Disability services play a pivotal role in addressing challenges and fostering positive change. As communication tech continues to evolve, the potential of in-house audio production as a transformative tool for internal communications and employee training makes more sense. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits an in-house audio production strategy can bring to your disability service, focusing on its dual impact of internal cohesion and employee development.
- Fostering a Culture of Inclusivity: In-house audio production breaks down communication barriers by providing a medium that is inclusive and accessible to all employees. Regardless of their location, language proficiency or visual capabilities, staff members can engage with audio content, fostering a sense of inclusivity within the organisation. It becomes “our” podcast. A point of difference from other services and a marker of agility and professionalism.
- Strengthening Internal Connections: Audio productions, such as an internal podcast, offer a dynamic platform for disseminating updates, news and messages from leadership. This real-time communication helps bridge the gap between hierarchical levels, creating a more connected and informed organisational ecosystem. The conversational and humanising aspect of audio enhances the feeling of shared vision within the service. It reinforces policy decisions, giving space to explain the reasoning behind decisions. A more fully informed staff are a more motivated staff.
- Enhancing Employee Engagement: Motivated staff are engaged, they are the cornerstone of a thriving organisation. In-house audio content provides a convenient channel for sharing important information. From departmental updates to organisational milestones, the dynamic nature of audio content keeps employees engaged in a way that traditional written communication often struggles to achieve. One of the benefits of audio, an internal podcast in this case, but audio in general, is its connection to a deeper part of the mind. Podcasts, audiobooks and so on are simply the modern version of the wandering storyteller of preindustrial societies. The technology means the storyteller can be anywhere in the world and still speak to individuals on a one to one basis. There is an intimacy that arises through the earbud that should never be underestimated. Whilst the death of email has been predicted many times, the death of audio is a constant refrain. Probably because tv followed radio and newer is “always” better, the true value of audio is often overlooked or is that under heard? Understanding this power of audio gives you an upper hand in an overcrowded media space.
- Crisis Communication and Rapid Response: In times of crisis or urgent communication needs, audio production allows disability services to swiftly disseminate critical information to employees. Whether it’s addressing unforeseen challenges, providing guidance or reinforcing organisational values during a crisis, the immediacy of audio communication ensures that all staff members receive timely updates. Given the changing patterns of weather we’re living through, bushfires, floods, heat waves and so on, the ability to quickly disseminate critical information to your people in an emergency situation is a huge benefit of an in-house podcast platform.
- Building a Consistent Organisational Voice: Establishing a consistent organisational voice is crucial for brand identity and internal cohesion. In-house audio production enables disability services to craft a distinct auditory identity, ensuring that messages across various departments and initiatives maintain a cohesive and recognizable tone. This consistency contributes to a shared organisational culture. An audio style guide would be a handy thing to have and is a thing provided during JMPS’s podcasting course and as part of the full done for you production service. It is consistency that wins more victories than undisciplined talent.
Employee Training: An in-house option that makes sense!
- Flexible and On-the-Go Learning: Audio training tools offer flexibility that aligns with the diverse schedules of disability service employees. Staff members can engage with training materials while commuting, exercising or during breaks, maximising the efficiency of their learning experience. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for organisations with dispersed or remote teams. Given the increased flexibility of service delivery being implemented through the NDIS reforms and who knows exactly what the other tiers of support will bring, being able to access educational information on demand is an underutilised tool for upskilling staff. What is not too well known is that an audio RSS feed which most people think of when they consider podcasting, well that RSS feed can also distribute .pdf files through the feed. So it is possible to support audio training with written material if required or even if considered desirable.
- Cost-Effective Training Solutions: In-house audio training tools provide a cost-effective solution for staff development. Compared to traditional training methods that may involve outsourcing or organising physical workshops, audio production minimises costs while delivering learning content. This cost-effectiveness allows your service to allocate resources strategically. The audio component could be a prerequisite for a face to face workshop. It could be the entire program and, as already stated, .pdfs can be distributed through your RSS feed. Given the understanding of learning styles that was apparently missing when I attended school back in the dark ages, having an audio version as well as written and visual material ensures you have your bases covered and have included all your staff in the experience.
- Consistent and Scalable Learning Experience: The scalability of audio training tools ensures a consistent learning experience across the organisation. Whether employees are located in different offices or working remotely or your service covers a wide geographic area, say all of Tasmania, everyone can access the same training materials at pretty much the same time. This standardisation contributes to the development of your training programs. As nearly every member of staff will have a voice recorder on their phones, I think we can stop calling them smartphones after all it’s been sixteen odd years since the technology landed and while I’m on a rant, flat screen tvs, just tvs. Rant over. Anyway with these voice recorders, audio feedback, module completions and follow questions can travel both ways, especially for those individuals whose style is oral rather than visual or written.
- Professional Development and Employee Retention: Investing in the professional development of employees through audio training tools demonstrates a commitment to their growth. This commitment, in turn, contributes to higher job satisfaction, increased morale and improved employee retention. The opportunity for continuous learning can be a powerful motivator for staff members, fostering a culture of development within the organisation. Given that your service is probably running a public podcast, if its running a private one, you’ll already be attracting the right people who match with the tone, ethos and vision of your service. That being so they’re more likely to happily invest in their and your service’s futures through ongoing learning programs.
In-house audio production, when strategically integrated into internal communications and employee training, emerges as a powerful tool driving organisational success for disability services. By fostering inclusivity, strengthening internal connections and providing innovative training solutions, disability services reinforce and support a workplace culture that is informed, engaged and continuously evolving.
As your service navigates the complex challenges of the ever evolving NDIS and ancillary support structures being developed, the integration of an in-house podcast delivers effective communication, employee development and, ultimately, the realisation of your mission.
The next episode, #2 in season 10 will cover the unifying power of voice. I’m sure you’ll find it useful.
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