10 Tips for Training Employees with Video

How to create videos that connect, educate, and engage your remote-working employees.
10 Tips for Training Employees with Video
Cristian Stanciu

Many are now realizing that a company is only as good as its employees. So, businesses are increasingly investing in the development of their employees. One such effective development method is the use of employee training videos, especially for your remote workforce.

Here are 10 tips to make your videos effective.

1. Connect with Your Target Audience

A piece of sound advice even from an expert can stir up the rebel in a person if the message is wrapped and presented in the form of a formal lecture. Our ears are sympathetic to the suggestions from friends, colleagues, or anyone with whom we connect emotionally.

To achieve the best results with videos, begin by knowing your target audience, and then personalize the message and speak their language. In the case of employee training videos, one size doesn’t fit all. What Gen Z wants from the workplace, expects from the management, and wishes from the training staff, can be very different from the expectations of for instance, Millennials.

So, while planning the video training program, create a personal profile of the target learner. The average age, the educational qualification, common lingo, mannerisms, likes and dislikes are all factors to be considered before making the videos. Not just the message and the words, you need to use the right body language to connect with the audience.

2. Create Bite-Sized Videos for Easy Assimilation of Information

In the last two decades, we have progressed considerably in a number of fields, except in one key cognitive faculty — attention span. Add to this, the day-to-day workload and pressures that employees face make them unsuitable for long videos.

Break the training program into small chunks and create bite-sized videos that are no more than 6 minutes long. According to a study by MIT, the ideal length of a video is under 6 minutes; anything longer will wear down the viewer. Consider creating a micro-library with each video focusing only on one crucial point of the lesson.

Here’s a short (less than 5 minutes) video of Danone North America’s Employee Etiquette Video.

3. Focus on Production Quality

Businesses seem to slack off when they are not trying to impress the clients and customers. Employee training videos are the perfect example of such inefficiency.

It’s only a training program, so the videos don’t have to be of the best quality, right? Wrong. Don’t expect the employees to give their full attention and commitment to the training video if you are going to settle for poor production quality.

Pay attention to every detail. Video quality is important, but the sound, background, lighting, and even the attire the coach wears is vital. Don’t be afraid to outsource video editing if that’s the case. Despite what most businesses think, the cost of video editing is not that high these days.

A good question to ask yourself before releasing the video content: ‘Is this training video good enough to go online?’ If your answer is ‘no’, then you have to work on it again.

4. Annotate the Employee Training Video

Annotations in a video attract attention, engage the learners at all times, and are quite easy to remember and recall. They are easier to remember than the whole lecture, even if the video is a short one. Here are a few helpful tips on annotating a video:

  • Start and end the video with a short annotation. In the beginning, a few lines on what the video is about and the main points. End the video with a short summary with a list of main points discussed in the lecture.
  • Add subtitles or captions because 50% of people say that captions for videos are a must. Captions also help people understand the video when the sound is turned off.
  • Include the main ideas of the video during the presentation. It helps the learner stay attentive throughout the video.

5. Make the Training Video Interesting

Employee training videos with a dull and monotonous tone can put the learner to sleep. Keep the voice casual, informal, and friendly. It helps because 83% of viewers prefer a chatty and informal tone in the videos.

When the visuals, tone, and content are interesting, the learners respond positively.

They pay closer attention to what’s being taught, connect and engage with the coach, and absorb, learn, retain, and recall the info better and at will.

A pinch of humor or clever jokes can liven up a video. Alternatively, you can attach a ‘behind the scenes’ or ‘bloopers’ reel at the end of the video to make it interesting.

6. Make Use of the Rule of Thirds in Your Video

The rule of thirds is a filming concept where the frame is divided into nine grids with two horizontal and two vertical lines. Once divided, the intersections or meeting points of the lines are where the main subject or items of the video are placed or aligned.

Why is the rule of thirds so important? The line intersections are the areas where our eyes automatically rest or look. In the case of employee training videos, the coach or presenter is normally aligned to the grid meeting points.

Using the 3x3 grids to place the key subject(s) of the video will result in more aesthetically pleasing frames. Plus, this filming technique makes it easier for the learner to connect with the presenter and read information.

7. Keep the Training Program Simple and Straightforward

New or experienced employees, they are sure to have plenty on their plate already. Remember not to overburden your employees who are already exhausted and stressed. For this reason, use the training video to convey only the most important information. Declutter the program and only add the essentials.

This tip also extends to the way the essential information is presented. Do not overload the senses with unnecessary colors, bright light, and animation. Keep the video simple and straightforward. All the sundry information can be communicated to the employees through an office memo, staff meeting, or email.

8. Set a Clear Learning Goal for Each Video

Whatever the field, there is indeed so much to cover. But, do your employees need to learn everything?

Feeding the learners with too much information in a single video will only make them disinterested and increase their resistance to active learning.

For each video, set a clear learning goal based on the employee’s knowledge gap ascertained during the interview or quarterly employee review. The objective of every video should be to fill one of the shortcomings of the employee.

Having a clear learning objective has multiple benefits. The learner instantly connects and engages with the video, becomes an active learner, and gets the satisfaction of having achieved something.

9. Tell a Story

A story is a powerful tool. It captivates the audience and holds the attention until the end. Weaving the facts and figures into a story, giving the video a context, and conveying complex concepts in a creative and easy manner can help the employees understand and remember for a long time.

Teaching through stories or examples is an age-old concept. Remember the time our grandmothers used to tell moral stories to help build character? Storytelling as a training method works on the same principle.

For example, in gender sensitization training, a short scenario on discriminatory workplace practices can be used to highlight the issues and offer appropriate corrective actions.

10. Create Training Videos That Are Multi Platform-Friendly

If it was the 1990s or 2000s, it would have been fine for the training videos to be available in a single format. Employees nowadays have to juggle work, training, and personal life. They do not have the luxury to allot a specific amount of time each day for training videos.

The latest survey has found that 57% of videos are viewed on mobile devices, including tablets. So, make the learning process easy for the employees by creating multi platform-friendly videos that can be watched anywhere, anytime, and on any smart device.

Final Thoughts

Creating effective employee training videos is a challenge. Luckily, we have made it easier for you. There is too much at stake to leave employees without proper training and communication, because employees are the future of the company.

These 10 tips will help you create videos that connect, educate, and engage your employees 😉

About the author

Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media — a company offering video editing services to videographers, marketing agencies, video production studios or brands all over the globe. I can catch up with him on his blog or on LinkedIn.