier to digest. This is especially effective for training purposes, allowing employees to learn at their own pace and revisit the content as needed.

Justin Bethune talks into a professional microphone at a podcast studio in Chattanooga, TN.
Justin Bethune of the Amateur Audiophile Podcast

Interactive Features: Incorporating interactive elements like Q&As and polls can transform passive listening into active engagement, fostering a two-way communication stream and building a stronger community within the workplace.

Accessibility: As remote work becomes more prevalent, having centralized, easy-to-access platforms for company podcasts and videos ensures that employees, regardless of their location, stay informed and connected.

Cultural Engagement: These tools do more than relay information; they help promote and build company culture by showcasing employee stories and celebrating company milestones, enhancing the overall workplace environment.

Communication Is Hard

As business owners and professionals, we all know internal communication is crucial for maintaining employee engagement and ensuring everyone is aligned with the company’s goals, especially with remote teams, asynchronous teams, and large cross-functional teams handling a lot of moving parts.

And human understanding and behavior, like I mention in this article, are built on genetically-encoded behavioral patterns and gained-knowledge, or knowledge learned by interacting with something or someone like a teacher, a bully, or a really tasty chili dog.

My point is that we don't all have access to same set of information. And even when we do feel as though we understand what is meant by our coworkers, sometimes it just doesn't match up because of contextual misunderstandings, and then we find ourselves in even more trouble as a result.

Implementing This Strategy

Adopting podcasts and videos for internal communications is about creating a more dynamic and engaging workplace where information is shared in a way that employees are most likely to respond to.

Starting with small projects focused on significant updates can help gauge engagement and refine the approach based on real feedback, leading to more informed, connected, and motivated team members.

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