Training has always been a vital part of the hiring process. Most businesses look for a specific set of skills in potential employees, but once they sign their contracts, the onus falls on the company to integrate them into the structure.
Of course, training is specific to each role, team or department that new hires are expected to enter. This often means tailoring the kind of training they receive. In the digital age we live in, training videos may present an efficient and exciting medium to help with staff integration. But what are the advantages of training videos for businesses?
At the beginning of 2020, over 77 000 new job listings on LinkedIn were for remote work. Many of these jobs were open to international applicants who would be allowed to work from the comfort of their homes. Not only did a pandemic accelerate this trend, but it also increased the diversity of jobs available to work-from-home hires.
As a digital medium, video is one of the most effective ways to engage with remote workers. Video permeates every part of our post-pandemic work culture now, from online conferences to virtual meetings and hybrid events. This necessitates the ability to train staff remotely, but that’s only the beginning.
Information is only valuable if it can be delivered clearly and in an engaging manner. A study published by the American Educational Research Association found that video outperformed in-person lecturers among the students they interviewed. Michael Noetel, the lead author behind the study, explained some of the reasons for this:
“Skipping the boring bits” may sound counterproductive, but it has its advantages. If you’re hiring someone with experience, they will already have knowledge that overlaps with their training. This overlap increases with repeat viewing, at which point staff may only be looking to refresh one specific topic.
The most important information will be around questions specific to their new role – that’s where you want to engage staff in the training process. Anecdotes from a trainer may be engaging for some, but they can be distracting for others.
Even when it comes to in-person training, not every company can book a conference room to conduct it in. This is where training videos offer premium flexibility.
Staff can access training videos from their work or home computers. These videos can be stored on personal devices to be viewed offline or in a cloud server, which would allow new hires to access them anywhere with an internet connection. When it comes to training material, flexibility means equipping people with the tools to engage with information in ways that suit their learning habits and schedules.
Speaking of schedules, not everyone within a company follows the same one. Depending on meetings, tasks, deadlines and duties, two new hires may not be able to set aside the same time to attend in-person training. This can also be true for hires working in the same department, especially in a job that encourages self-management.
Time-wise, video is a concise version of in-person lectures/training. An in-person workshop may run into overtime due to anything from late arrivals to schedule clashes. Training that has to happen over multiple sessions presents even more variables to juggle.
The beauty of a video is that it can tell you how long it is before you even open it. If a staff member can only spare thirty minutes at a time for training, then a twenty-five-minute video gives them everything they need with time left over for a cup of coffee.
A work environment is constantly changing, which means training material should be updated regularly to remain relevant and helpful. Older training videos can be replaced with up to date ones that are easily distributed to the staff who need them. Even if a staff member only needs a refresher on the same material, videos can be re-watched whenever. That’s certainly cheaper than running a workshop every time something changes!
Now, a personalised, in-person approach does have its advantages. However, those advantages have very specific limitations and at some point, your company may outgrow them. A staff of three who work in the same office can be trained together without much hassle. This isn’t always the case when a medium-sized company hires staff in three different positions, or hires a combination of in-office and remote staff.
One trainer can only do so much. One video can be sent to as many people as needed without spending many resources. While training video production may incur a cost, a video only needs to be produced once. After that, it can be reproduced infinitely. The same can’t be said for live training.
On a more practical note, many jobs have performance or service elements that need staff to perform physical duties. Tutorials don’t always translate well via paper. A visual medium is a perfect way to train staff on practical matters like product handling and even data entry.
This is more obvious for jobs that include physical labour, but demonstrations form a key part of software education too. If your company uses a digital platform or software in its operations, screen sharing is a fantastic way for trainers to demonstrate how to use it
A more personal approach to training is fun, but it does come with problems. Relying on one person to train staff means you’re relying on them to deliver information consistently, which isn’t always a guarantee with in-person training.
A video doesn’t change unless you edit it. This means everyone receives the same foundational information. Staff training videos can also be supplemented with personalised notes, worksheets and even an in-person debriefing, but starting everyone with the same material creates consistency within the integration process.
Whether you’re dealing with a small training budget or a huge intake of new hires, staff training videos offer incredible flexibility, efficiency and consistency. As far as educational material goes, few mediums can compete.
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