We chatted with internal podcasters from Bayer, Booking.com, JetBlue Airways, Share Now, and Zalando about how and why they do it. Here’s what we learned:
Podcasts have been all the rage lately. And sure, there are plenty of reasons for it: they are easy to create, highly engaging, build strong emotional bonds, and like a Snickers — easy to consume. Especially big companies see the potential of internal podcasting to reach the hearts and minds of all its employees. Here’s why: Podcasts are conversational, human, screen-free, and asynchronous — one-on-one with everyone at scale.
A note from our Co-founder 👋 During the past 18 months, I talked to more than 240 people working in employee engagement, internal or corporate comms, people & culture teams, of which 87 were already running at least one internal podcast. I learned a bunch in every one-on-one. But still, if I missed anything or didn’t answer a question that brought you here, please reach out. I’m gonna pull out all the sweetest stops and update this resource in no time.
Alright, let’s jump in.
What the heck is an internal company podcast? Well, just from the name alone, you can probably guess that internal or private podcasts aren’t available to anyone. It’s you and your inner circle only, always. And in the case of a company, it’s usually their employees. Voilà! There are several ways of sharing an internal podcast privately — some are more secure, others less. At Pager, we care about security as much as you do, and at the same time, we want to make it as easy as possible for your people to consume the content. Curious how it works? Try Pager for free.
👉 Remember what you heard: Compared to reading, audio provides greater identification, emotional engagement, creation of mental images, and involvement which are vital for employee engagement and messages that stick. Audio is engaging.
👉 Listen when it works for you: Unlike real-time video meetings, audio stories can be consumed at your pace, mirroring the behavior in hybrid workplace cultures. Audio is asynchronous.
👉 Go deeper with topics you care about: There is the ability to have deeper explorations or in-depth conversations about a specific topic that holds everyone’s attention for longer (employee engagement is usually above 30%). Audio is personal.
👉 Give your eyes a break: And don’t get us started on screen fatigue in general. Let employees consume content without being glued to a device. Audio is screen-free.
Zoom, Email, Slack … these platforms create a hum of the workplace — but they fail to bring workplace culture to life. They just aren’t designed for it. That’s why Pager is rethinking how we foster connections at work and keep teams bonded. Its audio-first approach is designed to support how people naturally communicate: Intimate, familiar, and personal — leaving room to create a sense of belonging and inclusion. Also, there’s magic in the intimacy. It’s just you and the listener. You are literally in everyone’s ears. Ever tried to tell a joke or amusing story via email? Chances are it fell flat. With a podcast, you can spice up your conversations with humor, entertaining anecdotes, or a little soundtrack. And not to forget, you meet your people where they are because everyone can listen whenever, wherever — without being glued to a screen. Podcasting is the least demanding content delivery channel from a listener’s perspective. They can consume it while doing other things — working out, running errands, commuting, or doing the dishes at home. That’s why audio is highly engaging.
Okay, we get it. Audio is the new writing. So you might wonder: How are other companies using podcasts internally? Here are the most common use cases we see out there:
🏄 Onboarding Podcasts
- Channel the company’s vision, mission, and purpose into a message with a human voice
- Let new hires know that they are supported with welcome messages from the team
- Serialisation can help gradually build up the knowledge (even before the first day)
- Stimulates a sense of belonging and excitement from day one, for example, when you listen to the founders’ story
👩💻 Employee Podcasts
- Give your team a platform to talk about their accomplishments, learnings, personal journeys, or even *everything but* work.
- Source of inspiration for others to connect and weave the social fabric of your company
- Stimulates a sense of diversity and inclusion, momentum, and positivity and enables unlikely connections at work.
🧢 Leadership Podcasts
- One-on-one time with the CEO or other members of the C-Suite where they shed light on perspectives, goals, and personal views — maybe even struggles or challenges?
- Opportunity to make leadership more accessible and personal
- Stimulates the idea of working towards a common goal
- Higher loyalty, engagement, and willingness to advocate for your company
🎧 Learning Podcasts
- Flexibly integrate training into your everyday life at your own pace
- Scalable across the whole company, always there when you need them
- Track progress across the entire team
- Stimulates a sense of calm, self-confidence, and curiosity
🏢 Meeting Podcasts
- Avoid video call fatigue with recorded town halls and meetings
- Add chapters to highlight essential messages
- Opportunity to foster a sense of transparency
- Stimulates a sense of democracy and informedness
🏓 Culture Podcasts
- Keep teams bonded even when apart
- Break the ice between distributed teams across the globe
- Let employees talk about their weirdest hobbies, newly learned skills, favorite bread type, one exciting moment of that week, or a thing that most people don’t know about them.
- Make it a fun series like “A coffee with …” every Tuesday morning
📢 News Podcasts
- Bring everyone on the same page with company-wide announcements
- Reach more people with digestible, personal, and fun audio messages
- Opportunity to increase productivity and balance information asymmetries
- Stimulates a sense of transparency and fosters common understanding
🪵 Special Podcasts
- Bring in (external) speakers to share their wisdom with your team
- Great opportunity for training and education
- Stimulates creativity and excitement within the company
- Possible guests: Industry experts, alumni, founders, speakers
Ready to move away from highly edited messages or costly videos? Making a podcast is a relatively small and undemanding production. All you need is a decent microphone, basic knowledge of audio editing, and a distribution strategy to reach your teams securely. In the next chapter, we’re getting started!