Effective learning is about engagement. The more engaged and involved a person can be with what they’re learning, the more they’ll retain. But in the business world, resource allocation also comes into play and teaching employees new skills or educating them on subjects like the subtleties of healthcare benefits becomes a balancing act. Which level of engagement can you afford that will allow your employees to retain the knowledge you need them to have?
Learning about Learning
Let’s start with a refresher on the basics of learning. As human beings, we absorb information through our five senses. Generally speaking, when learning, the more senses we functionally use at once, the more engaged we are and the more likely we’ll be to retain what we take in, but which senses are engaged can also have an impact on recall. In terms of engagement, you can be passively or actively engaged. Passive learning allows you to absorb and store details but it’s through analyzing and interacting with the information that learning becomes active. Being able to do or demonstrate what you’ve learned is the most effective means of retaining the information long term. Some people can easily progress from passive to active engagement on their own, while others require additional external guidance to get them there. When educating employees, it’s necessary to bring them as close to active engagement as possible and to do so cost effectively. As companies and workforces grow in both size and diversity, video is becoming the preferred method for educating and training employees because it can effectively convey the necessary message while prompting employees to take the steps necessary to transition from passive to active engagement.
Video as a Teaching Tool in the Workplace
Most of the data we learn about our environments comes through sight and hearing. Because of the sheer volume we take in, we get good at filtering. This is useful for blocking out distractions but can make it difficult to focus when only one or the other sense is engaged in a given task. On a scale of effective retention, static text and standalone audio fight for a place at the bottom. But when more interesting visuals like infographics are used, retention begins to climb and when information can be presented using visual and auditory means simultaneously—as is the case with video—you’ve arrived at the border between passive and active engagement. Video straddles that border with the determining factors coming down to your video’s content and the individual employee. Since there are many employees who’ll be viewing the same video, the easiest approach to ensure active engagement is to include content that nudges them in that direction. Including questions can help underscore important points while guiding the viewer along the path to active engagement and higher retention. Video can be combined with more tangible follow ups like comprehension quizzes or discussion boards to further increase engagement and retention through your internal and employee communications.
Video Communications and Production
How to approach video as a communication tool depends on the message you need to convey and your target audience. Educating employees about healthcare benefits during open enrollment becomes trickier as healthcare gets more complicated. Engaging with the material to ensure understanding and retention is more important than ever. How you present and share video communications can make all the difference. With a digital postcard campaign, it’s possible to put everything your employees need—documents, links and access to portals referenced in the video—next to the video for your employees to interact with and explore immediately. In other words, you’re giving them the ability to take action—that final step into active engagement—and, thereby, providing them with the most effective means for retaining the information you want them to learn.