Building Company Culture

How Internal Podcasts Can Boost ERG Engagement

Internal podcasts are an innovative way to engage a hybrid workforce around employee resource group programming.

Blog Author - Bethany Nicole Smith
Bethany Nicole Smith
Mar 15, 20234 minutes
Blog Author - Bethany Nicole Smith
Bethany Nicole Smith

Bethany Nicole Smith is the Workplace Specialist at Justworks and the ERG Lead for Square1. They amplify employee community spaces for a thriving, diverse company culture that lives at the intersection of DEIB programing, internal communications, and employee engagement.

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1920x1080 How Internal Podcasts Can Boost ERG Engagement

Podcasts have exploded in popularity in recent years — and for good reason. They offer a unique and engaging way to consume information, allowing listeners to multitask while staying informed. As an internal communications strategy, podcasts can help drive asynchronous communication, which is critical in today's work environment where employees are often located in different time areas and working on different schedules.

The Value of Employee Resource Groups

With the rise of hybrid work and geographically dispersed teams, it can be challenging for Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to extend their programming to all members. However, it’s critical to do so, given how important ERGs have become for companies that are trying to attract and retain diverse talent. ERGs provide a safe space for employees to come together, share experiences, build community, and drive change within their organizations. One innovative solution that Justworks’ female-centric ERG, Square1, decided to employ is the use of internal-only podcasts.

The Benefits of an Internal Podcast

The Square1 ERG focuses on amplifying the needs and experiences of those at Justworks who identify with marginalized genders. This Women’s History Month, Square1 launched an internal-only podcast as part of a robust slate of programming geared towards intersectionality and professional advancement.

The Square1 podcast focuses on highlighting women within the Justworks office, as well as the ERG’s takeaways from the workshops held with AWE around identifying mentors and sponsors in the workplace. The podcast also includes content around how employees can advocate for themselves during performance reviews, highlights Ramadan, and uses the final episode as a call to action to invite more people to join the Square1 Slack channel.

Curious about how an internal podcast might benefit the employees at your company? We’ve laid them out for you below.

Increased Visibility

One of the key benefits of developing internal-only podcasts for ERGs is the increased visibility they can provide into the group's philosophy and mission. Through podcast episodes, ERG members can share their experiences, discuss relevant topics, and showcase the impact that the group is having within the organization. This type of visibility can be particularly important for ERGs that, by their very nature, are made up of historically marginalized humans with day jobs that might not be highly visible, but are still important for the company.

Collaborating with others is another easy way to increase visibility. When creating programming for an ERG, consider having each event “sponsored” by another. For example, Square1 is offering networking events, mentorship workshops, and other programs throughout March to help women advance their careers. Additionally, every episode of the internal podcast in March will be “sponsored by” another Square1 program. This level of cross-functional collaboration and communication allows for greater visibility into the work that each of the ERG members is doing, both as a member of the ERG and on their respective teams. By working together and supporting one another, breaking down the barriers that have historically held women back in the workplace becomes a little easier.

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Access to Historical Knowledge

In addition to increasing visibility, internal podcasts can also act as legacy documentation to orient new ERG members and leadership. By creating a library of episodes that capture the group's history, accomplishments, and challenges, future ERG leaders and members can more easily gain an understanding of the ERG's mission and values. This can be especially important in organizations with high turnover or where ERGs are not formally recognized.

Increased Skillbuilding

Another benefit of internal-only podcasts? They’re a great professional skill builder for women. Podcast production requires a range of skills, from researching and writing scripts to recording and editing audio. By taking on a leadership role in creating and producing a podcast, women can gain valuable experience in project management, content creation, and communication. These skills are not only beneficial for their current role within the organization, but can also transfer to future opportunities.

Through listening to podcast episodes, ERG members can also learn new skills and strategies for success, while simultaneously building a supportive network of peers and mentors. By empowering women and other marginalized groups to succeed, it’s easier to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for all.

How to Start an Internal Podcast

Creating an internal-only podcast may seem like a daunting task, but it can be easier than you think! Here are some tips to get started:

Define the Purpose & Audience

Before you start producing episodes, it's important to define the purpose of the podcast, as well as who it’s for.

  • Is it meant to showcase the work of an ERG, provide career development advice, or share industry insights?

  • Who is the target audience — ERG members, employees across the company, or external stakeholders?

Defining these parameters will help ensure that the content is relevant and resonates with the intended audience.

Develop a Content Plan

Once you have defined the purpose and audience, it's time to develop a content plan. Your content plan can include things like:

  • Topics to cover in each episode

  • Guest speakers to invite

  • Engagement tactics for your audience

It's a good idea to have a mix of content that appeals to different interests and backgrounds, as well as episodes that align with the ERG's mission and values.

Decide on Format & Production Approach

There are many different formats for podcasts. Based on your purpose, audience, and content plan, the format of your podcast could include:

  • Interviews

  • Roundtable discussions

  • Scripted narratives

Do some research and brainstorming to help decide on the format that best suits the content and audience.

Why Justworks Values ERGs

Square1 strives to create a safe and inclusive space for women to come together, share their experiences, and learn from one another. We believe that cis and trans women, the gender queer community, and all the femme-presenting people at Justworks should have equal opportunities for advancement in their careers, and should be empowered to pursue their goals and aspirations. If you’re interested in having more time to spend empowering your people, check out all the ways Justworks can save you time to reinvest in your team.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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Written By
Blog Author - Bethany Nicole Smith
Bethany Nicole Smith
Mar 15, 20234 minutes

Bethany Nicole Smith is the Workplace Specialist at Justworks and the ERG Lead for Square1. They amplify employee community spaces for a thriving, diverse company culture that lives at the intersection of DEIB programing, internal communications, and employee engagement.

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