As originally published in the American City Business Journals.
When you’re a small business, much of your employee onboarding is hands-on.
We don’t have dedicated training teams, and we don’t have extravagant “boot camp” events to get our new hires up to speed — we have our leadership teams who will usually take a significant amount of time out of their day to sit with new hires and walk them through the company philosophy, policy, benefits, technology, workflow, procedures, and so on and so on.
There has to be a better, more scalable way to do this, right?
There is, and all you need is a video camera and some editing software. Here’s my case for using video as a major part of your employee onboarding:
1. It will save you hours upon hours of training time
I once calculated that I spent over an entire week training four new employees (45 hours, to be precise). What’s worse was that, at the end of these training sessions, both my new hires and I were exhausted and glassy-eyed.
With video, on the other hand, you film once, spend maybe an hour editing and processing the file, and boom — you’re set.
2. It will standardize your messaging
Not only did my words vary from one session to another, but I wasn’t the only one delivering the information; I can guarantee that each person responsible for this training was communicating at least slightly different messages to our new employees.
Capturing your session on video will make sure that there is one consistent message being imprinted onto every single person in your organization. This also helps make sure that any remote workers aren’t getting an improperly abridged version of your training since they can’t be on-site.
3. It will provide your team with a rich set of reference material
Our onboarding videos live in a database on our network, making them accessible to everyone on the team 24/7/365. If there’s a concept they need a refresher on, a task they forgot how to complete, or a procedure they’re struggling to understand, they can simply go back to the video and get it worked out.
This has a bonus effect of cutting back on lengthy internal email chains and sit-down meetings to rehash information.
4. Some videos will serve a dual purpose
Would any parts of any of your the videos also function as marketing materials that you can feature on your website or your company YouTube channel? Would repurposing any of them give your clients important insight into how your procedures work, and how they can best interact with you?
Video has the invaluable benefit of conveying facial expressions and body language that an email or a phone call just can’t — if you can find ways to work your material into external communications, you may find your clients and prospects feeling more connected to you as a company. And that’s quite the powerful side-effect.