8 Experts Share Tips on Using Video as an Employee Training Tool

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In today’s corporate world, video is no longer used for just sales and marketing. According to 50 Wheel, 90% of enterprises use video as a training and/or educational tool in the form of live or on-demand video. Leveraging video for onboarding or employee training provides more flexibility with training materials and can accommodate a more diverse range of learning methods.

But even though the vast majority of companies are using online learning platforms or LMS tools for video training, making unique and engaging video is still a massive challenge. That’s why we’ve picked the brains of some video training professionals with a combined experience of over a century! That’s pretty intense, isn’t it? These professionals will share a combination of personal experience, pro tips and tricks, and what they predict the future of video training to look like. Let’s dive in…

Video Training Professionals Share Their Thoughts & Best Practices

cartoon video maker

First, the elephant in every training room and for every learning organization is that people forget. With that said, video definitely delays the forgetting, and while not enough to be the sole solution, it’s an essential tool for the current environment.

  1. Do a pre-training assessment to determine what people know and don’t know – this will determine if you even need the training, establish a baseline for future measurement, and it will inform the trainers on what to focus on and what not to focus on.
  2. Train primarily through short video (though most trainers will say that offering multiple modes of learning during training helps with effectiveness and ultimate retention of the information) as anything too long, won’t hold the users attention.
  3. You can’t rely on the video alone. People forget, sometimes they don’t engage. Check back in posts training to see what’s been retained. Try 24 hours, 72 hours and then a few weeks out. This will help you identify gaps and see if employees are missing the same thing.
  4. If and when possible, use a knowledge retention platform to automate the retention of the information, ensuring that your employees know what they need to know to perform their job optimally. And use the analytics from the platform to continuously improve the training and the results but most importantly, to measure ROI – did the people learn what was intended?

If you don’t do a stellar job at employee onboarding, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. That’s because, with a solid employee onboarding in place, you can torpedo attrition and get new staffers up to speed at a heartbreak speed. One of the ways to improve the onboarding experience is to use video. Here are two main reasons why:

  • You can design videos on any topic throughout the onboarding process and put initial employee onboarding on autopilot. For instance, you might have a general clip that covers the company culture, vision, mission, and values, so hires can get an immediate idea of what to expect working for your company.
  • Using video in the employee onboarding process lets new hires view back training materials on-demand without having to reach out to anyone asking to repeat certain things.

Bottom line: One of the key advantages of using video is that it streamlines the employee onboarding process and empowers new hires to learn things on autopilot without having to involve the upper echelon.

Here are a few tips on how to make training videos new hires will actually watch:

1) Make it funny – If you can make them laugh, you will hold their attention and will have the opportunity to drive your message home. Just remember to keep the humour on-brand and PG.

2) Showcase your culture – Your workplace culture is one of the biggest reasons great talent comes to work for you. Show all the great things that make your culture great and make them excited to get started.

3) Make it short – There is a lot to take in when you start a new job. Keep your training videos short so they will actually be remembered. Rather than make them watch a 15 minute video, break the content up into shorter chapters. Increased engagement and retention.

I’ve taken what I learned years ago and translated it to a few hours of training screen videos paired with a detailed outline. It only took a few days to put it together, but it literally saves me an insane amount of time. I’ve received incredible feedback from my team (both in previous positions and at my agency) because the training structure allows someone to learn by watching the task be done, listening to the thorough explanation, and/or follow along with the detailed outline. Plus, it’s easy to run through later if one of them needs a refresher.

To maximise efficiency, pre-recorded video content should be created for each step in the onboarding and/or training process. This also includes videos to be given as feedback, or if a prospect gets stuck in a particular section. That way, you will find yourself saving time as you don’t need to answer any manual questions from the prospect, and you can scale much better as a result. Making sure that the video content itself is to the point and actionable is key for this to work well, otherwise questions will be inevitable.

Using video for training adds to efficiency. Businesses can email out orientation videos ahead of the first day on the job or they can show a video to a large group at once. Video is very flexible and adaptable, and our clients appreciate that. 

At Wrigley Media, we are noticing a trend forming due to COVID19. Video is the best way for clients to educate on new safety protocols and precautions that have been born out of the pandemic. 

There also seems to be a desire to be more creative with training videos than before. For one client, we took a typical conveyor-safety video, and gave it a ‘MythBusters’-type approach conducting an experiment to demonstrate the force and danger of conveyor machinery. 

From where we sit, the more entertaining and the better the quality, the more effective the video will be overall. And that’s true for all video, not just ones used for training!

Ideas about video that may be useful to share…

  • Using multiple speakers in the video keeps viewers interested longer
  • Changing the video’s background piques interest
  • If the video is from a live recording, having the main speaker repeat audience questions is helpful
  • The right background music makes a world of difference
  • Pop-up questions/statements on the screen reinforces key learning
  • Intentional pauses allow viewers to reflect, take notes, solidify learning
  • Beneficial because it allows for one consistent message that reduces misinterpretation from diverse thinkers later
  • It is more cost effective than having the speaker repeat the message for every orientation
  • A company’s mission, core values, and goals can be included powerfully evoking strong emotional connection

Videos for onboarding and training can be best used when teaching a skill. Illustrating a particular method of doing things can be helpful, especially for those who are more visual in terms of how they take in new information. In our case, the results we got very favorable results, as our new employees were able to have a good grasp of it very quickly. 

Our training videos are a series of animated clips that are on-demand. We make sure that they won’t exceed ten minutes to accommodate those with short attention spans. We use one narrator to do the voiceover and include a question or two at the end of each segment to jog the viewer’s memory.

Here at Render Pilots, we believe sharing the unique ways that others are using video will encourage others to embrace video as a helpful tool in their daily work lives. We’ll be continuing this series over the next few weeks–if you’re interested in deep-dives with one expert, subscribe to our Youtube Channel so you don’t miss the next one.