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Jul 30, 201911:34 AMProgressive HR

with Coreyne Woodman-Holoubek

Podcasts are changing the way we learn. Can they also change the way we work?

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Today, 73 million Americans listen to podcasts, an episodic series of digital audio files made available to download through the internet and listen to on their smartphone, and more recently, smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home, on a daily basis. That’s nearly one in four Americans who are taking control of life’s soundtrack and turning their quiet or mundane moments into opportunities for self-empowerment, professional development, and exponential learning.

Those who listen, listen a lot, too! The average podcast listener listens to seven different shows per week, and weekly podcast listeners spend on average six hours and 37 minutes listening to episodes in their library.

Today’s technology allows us to pick and choose what we listen to and when, enabling us to use our time more effectively and stimulate our minds while performing mundane tasks — like learning about the latest developments in AI during our commute to work — instead on reading articles online. More importantly, the choices for what we can listen to have exploded. There are over 700,000 podcasts in active production right now, and it’s estimated that podcast listening will grow to over 132 million people in the U.S. alone by 2022.

Podcasts offer intelligent, creative, and nuanced content that make them unique among digital media. They are a great way to expand your knowledge on any subject imaginable and stretch your learning goals. The interaction between host and guests allow you, the listener, to see issues from both sides, so you can develop your own point of view on an issue, reflect on what you’ve heard, and then listen to the entire podcast episode again, or just a part of it, if you choose.

Personally, I’ve found the podcasts that are the most valuable and inspiring to me are not trying to be everything to everyone. Instead, they take a very specific topic and they dig deep. For me, its organizational development, leadership, and emerging technologies that are now, or in the future, making our workplaces and work itself better. Technology and business are the fourth and 12th most popular podcast genres respectively, with 58.9 million and 52 million “households” downloading episodes on those topics regularly.

In no particular order, I would like to share with you five podcasts from four creators that I have found to be invaluable. In preparation for this article, I had a chance to connect with all four of these podcasters and I’d like to share some of what we discussed. (Disclaimer: I’ve been a guest on a few of these podcasts, but I was a fan even before I was a guest.)

1. The Recruiting Future Podcast — Matt Alder

When you ask CEOs and business leaders or executives what is the single biggest topic on their mind, the answer is invariably TALENT. How do you find, engage, develop, and then retain talent to make your business a success, now and in the future?

Recruiting Future asks, and then seeks to answer, the fascinating and crucial question: How will recruiting change in the next 10 years? With a milestone of 200 episodes, host Matt Alder keeps his audience informed and entertained.

When I asked Matt what advice he would give to organizational leaders, his response was to “be curious — continuously challenge your beliefs and the collective beliefs of [our] profession.”

As you probably already know, human resources as a profession is turning a corner. We are collectively rising up and telling the corporate world that HR is bigger than administration and policy writing — our job is not about paperwork, it’s about cultivating and continuously improving work culture, as we focus on the emerging technology and digital transformation that supports the “work” our employees do (and want to do), and prepare our organizations to move into the digital era.

I also asked Matt what advice he would give organizational leaders looking to gain and develop a growth mindset, especially around providing value in the era of digital transformation and automation? He explained, “it is vital to keep informed with the latest trends and stay as open-minded as possible about where things are going, at the same time as employing enough critical thinking to cut through the hype, spin, and bright, shiny objects.”

Wait, are you saying that a pingpong table and a kegerator are NOT solutions to a company’s problems?!

2. The HR L&D Podcast and The Payroll Podcast — Nick Day

Nick Day has two podcasts that I highly recommend.

HR L&D, like Recruiting Future, focuses on what the future will look like for the field of learning and development.

And The Payroll Podcast — who would have thought that someone could take this seemingly mundane topic and make it sexy? We all know payroll is essential, assuming, of course, the people you work with like to get compensated for their work. However, while most know payroll is essential, the function is often regarded as boring and tedious. Wrong! In this podcast, Nick Day doesn’t just make payroll interesting, he makes it fascinating!

I asked him his perspective on the future of human resources: “To make progressive change, we need to take progressive actions, and we can’t achieve this by sitting still.” This was a topic he and I discussed at length when I was a guest on his show.

Nick regularly interviews amazing guests and his passion for learning pops right out of your earbuds. It’s fast, engaging, and thought provoking.

His advice for organizational leaders looking to improve their mindsets: “Embrace change. It is going to happen anyway. Technological and legislative advancements are going to happen whether we want them to or not. To reject, challenge, or prevent them from your mindset will really only limit your ability to succeed. To stay still in a world that is moving so fast is to go backward. If HR professionals embrace new innovations, then that’s when we can really see positive change take place.


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About This Blog

Coreyne Woodman-Holoubek is a CHRO with over 17 years of global business and human resource leadership expertise, living and working in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain. Coreyne has an B.A. in International Business from the University of Brighton, UK, a B.A. in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a post-graduate degree in Human Resources from the University of Plymouth, UK. She is a passionate progressive human resource business professional, and is best known for her work as co-founder of Contracted Leadership, and as president of Disrupt Madison and Disrupt Milwaukee.



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