November 9, 2015

Article

5 steps to getting video efforts off to a good start

Video can be an extremely powerful employee engagement tool, especially as it helps workers take in content in intuitive, convenient ways. However, getting a video project off to a good start isn’t always a simple matter. Video is powerful, but it’s not easy. You can’t just record your workers talking and expect to have the content get out to other employees and make a meaningful difference in their work lives. Instead, you must develop strategies for creating excellent content, ensuring smooth production, distributing content and getting employees to buy into the strategy.

The complexity of video can make it intimidating as an engagement tool, but you shouldn’t let those challenges come in between you and an ambitious video plan. Following these five steps can put you in an optimal position to use video as an engagement tool.

1. Figure out exactly why you want to use video
A broad, unfocused strategy will not get you far when it comes to video plans. You may eventually want video to be a huge cog in your corporate machine, but you need clear, easily definable and measurable goals for your initial foray into video. Having a precise strategy at the outset of a project will ensure you not only stay focused on your goals, it will also provide a barometer that you can use to measure your video plan over the course of its early life.

For example, you may want to use video to create clearer connections across a geographically diverse workforce. This means you would likely be focusing on livestream events of town hall meetings and similar sessions, with that content being made available on demand for those that cannot attend live. At the outset of your project, you should be putting your internal marketing efforts into building excitement for these events, not just talking about the potential of video in a vague way. Having a clear vision for your project is invaluable in making it focused and easy for workers to get behind.

2. Make sure the technology works well
Any new business strategy will be met with skepticism by at least some portion of the workforce. Generally speaking, people won’t be too opposed to video, but there may be some resistance to having time taken up for meetings. Some employees may also be intimidated by the technology itself. You must make sure that video performs precisely as it should, especially early on, to assuage any concerns people may have about the plan.

Let’s face it, plenty of businesses have experienced problems rolling out new technologies, only to see those strategies never be embraced because of the initial difficulties. You don’t want user problems accessing video, getting good performance or otherwise engaging with your plans to derail your project. Make sure you are fully prepared for video from a technical perspective before trying to use it as an engagement tool.

3. Find some champions
Having a group of workers, with representatives at multiple levels of the company, who can champion a new strategy is vital in getting employees to buy in. You don’t just want people to begrudgingly watch videos because it is mandatory. Instead, you want to generate excitement about the potential of the content and have a clear understanding of how it can improve their work experience. Having their peers already behind the technology makes video feel more like an opportunity for them, not a new policy they need to deal with. Having a few champions in each department to talk up how the company will be able to use video can generate the excitement your project needs.

4. Make sure your workers understand why video matters to them
Putting champions in place can eliminate any initial concerns about a company’s ability to use video in a meaningful way. However, you also need to ensure that your employees understand why you are launching a video strategy. Transparency is more important than ever in the modern office as workers can quickly fall prey to disillusionment if you are not intentional about keeping them plugged into to corporate strategies. Don’t let video feel like a top-down initiative that exists for little more than improving productivity. Instead, make sure your workers know what video can do for them and why they should embrace the content format.

5. Have a plan for ongoing improvement
A variety of factors may limit your initial video tactics. Having a clear strategy for expanding, redefining and improving your video capabilities over time is incredibly important if you want to keep the content relevant to your audience. Make sure you start your video engagement plan with a clear purpose and an idea of where you want video to go during the foreseeable future.

Engaging your workers is only possible if they are behind the methods you are using to reach them. Forcing them to adapt to processes and technologies they are actively indifferent about won’t help them. Following these five steps will help you ensure video serves as a relevant employee engagement tool.