December 1, 2015

Article

5 ways video can keep your employees engaged this holiday season

Late November through the beginning of January is one of the most difficult times for many businesses. Organizations must cope with workers who are taking huge amounts of time off to enjoy the holidays, not to mention the general office closures that come into play. All told, many people will be spending a lot of time out of the office on paid time off, and that is only the tip of the iceberg. You will also likely have employees working from home more often and many people traveling to be with family and working from those remote locations instead of taking time off. All told, the holiday season can put a huge dent in your office's productivity.

To be fair, your employees aren't just going to stop working just because it is the holiday season. They are professionals who are still going to do what needs to be done. However, they may be somewhat distracted and disengaged during this period, especially if they are out of the office for extended periods. Few things will put a damper on a work day like having family hanging out in the next room thinking that "working remotely" really means "free to engage in long conversations." Targeted employee engagement strategies can ensure your workers stay properly connected to the office, even if they are working in a house that is running an ugly holiday sweater contest, not maintaining a peaceful work environment.

Enterprise video solutions can play an instrumental role in keeping your employees connected to the office during the holidays. Five video strategies that can deliver on this end include:

1. Light messages from company leaders
The holidays aren't a great time to have your executives hop onto the office floor, three-piece suit and all, and lay down the hammer on work productivity. That message is just going to leave your workers frustrated and feeling disconnected from corporate leaders. Similarly, a formal letter from HR may not be the best way to reach out to your workers. At the same time, you don't want to ignore the holidays. You want to be able to celebrate with workers while gently reminding them that they still need to maintain professional standards of availability and productivity when they are officially working – even if it is at home.

With this in mind, casual, fun video messages from corporate leaders can go a long way in letting employees feel like executives understand the more relaxed tone of the holidays, and make them more receptive to what is being said. At the same time, HR managers can remind employees of official rules and everybody can get through the holiday season feeling engaged with how the office culture will shift during the celebratory period.

2. Video meetings
Virtual meetings become something of a necessity around the holidays as people have wildly varied availability. Particularly, employees who are traveling frequently or spending more time working from home will make it difficult to get everybody into the office for an in-person session. There's no need to languish in impersonal phone meetings where everybody is unsure if they can start talking without interrupting somebody else and people aren't really connecting as they work to collaborate. Video meetings let your employees see one another while they gather, making it much easier to run a meaningful, productive session even if your workers are spread out in disparate locations.

3. Employee-created content
Are your workers feeling disconnected when they are away from the office? Are you concerned that people who can't make the holiday party will end up missing out on a meaningful opportunity to get a feel for your organization's culture? Let your workers create their own videos and they could be left with new opportunities to connect and share their new, more fun, work lifestyles as they find ways to remain productive around the holidays.

For example, have a few of your employees carry a camera around during the holiday party and film major events. With a bunch of people doing this, you can put together a broader picture of what was happening and make the video available on demand for employees that missed out.

You could also have employees working from home give colleagues an informal tour of their newly decorated home work space and maybe share a bit about why working from home matters so much to them during the holiday. With a couple of workers from different teams all taking these types of videos, you can leave your in-office and remote staff feeling connected and understanding how everybody is working through the holiday season.

4. Celebrate your exceptional workers
Focusing on others is one of the many joyful elements of the holidays. Gift giving often leaves people feeling gratified, and receiving presents can make somebody feel cared for. In the office, you can achieve both of these feelings through video content that celebrates workers who have made exceptional contributions to the company in the past year. These celebratory videos simultaneously create a personal connection between workers and make individuals recognize that the company does value them. The result is a positive atmosphere throughout your workforce that reflects the spirit of the holidays.

5. Emphasize corporate achievements
Many businesses try to create a culture of teamwork and unity, but fall short because workers end up feeling isolated. Video can overcome this by highlighting how different departments contribute to corporate success. These benefits are limited, however, if you don't stop to celebrate how the company has grown during the past year. While your workers pause in their personal lives to celebrate the end of one year and start of another, you can use video to emphasize what the company has accomplished in the last 12 months and where it is going. This can leave your workers feeling connected to the business' success and rejuvenate them heading into another year.

The holidays can be a difficult time for many businesses, but video can help you keep you workers engaged wherever they are. Using video strategically reinforces your culture and can establish a holiday spirit throughout your company.