How to Use Video Content Effectively for Training Employees

Most companies know that good employee training is important, but it can often be one of those things that gets overlooked when it comes to the day to day operations of the company. Employees often must learn quickly on the job, which can be beneficial, but can also result in expensive or embarrassing mistakes as a company. Plus, 94% of employees would be more likely to stay if they felt like their company was willing to invest in helping them learn.

In this article we explore why video content is the most valuable asset in onboarding, training, and continuing development of your greatest asset – your people. Let’s get into it.

Why Is Video Content the Best Asset for Training?

Better Engagement & Retention

If a picture is worth 1000 words, then imagine the power of a video! People are 95% more likely to recall knowledge delivered via video than text alone. We are social creatures so even watching a talking head video is more engaging than reading an article. But the real power of video comes in the ability to show helpful visuals at the moment when they are being talked about. We have all experienced the power of a random person on YouTube showing us how to fix something small on our car and walking us through it. Even despite the bad audio and shaky handheld camera, videos like that can be invaluable for accomplishing a simple task.

Repeatable & Measurable

Video’s superpower is that it is replayable. This allows you to send it to new employees whenever they come on board and get them trained in, but it also allows them to pull it up at the moment they need the specific training and it is the most applicable. Video allows employees to pause it, jump around to different spots, and rewatch it as needed. This gives video training the flexibility that in person simply does not offer. In addition, video is more measurable. Most video players will track basic stats of how many watches have happened, or what percentage of the video is typically watched. This allows you to show the value of video content to bosses and other stakeholders.

It’s Cheaper

When you add up the many factors, producing video content is cheaper than many of the alternatives. Traditional in person training can get expensive and when you have to repeat it over and over again those costs can add up quickly. Video can be pre-recorded, played many times, and doesn’t waste time trying to schedule multiple people in the same room at the same time, allowing employees to watch the video at the time that suits them best and the location that is most convenient.

What Makes a Good Training Video?

Has a Logical Structure

No one wants to listen to someone ramble or fill time about a topic. Video content should be well thought out and outlined or scripted before the camera starts rolling in order to communicate your training clearly. Start by considering the main point of the training and how all of your information should be in support of that. Make sure you give the right amount of detail, enough to explain and support the material without giving too much that it becomes boring and tedious quickly. Consider what questions employees will have and answer them in the video.

The Right Length

Your audience’s attention span is never quite as long as we think, so training modules should stay as short as possible. If you have a lot to say, consider how you can break longer format videos into smaller, easier to consume modules. We often recommend training videos stay within a 3-5 minute total run time. This rewards viewers, builds loyalty, and keeps them engaged.

You Understand Your Audience

You are training humans, so speak to them as a human. No one wants to be trained on something they already know. This is frustrating and will cause users to find a way to skip through the content without paying attention. Conversely, listening to training that assumes too much, uses acronyms you have never heard of, or is just way above your head isn’t helpful either. Consider giving different training modules to different audiences if necessary. Training that is well aimed at your audience will be more helpful, and make a bigger impact.

Visually Supporting Graphics

Video is a visual medium and you should use it that way! While a person talking on screen is fine, it doesn’t help the employee visualize any of the concepts they are learning. Use motion and graphics to draw viewers focus to important information, and headlines, photos, or other visuals to clearly communicate what the speaker is saying. If the video is talking about a product, then show the product! If the video references a statistic, show it on the screen! If the training is about an action or service, it is so much better to show it rather than describe it. Look for opportunities in your script to do this and plan for them. Don’t add graphics “just because” you think you should, those can wind up being distracting to the viewer rather than being helpful.

How Do We Create a Quality Training Video?

Different kinds of training videos require different ranges of quality, so the first thing to consider is the sort of training you are doing and the type and size of the audience that will be watching it. Internal videos can sometimes stand to be lower quality than a video that will be seen by prospective customers or clients. Training 10 people can probably be more casual than training 1,000.

Consider different approaches to creating video training content:

Do it yourself

With today’s phones, almost anyone can flip on their camera, hit record, and start talking. The rise of popular video platforms like YouTube has democratized video content production so novices and experts alike can capture, edit, and publish video. Lower quality video can (for some audiences) give a greater feeling of authenticity. That said, for video content that is representing a company, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed. Your talent should be well lit, effectively deliver the message, and the audio should never be forgotten – keep it clean and easily understandable.

Invest in video

If your company is going to get serious about video content, then maybe it is time to invest in the ability to produce it. This could mean hiring a video expert, or a whole team dedicated to video production. It most certainly will mean investing some serious money into lighting, audio, and video equipment that can increase the quality of what is produced. Finally, it may mean better places to record content such as a studio or a larger room dedicated to video production.

Hire an agency

If you’re serious about investing in video content, working with a professional agency that specializes in video strategy and video content production is the better option. Agencies like Bionic Giant help clients create amazing video content that deepens engagement, but they also partner with you to establish a comprehensive video strategy complete with measurable tracking to see ROI. Our team helps you maximize budget through careful planning of the video strategy, crafting engaging scripts, filming in our studio or onsite, with our team of directors, editors, illustrators, animators, and audio engineers. We can architect designer branded sets so audiences think they are at your facility, or keep it more simple and cost-effective.

How Do We Get Employees to Watch the Training Video?

Make it available online or on a shared drive

At the very least, if your company has a shared place that employees can access, then it makes a lot of sense to keep your videos there. This allows them to be found by the team when they need them. This could be an intranet, a hidden section of the website, a shared folder on the company drive, or a Dropbox folder everyone can access. The challenge here is how to make employees aware that this is available.

Send Out an Email Newsletter

You can always send out an announcement email or an email newsletter to make sure that everyone knows that the new video training content is available. This allows employees to get it in their email inbox, which is a great place to send out information. We always recommend showing a thumbnail of the video content with an obvious looking play button. This is the common language for “this is a video, if you click it, you can watch it.” Of course, putting the video on YouTube or other social media video platforms works, but has the potential to be blocked by your company, or distract employees with advertisements and other videos.

Use a Learning Management System

A learning management system is a piece of software that allows you to organize training content into courses and lessons. One video could be a single lesson. Software like this has many advantages: You can assign certain courses to certain groups of employees. You can make sure they actually watch and complete the training content (and follow up when they haven’t). You can also pair video content with other tools like quizzes, or even related links or documents. This allows for a greater learning experience and can make course content that is more likely to stick. While there are many learning management systems available, Groundwork1 is an employee training app that delivers your training materials to employees via email, and allows you to pair training videos with quizzes and other resources. It tracks when employees have completed their lessons and sends them automatic reminders when they don’t.

What Next?

Video content has a lot of advantages for training purposes, but will take some careful planning and consideration to implement it well within your organization. If you need help with video strategy and producing the right content, we would love to work with you to plan and create professional and engaging video training content. Let’s engage your audience on a deeper level, keeping training that will engage your audience and hopefully keep your training top of mind as they go through their work day.