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Hi

I have personally found the pod cast a very direct and easy medium to absorb. I work in an environment where there are 25+ remote retail outlets which all 'should' have a strong customer service element to them. The founders have a set of core values that the business is built upon, and sometimes this message is forgotten OR not conveyed correctly.

Now while I understand that there are a great many different personality types and that some people may hate the idea or may 'just not get it'. I was wondering whether there is any merit in perhaps using the pod cast as a medium to help train existing and new staff on 'customer service' and 'core values' that may run through the business. The words of the MD and founders may have more resonance (amongst others) than the written word and the email. Any it could be used as a 'corner stone' for people to be drawn back to when they stray off course.

I was just wondering what peoples thoughts may be on this.

Thanks

JM
:)

tlhausmann's picture

[quote="mondos"] I was wondering whether there is any merit in perhaps using the pod cast as a medium to help train existing and new staff on 'customer service' and 'core values' that may run through the business.

[/quote]

Have you considered asking one or two of your directs to subscribe to the casts to garner additional support? I routinely suggest certain casts to my directs.

In short, there is value in using Manager Tools for training and definitely review the licensing agreement.

mondos's picture

Thanks for that

I would be the first to promote MT and regularly do.

I was also thinking along the lines of doing some 'internal' and self generated podcasts. I was wondering on whether this may be seen as a valuable investment?

JM :D

steven_martin's picture

We have 13 branch offices spread througout our region and have been using podcasts and webcasts for training purposes for almost a year now. They are used mainly for special projects but for a realtively low investment they offer an incredible ROI. Our staff can review them as their schedule permits and as often as necessary and we do not have to pay travel costs for short training sessions.

Also people have different learning styles and the audio and visual nature of the podcasts/webcasts really support those who do not learn by reading.

There is now in informal competion between my group and our marketing department to see who can produce the best webcast. I think we will start offering "Oscars" if it gets serious. Last week I got a "two thumbs" review on our latest offering.

mondos's picture

Thanks for the reply Steven.

I was wondering on whether things like 'core values' and 'potted histories' may go down well for the newby staff member, and may even act as a 'corner stone' for people to be re focused on. I have thought about things like interview casts also with prominent figures in our retail sector. Any thoughts?

I was also wondering on what is the best approach in terms of regularity and posting place? How often and where.

Thanks

JM :D

jrumple's picture

When I first got into listening to podcasts, I had the same idea. I would point to the expansion of iTunesU to show that the idea has merit.

I struggle with adoption. I work in a technology based company and relatively few people I work with listen to podcasts. Only slightly more utilize the internal wiki and blog tools that we have. I'm hoping in time this will shift. I say go for it though.

My company does have all of its compliance training available online. These are required training sessions that we can do at our desks through the network. They are computer based training modules which have video or presentations. Some of them have audio and video, some of them are just text slides with embedded quizes.

I recommend splitting the training medium from the distribution method. It is always good to have a variety of training medium available. As you indicated, people learn in different ways. Having audio files they can download or a video they can watch at their desk are great resources.

As for distribution methods, some people will want to go to a website and listen to content there. Others will use their RSS reader or podcatcher. Others still want e-mail alerts with attachements <shutter>. The distibution can vary based on the content. Examine what the objective of the training is and let that guide the distribution method. A performance skill like assembling electronic components probably doesn't come across well in audio format on a weekly basis. Tips to make you more efficient at using Outlook could be a weekly audio podcast, blog with screen shots, or weekly screencasting (video of the computer monitor) podcast would definitely be valuable.

Try something and see how it goes.

Jack
Colorado

Mysteron's picture

Guys,

 

In response to listening to how effective podcasts can be as another medium to communicate (remembering Horstmann's Law of telling people something 7 times!) I am trying to set up 6 min podcasts every week as a medium to communicate with a workforce of approx 3200.  We know that not everyone will listen but in terms of cost vs ROI - I am confident the numbers stack.

If we get off the ground - and it is isn't sensitive (although unlikely to be as it will be available on internet) - we will see if we can post a link for others to see how we have done them!

Mysteron's picture

Hey Guys,

So - we have done it, we have got a recording facility (one of our employees is a radio nut and has all the gear) and we have recorded a number of podcasts to distribute internally in work.  In an organisation that has 3000+ employees in our first week, we have had over 600 downloads.  We think that is a good start to hit 20% of the population and we are focusing on going 'viral' as the main advertising medium to get more to download.

There are no great company secrets on them so if they leaked onto the internet then nothing would be compromised.  We essentially focus on what is going on with our customer, what different 'parts of the ship' are focusing on and occassionally throwing in some recommendations on how we can work more effectively together (Like reminding people that it is less effort to pick up a phone than send an email!!).

So - how do we do it.?

Really simply, we upload the casts onto a page on the internal website and send the links for people to download.  We are working on an .xml feed so people can download onto their mp3 player of choice but we will focus on iTunes as it is the most prevalent where we are.

Jeez - as a technology company, we have finally caught up with the available capability!!!  Good Luck to those that do it.

jrumple's picture

Mysteron,

Congratulations with the success of your podcast! I think 20% is incredible adoption rate. I work for a technology company with 136,000 employees, I'm happy when 5 people comment on the blogs and information I post for the company. Maybe our large size actually works against the adoption rate of these types of technologies. There is so much information being produced that no one can keep track of it. all.

The pockets within our company that produce "podcasts" are doing exactly what you describe: posting the audio or video file on a shared network location. I haven't seen any of them employ an RSS or .xml feed. Part of that is the company does not authorize iTunes on the managed desktops.

For those looking to start some form of this asynchronous training, I'll bring up one of Marks popular quotes, "Don't let perfect be the enemy of good." There are $15 headsets that plug into the microphone jack of the computer. Microsoft Windows has Sound Recorder. You can also install Audacity for free (with permission of the IT department). Even Microsoft PowerPoint will allow you to record audio. Whatever it takes to capture the audio file, then save it to a location that your audience can access.

There are even ways to set up phone numbers, like Google Voice. You can call and leave a voicemail of your audio podcast, then copy the MP3 file over or e-mail it to your work account.

That is just the start of some free or inexpensive ways of getting started. Better equipment will give you better results and make you more effective. From what I've read the best ROI out of free podcasting is investing in better microphones.

Jack
Colorado Springs