Podcasts – L&D Genius Idea or Money Pit?

Companies are increasingly focused on employee engagement. When it comes to learning and development (L&D), engagement is particularly critical. If a module is boring, knowledge retention falls, and participation wanes.

Since straight text-based learning is usually considered the least engaging L&D approach, some companies have opted for podcasts instead. Not only are they audio-focused, but podcasts can be incredibly portable, allowing learners to listen while on the go.

But, while podcasts are incredibly popular overall, does that make them ideal for L&D? If you’re trying to figure out if you should include them in your training design, here’s what you need to consider.

Is Accessibility Typically an Issue?

One of the biggest benefits of podcasts is accessibility. Since they can often be accessed on (or downloaded to) smartphones, learners can listen from nearly anywhere. They can absorb information during their morning commute, while waiting in line at the copier, or anywhere else where wearing headphones isn’t automatically inappropriate. It can also make it easier for companies with a distributed workforce to share information with everyone while forging a stronger connection.

However, just because a podcast is highly accessible doesn’t mean it’s an investment every company should make. If your workforce tends to remain in one office or building all day, every day, then accessibility isn’t really hindering your L&D objectives. As a result, your money may be better spent elsewhere.

Can the Topic Be Shared Well Through Audio Alone?

If you want a podcast to be engaging, you need to use a storytelling approach and invest in high-quality recordings. There needs to be an intriguing narrative, and the audio needs to be clear and crisp. Otherwise, it won’t hold the listener’s interest. While some topics lend themselves well to the storytelling approach, others don’t.

Additionally, not all subjects can be thoroughly explained through audio alone, regardless of the quality. In some cases, a visual component is surprisingly critical. When this happens, eLearning is usually a better option, as you can integrate images, videos, and interactive sessions into the modules.

Ultimately, if you can create high-quality audio, have a need for increased portability, storytelling methodology works for the topic, and you don’t need visual elements, then podcasts can be a great option. But, if any of those points aren’t working in your favor, then it’s probably best to invest in other L&D approaches.

Do You Need Support from L&D Experts to Create Your Ideal Training Solution?

At Clarity Consultants, we have over a quarter-century of experience in the L&D field. When you partner with us, you gain quick access to L&D allies who can assist you with finding the talented professionals your company needs to excel. If you need to locate L&D experts who can help you develop podcasts or eLearning modules for your training program, the team at Clarity Consultants can make the process fast and efficient. Contact us to find out more about our services and see how our L&D expertise can benefit you.

Contact Clarity

For over 30 years, we’ve managed projects touching every element of learning and talent development.