Vernon Ross on Internal Podcasts for Employee Engagement

Episode #5 – Internal Podcasts at Work

In episode five of Relationships at Work, I hang out with Vernon Ross, author and found of Enterprise Podcaster, which helps organizations get into the world of podcasting. We discuss how internal podcasts can been interesting tool for employee engagement and supporting workplace culture.

A few reasons Vernon is awesome – he’s an Adjunct Professor of Podcasting at the UMSL School of Business at the University of Missouri, wrote a book called Master Your Message, host of his own podcast called The Social Strategy Podcast, consultant, speaker and all around adorable guy. And his bowtie game is amazing!

Check out all the episodes of Relationships at Work.

Connect with Vernon Ross on his platforms:

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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The difference between private and internal podcasts.
  • What are the most important things to consider before starting a podcast.
  • How an internal podcast can benefit the employee experience (spoiler – onboarding and knowledge transfer).
  • How to market your podcast internally.
  • What organizations shouldn’t consider an internal podcast.

“Podcasts are sticky. And that’s really the draw for why go through the bother of bringing custom audio into an organization… It’s storytelling at its core.”

Vernon Ross

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW

Russel Lolacher
Today, it’s Vernon Ross. And first let me tell you why he’s awesome. He’s the founder of enterprise podcaster, which helps organizations get into a world of broadcasting. He’s an adjunct professor of podcasting. I don’t know what a junk means, I’m going to have to look that up, which is at the UMSL School of Business at the University of Missouri. He wrote a book called master your message, which is an amazing book, you haven’t picked up all about branding yourself as a person and being able to, you know, speak your message, the thing you want to talk about in a genuine way. It’s a good book, if I hit that. So he’s the host of his own podcast called the social strategy, podcast, consultants, Speaker all around adorable guy, and you should check out his, you know, bow ties. I’m just gonna flat out say it right now. Here on the show. Vernon Ross. Hello, sir. How are you doing?

Vernon Ross
Hey, what is going on, man. That was a nice intro. I appreciate that.

Russel Lolacher
I just, you know, I want people on the show that are inspiring to me. And I love what they do. So instead of writing some to be blunt, standard ass bios that put people to sleep after 15 minutes, because you’ve been speaking for 15 minutes, I just want to highlight what you do and how you’re awesome. And let’s get to it. Awesome. There we go. So speaking of I don’t know if anybody noticed, but if my bio was a drinking game, then podcast, you’d be loaded right now. Because you’ve got a lot of experience in that area, man.

Vernon Ross
I’ve been playing around and podcasting for a minute,

Russel Lolacher
just a little bit, just just just a wee. And that’s why I wanted you on so badly. Because as an employee engagement podcast, I know you’ve been in the sphere of internal slash, private podcast. I know, they’re kind of those are kind of interchanged. So first, I want to ask why you love podcasts as a way to engage people.

Vernon Ross
Yeah, yeah, you know, the, I think the thing with podcasting, it’s, it tends to be a very personal medium. So with podcasting, because you’re most of the time, I mean, that you have your smart speaker folks and people that play it on a speaker, you’re on headphones. And it’s the, it’s the old, you feel like you know, the DJ on the radio for people that remember growing up listening to the radio, it’s really easy to establish trust. And so because, you know, being in sales, and always having clients and doing stuff like that, I wanted a quick way to establish trust, and to meet people that I hadn’t, maybe not have the opportunity to meet normally. And so now I’ve got a reason because I’m interviewing them. And I know that it’s going to connect to the audience because you’re having a personal conversation with them. Or at least it feels that way.

Russel Lolacher
I’d said at the top internal, private podcast. So um, I want the expert to tell me what is the definition of that?

Vernon Ross
Right, so you’ve got private podcast as someone like, like Malcolm Gladwell will put out with bonus content or NPR, they’ll have like This American Life has private podcast that you can subscribe to and pay a monthly fee. And you get bonus content, extra stuff they don’t talk about on the show, they can’t get into it, research, stuff like that. crime shows do a lot of that. But for internal employee stuff, it’s your company, instead of having to you don’t necessarily log on to your intranet, have to be on your laptop, you can actually take your company messages with you to go whether it’s onboarding, sales, training, HR related stuff, all in everything you want to learn about the company is in on internal podcast, or it could be entertainment slash infotainment and internal branding for for the company.

Russel Lolacher
Okay, so internal is only within your organization to basically speak the tone and the culture of your own organization back into your organization. Hopefully, they hopefully the podcast culture lines up with the culture of the organization that’s within, but fair comment. So how does it differ from a normal podcast? So this is for anybody? That’s not I mean, there are a lot of people that are probably listening as a podcast that aren’t as well versed in the world of podcasting. Sure. They’re more nerds about employee engagement, how is it different?

Vernon Ross
It’s not much different, actually. You’re still going to have a host, you’re still going to be recording, you may depending on how you’re doing your podcast, if you’re implementing it simply for the sake of communicating company messages, meetings, stuff like that. It’s going to be pretty standard stuff. But one of my clients, I mean, they actually they bring in celebrity guests and talk to celebrity guest about internal things to that company to get their spin on what they think. So it can be pretty much whatever you want from an employee engagement standpoint, but the topics should revolve around things that are important that you want to underscore either for your organization or that you want to highlight or that you want to bring just attention to that you’re maybe new news initiatives that you’re working on, so that people know about it, and then encourage them to subscribe that way. Why would

Russel Lolacher
Okay, so I’ve been in the podcast space for a while much like you. And it’s always about who “How am I going to monetize?” “How am I going to blow up?” “How am I gonna make money?” Like, that’s always the play? That’s always what people talk about. This is not that. This is an internal podcast. Why would it be as or more interesting to focus on such a niche or such a smaller group? What is the benefit of doing that?

Vernon Ross
You know, the portability of it, I think that’s one of the the biggest strengths of internal podcasting, particularly with, with hybrid work environments, now being becoming the norm, and virtual environments, everyone is working from home for people that can. So you have the portability of taking, you know, this device, and listening to whatever you need to listen to for work while you’re doing other things. Because I think employers have finally embraced the fact that okay, the person may not be sitting at their desk the entire day, they’re walking around the house, you may have to run an errand, you can still get your training, and you can still get your onboarding done, you can do everything and you can take it with you. And it’s gonna stick podcasts are sticky. And that’s really the draw for why go through the bother of bringing custom audio into an organization. The content that you listen to on podcast is sticky. Because it’s basically storytelling at its core.

Russel Lolacher
Let’s flip it a bit, because we kind of been talking about if you’re, say, an HR person, or internal comms person or an executive and why you would want to integrate how, from the employee standpoint, what is the benefit of having internal podcast for their engagement for their experience,

Vernon Ross
Dependent on the employee engagement program, and what kind of stuff is being talked about, you can take it with you. I mean, that’s really the the key thing is you don’t have to sit, you don’t have to necessarily dependent on how your organization is set up, log into a VPN, sit at your laptop, go through a bunch of boring training videos with horrible video, or horrible audio, you actually can just take it with you on the go. Now, depending on the company that you use to implement it. Some you can use Apple podcast, the company that I work with, you can use Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, you can use it right next to your regular podcast that you’re listening to. And so it’s not, oh, I’ve got a download an app installed on my phone. Now I gotta log into this thing. Now just go to your regular podcast app, you pick your show just happens to be an internal one. And then you can listen, the type of programming that’s been done for employee engagement, a lot of it is around mental health, a lot of it is around mindfulness, stuff like that stuff that can actually, you know, in the hands, your, your job as an employee, or help you deal with difficult things.

Russel Lolacher
On the subscription side, I’ve actually my experience in private podcast, or sorry, internal podcasting, to differentiate them has been just, here’s the RSS feed here, just go into your app and subscribe it because I know some organizations don’t want to have it on Apple or don’t want to have it on Google, because it’s public facing. They don’t want anybody else really to subscribe to it. Because that’s not who the audience is, for a general one. Sure, your numbers will be bigger, but it’s not for them. But it is like, don’t get me wrong, you’re gonna have to write a lot more descriptions on instructions on how to do it. But it is, but it is an option for people, they’re still using those apps they’re comfortable with on their smartphones. But it’s just a by the way, here’s a link, you’re gonna have to copy and paste into a field.

Vernon Ross
Yeah, so depending on the company, some you have to copy and paste that private link. But a couple that I work with, and I’m not going to plug any of them here. But you can actually you have a link that you go to in your email, it generates a encrypted RSS feed. And it just uses Apple and Google and other pod catchers as the as the medium to give it to you, but it’s not actually listed in their directories. So it actually remains private, but it’s in the public app.

Russel Lolacher
Oh, fair comment. And yes, I will be leaving a bunch of contact information for Vern, if you want to follow up with him, when again, you know, plug all the places he works with and all the big names he associates himself with. So I was thinking about this just and some of the feedback I’ve gotten about internal podcasts. And that a couple of things and I sort of want to get your feedback or thoughts on this is that it’s used a lot for knowledge transfer and empathy, and onboarding. So for instance, say I work within this siloed business unit, this business group, and there’s a podcast that explains what another person’s doing. If you’re in a big organization, you don’t have a lot of touch points across the board. So for you to be able to understand that Learn what other people do. Empathy grows, because then then when you interact with people, you have a lot more empathy of why they’re busy, why they have the challenges they have. Because as you say, it’s an intimate platform. So you have that understanding a little easier.

Vernon Ross
You know, that is the knowledge transfer is huge, as far as podcasts are concerned, particularly for internal podcasts, one of the things that there was an organization I was working with, and they were having some challenges around sales, some regions were doing great, and others were not. And they wanted to figure out, you know, if we have these guys that are that are killing it, they’re overperforming. In these areas, there’s no more customers in this region than there is in another region. How can we help the salespeople that are not meeting their quotas? How can we help them in a way that’s not just driving to meet your quota, you know, with the extra pressure, all the stuff that would normally come with trying to get an underperforming area to perform. So we talked to them about podcasting, because they were already doing a public one. And they were like, well, can we do something just for our salespeople that only those guys were here, because we have some guys that are not really doing a great job. But we don’t want to put pressure on them from you know, you got to perform, you got to perform, Do it harder, work harder? What if we got our, you know, our guys that are really performing, to share what they’re doing, but not in a sales meeting format. So my suggestion was, let’s, let’s get these guys, let’s interview them, let’s talk about what they do their day to day, how they’re talking to customers, what’s working right now, put that in a podcast and send that out. And then we can test it by looking at sales performance over a three to six month period of time. And seeing if by listener, data, who’s actually listening to the podcast, if their sales numbers are improving, and their sales numbers improved, all the folks that were actually listening to the podcast in areas that were underperforming, and were listening to do it on a consistent basis, particularly their sales, Saturdays is what we called it, their, their performance increased. I mean, it didn’t like, you know, go 50%. But as the people that listened more, have better performance numbers.

Russel Lolacher
And I love what you got into there, which was the conversation about learning and so forth. What a lot of people may not realize this as much as videos, the sexy one and you get to see people and that sort of thing. Most people are not comfortable on camera, nor do they like a camera in their face. So for you to have a conversation and have a microphone there. If the conversation is good. It’s it becomes very easy to just talk normally, and and it’s a lot more engaging for the listener if if the conversation is just flowing and useful and helpful, as opposed to what do I do with my hands? What how cameras right there, people suddenly freeze up when there’s a camera at sure they get comfortable after a little bit. But I’ve noticed when it comes to audio, when it comes to the podcast room, people get way more comfortable, a lot faster. And then they want to share their information. They want to share what they know for that knowledge transfer a lot easier. Because they’re so they’re out of their heads and more into the top.

Vernon Ross
And yeah, absolutely.

Russel Lolacher
So what about onboarding, you’re starting in an organization. And you’re sort of you don’t know the ropes, you don’t know, the culture. podcasts have been very helpful. I’ve seen in that way in this. Well, if you want to know us listen to these episodes, and you get an idea of the tone and the culture of what we are and what we do.

Vernon Ross
You know, when someone starts before they start, actually, I’ve worked with an organization to do two things. We working with this company. And I’m like, Well, you guys want to you want to have a public podcast. And you also want to have this this private thing you want to specifically use it around new new hires. So let’s put together some things that people should know coming in the door. You want to prepare people and one of the biggest complaints I would hear from recruiters and interviewers, and folks within, you know, these departments that people were coming into is, you know, some of these candidates just don’t know that they should research the company more before they start. So how can we help them introduce onboarding early, and what our company culture is before they even start with things that we can talk about? And then after they start, how can we help speed up the process to getting them up to speed on all the things that they need to do within the areas that they’re getting hired in? So we put together an external, hey, things you should know about the company if you’re thinking about joining the company versus you know, a lot of people do the videos and stuff like that, when candidates are Are you looking on the career site, but they actually put together a podcast that people can listen to, to tell them from other employees, things that they should know interesting things about the company, company history, stuff like that. Here’s some stuff to know for your interview type thing. And then after they got hired, they will walk them through, hey, this is what you do on your first day. Here’s some of the common questions that people ask about HR and benefits. And all this stuff like this, this is the easiest way to navigate this system, go here to take care of that. And it was only about 10 episodes, but we covered every last thing that they will go through as a new employee, so that they can refer back to it quickly and felt like they had someone walking them through the process without having to make a call to the HR generalist time and time again, ask them the things that they should know. Or pick up an employee manual to try to read through it and and figure out what was going on.

Russel Lolacher
fair comment that it doesn’t need to be an ongoing show. It can be just 10 episodes, it can be a season, it can be a series, as long as you know what the intent of the podcast is just sort of let that define what the show needs to be.

Vernon Ross
That’s one of the things I do actually encourage companies, let’s let’s not try to make this a five year effort. Let’s get out a few episodes, let’s get out five episodes that are going to cover exactly what you want to talk about. And then let’s start thinking about other subjects to cover and add to the podcast.

Russel Lolacher
I’m in an organization, I’m thinking, hey, that Vernon guy, he knows what he’s talking about. I want to have me my own podcast internally. How would you get started, I have a radio background. So I had some and podcasting background. So I had some idea when I got a little bit more into the internal realm. But there’s a lot of people that don’t have that broadcast background, but still see this as a viable internal tool, what are like the first three things you should do to start?

Vernon Ross
First three things content, talk about what you’re going to talk about. I tell people this all the time, like Well, the important part of the podcast, of course, is the sound quality, you want to make sure it’s sound great. And uh, you invest in some, some decent, you know, equipment for recording, we can talk about editing, and software and all of that. But let’s talk about what we’re going to talk about. First, let’s develop a small content calendar to figure out what the ideas are. Because all too often organizations will think that they want to start a podcast, they’ll have one guest in mind for a thing that they want to talk about. And then they have nothing else to talk about. And they’re trying to figure out what else in the organization to talk about. They do what a lot of podcasters do that start and don’t really think about the show. And they pod Fe internally. So in internal pod, Fe where they they run out of things to talk about before they get to 10 episodes, or they get to a couple episodes, and they haven’t developed the process. So let’s talk about what we’re going to talk about and define some subjects get a content calendar, and figure out what we’re going to do for our first few episodes. And then secondly, let’s talk about the process that we’re going to follow to publish these episodes, what we’re going to use to record it, how we’re going to record it when it’s going to be set up. And then let’s put together an actual publishing release schedule. Though those two things help most organizations at least start successfully.

Russel Lolacher
I’d throw also into that is understanding your audience and what their needs are. Just because a lot of people don’t understand that. It’s, you know, I’m gonna have internal podcasts. It’s the sexy, shiny new thing. Well, that shit doesn’t work if you don’t understand who the audience is. Because you’re talking with them, not at them.

Vernon Ross
Yep, they know. Thank you for bringing that one back around. Because I think that was one I just assume is going to happen.

Russel Lolacher
Oh, don’t do that. No, no. Yeah, no, that right?

Vernon Ross
Yeah, I didn’t think about saying that. But yeah, that’s that’s actually one of the first conversations we have is, who’s your audience?

Russel Lolacher
Well, you get a lot of organizations, and they all get in, don’t get me wrong content is so important. But they get so wrapped up in what they want to say, not what the audience needs to hear.

Vernon Ross
Exactly.

Russel Lolacher
Right. So I’m like, if you want a soapbox or an apple crate, you want to stand on and sing to the rafters Feel free, but nobody’s listening to you. It’s a narcissism platform, not you know, you. You want it to be actually good for the people that are listening, because nobody’s going to listen and nobody’s going to grow to listen, you really understand who your audience is. What are some of the other challenges you say that people might run into? If they’re deciding to start themselves and internal podcast

Vernon Ross
Consistency. That’s, that’s one of the big things is, you know, winner, when are they going to do it? So developing that schedule is Super important equipment is always a challenge, because you have so many recommendations as far as what to use. And you’ll have the the folks that oh, you need a full studio with soundproofing and everything else most of the time you don’t most people don’t care. So I usually recommend equipment that is USB, or C or USB lightning, Thunderbolt, whatever you’re using, compatible, that’ll plug right into your, your MacBook or PC. Because most companies are not going to have the equipment bandwidth or expertise to set up a professional podcasting. setup up no matter how big their budgets are. You can pretend you know, if you’re the person helping them set it up, or even the person is doing internally that you can spend 1000s of dollars on equipment. But you know, a good microphone $300 or less, nothing below like the, you know, $40 Mark, but a $59. Samsung Q to you is a USB, or professional XLR microphone that comes with the stand and all the cables that you need and plugs into any MacBook or laptop and gives you really, really decent sound. And it’s a 5960 $60 microphone that you can get just about anywhere.

Russel Lolacher
I love the fact that you said, yeah, it’s technology, don’t get hung up on it, just get something go. Because there’s so many people that get paralyzed. I was just talking to a friend yesterday, who was saying how she’s got everything figured out. She’s got guests lined up, she’s got technology, and she still won’t launch. Because it’s analysis paralysis, right? It’s, let’s talk it to death. And organizations are just as bad as individuals, because they want it to be perfect. They don’t want it to offend anybody they they’re so in this bubble of perfection and risk aversion that they don’t want to just press play and go. So I love that you’re like, spend 40 to 300 bucks and then just do something about it. Yeah, you have a couple episodes under your belt, you got it going executives are okay with it. It’s but you’re only listen, I got about what 10 listeners 15 listeners in a big organization. What do you do internally to sort of get that engagement from employees? It’s kind of a marketing exercise, but it’s an internal one. How do you get that rolling?

Vernon Ross
Yeah, you know, I tell internal folks, the same thing that I tell external folks, you got to market the shit out of this podcast, or it’s gonna die. I mean, you have, you have got to have those conversations internally, people will sometimes read their email. So you can do some internal email pushes stuff like that. Rarely does it work to get a lot of people engaged because they get those emails anyway. And if they’re not listening, we’ve done some stuff around contest, rewarding people for actually doing and incentivizing employees to take part in it. And something that you know, just a gift card, a $100 Amazon or place of your choice gift card for people that listen and then go and they complete a little survey about the podcast, it’s a way to tie directly tie in what they like, whether or not they feel like it’s engaging. And if you can make the survey anonymous, so they’re actually honest about what it is that they’re listening to. And anyone that you know, that completes that survey and listens, they get they randomly get chosen, and they’ll get $100 amazon gift card, or at least a chance to win it. Or you know, maybe if you get through the first four episodes, and then you complete a survey, everyone gets like a $10 amazon gift card or, you know, whatever story you want to buy for the thing, or maybe they get something out of the employee, you know, like store if, if you have a catalog of stuff that you use, you can give them shirts or whatever, just something to incentivize them past. Hey, go listen to this, because it’s new, and we know that you want to listen to it.

Russel Lolacher
For anybody listening. You heard it bribery works. It absolutely works.

Vernon Ross
Absolutely. So for regular podcasts, it’s the same as putting ad dollars towards promoting your show. And a lot of shows do this where it’s like, Oh, hey, if you leave us a rating and review on iTunes, which that’s not going to happen with an internal podcast. So you really don’t know whether or not it’s resonating with people. You’ve got to get them to complete a survey. The easiest way to get them to complete a survey is incentivize them actually going out and completing the survey randomly. For public stuff. You have to you know, kind of randomly do it for employee. So if you could give everybody a, you know, 10 or $20 gift car and it is well worth the investment to understand what’s happening so that you can make the show better for employees. It’s not Just about getting the listenership. It’s about building listenership that’s actually building the type of internal community that you want to serve. I want

Russel Lolacher
To add to about internal community. When I first started working in internal podcast, what I would start doing is everybody that reached out to me, that was like, hey, that’s great, hey, I got a guest, like you get the first eager beavers, right, that are a little bit more interested in and think this is, hey, this is cool. Even if it’s a trickle of people, what I started doing was I collected their names, put them in a distribution list and kind of started my own community as it were. And I would pitch ideas to them, or give them ideas of podcasts coming up and sort of let them be my champions internally, because I treated them sort of as their own group, special special treated, you know, they get behind the curtain kind of look, it had like 510 people in it, but it grew a little bit over time, but at least they felt like they had a bit more skin in the game, and we’re a little bit more eager to sell it.

Vernon Ross
That is actually one of the things I recommend is, as we see what subscribers are coming in, and again, this depends on the system that you’re using to implement the podcast, you will have that contact information. And so since you have the employee contact information, everyone that actually subscribed and listened to an episode, segment them out into an email list internally, and you want to start emailing those people directly. Number one, let them know when the show is out. And number two, give them some exclusive stuff, to incentivize them to listen to it more, give them some exclusive stuff to share the podcast with their colleagues, or recommend segments of the podcast to their colleagues and incentivize them even more. You know, one of the things that I had an organization do was they did segment out a separate email list. And the host was like, hey, cc me on an email when you forward it to people, and the person who, you know, gets it to the most people, we’re gonna give them a special gift. Or we’ll give them a shout out on the internal show about something that you achieved in your department or something like that. I mean, they they really thought outside the box as far as engaging those folks. And it really helps the podcast grow. I think they grew probably about I think it was like 15 or 20%. Wow, because people were really excited to share.

Russel Lolacher
We’ve talked about how amazing it should be for an internal podcast can be used as a way to really, you know, tap in and engage employees. But are there any types of organizations or workplace cultures that should not have an internal podcast? Have you ever run into that?

Vernon Ross
I have, I have. So it’s great when everyone has the same email address, you do have a lot of organizations where they have contractors that are their primary audience, and they’re trying to engage contractors. And depending on how you’re trying to keep this podcast secure. If it’s an app, you have to You’re assuming that the person has the data, and a device to be able to download the app, which they may not have, depending on the industry that you’re in, particularly industries where it’s very service based, and they don’t necessarily have the, the bandwidth to or maybe even the data to download a separate app to listen to broadcast. And they may have not a regular your company email, they may have a Gmail account, they may not have email. So it’s it’s one of those things where you have to really look at the audience that you’re serving to find out, is this going to be easy for them to consume? Or am I creating a burden by trying to launch this podcast and push it to people who currently aren’t engaged in podcast by sheer nature of their job and what it is that they have to do. And this would be more of a burden to them to try to listen to it than actually, you know, enhancing the experience for them. So like retail, retail is a horrible place to implement, you know, internal podcast, they don’t have the time. Say they’re running around doing stuff. They don’t have the time and you don’t necessarily want them to to have their earphones in trying to listen to internal messages.

Russel Lolacher
And you better have a damn good podcast if you want your employees to listen to it off hours.

Vernon Ross
Exactly.

Russel Lolacher
So I’m going to ask you, thanks so much, Vernon, I’m going to ask you the two questions. I asked all my guests on the show. And so the first one is off the top of your head. What’s your best or worst employee experience? And what was the effect it had on you?

Vernon Ross
Do we want to keep it positive right now you know what, let’s let’s play a cut. Let’s do a cautionary tale. There you go. There you go. What one of one of the worst employee experiences I think I’ve ever had and it was subtle. But I had a leader at an organization not be comfortable with the amount of confidence that I have showed, because I was doing things outside the organization. There was a conference that I attended, that I was volunteering for on my own time. But they brought in a pretty famous speaker, they brought in Gary Vaynerchuk. And I happen to know, Gary, because I’d interviewed him on my podcast. And it didn’t have anything to do with the organization. And because I was volunteering with this organization that was putting on the conference, not you know, being not representing my job, one of the leaders saw me there, he saw me talking to the guy came up, you know, introduced himself. Oddly, and, you know, it’s fine. Well, he actually showed up at my next reviews, my next performance review, this guy was in my leadership chamber very high up. So to have him sitting there my performance review. Number one, I thought I was getting fired. But the first thing he said to me, he’s like, you’re awfully confident, are you and I’m like, Is that is that good? He goes, we want to see more of that here. I didn’t even know that you were volunteering for that, you know, that the conferencing that you were doing. And I don’t know that I appreciate the fact that you didn’t let your leadership know that you were doing it and just went into this whole tirade about how he felt like, they were a little embarrassed that one of their employees was there, doing all this stuff with his organization that was like, it’s very prominent in the IT space. And they weren’t involved, although I got permission, and all the other stuff. So it was just one of those things where it was like, wait a minute, instead of celebrating the, the initiative of me going out and doing all this stuff. You’re actually like penalizing me for having the initiative to be involved in the community outside of the organization. And I wasn’t making any money with it, it was just literally a volunteer thing that I hadn’t been doing. And because they couldn’t take credit for it, it kind of went into this, we’re, you know, you should be doing more of that here. type of thing.

Russel Lolacher
Moving after that meeting, what was the effect it had on you?

Vernon Ross
I was done. I was done with the organization. I was just done, period. I’m like, You know what this is? This is, this is horrible. I’m not, you know, I’m working as hard as I can. And this is the this is the thanks that I get? Well, you know, I didn’t try to lean on the organization to get the opportunities. And when you see that I’m putting forth effort, instead of recognizing how you can leverage my talent in the organization. I get, I get yelled at about it. And so it just really it demotivated, me to even want to go to work.

Russel Lolacher
Thanks for sharing that cautionary tale. Damn. So I want to leave it on a positive note. So I’m going to ask you, what’s one simple action people can do right now? Right, the second to improve their relationships at work,

Vernon Ross
Be more empathetic. I think that’s the, the one thing that I see lacking in organizations, particularly around when podcasts are being developed, think about, like you said, and you I’m so glad that you brought it up, you really got to think about the audience that you’re serving. And if you’re, if you’re thinking about that, either from a podcast perspective, or just the the conversation that you’re having internally, think about the person on the other end of the conversation, as you’re engaging them in, no matter what you’re doing and what position you have, that will improve your experience and an organization tenfold. If you’re truly empathetic about the interactions that you’re having, particularly now, with as much stress is going on, you just don’t know. So a little more patience, a little more empathy, and a little more kindness towards the people that you work with can definitely improve your experience.

Russel Lolacher
I love a podcast that ends about promoting empathy. Perfect. Thanks so much for your time today, Vernon.

Vernon Ross
Now, no worries, man. It was it was wonderful coming on here.

Russel Lolacher
It’s awesome. Thanks, buddy. So if you want to hunt down Vernon and pick his brain a little bit more, well, you know, he’s a busy guy, but at least you know, he’s pretty accessible. He’s on Twitter at @RossPR or you can find his website which has all the contact info, enterprisepodcaster.com. That’s it. That’s all take care.

 

 

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