October 26, 2015

Article

The video difference – 3 ways video ramps up engagement efforts

Employee engagement is a frustrating priority for many businesses. On one hand, it is incredibly important to keep workers engaged so they remain productive, happy in their work and valuable assets for the company. On the other, engagement is an exceedingly abstract concept. While you may be able to differentiate between engaged and disengaged employees with relative ease, figuring out why some workers seem primed to get the job done each day and others don’t seem to care is a huge challenge. Everybody’s different. They will respond to corporate messaging in their own way, be motivated by different types of incentives and find fulfillment through their work in distinct ways.

For example, one worker may hear a message from a CEO and think, “That’s just some corporate speak that they’re trying to use to get more productivity out of me.” Another employee may hear the same message and come away with key ideas about how they can help the company and start working harder. Similarly, an opportunity to watch a training video and learn a new skill may get that first worker excited, but overwhelm the second.

Because each employee is unique, no single communication strategy will reach every worker and spur engagement. You need diverse messages, varied educational opportunities and, most of all, programs that are accessible for employees to consume at their own convenience. Autonomy is the foundation for engagement – an employee who is self motivated is more likely to come into each day ready to work. Offering flexible tools helps your workers get the messages and materials they need to become engaged in a way that is most convenient for them.

Video is ideal in this area. A library of on-demand materials combined with occasional livestream events can reach workers in varied ways, helping to fuel engagement. Three ways video stands out within engagement strategies include:

1. It’s easy for the user
Asking employees to find 15 minutes to read a document, actually stay focused through the content and comprehend what they’re reading shouldn’t be a problem, right? Maybe not, under normal life circumstances. But in the office, employees are surrounded by distractions and spending much of their day looking at various forms of text that they must read and analyze. This makes reading an email from a C-level executive, for example, the same type of task as what employees are doing the rest of the time. Repetitive operations are boring, and getting workers to maintain focus is harder in this context.

Video, on the other hand, can provide a mental break to employees. They can sit back, put on headphones and spend a couple of minutes listening to somebody talk, watching a video presentation or otherwise engaging with the content. The ease of consuming video makes it feel almost like entertainment for a worker, even if the content is entirely related to work. Furthermore, making content available on demand means employees can get it whenever they need it, and they don’t have to stress out about finding time for a meeting or similar event on a busy day.

2. Video can be archived
We’ve already talked about video’s accessibility as being beneficial for workers. But there is another angle to on-demand content, even if it is a recording of a live event – you have an ongoing record in an archive that all workers can access. How many times have businesses run important training meetings for a group of employees, only to have a few workers absent that day or new employees start a few months later and miss out? How easily do best practices get forgotten a month or two after the event when leaders present them to the company?

One meeting won’t change your work culture. A single event won’t ensure that all of your workers are exposed to the same training and engagement opportunities. You can either pay your specially trained workers to take time away from their core competency to run special events on a periodic basis, or record them as videos, archive them and create a curriculum that is always available for employees. Having this archive of content ensures that nobody slips through the cracks and every worker has an opportunity to engage with training opportunities.

3. Video is personal
A letter from a CEO may have a some personal touches, but it isn’t the same as seeing the individual’s facial expressions, body language and mannerisms while he or she speaks. Corporate messaging is difficult in large part because disillusioned employees can easily set it aside as little more than a productivity initiative and not really pay attention. Video creates a more personal connection, making it easier for workers to see how passionate your leaders are about their jobs and helping even the most jaded workers buy into your strategies.

Employee engagement requires holistic plans, and video provides an ideal foundation for organizations that want to take those strategies to another level.