A video communications system is no longer just a tool for big companies. Welcome to 2019.
According to the Business Dictionary, video is a “visual multimedia source that combines a sequence of images to form a moving picture.” People tend to think of video as a communications tool reserved solely for mega-companies with mega-marketing departments and mega-bucks to spend. According to Stacy Adams in a video trends article, materials to train, educate, and inform employees were the poor, ugly sisters of beautiful marketing videos. Consequently, such videos were boring and out-of-date materials that didn’t really help anyone.
What Train Do You Want to Take?
It’s 2019. Several things have changed in the world of employee training and onboarding. A recent study found a few surprising statistics about the organizational use of video communications and how it affects corporate communications. In the arena of corporate communications and employee training alone:
• 76% of executives watch business videos at least once a week, including 40% who view them daily — Cisco
• 59% of senior executives would rather watch a video than read text — Forbes Insights
• eLearning is proven to increase knowledge retention by 25% to 60% — Sh!ft
• While 80.8% of companies create videos for their websites, 38.1% create video content for employee training and education, and 34.9% produce videos for management communications— Web Video Marketing
• Companies that employ the strongest communication are over 50% more likely to have below-average turnover levels – BusinessPerform
There are now inexpensive solutions that can be used to create video communications materials that are informative and exciting. The size of an organization can be anything from small to large. The training and development of both new employees and talent you’re hoping to retain can move forward in ways that are challenging and exciting.
Turn On and Tune In
There was a time when employee training and development was wholly text based. That’s hardly the case anymore. What’s most interesting is the effectiveness of video training. That’s due in part to the fact that our eyes are attracted to movement. Forrester Research’s statistic that one minute of video is equivalent to 1.8 million words is coupled with the fact that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. That means our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. So of course video works better than the written word. Our information retention is higher, too. We’re at a point where we can find answers to questions of all kinds simply by googling a topic. Whether it’s via smartphone or computer, access to information is readily available—it’s almost always turned on. Which makes it easy to tune in as well. Having this accessibility this gives HR pros the groundwork they need for redoing training and retention materials.
What to Do with What You’ve Got
Video makes sense. So let’s see what steps you need to take to get started. According to video expert Pejman Taei, who put together a video monetization platform, there are seven steps a company needs to take to make a great video happen.
• Define your audience and what they need to know. Are they executives? New hires? Cross-training employees? Experienced staff looking to broaden their knowledge base? Know who you want to reach out to.
• What’s the goal? Outline exactly what you’re aiming for and to whom (see the first point). The more you define the goal, the greater the chance of making successful video.
• Decide what the subject will be and how long the program will run. Remember, shorter is actually better. Jonathan Halls, in a Learning Solutions Magazine article, says, “it needs to be as short as you can make it to achieve the learning objective.”
• Choose an expert on the topic. That might mean you need look no further than your own organization. Employee- or user-generated content is a win-win situation for everyone: the one sharing knowledge, the employees receiving the information, and then there’s the camaraderie among employees that can bolster everyone’s job performance.
• Select still images, graphs, and even charts to include in the video. This actually hearkens back to the point about how the brain processes visuals versus text. Don’t forget, a picture’s worth a thousand words when it comes to material retention.
• Figure out when and where the video should be done. This is a straightforward logistics issue, which HR deals with all the time. Should it be filmed somewhere on the company’s campus? Is a conference room a good idea? Where’s a place that is quiet enough to film in? Does the shoot subject need props? Will the person need cue cards? You can hire a professional to shoot and edit the material, or it can be shot on a smartphone and edited with a variety of free editing programs. And there’s always the option to go with an animated video.
• Keep it short. Keep it simple. Keep it engaging.
Now video is really there for everyone to use. As Nike ads state, “just do it.”