U.S. employers spent more than $70 billion on workforce training in 2016, and video was a top technology investment. But no matter how much budget a company allocates to video training, employees won’t learn and retain information needed to do their jobs if the content isn’t engaging. And there’s another side effect: The business won’t see the benefits of effective staff training — increased productivity, higher sales and improved compliance for training assets, among others.
To develop online video content for training and communication that will educate and entertain employees, take a page from retail brands finding creative ways to use live video events to engage customers. In a recent webcast, Fritz Brumder, CEO and founder of interactive video platform Brandlive, joined me to discuss how companies successfully use streaming video. Here are a few tips for engaging employees with live video:
Cabela’s and SanMar rethink employee training
If a retail associate isn’t knowledgeable about a company’s products, they aren’t going to be successful at selling them. That’s why Cabela’s, a specialty retailer of outdoor recreation merchandise, turned to Brandlive to educate its associates about many of the various outdoor recreational products from camping to fishing. The company also made sure to include an interactive capability in the video platform it chose so that associates could get immediate answers to their product questions, even months after the live video wrapped up and became available for on-demand viewing.
Applying a little levity to the training process can also go a long way toward engaging employees, improving knowledge retention and getting staff to look forward to the next training event. That’s what the product trainers with clothing company SanMar do. The trainers liven up their regular Brandlive events with wholesalers by singing, performing comedic skits and joking around.
It’s a successful strategy that’s rooted in science. Studies show that our brains are more engaged by storytelling and, therefore, more likely to retain information. And using live video is more likely to stick, since 65 percent of the population are visual learners. In the end, the time to thoughtfully create training videos to educate associates pays off, according to data from PwC’s 2016 Total Retail report. Of the consumers surveyed, 40 percent report that a knowledgeable associate would improve their in-store experience.
Nova Medical and eBay prioritize quality communication
Many organizations rely on weekly live, interactive town halls to ensure their remote staff members can participate in important company conversations. Studies show that this kind of communication is crucial to employees’ job satisfaction.
What’s more, as an increasing number of companies offer remote work options, live video events are an important tool to help employees feel more connected to the company — and to demonstrate that their input is valued. An added bonus: video is a major money-saver. While in-person meetings are important, flying everyone at the company to a central location on a regular basis can get expensive. By utilizing Brandlive and live video, companies can keep communication consistent without the cost.
What’s more, live video allows employees across the organization to hear from executives year-round, not just at the annual all-hands. And when messages come from the top, they tend to have more impact. Sue Chen, CEO of Nova Medical, subscribes to this approach. She connects with her staff regularly through a live video program via Brandlive called “NovaLive” that covers product training, retail education and more.
Video poses an opportunity to give employees a voice within the larger company more regularly, too. Think about employees with specialized expertise, deep insights and best practices that would be useful for other team members to learn from. Use live video to give those internal experts a platform to impart their wisdom and answer questions from their colleagues.
eBay, for example, had one of its longtime employees (employee No. 3, in fact) share his knowledge of the company with the e-commerce site’s seller community so they could, in turn, use that information to better engage with their own audiences.
Tips for using streaming video at your company
These are just a few examples of how businesses are already using streaming video to give a fresh edge to their employee training and communication programs. But there’s plenty more to learn! Whether your company is still considering how streaming video might fit into your internal communications strategy, or you’re eager to take your efforts to the next level, check out our “Best Practices for Your Internal Communications” webinar. You’ll learn tips and tricks to increase employee engagement across your streaming programs — and learn how to track and prove ROI.
Also be sure to check out this customer story from Ragan Communications. Creating engaging content is key to making sure the video assets being produced are memorable, and consequently so that the training is effective for employees. Ragan Communications approaches this from a story telling angle, creating an engaging delivery through weaving stories into the content to make the material stand out.