Here’s an idea: Private Podcasts for Learning and Development.
In this article, we look at what a private podcast is, why it could be an incredible tool to help disseminate information and training in a company, especially from the L&D team, and how to start thinking about running a private podcast at your organisation.
A private podcast is like any other podcast you would listen to, with one significant difference - it’s not publicly available on podcast apps. Instead, you need a link to an RSS feed to access it. These links are typically kept private and are accessible only to those who pay.
The popularity of private podcasts has exploded in recent years, with podcasters building and monetising their audiences by giving them access to exclusive bonus content in exchange for a small subscription fee. Sites like Patreon and Supercast now help podcasters turn their raving fans into paying subscribers.
The interesting thing about private podcasts is that they utilise the existing podcasting infrastructure to deliver. So you don’t need a separate app to listen to private podcasts. Instead, you add the private RSS feed to the Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Overcast app on your phone, and you have access to that content - simple.
Transistor is a podcast hosting service that supports private podcasts. In fact, they are the technology we here at Assemble You use to distribute our content via a private podcast. Their infographic on how private podcasts work explains it simply:
So, why would private podcasts work for L&D?
It’s simple, really: Engagement.
Engagement with any non-mandatory training is the biggest headache most L&D departments face. L&D professionals spend weeks aligning skills to business needs, creating competency frameworks, buying or building the right training content, and then only a handful of people ever use it.
Private podcasts may not be the silver bullet for L&D, but they do tackle two of the major problems with non-mandatory training engagement:
Let’s explore those points a little more.
Logging into any LMS or LXP creates a barrier. Millions of people use Amazon because they have made searching for and buying anything online incredibly simple. You can buy from your phone in a couple of clicks, and in many cases, you know that item will arrive in the next day or two. It’s why 74% of shopping searches in the US begin on Amazon.
Regardless of how great the UX of your LXP is or how many induction sessions you hold, a system specifically designed to monitor learning creates friction for the learner.
Delivering learning via an app that most people have on their phones already and regularly use breaks down that barrier and makes it very simple to achieve your goal of getting the learning you have developed in front of your audience.
You can’t use audio for all types of learning, but you can probably use audio for more than you might think.
It’s no mystery why podcasts have become so popular over the last ten years. Audio as a format is incredibly popular - why? You can listen while doing other things.
Whether it’s driving, working out, doing housework, or taking the dog for a walk, audio fits around your life - it doesn’t take time away from it, and it doesn’t force you to sit in front of a screen.
Put yourself in the shoes of your colleagues. They know that they need to work on their leadership skills or that they could communicate better with more guidance. But their to-do list is never-ending, and their day is packed with meetings.
This is a reality millions of people are living with professionally. Audio makes it simple and easy to catch up on their learning while doing other things.
Audio doesn’t help with learning in the flow of work. Better than that, it helps fit learning into the flow of life.
If that wasn’t enough, podcast apps include notifications that many people have turned on by default. Using a system like Transistor, you’ll be able to notify your learners about new content releases. In one tap, they are then into that new content and listening to it at a time convenient to them.
One of the big draws of any LMS/LXP is that it allows us to track learner engagement and course usage. You lose this ability by taking the learner outside of the LMS/LXP.
However, most private podcast tools allow you to track downloads by subscriber. Meaning you can see who is listening. Transistor also enables you to download a .csv of the data, meaning you can update your learning record store if you wish.
It’s not just learning that can be disseminated via audio. If you want your people to hear the leadership team, or if you have messages where email simply won’t cut it, a private podcast is a great way to communicate within an organisation. Better still, have the CEO deliver some learning interventions at scale and let your people listen to them at a time that suits.
Audio is an excellent medium for learning specific topics. If you can bring yourself to break free of the LMS/LXP, then a private podcast could be a route to making it easier for your people to fit learning into their busy lives.
We created Assemble You because audio was the only thing that would fit in around our busy schedules. We loved listening to business podcasts but found that too many were focused on entertaining the listener rather than upskilling them.
So we decided to do something about it by creating thoroughly researched, 10-minute, evidence-based, engaging audio lessons.
We teach the Power Skills you need to build the best you. Skills unique to humans. Leadership, Productivity, Wellbeing, Project Management, Communication, Intrapreneurship, Strategy, Systems, Ethics, and so much more.
We’re big fans of private podcasts, but don’t worry; all Assemble You audio content is available as SCORM or xAPI.
Join the audio revolution and make learning fit in around your busy life.
If you’d like to join our free individual pilot, click here.
If you’re interested in running a free 20-person pilot in your organization, click here for more information.
If you’d like to see our pricing options, click here.