You don’t need us to tell you that video is a great tool for training.
Using video as a tool to supplement and scale your learning and development 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.
…But let’s get off the soapbox for a minute. You already knew that. In all likelihood, anyone who’s spent any time at all in a training role over the past half-decade has seen the learning opportunities video can create.
So why then hasn’t every organization introduced video into its learning organization? 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 [digital] notebook filled with great ideas for how to use technology to deliver more and better training.
The good news is, you aren’t alone — industry analysts are on your side, too.
Claire Schooley of Forrester Research recommends that every human resources and learning and development team consider all the opportunities technology offers as they look for new and innovative ways to share information.
“The face-to-face classroom is no longer the norm,” writes Schooley, “In fact, it’s an atypical and archaic approach for some organizations. HR and learning professionals use self-paced learning material accessed from a portal, online discussion groups that support a business line, user-produced video, learning communities that provide useful information and support, and online knowledge centers with PDFs, videos, and graphical information accessed through keyword searches.”
While every new means of curating knowledge deserves consideration, video is in a class by itself. Short of face to face communication, there is no better way to share knowledge than by video. Employee engagement surveys bear that out — according to Forrester Research, employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.
But that brings us back to our soapbox, with a central question yet unanswered: in an era where learning professionals have all seen the opportunity for video as a learning tool, how can one turn that potential into reality in their own organization?
Every year an untold number of innovative ideas are cut from corporate budgets, lost not for failure of insight or intelligence, but for a perceived lack of immediacy.
For learning and development professionals seeking to leverage technology to supplement and scale a training practice, the case for change cannot be made without first making the case for why change is essential right now.
Fortunately, early adopters in eLearning with video have drawn the path for others, complete with a host of statistics, data points, and ROI reports to help you make your case.
From increased effectiveness of employee training to greatly reduced training costs, the benefits of using video during the learning and development process are well documented. Here, we discuss seven of those benefits.
Video makes employee training more effective
A key challenge for trainers in every company, every industry, and every nation around the world is simply that of human memory. Recent data from the SAVO Group paints a striking picture: just 7 days after a training session, the average employee will have forgotten 65 percent of the material covered. What’s worse — after six months, that number jumps to 90 percent.
However, as a visually stimulating, multifaceted medium, video engages viewers in a way that lectures and documents—even PowerPoint presentations—rarely do.
Studies have shown that adding video can improve people’s ability to remember concepts and details — with effects that increase over time. Presentations that include visuals like video along with slide text are 9 percent more effective than text alone when audience comprehension is tested right away, but become a staggering 83 percent more effective when those tests are delayed.
That means that video not only gives your training content a boost as it’s happening — it also improves your audience’s ability to remember the information you presented longer.
Video reduces the cost of employee training
Especially for larger organizations, those with multiple offices or locations, or those with widespread channel or retail distribution points, a huge part of your training budget every year may be earmarked just for the expense of getting your team in front of your audience.
IBM has found that for traditional classroom-based training events, travel and lodging costs average upwards of 40 percent of the total event cost. After shifting just 50% of company training to eLearning, the company has netted $579 million in savings over a two-year period.
Microsoft too has found video a potent force for reducing the cost of training. The company’s internal video portal has become the go-to substitute for some in-class training and smaller events. According to the company’s own estimates, the video portal has reduced the costs for classroom training from approximately $320 per hour per participant down to just $17.
Gartner Research recommends video as a support tool, especially with regard to training and communications materials that may often be repeated. A recent report concludes, “There are cost and time savings to be made in reusing content, compared to running the same live conferencing session multiple times.”
And the cost savings accumulated by using video to supplement existing training processes — even substitute for some of them–is not the only way video lowers the L&D budget. Due to its ability to increase knowledge retention rates and reduce the time that exists between employee onboarding and sensitive decision making, video training increases compliance and reduces legal risks, such as the risk of lawsuits and infractions.
Video helps you train on-demand
It’s the excuse every trainer has heard each time a new class is put on the calendar: “I have a schedule conflict.”
Today’s meeting-centric organizational culture has left trainers in a bind — how to ensure everyone receives the right training when there’s seemingly never a moment when an entire team (to say nothing of an entire division or entire company) has open time on their calendars. Faced with that Sisyphean task, most learning and development teams can only schedule events for when it fits their own schedules and ask attendees to relay the information back to their teams.
There’s a better way. Recording a training session allows your company to make the session available online for everyone, ready for playback whenever your viewer has time. And as video search capabilities have improved, you can even take the idea further once you’ve developed a library of recorded training sessions — shifting from a “push” model that requires trainers to seek out live audiences, to a “pull” model where your team can record new sessions and make them available online, with employees searching for what they need to know when they need to know it.
Video drives consistency in training materials and experiences
For some topics and some organizations, there are certain subjects that simply must be uniformly taught. And as organizations grow in size, add offices and storefronts, expand operations, or open new sales channels, that’s becoming a significant hurdle for more and more L&D teams — there’s simply no way to put the training team in all those places at once. Often as a result, that critical training is delivered by non-trainers — local management or others “just filling in” — increasing the likelihood that the training experience in any one of your locations will be different from that in the others.
Leveraging video training solves that problem, providing a portable, consistent learning experience for every employee and ensuring that everyone receives that critical information the same way, regardless of who conducts the training.
Video helps you extend training across internal and external audiences
Too many corporate learning and development teams face a significant hurdle when it comes to collaboration for getting the word out.
When training is delivered face-to-face, there’s often little opportunity for trainers to leverage the promotional power of other teams in the organization — often the best they can do to help encourage training is not much more than include link to a signup sheet.
Making video available by training opens new opportunities for collaboration. Internal video training sessions can be included in just about any internal email — a medium where, it’s worth noting, conversion rates increase by an average of 21 percent when a video is included. Likewise, training video can be shared virtually anywhere else, from internal social networks and blogs to SharePoint-style collaboration sites to corporate YouTube video libraries and more.
Forrester Research also adds that video training systems be used to provide assistance to partners and customers outside to the company, too. “The extended enterprise enables learning for channel partners who sell the company’s product. It also reaches customers who need, for example, step-by-step product installation information, understanding of the financial options of their retirement plan, or tips on best practices for product use.”
For many subjects, the same training video can be shared both with internal and external audiences, with little or no modification required.
In our latest white paper, Your Anywhere, Anytime Corporate Classroom, 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!
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