Use video to reach — and teach — your employees

No doubt your workforce is unique in many ways. However, they’re probably just like everyone else in that they are short on time and want a great communication experience  — one that’s engaging, easy to understand, and accessible when they want it and on their device of choice. How can you accomplish this? Make video one of your top communication channels and remember these six tips.

1. Video is more like life.

It conveys ideas visually and immediately using stories, metaphors, and action while engaging multiple senses. Messages received through multiple senses are more memorable than those that only engage one area of the brain.

2. Video is the best way to express a complex message.

But don’t get bogged down by overly complex ideas, details and formal language.

  • Keep your content high-level
  • If you need to convey detail, break it up into multiple, short videos

Many employers are using videos as a recruiting and informational tool for new hires, showing who they are as company and creating an emotional connection. Others are using video to drive connections with senior leaders, promote action on processes and deadlines, or to share knowledge about total rewards or benefits.

3. It takes about eight seconds for a viewer to determine the value of a message to you.¹

Getting key points across in less than a minute will increase the number of employees who watch the entire video

Our dwindling attention spans are driving this number lower — and a minute is longer than you think. Consider that most television commercials are 15 to 30 second spots, and anything longer feels like an eternity to most people.

While many factors go into determining the optimal length of a video, generally, the “shorter the better mantra” holds true because employees are busy. If you can get the key points across in less than a minute, you will increase the number of employees who watch the entire video. Remember to break longer topics into sections to increase attention and focus.

4. Not every video needs to be ― or should be ― in the same style, but they all need to be conversational and relatable.

  • Ensure a conversational writing style without fancy words. For example: “use” instead of “utilize,” “before” instead of “prior to.”
  • Use short, concise sentences to emphasize key messages.

5. There are numerous sources for great videos.

These include Do It Yourself, off-the-shelf from professional libraries (with or without tailoring options) or custom videos developed by a professional. As technology evolves, the cost of professionally-produced videos has decreased, making them an affordable communication solution for employers.

Moreover, many HR departments know an effective approach for some topics is creating engaging, “real time” amateur videos. One HR director and her team are filming short benefit and wellness videos using their cell phones and iPads, then pushing them out to employees via email. This is a great way to involve employees without asking them to make a significant time commitment.

6. Quality does matter.

The last thing you need is to have your audience miss the content of the video because they’re distracted with poor production quality. If you create videos in-house, pay attention to lighting, sound and recording quality, and editing/production. A modest investment in good editing software, equipment (e.g., tripod, microphone) and some basic training in video production can help maximize your investment.

1 Superlux, Atlanta, GA, 2017

About Lisa Beyer

Lisa Beyer is Associate Director for Willis Towers Watson’s Value-Added Services Communication Practice with more…
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