Technology in the workplace doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest to have a positive impact on employers. Use of video technology can help change the learning and development strategies for employers across all industries.
Sam Crumley, vice president employee experience at video streaming company Panopto, shares his prior work experience and how video technology could have helped drive higher engagement and overcome challenges faced by HR and benefits professionals.
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Capture and share knowledge.
Crumley worked at a specialty consulting firm that had a number of individuals with specialized knowledge who were high in demand. People were in different locations and working on different projects in different time zones, however, so trying to connect and share information was a challenge, Crumley said.
There also was no way to assess the impact of any processes. As more programs were developed internally by employees, more information was lost and there was a growing stack of documents shelved in each department.
Reusable videos could have helped solve these problems by capturing knowledge, so employees could access it anytime, anywhere. Instead of taking time out of important meetings reiterating the same content, videos were provided ahead of the session so that staff could focus on more value-added discussions.
Video can also be used to capture data on customer satisfaction and provide reports for employees, Crumley said. Employees have expert knowledge at their fingertips and can easily search for specific information with the use of content archives.
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Manage performance expectations.
As employers evaluated and redesigned their performance review processes at different companies Crumley worked for, it was on the backs of managers to communicate and portray performance expectations from senior leadership.
New processes, Crumley said, could be clunky and would require constant coordination between HR and the communications team.
Through on-demand video, mid-level management can easily access strategies, rather than the information cascading down from manager to manager. Viewers “quite literally” can see what a good performance conversation looks like.
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Implement micro learning.
While he was at a health delivery system, the strategy was to bring training closer to the end user. “Breakroom” training, or using the small pockets of time between shifts, was the time used to train new hires or when new tools/processes were implemented, Crumley said.
Small, easily accessible, task-based videos could instead be used for employees who need training in the moment, which minimizes time away from patients, he said.
Better train new talent.
While working at a natural gas utilities company, Crumley faced an aging workforce that was moving into retirement, and the challenge was the consistent need to train new talent.
A video-enabled solution would be able to capture the expertise of workers who have been solving issues for 30-plus years, and retain their expert knowledge before they leave the workforce. And as regulations change, he added, videos can be easily edited and updated.
Connect regional, corporate office training.
Sales staff at a financial institution were scattered across regional sales offices, while corporate functions were in a central location. When training was needed for the different teams, individual departments and offices ended up creating their own training programs, making it difficult for corporate to keep track.
Video could have helped solve this problem, Crumley said: Regional offices would still be able to keep that concept of the content generation happening locally by those who need and understand it. And with video, companies could also integrate with corporate learning management system and quickly keep track of the generated content.
One company Crumley worked for was moving its learning and development program from an on-site to an outsourced model. The external vendor, which Curley worked for, would be used to provide content planning, development, delivery, LMS and end-user support.
The client had a cultural issue where several roles were experiencing high turnover rates, so there was a constant need for onboarding and training new workers. The company was sending to offices across seven regions, costing a pretty penny.
If a video solution had been in place, employers would have been able to share case demonstrations across departments and locations, as well as gaining immediate feedback from the new hires. Video capabilities also would have ensured content remained consistent and did not vary depending on the external instructor’s capability, as well as reduce costs incurred from travel.
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Connect remote, distant workers.
Crumley was once in charge of a project for a Canadian government agency that delivered services. Offices were spread across the territories. In addition, the remote locations had connectivity issues and most employees were unable to connect through live calls.
Through video technology, there was an ability to create content in a distributed model, with end users and experts creating content that could be distributed to other locations. In addition, for the isolated staffers, video provided a face to the corporate headquarters that were supporting them, increasing engagement.
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Employer tips for using video tech
Crumley offers three tips for employers looking to put video tech in place: choosing a model, adapting the process and measuring the results.
When choosing, he says, look at your pain points: where isn’t something happening as effectively as it could? Engage your users in a solution and leverage the technology you have in place.
When adopting a new process, there is almost always a culture impact, he said. Leave room for flexibility, he advised. “I’ve seen many organizations implementing video who end up using it in a completely different way than intended because it was driven by employees or a customer. Start with the content, then worry about format.”
And lastly, he said, measure results. Most platforms that deliver video tech can capture user satisfaction. And look at social interactions — comments, or social media sharing. “But ultimately,” he concluded, “the greatest measure of impact of a new method is you’re getting the business results you’re looking for.”