Using video as a tool to supplement and scale corporate employee training programs is no longer a new idea.
Today video training has the case study endorsement of Fortune 100 blue chips like IBM and Microsoft. It has the research-driven support of leading analysts at Forrester, Bersin, and Gartner. It even has the full adoption of the Learning & Development industry — more than a few of the world’s leading L&D associations include video as a core facet of their own member training, onboarding, promotion, and communications.
So why then hasn’t every organization introduced video into its training programs? And why then do so many businesses resist doing more with video, choosing to invest ever more in travel costs and physical classrooms rather than shareable, scalable video training?
The answer is different at every organization. Some businesses are comfortable relying on what’s always worked before. Some just don’t make it easy for teams to experiment with new methodologies. Some are content to just check the box and consider L&D “covered.”
Still, there isn’t a trainer we’ve met that doesn’t have a notebook filled with great ideas for how to use technology to deliver more and better training. Which raises a key question: in an era where training professionals have all seen the opportunity for video in supporting learning and development, how can someone turn that potential into reality in their own organization?
The answer might just be to learn from our colleagues.
Learning and development teams around the world have already begun to implement video in numerous ways. In today’s corporate training environment, video plays a variety of roles, from standardizing onboarding processes and providing live product demonstrations to fostering social learning and coaching by subject matter experts. Some of the innovative ideas in use today come from experienced trainers, while others come from the employees themselves.
So just how are modern training organizations using video to support and scale their learning and development activities? Let’s take a look at some of today’s latest trends and evolving strategies.
Improve the onboarding process
No matter who they are or how much experience they may have, every new hire will need time to get up to speed. While no two positions will require exactly the same onboarding process, video training can help make the learning curve more manageable for everyone. A well-planned onboarding video library can help you share much more information with your new team members than would be possible face-to-face, including cultural introductions, company tours, and organizational overviews.
Make basic skills training universally available
Every organization has its own way of doing things, from scheduling meetings and booking conference rooms to signing emails and making conference calls. Within a few months of their first day, these are the skills every employee knows as second nature. Yet those fundamentals aren’t always obvious to your new hire — in all likelihood, they’re used to someone else’s way of doing things, and often won’t know the right steps to take at your organization until they accidentally stray from the path. Here video can be a lifesaver, helping your new hire find the information they need to get the basics right.
Actually show how your product or service works
There’s a dirty little secret most organizations hate to admit — many of your people have, at best, a passing understanding of how your products actually work. And likely even fewer can accurately describe how your customers use your offering, or how it differs from your competition’s. Especially for those organizations with technically or mechanically complex offerings, or those targeting a market their employees aren’t a natural part of — including virtually every B2B business out there — it’s just too difficult for a person to learn every last detail about what you do. Unless you show them. Recording and sharing product information and demonstration videos can provide that extra level of insight that helps an organization develop the best, most knowledgeable team. Today organizations are working to show everything about how their products and services work, with field videos, screen recordings, end-to-end walkthroughs, and more.
Break down organizational silos
Few businesses can credibly claim to have no silos in their corporate structure. Most of us know well where the org chart overlaps and where it doesn’t — and when teams don’t naturally cross paths from time to time, there is often little opportunity for employees to learn about what their colleagues on those teams are working on. And when teams don’t understand each other’s work, they tend to collaborate poorly (if at all). Cross-departmental training has sprung up as a solution to this issue — helping employees better understand how each part of the business functions by training them on the basics of each group. Video can be a simple tool to make rolling out a cross-training initiative more efficient and cost-effective.
Provide coaching for new management
More and more businesses are recognizing the impact of proper management training, adding new programs, mentorship opportunities, and coaching processes each year. But in an era where managers are more pressed for time than ever before, many organizations are finding that video can help ensure new managers get the opportunity to fully experience an organization’s management training. Supporting management training with video allows new managers to view each training course when it fits into their schedules, helping them take time to really engage with the content and better understand it. And with video, managers can instantly replay segments should they want to review a point for clarification. Video has even proven to be a valuable tool for traditional management training efforts as well.
Provide anytime, anywhere training for front-line employees
For many businesses, your front-line staff such as retail employees and customer service, are the face of your organization. This, however, can create a significant hurdle for those businesses, as the front lines can often be where turnover is greatest. Local managers across many industries are in effect always hiring — and for the L&D team, that means new hires may be starting anytime, anywhere, often without anyone more senior than the local manager to show them the ropes. To assist these often decentralized employees, learning and development teams are turning to video to provide a consistent training experience for all employees — and one that’s available anytime and anywhere, even on employee’s tablets and smartphones if needed.
Improve your sales enablement practice
Sales staff are among the busiest at just about any organization — all but the most engaging information may be lost in the shuffle of client visits, new business calls, and more. Further complicating issues, most sales teams are spread across a market — even around the world — hindering the company’s ability to bring the team together for a quick update or demonstration. Using video in sales enablement, of course, can help with that. For many sales enablement teams, video is more than a welcome helping hand, it’s creating a competitive advantage — boosting onboarding and training, enhancing communications, and attracting and connecting with prospects.
Ensure everyone has taken compliance training
Your ability to educate employees on the laws, regulations and company policies that apply to their daily job responsibilities is critical. And an effective compliance training program does more than just reduce regulatory and legal risk. It also helps foster a positive corporate culture built on accountability, integrity, and respectful interaction. Video training can be an especially effective way to cover delicate and important compliance issues, including emergency procedures, sexual harassment laws, and more. And not only does video provide an ideal medium for these topics, the technology can also help you ensure your employees are actually completing these essential courses. Video analytics included in many modern video platforms offer user-level detail, allowing your team to know whether an employee has viewed a video, and if they’ve watched it through to the end.
Expand the reach of your conferences
Even as remote training by video becomes commonplace, often there is simply no substitute for a live event. More and more organizations are finding that marquee events, be they internal-only conventions or industry-focused public conferences, are extremely valuable tools for sharing information, connecting employees with each other or the industry, and educating a large audience all at once. Attending these events can boost employee morale and engagement in a way that’s almost impossible to replicate during business-as-usual moments. But for oft-cited reasons of timing and budget, attendance is seldom possible for every event and every member of your team. When attendance isn’t possible, a video recording of the event can be the next best thing. Recording events — or even live-streaming them — can be a great way to share the excitement and insight gleaned from all those keynotes and breakouts, with anyone, anytime, anywhere.
Capture and share institutional knowledge
In today’s businesses, virtually everyone is a subject matter expert in something. Whether it’s how product architecture is drawn, how individual teams manage data, how leads are processed through CRM systems, or how the supply chain is organized, someone on your team knows the intricate details of how each and every part of your business actually works. Problem is, as noted by the New York Times, if you haven’t captured that knowledge it literally walks out the door with your employees. The average business loses 12% of its workforce annually — those that haven’t documented their institutional knowledge may wake up to find it’s gone to work for the competition, and no one left has the answers. Video meets this potential crisis with a quick and easy solution — preserving and sharing the insights of your experts can be as easy as just pressing “record.”
Role play with video
Ultimately, much of an organization’s success lies simply in the way employees interact with customers and each other. Many businesses have invested lavishly in this area, scripting interactions, templating communications, hoping to standardize how the company presents itself — both inwardly and outwardly. Video role-playing can run the gamut of formal to informal training. Many organizations are finding that simply recording their star employees in action can help to identify behavioral traits and actions that help them succeed.
Provide video-enabled coaching
From telemarketers and customer service reps to new managers and even professional athletes, there’s no shortage of evidence that recording and reviewing one’s performance with a coach can be a quick and effective way to diagnose issues and identify opportunities for improvement. Recording key employee activities for review can help professional coaches actually see where an employee is working at their best, and show employees exactly where and how they may be getting off track. Here video can serve as an objective witness, helping a coach to play back specific moments and offer feedback.
Capture knowledge shared in meetings
Often the information shared in meetings at most organizations can vary widely, from facts about a given project, to more open-ended concepts like organizational priorities and processes. This information can be enormously valuable as a reference for future meetings, as review material for employees who couldn’t attend in person, as part of the onboarding process for new hires, and for driving understanding and alignment with other teams across the organization. Meeting video creates a useful record of the hows and whys of past decisions, the ideas that were brainstormed, and the insights exchanged. Without the recording, this valuable information is often lost shortly after the meeting wraps up. With video, however, all the insights, decisions, and other important bits of information can be recalled anytime from any device. The team can return to the initial discussion to find all those ideas that haven’t yet been implemented and the insights they may have forgotten. This is why a growing number of organizations are making meeting recording a part of their regular business rhythm, including project kickoff discussions, status update calls, engineering sprint reviews and retrospectives, and business scorecard reviews.
Capture knowledge shared in deliverable reviews
Meetings are certainly one key source of informal knowledge sharing. But there is another source of informal teaching – one that most organizations rely on to teach processes and quality expectations — deliverable reviews. These interactions are often little more than a manager sending an email or swinging by an employee’s desk with a pen in hand, making a few notes on the document, deck, or other deliverable, and offering ideas for improvement. But while the interaction seems small, the opportunity for learning is significant. Deliverable reviews teach employees the right way to create documents and other forms of communication that adhere to an organization’s standards. They teach format, structure, and content. They impart design expectations. They help employees come to know how the organization makes a case for change, shares data, delivers updates, and virtually every other aspect of getting work done.
Yet for all that value, the typical review is done in the moment — beneficial only to the employee who received it, and generally impossible to reference later. Video output reviews offer an alternative. With video, a reviewer can record the deliverable on their screen, as well as their onboard laptop webcam to capture their spoken feedback. Together, the recording can show what changes were made, specifically where the reviewer had feedback, and how the reviewer would like to see a new version modified — with minimal chance for miscommunication.
And because video can be saved and shared, a manager can provide recorded deliverable reviews to new team members as needed, giving that new person a real-world example of how to take on the task while saving the manager the time that would otherwise be required to repeat the information.
In our complete white paper, 14 Ways to Use Video for Formal and Informal Learning, we help L&D practitioners make the business case for doing more with video, including:
Today’s learning and development professionals already understand the potential that video technology offers. Make sure your organization isn’t missing out!