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How to Use Video as an Employee Engagement Tool
The phrase “employee engagement” isn’t just the corporate jargon du jour; it’s one of the cornerstones of effective management and part of the foundation of any business that wants to experience long-term success. So why are so many companies failing to prioritize it—or ignoring it completely?
Why is Employee Engagement So Important?
Let’s first explore the concept of employee engagement a little further. One popular model classifies three types of workers. Actively disengaged employees are so unhappy that they undermine their company and their coworkers. Unengaged employees perform their duties to the bare-minimum standards and are “checked out” of their jobs. Engaged employees are passionate about their work and their commitment to their companies.
Obviously, organizations would prefer to have their employees populate this third category. However, a Gallup survey conducted in early 2016 reveals that only 32% of all U.S. workers are engaged (that figure plunges to 13% worldwide). Numerous studies indicate that unengaged or actively disengaged employees drive up company costs, absenteeism, and turnover; hinder organizational morale; and lead to decreased sales and poorer customer service.
Experts recommend a host of actions and initiatives to help increase employee engagement within a company. Many of these solutions can incorporate the power of video to help employers achieve these engagement goals. And since three out of every four jobs will be filled by millennials by 2025, these tech-savvy individuals will be relying on video more than ever before to communicate with each other and perform their job duties.
Give Employees a Chance to Grow
The 2014 Employee Recognition Trends Report reveals that for employees under the age of 25, their top driver of engagement is professional development (and it’s number two among employees younger than 35). Put another way, if your younger workers don’t feel that they can benefit from learning opportunities at a company, they will likely start looking elsewhere.
Employers often fulfill this need by putting on various in-person training seminars. But a less labor-intensive approach would be to compile a video “library” featuring these types of educational presentations which showcase the company’s base of shared professional knowledge.
With such a collection, motivated employees can access them and learn how to do their jobs better and advance their careers. In some professions, a video series can be built to help employees obtain professional certifications that are invaluable in their industry. Even exams and tests can utilize video by presenting a comprehensive case study to the employee and letting him or her analyze the scenario and answer relevant questions about it.
Keep Employees Informed About Everything
Another reason many employees become disengaged is that they feel uninformed about their company’s mission or believe that their work isn’t relevant to their employer’s objectives. In principle, the solution to this problem is simple: improve communication between management and employees.
This is where video can make a huge impact. Management can use video to deliver earnings reports and other financial updates to their employees. This medium can also introduce newly-hired personnel to the rest of the organization, keep employees apprised of the company’s progress toward its goals, and announce contests and promotions in which workers can participate.
One of the major challenges for any company is the implementation of organizational change. Here again, video can help facilitate this process by explaining all of the changes thoroughly and clearing up any misconceptions about reorganization or downsizing efforts. Since video tends to establish a more personal connection with the message recipient than the printed word can, the news of the change is more likely to be accepted and embraced by staff members than if they were just reading a memo.
Get Employees Involved In Video Creation
If a company wants more engaged employees, then what better way to accomplish this than to let staff members engage in creating and crafting a video? Management can provide an underlying message, theme, or goal for the video and then let a group of employees formulate the story and carry out the production of the project.
For example, if a company is releasing a new product, giving the sales team a key role in fashioning the video announcement could get them more invested in the success of the product launch. And if there’s any group of employees that you want to be engaged, it’s the revenue-producing sales team, right?
Another option is to assemble numerous employees from across various departments and have them work together on a marketing or promotional video instead of simply assigning it to the marketing department. The topic could be one of the company’s charitable outreach initiatives, a presentation video for an upcoming convention or trade show, or even a holiday greetings video to be sent to the company’s clients and other stakeholders. Getting employees excited about the video’s creation could help boost engagement levels company-wide.
Other Uses For Video
There are plenty of other ways that video can aid in an organization’s employee engagement efforts. Instead of producing generic “talking-head” videos, a company can spice them up using a unique style that might feature a recurrent theme, one or more fictional characters, and/or humor. If these ideas help capture the workforce’s attention, then the video is likely to be better-received.
Also, a company can help gauge the effectiveness of its messaging by embedding a “comments” feature in the video player so that employees can provide their feedback on the video or its content. And human resources personnel can even use video to provide a customized welcome message to a new employee during the on-boarding process (which can go a long way toward encouraging engagement from new hires).
Trust the Pros With Engagement Videos
While basic video messages like CEO talks or instructional “PowerPoint”-style presentations can usually be produced in-house using computer cameras and software, companies would be wise to partner with a professional video production crew for videos which require detailed scripts, varying camera shots, and special effects. After all, it’s counterproductive to have a video’s message overshadowed by amateur production values and awkward visual elements—especially if employees focus more on the subpar video quality than the content of the clip.
According to recent research, companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by about 147%. So what are you waiting for? Take a fresh look at your video offerings and see how you can leverage this medium to improve employee engagement among your workforce.
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