Internal communication is the keystone of every successful organization. Video can be a boon for a company, but it can be hard to quantify exactly how effective it is. Businesses also may struggle to deliver video because of the stress it puts on the network. No employee wants to sit through and watch a five minute video that takes 15 minutes to buffer. Without software-defined technologies, such as an enterprise content delivery network, a company can fail to get across their message through perhaps one of the most useful tools an office can utilize to date.
Video and internal communication
Companies are evolving with the technological market. More organizations are allowing for flexible schedules and telecommuting. While the changes are creating a happier employee, and in turn a more productive one, internal communication can sometimes get lost in the mix. A survey conducted by Melcrum, a communication research company, found that 66 percent of the respondents use video either regularly or in conjunction with other internal communication practices.
Take employee training for example. Once done completely in the office, the necessary procedure after hiring a new office worker can now be done completely through video. The only problem is, companies are now finding out that their network can’t maintain the stress brought on by having an on-demand video service.
Internal news announcements used to be made strictly through email, but the ability to stream has changed the landscape. Now, executives must reach the employees that aren’t at the office. This means a larger number of employees streaming, and a greater population retrieving the video through the company’s database. Having a stream cut out in the middle, or buffer endlessly, means that employees can lose that message or not be able to watch it at all.
Video has reconfigured the internal communications landscape and has brought it back down to a personal level. The COO of Melcrum, Rebecca Richmond, wrote a column for HRZone and pointed to the overwhelming statistics on video in the office. About 53 percent of respondents to the Melcrum survey expected employers to utilize video internally, while an astounding 92 percent agreed that internal communications is trending toward a more visual-based field.
At this point it’s glaringly obvious – employees are more engaged with video. But how exactly do you figure that out? Almost every application in an office has a way to know if it is effective or not, but video has more of an intangible aspect in the sense that it’s hard to understand how it is impacting the business.
Measuring the impact of video
According to Richmond, there are five elements that businesses must consider when figuring out whether or not they should incorporate video into their internal communications. Doing so allows the company to better track the installation and grasp how effective it is.
- Function: An organization needs to first ask itself what is the reason for switching to a video based internal communications system, and how it will train the department on when and how to utilize it. Another obvious point that needs to be brought up is whether or not the network can handle it. Outsourcing to an ECDN will allow a company to cut down on the amount of traffic going through the network, and optimize its LAN and WAN.
- Employees: Understand how employees will use video on-demand in their daily routine. Melcrum reported that 22 percent of respondents noted that their company’s videos included a rate and comment feature on videos. This is a useful way to get feedback on the effectiveness of certain videos and the impact it has had on the average employee.
- Planning: Work with the internal communications department to plan exactly what the videos will entail and what the end goal should be. Will the videos be training videos or internal announcements? How often should they be used? These are valuable questions to ask before spending any time producing them.
- Action: When the lights go on and the camera starts rolling keep in mind that consistency is key. Shy away from making longer videos, and always make sure the same quality is being achieved. Installing a view counter for videos is a great way to check whether or not employees are tuning in to watch what internal communications is pumping out.
- Numbers: The real research begins once the process is in place. Quality and effectiveness can be subjective words in relation to video. One employee may think the video covered everything it needed to, while another might believe it could have explored the subject further. Melcrum noted that 18 percent of organizations offer some sort of formal survey to gauge interest for the company’s videos, as well as effectiveness. This could be a survey that is sent around monthly, quarterly or annually.
Leveraging surveys and common tools like a rate and comment feature can provide both quantitative and qualitative feedback can lead to a means of measuring the impact of video use in internal communications.
Video can be a useful tool, but it shouldn’t be made without checking as to whether or not the network can support it. The extra stress it will put on the servers will be noticeable in the office. Outsourcing the data transfer process through an ECDN will provide relief for the network, maintain constant uptime for video streaming and support the consistent use of deploying videos internally.