Technology is changing. How we use technology is changing – both as consumers and in the workplace. The ongoing digital transition is impacting the way organizations train and how they track and measure as technology becomes more sophisticated and robust.
More than ever, training groups are required to show business value and business results. Video is especially impacting the way that organizations train. Getting video in front of employees in the time of need is critical – both live and on-demand.
As stated by a leading training guru Marc Rosenberg:
” … frontline managers and executives are increasingly looking for ways to get much better results from their people without taking them away so much from the work.”
What Is and Isn’t Changing
According to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus:
“The only thing that is constant is change.”
This is especially true in today’s age of technology. As stated by Bill Gates, another great mind:
“We are changing the world with technology.”
Although change is constant, not everything is subject to change. This is relevant in the world of visual-based communications and workplace learning.
- What’s changing – the technology, software, processes, and approaches to communication and training.
- What’s not changing – the types of video-based communications, messaging and training. The C-Level still provides executive communications, media releases, business notification, and town hall meetings. Executives still conduct meetings and provide leadership. Marketers still advertise and promote. Trainers still educate and train people on products, services, processes, operations, and more.
- What’s changing – where and how people access their content, especially when it comes to device choice.
- What’s not changing – the need for companies to provide communications, information, and training live and on-demand when, where and how it’s most effective.
- What’s changing – companies are realizing exactly how valuable human performance improvement is to organization effectiveness and efficiency. Training groups provide business value as an outcome of their workplace learning. This is especially true as they continue to embrace video more than ever.
- What’s not changing – the need to drive business results and positively impact the bottom line.
According to the International Society of Performance Improvement (ISPI), performance improvement (PI) touches many aspects of an organization – aligning strategy, defining leadership, building talent, creating culture, and influencing markets.
Perhaps one of the most important changes is the demand and expectation of content to be readily available and easily accessible. At the time of need, information must be exactly where individuals want or need it to be. A critical component of PI is for organizations and training groups to provide performance support, as per Elliott Masie:
“Performance support is any learning modality, resource or asset that is accessible and applicable at the moment of need. It is embedded in the work process such that the learning is accessed in the context of the workflow and helps solve a very specific business problem.”
Organizations and training groups must provide information and assistance on the same issues and items they previously received training on. However, these needs must be fulfilled immediately and on-premise to support the organization properly.
Does this mean traditional training must be reduced? No. Nor should it impact whether training is conducted live, on-demand, in a classroom, or via distance. In fact, performance support should be embraced as a complement to traditional formal instruction.
Dr. Conrad Gottfredson and Bob Mosher describe when people need and seek learning in Five Distinct Moments of Need:
- When they are learning a new concept or skill for the first time (New).
- When they want to deep-dive and learn more (More).
- When they want to apply or remember something (Apply).
- When they need to solve a problem or fix something that has gone wrong (Solve).
- When something changes (Change).
- The last three learning needs are especially relevant to the use of performance support tools.
As mentioned in the Masie quote, performance support tools can be anything from print materials to electronic media including interactive pdfs or slide decks, eBooks, animation and, of course, video.
Value and Role of Video to Enhance Performance Improvement
Video is playing a significant role in the enterprise space for communications and workplace learning. It might be helpful to clarify that video is much more than a message, presentation, or training session distributed in the workplace or on a DVD. Video is anything that involves visual and audio content, including content transmitted over proprietary corporate networks or the public Internet. It may feature a live program, event, training session, executive meeting, or other communication. It could consist of animation, converted film, a series of pictures, PowerPoint, or computer-generated messaging.
According to Wainhouse Research’s 2015 Enterprise Streaming Solution’s Market Sizing & 5-Year Forecast, the enterprise streaming solutions market is projected to grow 19 percent in 2016. In Kaltura’s 2015 State of Video in the Enterprise, he finds that 91% of respondents found video makes executive communications more personal and relatable, while 96% said video helps train employees better and faster.
As stated by David Lamb in Enliten’s 2015 Trends and Perspectives, a new content paradigm is underway:
“There is real interest in video-based simulations, sophisticated virtual world gaming simulations, visual mobile performance support, video-based user-generated peer-to-peer programs.”
When combined with mobile technology, video is a valuable tool for performance support and contributes to increased performance improvement for most organizations. According to Research by Visible Measures:
“While desktop viewers tend to stick with videos for 2 minutes or less, mobile users seem to have a longer attention span. iPhone users tend to watch for about 2.4 minutes. Android users give a video three minutes to engage them and Symbian users stick around for just over 4 minutes. iPad users have the longest attention spans of all, sticking with a web video for an average of 5 minutes.”
Here are some key examples of exactly how video can be used to assist training and supporting groups in providing performance support, thus driving business results:
- Airline pilots can watch video clips or simulations prior to takeoff to review new or difficult landing approaches. Additional support information might include documents or graphics with further guidance.
- Field service technicians for pest control and yard treatment companies can view content onsite to identify exactly how to treat unique or difficult situations. This would include the selection of chemicals and proper mixture. Additionally, it would be a great way to support onsite quotes by showing customers a visual representation of the problem and treatment process.
- Utility company field reps can view solutions during outages as a result of inclement weather, natural disasters, or man-made disruptions.
- Retail sales reps could access videos at the counter to refresh or update them on important products and services.
- Claims adjusters for insurance companies could view content that helps evaluate damage due to accidents or natural disasters.
The bottom line is that video-based performance support can play a role in any organization. As a result, video can play a significant role in enhancing performance support and driving business results no matter what your business model is.
Today’s world is driven by change. Things like cloud computing, mobile devices, and social media have forever changed the way individuals consume content by giving them control over when, where, and how they want to view it. Organizations must leverage these mobile and video technologies to conduct training at all points of need. This should include the use of live, interactive and on-demand tools and methods. Learn from organizations that are already putting these best practices to use to drive performance improvement and business results, and your organization will begin to do so, too.
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