April 22, 2016


The value of video training in the workplace

Joining a new company isn’t easy. In addition to navigating a new office and meeting dozens of new co-workers, there’s the small detail of employee training. This often involves a tremendous barrage of information on policies, practices and procedures in a very short timeframe, just as the new employee is trying to adjust. Culture shock isn’t quite the right phrase. Let’s call it office shock.

It isn’t management’s fault that new hires are swept up in an avalanche of details. How else are they going to quickly get up to speed? Many companies do their best to manage the flow of information so that employees aren’t totally overwhelmed; scheduling training sessions over multiple days and allowing time for acclimation to the work environment.

Few doubt the importance of new employee training. Successfully instilling the right values and knowledge from day one is a big determinant of future performance. It isn’t an overstatement to say that training can make or break a worker’s effectiveness. But traditional classroom training spanning hours of the day for a week or more isn’t always helpful. Nor is it always feasible.

The recent advent of widespread work from home arrangements has added a new challenge to in-person training programs. For some large organizations, it’s difficult if not impossible to get employees into the office to participate in training. Remote answers were required to bridge the geographic and education gap. Luckily, video has proven an invaluable solution.

Broadcast video facilitates effective employee training through its ability to reach remote and younger workers. Studies show that both groups have requested – in some cases practically demanded – that live video play a larger, more integral role in the workplace. Video’s popularity is due to its scalability, reach and the fact that it can be processed at a personal, comfortable pace.

Then there’s the fact that video doesn’t require any kind of travel. It can be accessed as easily at the office as it can be at home. This maximizes distribution and minimizes disruption while saving organizations money. Citing a Microsoft report, uStudio reported that companies using video for e-learning save close to $14 million each year.

Combine this with research from Forrester showing that employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a training video than read a training document and the video’s cost-effective value becomes practically inarguable. With an enterprise content delivery network infrastructure in place, companies can press the video advantage as far as it will go.

What kinds of training is video best for? It goes beyond just onboarding new hires. According to uStudio, video is adept at any one of these pursuits:

Training new employees
Most companies allocate two or three days to new employee training. That’s a tall order in a very small window. Rather than force employees to scale an Everest of paperwork, companies should diversify the medium for information. Some paperwork is inevitable, but things like benefits and perks might be better explained through a broadcast video that can make the material engaging and even fun. Any video shorter than five minutes is easily digested and understood, allowing employees to retain the information longer.

Explaining fundamentals
It happens to everybody. You’re hard at work months or even years after you’ve been hired, and suddenly you realize that you don’t know the corporate procedure for your task. This is usually because of the time that has passed since your initial training, but also because many people don’t retain written information well. Companies would do well to make a series of brief videos explaining basics (things like how to log expenses in the system) to save both time and money. Doing so would allow workers access to the information without disrupting others to ask for it.

Peer-to-peer training
One of a training team’s most valuable resources are employees who have been with the organization for long enough to know the ins-and-outs of the business. These employees should be featured in videos as subject matter experts. Videos could focus on tips that wouldn’t be found in traditional training documents (think life hacks for the corporate world). Best of all, senior, knowledgeable staff would only have to record the videos once to have a lasting effect.