Blog Post

Podcasts lead the future of employee learning and development

Heidi Spirgi

Chief Strategy and Growth Officer at Cornerstone

“Learn in the flow of work” used to be the catchphrase du jour in the world of employee learning and development, but I think it's run its course.

Don't get me wrong, it was a great phrase. It means allowing your people to learn in their own time and at the point of need. Self-empowered learning is something we wholeheartedly believe in at Cornerstone, so I’ve used it a time or two myself.

But as you may have heard, Cornerstone has a new vision for the world of work that provides a personalized learning and a purpose-driven growth experience for your people.

If I were to offer an updated catchphrase, I’d call it “meeting people where and how they work.”

How learning at work is becoming personal


Personalized learning is not just about what employees learn but how they choose to learn. And modern modalities of learning are evolving.

The learners of today, especially younger generations, have fallen in love with podcasts. According to Insider Intelligence, this year more than 60% of US adults ages 18 to 34 will listen to podcasts every month and the number of monthly US podcast listeners increased by 10.1% year-over-year (YoY) to 117.8 million in 2021.

It only makes sense that podcast learning would make its way into the world of work. For talent leaders, it’s a learning modality that can’t be ignored.

Listen while you work: Podcasts as an employee learning modality

A recent study showed that while 49% of podcast listening happens at home, 22% happens while driving, 11% at work and 8% while exercising. If ever a form of learning embodied “meeting people where they work,” it’s one that can be done while commuting, on your lunchtime walk or even while working on other tasks.

That’s the exciting part of podcasts: They don’t monopolize your time.

Audio content allows your employees to multitask and dive into topics without having to set aside time to read, watch a video or step into a classroom. In the age of microlearning, imagine popping in your headphones and grabbing a 4-minute lesson on your next trip to the water cooler.

In terms of ease of accessibility, podcast learning is hard to beat.

Think of podcast learning as a future-forward learning format and another ace in your pocket for developing and retaining the next generation of workers. The value of offering audio learning via a learning management system is the ability to curate learning, track consumption and provide impact for your people.

That’s not to say your organization will soon be deleting all other forms of learning and just dropping a Spotify list to employees. People learn in different ways, and variety is the key to learning that works for everyone. But for the 18-to-34 age bracket, podcasts and bite-sized learning are the kings.

Cornerstone and WaitWhat partner to bring the Masters of Scale podcast to employee development


All of this and more is why I'm truly excited that Cornerstone is partnering with WaitWhat to provide Masters of Scale to Cornerstone Content Anytime (CCA) users. This exclusive partnership allows CCA customers to provide their people with lessons drawn from the most iconic CEOs and founders of our day in an audio-first format.

Created by WaitWhat and hosted by Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and partner at Greylock, the Masters of Scale collection on CCA will include 150 podcast episodes, audio courses and animated videos.


Presented through a modality that modern learners crave, Masters of Scale has quickly grown into one of the most prestigious properties for business leaders, thanks to its iconic host and incomparable guest list.

Your employees will have the opportunity to learn from the world’s most successful learning leaders, including Barack Obama, Arianna Huffington, Bill Gates, Tory Burch and Sir Richard Branson, as well as the founders and CEOs of Netflix, Airbnb, Peloton, Delta, Nike, Disney, Spotify, Starbucks, Google, Pepsi and many more.

As astounding as that list of contributors is, we’re not stopping there.

Cornerstone will partner with WaitWhat to adapt the best learning moments from more than 10 seasons of Masters of Scale into original learning courses, re-imagined with stunning visual and motion design that will reinforce the key learning takeaways you want learners to remember.

Meet the future, ready with audio-first learning


Ready to queue up your first Masters of Scale playlist? I don’t blame you! The content offered in this partnership is one of a kind and exactly what your organization needs to create a personalized learning experience for your people and meet the future, ready.

I've learned so much from these audio courses and am incorporating ideas from many of them into the initiatives that I’m driving here at Cornerstone! I can’t wait for all your employees to learn from them as well.

For our existing Cornerstone Content Anytime users, we’re excited to share this with you. If you’re not partnered with us yet, it’s time to get listening. Please reach out to learn more about this exciting offering and how it can support your talent strategies.

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