Most trainers, both formal and informal, have the same goal: to make learning that sticks.
The problem with that is, well, problems. There are tons of roadblocks that come up when you’re trying to get other people to absorb information, especially if you’re not the subject matter expert.
In this post, we examine ten pain points that video training addresses – the first of which is the time and money spent on face-to-face learning for repetitive tasks.
Problem #1: Face-to-face training is time-consuming and expensive
Thorough training for employees is entirely necessary for facilitating productivity and safety, but it can quickly become time-consuming and expensive. U.S. companies spent an estimated $70.65 billion on training in 2016 and, on average, lost 53.8 productivity hours per employee while getting them acclimated, according to Training Magazine’s 2016 “Training Industry Report.”
In most cases, scaling back training is not viable, especially for health care, finance, government, and other strictly regulated industries. But high-quality training in less time is a real possibility and is necessary for businesses that want to curb costs and inconveniences tied to face-to-face job preparation.
Step one is to replace certain face-to-face orientations and training with video-based learning content. In-person training occupies the schedule of at least two people at any given time – the trainee and the employee administering that training.
The Ultimate Guide to Easily Make Instructional Videos
While nuanced functions inevitably require physical demonstrations, more universal tasks such as filling out time cards or basic, repetitive knowledge work can be proficiently communicated with a well-produced series of on-screen demonstrations and lectures.
Moving appropriate face-to-face training to video-based training can reduce time, and therefore money. Record it once, share it as many times as you need.
Problem #2: Schedules can be a nightmare to coordinate
Time spent in face-to-face training sessions is often preceded by an uphill battle to coordinate schedules. Additionally, training coordinators are often under pressure to complete training within tight timeframes.
This is a struggle given how many people’s schedules need to be considered:
- HR reps responsible for administering and/or coordinating training sessions.
- IT team members needed to help with demonstration setups.
- Subject matter experts brought in from other departments or locations.
- New learners, who are all too easily double-booked as they ramp up.
- Higher-level managers requesting to sit in on certain sessions.
The beauty of video-based training is that it can be easily recorded at a time that is convenient for those administering the session, and slotted into trainees’ schedules without excessive coordination between multiple parties. Sessions can also be saved and shared through web-based platforms to be used later as teams grow.
This way, nothing, and no one, falls through the cracks.
Problem #3: Training across the globe is difficult
Training is often a national or multinational endeavor that requires extensive resources and coordination. The costs of traveling to and from different office locations, and, in some cases, renting space to hold a training session, really add up. Meanwhile, coordinating schedules around multiple time zones can quickly become a hairsplitting exercise.
Language barriers can also present problems during training seminars, requiring translators to make sure everyone gets value from the experience.
All of this begs the question: Is the cost and complexity of global training justified?
In some cases, yes. But often, video can be used as a substitute. For instance, when onboarding new personnel, you can use screen recording or video editing software to record webinars and training demonstrations. These videos can then be edited to include captions or subtitles, translations or even quiz questions to gauge how well viewers are learning the content. More importantly, these training assets also work as scalable and repeatable resources.
In other words, with video, organizations can create concise, compelling reference material that employees can view asynchronously and worldwide, and captioned in their language, as needed.
Problem #4: I’ve only got one shot to capture everything I need from my subject matter expert
Video-conferencing between two or more people is a great way to share information and ideas. It is also ideal for communicating complex and technical information that may be specific to certain specialists, for instance, in medical fields.
This is because:
- The brain processes imagery 60,000 times faster than words, according to Fast Company.
- Humans retain content with imagery better than audio content alone.
But anyone who has participated in a meeting knows the feeling of trying to pay attention while also taking detailed notes. When the person on the other side of the screen is a busy subject matter expert who is not readily available, you need to ensure you get the right information the first time around. Or do you?
Screen recording and video editing tools let users record interviews so they can be 100-percent engaged during interviews and conversations.
Alternatively, a trainee could send a list of questions to a busy Subject Matter Expert (or SME), who can answer those questions in video-format. Either way, using video for SME interviews enables the creation of a permanent multimedia resource that can be played back on-demand at variable speeds, and even annotated with markers and notes if necessary. You can even get the video transcribed to turn the audio into text if needed.
Capture, consume, annotate, repeat.
Problem #5: The brain drain is real
In his book Informal Learning: Rediscovering the Natural Pathways that Inspire Innovation and Performance, Jay Cross compared formal training to riding a bus, where the driver takes you where you need to be, and informal training to riding a bike, where you make your own route, according to Brainshark.
Just as you might need a bus one day and a bike another, formal and informal video-based learning both have their place in the modern business.
Formal training is effective for establishing a knowledge base for new employees. It’s also crucial for inflexible processes such as medical protocols and compliance management. Processes like this need to be exact, and therefore conveyed in a procedural manner rather than as ad hoc lessons learned. Formal training is typically given in a deliberate order, by a specific and sometimes certified trainer, within a required time frame – for example, an engineering safety procedure video series.
Informal training happens more on a learn-as-you-go basis. For example, imagine your company has a data management system that was built in house, but the employees who built it are leaving or retiring. All of their expertise and knowledge will also leave with them, causing a void in knowledge that will be difficult to fill. Informal training can solve this through employees creating training videos around their own areas of expertise. As business processes evolve and become more efficient, employees might create video content that shares self-learned best practices.
The great thing is, you can create both formal and informal training programs with video and screencasts easily and affordably across your entire organization.
Problem #6: I work with smart people. How do I learn from them?
There is a lot of value in a well-produced series of onboarding videos that help employees acclimate to their roles quickly and inexpensively. But there’s also value in the organic development of a training community that employees can contribute to, and learn from, ad hoc.
This process, called social learning, doesn’t happen formally, or at management’s request. Rather, it’s the natural outcome of democratizing visual communication tools. Case in point, if someone who is asked to explain pivot tables enough times has access to easy to use video creation tools, they might just go ahead and record a quick “How To” video.
The second part of that is having a hub where these videos can be uploaded and shared with a relevant audience.
With intuitive screen capture tools and a collaborative sharing platform, workplace knowledge and training can be crowdsourced.
Problem #7: Slide decks get boring…fast
Slide decks fulfill a useful function: to organize and present content-heavy training sessions with short, bullet-point summations and visual media.
The problem is that too many slide decks fail at the “ visual media” element by not using images or media at all. The goal of any good slide deck should be to tell a story, not to read facts and information from a screen verbatim. Part of telling that story is showing the audience something that visually communicates the message.
One of the best ways to avoid creating a mundane or overwhelming slide deck is to include screenshots, GIFs and video clips. Presenters can visually annotate screenshots to more effectively illustrate their points. No more excessively long, bulleted lists.
Video and animated GIFs also liven up the presentation.
Whoever said slide decks have to be boring?
Problem #8: Remember that training from three months ago? Me neither…
The biggest drawback of traditional, in-person training sessions and written training manuals is that it’s easy to forget the content, and hard to find it when you need it later. Instead of digging back through past notes from training sessions, what if the initial training had been recorded, and then broken into several short videos?
The videos would serve as short, digestible content that can be absorbed quickly, but also passively. In other words, it can be watched over and over again as needed, and with very little work on the part of the employee. Just record the original training, and break it up into microvideos for anyone to watch when they need to.
Another option is to include a table of contents for training videos, which let viewers jump to the most relevant topics in the video, depending on their needs at the time.
Present it once, watch it once and reference it as many times as you need.
Problem #9: So much training, so little time
Companies are taking twice as long to hire than they were just a few years ago, The Wall Street Journal noted. Understandably, managers are therefore eager to get new employees trained quickly. This means businesses are under pressure to teach employees faster in a shorter time period.
However, managers also don’t want to leave new hires feeling unprepared to handle tasks being thrown at them – which is too often the case. According to HR Morning, approximately one-third of hires quit within the first six months of employment, and the fourth most commonly cited reason for leaving is “inadequate training.”
One way companies have sought to change this is by using video to more effectively convey information in an engaging, memorable format. According to Forrester, employees are 75 percent more likely to watch training videos than to read training documentation.
As an added bonus for employers, many video editors let you add quiz questions to check if your viewer is learning the content correctly, so trainers can keep tabs on user progress.
With more friendly video creation tools on the market, it’s easier than ever to create engaging videos that include motion graphics, effects, and captions, rather than just a trainer talking through the content. Give the people what they want–engaging video-based training content that presents a message concisely and memorably–and they’ll be more likely to give you what you want: a shorter learning curve and a longer tenure.
Problem #10: Scaling training is complicated
Last but not least, as businesses grow and change, training must change with it to stay fresh.
A notable benefit of using video and other eLearning media is that you can create and share more training content in less time. Rather than developing a series of slide decks, coordinating schedules and delivering multiple sessions to users, training coordinators can focus on the production of multimedia training resources that can be delivered to trainees without any of the physical presentations or scheduling challenges.
Another big benefit of video-based training content is that you can always edit it if the content needs to be changed or updated, and then simply redistribute the updated content instead of calling everyone back together for face-to-face training.
Additionally, video enables the sharing of knowledge, presentations, and demonstrations among employees and ensures that there’s a community for both formal and informal learning.
Lights, camera, training.
Try it now!