Life at Crestbridge / 22 July 2020
Staff-driven podcast proves a hit during lockdown
Making sure staff are fully engaged with one another has been absolutely pivotal during lockdown and this period of remote working, particularly for a firm with a global footprint like Crestbridge.
With that in mind, James Young, Group Head of Technology and Change, decided it was the perfect time to launch his own podcast – and as he explains here, it’s proved to be a big hit with staff across the firm’s network of offices…
Q: What made you think about starting to do a podcast for your colleagues?
Internal communications has always been important for us as a Group, but working from home really brought into focus just how crucial it is to ensure all of us, no matter what country or office we’re in, are engaged, talking to each other and feel valued.
Remote working meant that we were all drowning in emails and all sorts of content to read and watch, and I felt that a podcast would be a great medium for listening to whilst doing something else – whether that’s working, ironing, or popping out for a walk.
When I spoke to colleagues, it was a common theme for them to say how nice it was to hear the voice of someone else from your office, so the idea was really borne out of that. I pulled together some kit at home to produce the podcast and we launched the podcast shortly after lockdown was introduced.
Q: What sort of topics have you covered, and what has been the most interesting topic you’ve covered?
Variety has been key. We’ve covered everything from the CEO’s outlook for the next few months to haircuts, golfing and what made me laugh this week!
The intention has always been to achieve a good balance between sensible and light-hearted.
Q: How have your colleagues reacted to it?
I’ve been really pleased with feedback from colleagues. I normally use Yammer to announce a new episode of the podcast – I’ve found that people click the like button quickly and come back with comments, questions and say they can’t wait for next week, which is a good sign!
Importantly, the podcast has never been about me speaking at people, it’s been about trying to strike up conversations with and between people, some of whom may not have spoken to each other ordinarily. I’m really pleased that people have really embraced it.
Q: How important has it been for both yourself and for your colleagues to stay in touch over the past month?
It’s been critical - we may be feeling isolated working from home over recent months, but the podcast has helped give us some common ground. You take for granted the corridor conversations or the conversations that happen when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. That’s why the podcast is not just about work-chat, it’s the general life chat and observations that we all miss the most.
Q: Is it something you might carry on?
Definitely – it’s a great medium for distributing information in a less formal way and it’s proven to be really positive in the way it’s engaged us all through this difficult time. We’re always looking at innovative ways to improve how we communicate as a Group, and I can definitely see the podcast forming a part of our internal communications mix in the future.
In fact, I’m already looking at ways to evolve it – we are now doing interviews with a few people at a time, which really helps in terms of bouncing ideas off each other, and I’ve also had interest from external companies wanting to be interviewed for it, which is fantastic