Having been in the video training business since 2005, I’ve watched my clients incorporate video into all aspects of their training. It’s exciting to see how nimble video can be — how one tool has so many uses. It reminds me of the Swiss Army knife I had as a kid. It had a knife, screwdriver, bottle opener, tiny scissors and a toothpick.

Just like how I could use my pocketknife in any of my neighborhood adventures, you can leverage training videos throughout the entire employee life cycle. Here’s how.

Recruiting

Videos can play an important role in attracting talent during the recruiting process. They provide an accessible channel for a company to convey its mission, vision, values, culture and employee experience. Candidates can use video content to evaluate their fit with the company, and videos on your website can serve as online recruiters available anytime. A unique example is on the Cisco careers page, which makes it clear that the company wants to attract diverse, innovative and creative candidates.

Onboarding

There are many key messages that every new hire needs to hear and understand, regardless of pay grade. Benefit plan details can be confusing and overwhelming, and videos can deliver a consistent explanation and that new employees can re-watch with family members. Employers can deliver core values and guiding principles, such as accountability and ethics, via videos that feature senior managers to convey the importance of the content. This video from Dunkin’ makes it clear that friendliness, service with speed and serving great products are its employees’ primary goals.

On-the-job Training

Assuming your training videos are mobile-ready, employees can access them on the job at their desk, in their car, or in a warehouse or factory. Maintenance workers can re-watch a video on ladder safety on their phone and then immediately position the ladder accurately, or salespeople can review courses on handling objections and closing the sale in their cars before an important sales call.

Instructor-led Training

Videos can complement your instructor-led classes before, during and afterward. You can assign courses as pre-work to level-set the participants and provide a foundation for the class. Instructors can show videos during the class to trigger group discussion; topics like harassment and discrimination work in this format, so learners can discuss real-life scenarios. Finally, you can assign videos to follow up on classwork and reinforce the concepts.

Self-directed Learning

Open up your training library so employees can search and find the topics they are interested in. You might be surprised to see who starts taking supervision and leadership classes in the hopes of seeking a promotion. An introverted team member may seek out content to improve assertive verbal skills and interpersonal savvy. How can your training team possibly be aware of the private development goals for every employee? Help employees find the content that is meaningful to them.

Social Learning

You’ve probably watched a video that one of your friends shared on social media. The concept of social learning is the same: Employees can connect with their work friends. The learning activity feeds often inspire followers to take the same courses, and learners can engage in friendly competition when leaderboards track points assigned based on course completion.

Training Reinforcement

The goal of training reinforcement is to transfer learning knowledge from short-term to long-term memory. You can schedule and automate this process to make it more efficient. Emails with assessments and video recaps, sent in a series of days, weeks and months after the training, can be an effective tool to reinforce key learning points.

Benefits of Video

You now know how flexible video can be and its many uses for training employees. Some additional benefits include:

  • Accessibility: Videos are accessible on demand for every employee, anywhere, anytime.
  • Consistency: They enable a consistent learning experience. Every employee will hear the same message every time someone watches the video.
  • Efficiency: Offering on-demand video training can save time and money by eliminating the need for travel or time away from the office.

Tips for Your Search

Know that all videos are not created equal. If you begin evaluating off-the-shelf video libraries, ask your potential partners a few key questions:

  • Do they offer microlearning videos?
  • Do the videos have memorable and engaging visuals?
  • Are they SCORM-compliant?
  • Can you preview all of the courses in a free trial?
  • What level of support do they include for implementation and throughout the contract?

A Swiss Army knife should not be the only tool in your toolbox. Similarly, videos should not be your only method of training delivery — but they should definitely be part of your learning mix.

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