Most business leaders will acknowledge that employees are among their most vital company assets. Unless employees are well trained, informed and engaged, a company or organization will not perform at its best. Internal communicators know that their role is to help meet business goals by giving employees the information they need to further the mission of the company or organization.
As an internal communicator, there are many media you can use to reach employees. Video can be an important and effective component in your employee communication mix. Whether you are an experienced video veteran or new to the video world, here are several benefits video can offer when you need to reach your employees.
Consistent messaging. With video you ensure that all employees see exactly the same message. By having a single video, you remove inconsistencies that may enter in when the message is delivered by an executive to several audiences at different times, or when multiple managers each deliver a message to their teams. Whether it’s a prerecorded on-demand video or a live video webcast, you can control how a message is scripted and delivered.
Effectively convey tone. Written communications just can’t capture certain subtleties as well as video. Body language, voice inflection and more can affect how an audience interprets a message. Video captures these elements well. In addition to the on-camera speaker’s presence, music, lighting and graphics can reinforce the tone. All these elements can work together to create an emotional connection. This can be important when seeking to motivate employees, or when your goal is to show the personality of a company leader or to capture your organization’s culture.
Easy global reach. Video allows companies and organizations that operate in many countries to easily reach a worldwide audience. Once it is edited and posted online, a prerecorded video can be viewed by employees immediately from anywhere around the world. For companies whose employees speak various languages, a single video can be delivered with translated subtitles or with voiceovers recorded in multiple languages. Live video webcasts are another way to reach a global audience. This format can be an effective substitute for face-to-face communications or for expensive executive road shows. A live video webcast enables an executive or small team to present to an online audience, receive questions immediately from viewers, and field them live. The entire workforce can be reached simultaneously and they can be engaged in a dialogue.
Delivery to multiple platforms. Many companies and organizations have an increasingly on-the-go workforce. Video can be formatted for delivery to many devices—whether traditional desktop or laptop computers, digital signage throughout your facilities, or mobile devices. While mobile video isn’t entirely new, it is still fun and novel to view a corporate video on your smartphone, tablet or other mobile device. This type of delivery increases the chances that an employee will want to watch your video—and that your message will get through.
Natural engagement. Videos are naturally engaging. A well-crafted corporate video will both educate and entertain the viewer. Spend time writing and refining your script for maximum effectiveness. As employee publications have evolved for the digital era, video is a natural way to enhance the written online article or report. For example, do you have an article in your employee e-newsletter that summarizes a community service event? Consider a video highlight reel that can be embedded into the article on your intranet.
Ideal format for showing rather than telling. Oftentimes, showing someone how to do something is better than explaining it in writing. Tutorial videos can be a great way to train employees. Maybe you need to demonstrate how to properly assemble a new piece of equipment. Show employees how it’s done in a video or video series. Want to train your sales force on the best way to explain a new service? Consider shooting a series of role-playing messages that show how to properly explain the service—and perhaps include some examples of how it should not be done.
Quick messages. Video is a great format for delivering short bits of news and information, such as brief news clips and key activity updates. In fact, employees might not view a long video in its entirety, unless it is highly entertaining. Be brief to maintain audience interest. If you’re delivering a complex message, consider dividing the message into separate, shorter video segments that can be rolled out in a series, such as one per week. Another approach is to use video to initially engage and excite the audience about a topic, then drive them to other communication vehicles, like a printed piece or an intranet article, for greater detail.
Secure delivery. Many internal communication videos contain information that should not be shared with non-employees. The good news is that secured video hosting, which can restrict access to these videos, is possible. If you have certain secure-video needs, be sure to discuss them with your IT and intranet team or consult with a third party that understands the process.
These are just some of the benefits video can offer your organization’s employee communication efforts.
Whether you use video now or plan on adding it in the future, be sure to measure its effectiveness. Review server stats to see how many views your video received and perhaps detect what part of the video was watched the most. Webcasts and training videos can also be delivered with a pre-video sign-in screen that captures the viewer’s name and other information—important considerations in certain scenarios, such as when you need to confirm that a particular employee accessed a training resource. In addition, surveys can be given pre and post-viewing, to help you gauge how well a message came through.
Video can be a great way to engage, motivate and educate your employees. Consider exploring new ways to integrate this medium into your internal communication mix.
Editor’s Note: This post is by Lawson Cox.