1 Minute with an Expert: Video as an Employee Training Tool with Professor Diane Gayeski

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1 Minute with an Expert is a video series dedicated to shedding light on unique, untraditional ways that professionals across the board are using video to enhance their jobs. From education, employee training, to marketing and more, we’re interviewing experts that have years of experience and knowledge leveraging video! They’ll share use cases, how-to tips, and their predictions on the future of video. 

1 Minute with an Expert: Video as an Employee Training Tool with Professor Diane Gayeski

In this episode, we interview the woman responsible for writing the first textbook about corporate and instructional video (found here)! Diane Gayeski, Professor of Strategic Communications at Ithaca College and Founder of Gayeski Analytics.  Below is a very short video summary of her main points. To read about her unique use cases and get more detail on her tips, scroll below the video for the interview transcript highlights. 

Transcript Highlights:

Hi I’m Diane Gayeski, I’m a professor of strategic communications at Ithaca College in upstate New York, and I practice what I preach through Gayeski Analytics. 

What are some use cases where you’ve found video effective?

I look at video as a whole process, more than just making a program that somebody likes; it’s the process of creating it that’s quite powerful. Video is especially good at capturing personality and emotion. I think it’s especially powerful for recruiting and onboarding. Obviously video is very good for demonstrating things as well… is terrific at showing someone how to do something. 

What are your tips for someone using video as a training tool?

For too long, training has been seen as an event, someone gets sent to training, they go through it, and the idea is they’re done. And we know that that doesn’t work well. Especially in training, we know that people are most receptive to learning when they NEED to know the information. Not too early and not too late. And so video on demand, being able to do interactive multimedia, being able to do little video clips that people can access, when they need some help, is extremely effective. 

What does the future of video as a training tool look like?

Because everyone is carrying around smartphones these days. And instead of thinking of it as a big long program like we used to–making it as a show with beginning middle and end and plots and transitions and all sorts of things–it’s better to think of it as very short segments that can be indexed and found and are searchable so people can get to it when they need it.

Specific Use Case: Video as a Pre-Screening/Onboarding Tool at a Hospital

What I have found, and when I’ve been in a position to recommend video to clients, is for those cultural or social motivational kinds of goals. 

I worked for a large hospital system in Pennsylvania, and they were experiencing a rather high degree of turnover. Partly was that, as we dove into the analysis of the problem, it wasn’t as much with medical staff who knew what the environment was going to be like, but it was more for non-medical employees- people hired on a facilities crew, electricians, accountants, doing office work. 

They often haven’t worked in a hospital and didn’t realize the differences in the culture and the atmosphere about what they would be encountering. And so the organization wanted to make sure people were informed and knew what to expect when they got on the job, it might influence them not to apply in the first place, which is probably a better thing than have them get on board and quit early on. But also for those who were drawn to the mission and the kind of work that goes on in a hospital, saw themselves as being part of the healing team rather than someone who just fixes stuff. 

So what we featured were actual interviews with those kinds of employees who talked about what it was like – for example, what’s it like if you’re a plumber and your task is to go into the room of a very ill patient and fix the sink in that room. It’s a lot different than going into someone’s house or a large corporation. All kinds of things could be going on; medical procedures, people are distressed, there with family. And [these employees] talked very frankly about what it was like, how they behave, what they would encounter, what they would do if they would encounter family, what if they walked in there as a patient in their last stages of life. They also talked about how they did more than just fix plumbing; they could be seen as a bright spot that could say hi to that patient and give words of encouragement or recommend a restaurant from out of town family. 

So it was an extremely valuable tool to help them recruit the right employees and feel more comfortable about the job and encountering what might be uncomfortable situations. These videos served as a combination of a pre-screening and a first orientation tool. 

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