How To Use Video To Train Your Team
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Why use a training video?
Effective training is part and parcel of growing any organisation. Of course, it provides employees with the skills and knowledge to do their job to the best of their ability. This clearly optimises your customer experience and has a bunch of holistic benefits. But there’s more. Great training can actually improve employee engagement – which helps reduce staff turnover, boost productivity and even cut the number of sick days in your team. (Just check out some of these stats). Employee disengagement is a larger problem than you might have realised. Dale Carnegie and MSW conducted a study, on over 1500 employees. The results were staggering. They found that 71% of all employees are not fully engaged, and that $11 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover. By offering your staff training opportunities you show them you’re invested in their professional development. This will increase loyalty and engagement within your company.
Yet, one-third of employees, in an InterCall survey, stated their company’s methods weren’t a productive use of time. Another third said they didn’t find training interesting or engaging. Training is supposed to be adding value to a business – but a significant number of workers think it’s a huge waste of time. So, how do you make training productive and engaging for your staff? There are many ways. But, increasingly, we’re seeing businesses incorporate video into their training processes. It’s an exciting trend. Videos are a versatile resource that can be used for many staff training purposes. These include:
- An e-learning series/CPD (Continuing Professional Development)
- Introduction to new products or services
- Demo of a new system or initiative
And they can come in various styles:
- Screen recorded
You can either create them yourself, in-house, or hire someone to create them for you. Each type can provide a different form of learning support for your staff. The key is to ensure you know what makes a good training video and how best to use them. In this guide, we’ll take a detailed look at video as a training tool. We’ll cover some real-world examples and pass on some tips we’ve gathered along the way. Enjoy!
The benefits of using video to train your team
Over the years, more and more businesses have turned to video to enhance their internal communications. Companies like IBM and Airbus have all used video in this way.
Video can communicate a compelling message to greater numbers of staff, customers and investors. [It can also] be monitored for viewing duration and viewer comprehension.- William Claxton
Compared to other traditional methods, staff training videos provide many benefits. Here are just a few:
Usually, staff training takes place in a boardroom, or off-site, at a time and date set by whoever is running the training. This means the time is more likely suited to the people running the training than those attending. As a result, staff are away from their usual work, which can affect work productivity because they have to catch up on work missed. Video solves this problem because the staff can set aside time that suits them. The other benefit is they’re likely to be more engaged because they’re not concerned with the other work they could be doing.
Availability & Accessibility
Unlike one-off training that your staff will take time out to attend, video is always available and accessible. This gives your staff the option to access the training at a time that is more convenient to them. A good tip is to make the videos accessible from a variety of devices, like smartphones and tablets, so staff can view them even when they’re not office-based. Using video as a training tool means people can refer back to the content whenever they need a refresher. You could do this with written content but it’s pretty unlikely they’d read every word. Give them the option of a video they’ll be more likely to review the content.
On average, companies spend $1,888 per employee on training and development, with an average of 31.5 hours, per year, training staff. While this is productive time in the sense that it can help up-skill your team, it’s also time away from the bread and butter of their daily role – which almost always means lost revenue. Using video can mean you save your company money on off-site training and other expenses that come with it. In fact, Microsoft used video to cut classroom training costs by $303 per person, from $320 to just $17. Creating videos yourself doesn’t even have to cost you that much. There are so many tips and tricks for filming on a budget; these days all you really need is a smartphone and downloadable editing software and you’re on your way!
Breakdown Complicated Information
Complex information and ideas can easily be explained and supported with visuals. Video can be particularly useful when it comes to a whole company roll out of a new system or initiative, as everyone can watch and re-watch video content at their own pace till they understand it. This isn’t always possible when someone is presenting to a large number of people. People have short attention spans at the best of times, so in day-long training sessions they’re bound to miss something.. It could be a crucial piece of information that they might not be able to revisit without asking the instructor. And, however critical the missed information is, many will avoid bringing it up, however approachable the instructor is.
Help Retain Information
Studies suggest that, 3 days after taking on new information, there’s around a 10% chance you’ll remember it. When you add visuals, that rises dramatically to 65%. Plus people tend to only remember 20% of what they read, compared to 80% of what they see and do. Now consider this for something like e-learning where your staff will be regularly accessing video content as part of their learning and you have the possibility to increase knowledge retention by 25% to 60%. Ali Noel, Customer Success Team Lead at video hosting platform, Wistia, is a firm advocate of using video for internal training.
“I’d say the biggest benefit to using video internally for training is attributed to it being both available and scalable,” “In a growing company like Wistia, we’re hiring a lot, and people are constantly busy. Having lessons available on video helps solve the challenge of on-boarding lots of people at scattered times.” “Another benefit is the ability to re-watch or reference piece of an instructional video. This helps with allowing new team members to learn at their own pace and ensure they’re properly absorbing the important information they need.”- Ali Noel, Wistia
Video can communicate a compelling message to greater numbers of staff, customers and investors. [It can also] be monitored for viewing duration and viewer comprehension.- William Claxton
Video Styles To Consider
Best for: Engaging your staff This style can be good for introducing and explaining new or complicated concepts. The animated style can make viewing more interesting, especially for a dull topic.
Live-Action / Demonstration
Best for: Demonstrating a realistic scenario and making content relatable Using people to act out scenarios and demonstrate situations is the main purpose of live-action. This style works best because real people can better demonstrate the reality of situations that an animated video wouldn’t be able to. This makes the video content more relatable and realistic. The NHS often use this style to educate people on the best ways to handle medical emergencies.
Best for: On-boarding. A good tip is to use staff who currently work for you to explain policies and work life to the new-starters This style is the video equivalent of a presentation where the person in front of the camera speaks directly to the audience.
Best for: Introducing new systems and software Perfect for a walk-through/step-by-step guide on a new system or software. The great thing is these can be saved and viewed over and over again if your staff need a reminder.
Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.- Benjamin Franklin
What Makes A Good Training Video?
Before we get into the elements of a good training video, here’s an example of what not to do. Watch this:
You’ll probably agree that you spend more time laughing and wondering what’s going on whilst watching that, than learning anything. It’s clear to see they’ve tried to make the “learning” fun with the use of a song but that’s all they’ve focused on. It’s fine to do something to help your audience remember the content but focus on that too much and you miss the point. There are a few simple things that a good training video needs:
An understanding of the audience
As with any content, this should always be a top priority. Tailor the videos to your staff and ensure accessibility to whoever they’re meant for. One way to do this is to create a script so that you can refine it accordingly. It’s fine to make entertaining content to hold your employees’ attention but don’t focus on this alone otherwise it won’t serve it’s purpose. You want your staff to take the training videos seriously, so keep a level of professionalism throughout. Strike a balance between entertaining, for engagement, and professional, in order to make the videos purposeful. For example, to-camera is a good choice for making a professional video. The simple set up of someone talking directly to the audience creates this because there are no other distractions.
That said, you still want your staff to engage with the video content – so it needs to be as visually engaging as possible. There are numerous ways to do this.
For ‘to-camera’ videos, you might want to try adding aural features to highlight and reinforce important points. You can add closed captions, subtitles and typography in this way on many video editing platforms including Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro and After Effects. Alternatively, you can try an animated video. We recently worked with a major airline to create a series of animated training videos, designed to explain and demonstrate aspects of their customer service policies. The idea is clearly catching hold in a variety of industries.
The use of animated video is a different twist to a talking head, or live action video, that you might normally get for this type of training. Many businesses are turning to animation specifically because it engages employees in a way that other mediums can’t. We all loved watching cartoons as kids, right? Well, it turns out that the power of animation extends into the world of training, too!
Clear and Concise
Ok, so you have an opted-in audience; but don’t take it for granted. You need to avoid filling your video content with irrelevant information. Pinpoint what you want your message to be and stick to it. The best way to achieve this is to write what you want to say in a script, and edit out anything that isn’t relevant. Your audience’s attention span will be short – so focus on what matters. Your goal is to engage your employees and help them to remember as much information as possible. However, if you do have a lot of information and training to deliver, break it down into sections and create a series so it’s easier to digest.
As just stated, this could mean breaking down the training into bite size chunks. E-learning courses are a good example of this as they are often segmented into modules to help users manage the content intake easier.
The above example demonstrates a good way to break down a lot of information. By using section headings with modules within these, you can clearly see what information will be covered in each video segment. By organising your videos in this way your team will understand what the videos cover and be able to dip in and out of them whenever they need. This will be helpful when returning to the information because they won’t have to scan through an hour long video, they can just return to the section instead. The other perk to sorting videos into an online filing system means you can update it with new videos so it’s never out of date. You can do this yourself by making folders within an internal network. But to make it even more accessible you could download a cloud based file sharing system. That way your staff can gain access even when they’re not logged on to the internal network. Below are a few examples to consider:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
If you’re creating a to-camera video, it’s important to make sure the shot is properly lit. It sounds scary, but it’s not so hard to create an affordable lighting setup. There are loads available online – we’ve used Wistia’s ‘Down and Dirty Lighting Kit’ for our own videos, and it’s great. Check it out!
[Video] allows us, as trainers, to connect ourselves with an audience we can’t see… People don’t want to read about something. They want you to show them how to do it.- Jacquie Beck
How best to use video to train your staff
To show a new internal system and how it works
When it comes to new features and functionality, we all know the power of a live demonstration. But video has two advantages; one, it’s scalable, giving you the power to roll out the same demo to your whole business. Two, it’s available – your team can revisit their training any time they like. Screen captured video is a great way to provide a step-by-step walk-through of a new system and the best ways to use it. This is a style often used to introduce customers to new software, so why wouldn’t it work for your staff?
How to make this type of video: You can hire someone like us, here at Wyzowl, to make a web or mobile app demo for a reasonable fee. Our service includes a script, screen record from the web app, a voiceover from our range of artists, SFX to bring your video to life, experts at each stage and a dedicated account manager. The other option is to download a screen recording app like Icecream Screen Recorder, which is free, to create the walk-through yourself.
Introduce/explain new policies
Staff policies, with the best will in the world, can be a bit boring – you probably won’t catch many of your team leafing through an employee handbook. Why not make them more engaging with an animated video? The example below is an animated video we created for a client to show staff how to sell waterproof clothing aftercare.
How to make this type of video: Once again you could hire someone like Wyzowl to make the whole thing for you. For the animation package, our service includes a script, custom graphics, animation, a voiceover from our range of artists, SFX to bring your video to life, experts at each stage and a dedicated account manager.
Alternatively, there are numerous DIY animation tools you can download. Below are a few of the most popular softwares:
Vyond is a web-based animation software that allows anyone to quickly create professional animated videos. There are three different payment plans to choose from: Enterprise, Business and Personal.
PowToon is another web-based animation software designed for the animation novice. But, they specialise in presentations rather than videos. They offer Free, Pro, Pro+ and Agency packages.
Moovly is an online animation software aimed at businesses, the education sector, and people simply wanting to create animations for personal use. There is a free option as well as Pro and Enterprise packages.
These solutions are great at what they do, but their strength is also their weakness, in many ways. With only a certain number of graphics and transitions at your disposal, it’s hard to create something truly unique that lives and breathes your brand. For a truly bespoke creation, you’ll probably need to consider hiring an animation studio, or outsourcing the various parts of the process individually.
Onboarding the first week of a new hire’s employment is incredibly important. In these crucial few days, they need to feel welcomed and at home, while being bombarded with the knowledge and skills to hit the ground running in their new role. Video is a great way to make the process easier for them. Panopto’s article ‘5 Must-Have Videos that Enhance Employee Onboarding’ contains some great ideas on how to use video in your onboarding process, including:
- Welcome to the team
- Knowledge handoff – a video handover from your predecessor in the role, in which they talk through all the important ‘little’ things they know about the role.
- Key company policies
- Skills training
- Little things matter – e.g. where is the photocopier located? Where are important documents stored?
A simple ‘to-camera’ style video can work well for all these use cases. How to make this type of video: With a little bit of time and dedication this type of video can easily be created in-house and within a reasonable budget. You can easily use a smartphone or web-camera to do this. Just make sure you also invest in some lighting, and a stand to keep the camera steady. Ali Noel, the Customer Success Team Lead, at Wista explained how they use video in their on-boarding:
“We often use video to train our Customer Champs (aka technical support folks) throughout their on-boarding. A couple examples are video walkthroughs of internal tools (like our backend Admin portal) or APIs.” “A new hire doesn’t have to wait around to get trained on a particular topic. The video is available for them to use at the appropriate time in their on-boarding. Once they receive instruction via video, they can always follow up and ask additional questions to an actual team member as needed.”- Ali Noel, Wistia
E-learning is a big deal and can yield huge success for your business. Pwc did a survey into what factors make a an organisation an attractive employer to millennials and 35% stated good training and development programs.
How to make this type of video: There are many good e-learning and CPD websites to source this type of video training from, rather than creating it all yourself, depending on the industry you’re in.
Depending on your industry the following are two good examples of online e-learning that include video. Both offer a wealth of different subject areas to chose from:
Ongoing training of your staff is vital to keeping your business progressing. If you don’t invest in your staff you could find they become disengaged and disinterested meaning they stop doing their job well. You may also find you have a higher staff turnover, which can become expensive.
As an employer you want to provide your staff with the skills and competency to know your products and services, so they have the tools to deliver exceptional work every time.
Video provides the tools to be able to do this without many of the downfalls of standard training methods. Including improved work productivity; better access and availability; cost effective; easier to digest because it can be modularised, and increased likelihood that the information will be retained.
Remember it’s important to create video content for your staff that’s both visually engaging and to the point, in order to hold their interest. It’s also important to ensure the video content is well organised; consider how you manage this so it’s accessible to all your staff that need it.
By providing your staff with access to video content you put them in control; helping them take in the material without increasing the time spent training. Video is more convenient and you can ensure the way it’s presented is consistent, which is less likely to be the case with off-site training days.
The tools we’ve described in this e-book can help you harness the awesome power of video as a learning tool within your company. Our team of video experts would love to chat further with you on this issue. If you have any questions, comments or thoughts, we’d love to hear from you!