Avanade Radio keeps people connected
- Posted on July 30, 2020
- Estimated reading time 2 minutes
I was traveling back from Bangkok back in March, literally flying into lockdown. For my role as corporate citizenship champion for the U.K., I was trying to think about how we could get people to volunteer when they can’t leave their houses. What could look that like, and what would people be missing from their day-to-day social interactions? I wanted to come up with an option that would connect people, and that’s how Avanade Radio came to be.
The key is that it’s being run by everyone who is interested in doing it. Anyone can get involved in any capacity, be that presenting or helping to manage how we govern it, the operations side of it, promoting it, coming up with ideas. Every facet of Avanade Radio is open for all people to put their hand up and join in. It’s not exclusive in any way.
To give people the flexibility to join in the conversation on their terms, we run the radio through Microsoft Teams. We created a meeting in a “Live Radio!” Channel and we use the link to that meeting when sending out comms. This way, we don’t block people’s calendars, but people can still engage in a conversation when they join, rather than just broadcast. Using Teams gives us the added benefit of being able to manage the hosts, program and content all in the same place, as well as posting the session recordings to Stream.
Once we got it off the ground, we’ve had a complete variety of topics, everything from someone presenting on neurodiversity to a regular morning coffee chat. We encourage people to use it as a platform to promote what they want to talk about. We’ve had regular sessions on wellbeing, some more technical ones, people talking about hobbies, or just hours to meet your colleagues. It’s all very informal.
And the people who run the sessions always say it was really fun because it’s informal. It’s not like presenting in a more corporate setting. It’s enjoyable because interaction with the audience is fluid and dynamic with free-flowing conversation. The sessions often go on tangents and touch on other topics. I think, for example, people found the wellness sessions very useful just because they felt connected and got insights into other colleagues. On Avanade Radio, you can meet people from around the world and at all levels of the business. And because of that, it’s also very useful for juniors to come on and network and practice their presenting skills. Visa versa, it’s also a powerful way for executive to engage with people in all areas of the business on a more personal level.
The original goal was to provide something during COVID-19, but now we’re a few months in and examining what Avanade Radio should be long-term. We would very much like it to become a mainstay, and we’re working now to figure out what form that could take and how it could stay relevant and useful to people. As long as there’s interest, we’ll keep doing it and bringing people together.