Video has become ubiquitous in our daily lives – whether that is through sites like YouTube, Instagram, or Snapchat. As the video capabilities of smartphones have increased, people have the ability to watch and digest video anywhere they go. With visual media becoming more intertwined with how we communicate, it only makes sense to incorporate video into training and onboarding programs.
When onboarding with video, you want to make sure your onboarding process is an experience that is memorable and gets the employee excited and curious about their new position, while at the same time being informative and helpful. Video helps achieve this because it is more engaging than just reading an employee manual. You actually get to see a variety of faces and things that you may not see in your onboarding or new-hire orientation sessions. In addition, you can sometimes cover more ground with an interactive video.
For example, you could have a video that covers different departments and sections of the company, which is much more of an experience than just providing them with a pamphlet of words and pictures of the company. In fact, you could include a pamphlet and have a video supplement the pamphlet of the company. That way, they get an interactive experience and really get to see the company, but they also have a pamphlet to take home and show others or to refer to from time-to-time.
It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that just because you put video into your course doesn’t mean it will instantly become some magic formula of success. An effective video, just like an effective article, should be put together in digestible chunks, be authentic, and engaging. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind:
A great start is letting the experts discuss the topic themselves. Once you’ve established your learning objectives, all a webinar really needs to be great is an expert—preferably within the company—and a video camera. For example, suppose you are training new sales reps. Schedule a time with one of your marketing managers when the two of you could meet, plan, and hold a subject-oriented webinar. By having experts engage with new employees, you add credibility to the topic, and you help put them at ease by providing them with a set of tools and techniques from a great source.
In addition, you could have HR or management members conduct ongoing webinars over the course of the onboarding process to provide the new employee with as much support as possible during their transition into their new position.
There are many ways to explain a process, and some work better than others. You can write down the specific directions of a process, or create a presentation that combines words with pictures, explaining each step of the process along the way. Or, you could set up a screen capture of the process while offering an audio explanation at the same time. Screen captures are great teaching methods for several reasons—they let the instructor talk in real time, which helps engage learners as if the instructor is right there with them. There are multiple screen capture programs available, and they are excellent tools to provide learners with an audio/visual look at a real-life process in action.
Using video tutorials to introduce your new employees to your company is another effective strategy. This strategy is particularly effective for those in the manufacturing and production industries. Video walkthroughs of the production floor can help new employees get accustomed to their job environment while showing them where to go for certain on-site emergencies. Video would also allow for a more detailed look at the intricacies of specific industrial machines, affording learners the ability to familiarize themselves with these machines without damaging the machine or hurting themselves.
Faces of The Company
Making a video that shows not just the senior members of the company, but employees that work in different departments is a great way to introduce new employees to your specific work culture and help them get a better feel for the company. You want the employees to feel at home and be comfortable in their new roles, and implementing this technique gives them that feeling that they are welcome. Also, it gives them an opportunity to see the real faces of employees and senior management of their place of work.
Like any training method, video-based learning is simply a tool in a toolbox. Keep in mind the length of the videos and test to make sure they are engaging, informative, and fun. And, don’t just plop that tool into an onboarding course. Add some of your own flare to it, keep the learner in mind, and make the information engaging.
Think about what you would like to see or learn about as a new employee. Think about the time when you were a new employee and consider adding that into your video. In the end, make sure your “screwdriver” fits the “screw” or you won’t be able to fasten it properly–or in this case, make your video effective for its learners.