Listen to This! The Top 7 Podcasts about Workplace Culture
By Candace Coleman, CultureWise Content Manager
Experts have weighed in on organizational culture in a slew of insightful books, articles, and journals. They’re all valuable references to help executives better understand this crucial business area. But sometimes, we’d rather listen to discussions about matters of importance rather than read about them.
It’s understandable why podcasts’ popularity has soared in recent years:
- They’re not hard to find; they’re easily accessible on multiple platforms that most people already use.
- They offer a memorable way to learn for those who prefer to digest information audibly.
- They provide a purposeful way to fill time otherwise spent commuting, doing chores, or working out. We love our multitasking!
But despite the upsides to this format, the options can be overwhelming. Moreover, not every show is worth catching in the vast podcast sea.
To save time, we’ve sorted through the podcasts that focus on workplace culture and narrowed the list to those we think are most relevant and worthwhile. We’ve also listed the most prominent platforms that air them and a synopsis of what they cover. This list isn’t a ranking; it is an overview of the best programs that touch on the many aspects of organizational culture.
7 Great Podcasts about Workplace Culture
1. MAKE IT THRIVE: THE COMPANY CULTURE PODCAST; on Spotify and Apple Podcasts
British Culture Coach and Liberty Mind founder Lizzie Benton hosts this weekly show designed to inspire leaders to create a unique, purpose-driven company culture where human potential can thrive. She engages founders and “people experts” to discuss their perspectives on organizational culture.
Benton follows a theme in each season of her podcast. In the most recent segments, Benton focused on change-makers—people seeking to overturn the status quo to make a favorable difference. She also explores trends she sees in company culture as the pandemic subsides and shares thoughts about how people are looking at culture in new ways.
Benton reflects on the importance of remaining in a growth state regarding culture and why there is no real end game. Among her guests this season:
- Tessa Lynn, researcher, tutor, and community coach
Benton and Dr. Lynn discuss how adopting research skills can empower people in any organization to create a meaningful impact.
- Barry McNeil, Managing Director of Work Extraordinary
Benton describes McNeil as a disruptor of conventional thinking who explores why things happen the way they do in the workplace. They explore how to shift companies into a more agile way of working.
- Chantal Wilson, Director of The Pioneers
This episode centers on how people can innovate and experiment to improve company culture and how tech can help rather than hinder us in our endeavor to embrace change.
2. CULTURE HAPPENS by HUBSPOT; on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify
This podcast features HubSpot employees and leaders who share their views about building happy, inclusive workplaces. They take their cue from HubSpot Co-founder and CTO Dharmesh Shah, who pointed out: “Culture happens, so why not build a culture people love?”
Many Culture Happens episodes only include knowledgeable HubSpot personnel, but some feature guests who help them flesh out specific topics. Topics covered in recent broadcasts:
- The Effect of Communication on Productivity: How to Get Stuff Done
Two HubSpotters discuss leveraging communications strategies to maximize productivity in a hybrid world.
- Let’s Talk about Microaggressions
HubSpot hosts interview designer and activist Renee Reid about navigating microaggressions, specifically in a virtual work environment.
- How Modern Health is Destigmatizing Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work
HubSpot’s Director of HR Business Partnerships chats with the CEO of Modern Health about how their digital platform enables people to proactively find support wherever they are in their mental health journey.
3. CULTURE ARCHITECTS; on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts
CultureWise CEO and best-selling author David J. Friedman has been helping small to medium-sized companies develop world-class organizational cultures for decades. The 2021 Vistage Speaker of the Year has conducted over 1,000 presentations for business executives to explain why great cultures don’t just emerge—they are carefully designed and systematically built.
In his podcast, Friedman taps into his network of experts to interview fascinating leaders in multiple fields about how they constructed winning cultures. His interviews are in-depth discussions that dig into the details of his subjects’ experiences, and each episode is broken into two segments.
Guests on Culture Architects have included:
- Adam Bruckman
Adam Bruckman has received numerous awards for innovation and leadership throughout his extensive career in the healthcare industry. In 2000, he launched OneDigital and took it from a start-up to one of the country’s leading advisory firms. In a two-part series, David Friedman talks to Bruckman about the intentional choices he made to create a culture-driven company and how that affected OneDigital throughout its growth.
- Horst Schulze
Few people have impacted organizational culture more than Horst Schulze, co-founder of The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. He speaks with Friedman about his beginnings in the hospitality industry, how he built a culture of legendary customer service, and why the principles of the Ritz Carlton culture apply to all sectors.
- Peter C. Bayer Jr.
During his thirty-year military career, the Senior Vice President of Operations at Penske Logistics learned much about the importance of organizational culture. After receiving the Silver Star for his service in Iraq, Peter C. Bayer Jr. went on to lead multiple civilian warehousing and transportation operations across the U.S. He shares how the Army’s Seven Values continue to influence his approach to workplace culture, the importance of being a servant leader, and the value of learning from mistakes.
4. CULTURE BUILDING LIKE A PRO; on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher
Podcast host Dionna Appling, a company culture strategist and leadership coach, focuses on helping small business owners and managers overcome common, real-life leadership challenges relating to workplace culture. She explores ways to create a company culture “where employees do their best work because they want to…and not because they have to.”
Appling has been running a series entitled #LeaderSHIFT Since the beginning of 2022. These episodes were designed to help executives learn to lead a healthy culture and engaged team. Each segment pinpoints a specific kind of transition for leaders, including:
- Power-focused to People-focused
- Micromanaging to Empowering
- Enforcing to Engaging
- Instructing People to Inspiring People
- Reacting to Responding
The episodes in this podcast are concise, providing thoughtful bite-sized takeaways about essential leadership topics.
5. CULTURE FIRST; on Apple Podcasts and Spotify
This podcast, produced by Culture Amp, is subtitled “Stories for a better world of work.” Host Damon Klotz uses the platform to help listeners understand how people find meaning in their work and how to improve experiences within organizations.
Klotz interviews business experts and leaders across different industries to give people a comprehensive perspective on how work culture shapes behavior. Recent episodes include:
- How Nasdaq Built a Transformative Culture that is Both Empowering and Accountable
Klotz interviews Nasdaq VP of Employee Experiences Richard Taylor to learn how they approached building a culture-first company.
- Scaling the Employee Experience at Asana
Anna Binder from Asana joins Klotz to discuss how she built a culture powered by clarity, co-creation, and inclusion and what’s next for people leaders in 2022.
- How Carman’s Kitchen Achieved 96% Employee Engagement by Focusing on the Whole Employee Experience
Lainie Tayler, General Manager of People at Carman’s Kitchen and founder of HR Squad, sits down with Klotz to discuss how leaders can retain their best employees.
6. INSPIRED: LEADERSHIP, CULTURE, and the EVOLVING WORKPLACE; on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher
Co-hosts Jaime Klein, Founder and president of Inspire HR, and Raise SVP of Client Strategy Keri Schoenbrun lead conversations about leadership, culture, and the changing world of work. They frequently include other business leaders to discuss their stories, policies, and decisions that define HR and modern workplace culture.
Klein and Schoenbrun aspire to inform other leaders and help them proactively manage talent initiatives. Some of the episodes in the past months include:
- Hybrid Workplaces: From Compliance to Culture
Hybrid schedules have emerged as a compromise between fully remote or on-site work models, but they have downsides. The hosts discuss what employers can do to minimize the negative impact of hybrid work on different workers.
- Retention + Employee Engagement
Klein and Schoenbrun engage a panel of experts to explore how to retain employees in the current U.S. job market, where close to 40 percent of workers are seeking new jobs this year.
- Managing Through Talent Shortages + LOAs
HR and change management experts join the hosts to talk about how companies can maintain productivity in today’s challenging staffing environment.
7. SCALING CULTURE; on Apple Podcasts and GooglePlay
Host Ron Lovett interviews authors and thought leaders who share their experiences about building strong workplace culture. The entrepreneur, author, and keynote speaker offers specific takeaways and action items that listeners can quickly employ in their organizations. Scaling Culture focuses on large organizations with multiple resources.
Topics covered in recent episodes have included:
- Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Employee Resource Groups
Lovett interviews Yetta Toliver, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Xerox, about why her company created Employee Resource Groups in the 1960s, the outcomes of that initiative, and how to listen to what’s important to employees.
- Scientific Research behind Best Workplace Cultures
Speaker, author, business leader, and professor Dave Ulrich has been called the “father of modern HR.” He talks to Lovett about the definition of culture and organizational capability, research about building workplace culture, and how to turn it into a win in the marketplace.
- How to Sustain Resilient Culture Heading into the Future
Kausik Rajgopal, PayPal’s Chief Human Resources Officer, sits down with Lovett to discuss the role of the leader as a culture advocate, how to incorporate core values into recruitment, and PayPal’s strategy to maintain their culture with an increasingly remote workforce.
Learn More With CultureWise
Each of these podcasts delves into the realm of organizational culture in a different way. We curated this list to give listeners an opportunity to develop a more comprehensive perspective on the many aspects of this important business topic.
The better a company’s culture is, the more it positively influences every aspect of the organization—from deepening employee engagement to boosting operational productivity and accountability to enhancing profitability. It pays off to stay informed about building strong workplace culture.
At CultureWise, we constantly strive to build awareness about culture and other business matters and add value to the learning experience. We invite you to stay up to date about important leadership and culture topics by subscribing to our weekly newsletter that covers the latest issues impacting company culture and offers informative videos and webinar opportunities.