Written by Andrew Ogden
In this article Andrew Ogden, Managing Director at Broadcast Media Services, offers ten top tips on how you can use video to help engage your employees.
It is no secret that internal communications are key to running a successful business. Until now your main tools have included everything and anything from posters on walls to newsletters, group emails, an intranet, team briefings, and employee conferences.
With all these channels of information, content is king but engaging an often indifferent audience is a main hurdle. Your audience at work is just that: an audience.
This is why 93% of internal communication professionals* now believe that integrating video into their internal communication campaigns is no longer desirable, it is essential.
The main reason, is that it helps engage workers. Especially the younger workers, as they’re likely to have grown up with video playing a prominent role in their daily lives. Websites like YouTube and services like Skype help promote video engaged employees who like to communicate and access content in the workplace, just like their everyday lives.
Employee engagement is critically important to the success of any business. And the use of video is a tool to help raise this, especially if your business involves multiple staff spread across multiple organisations or departments. Video can help collaboration and increase effectiveness on project work, from communicating progress updates to even briefing project managers.
If content is king, then video is king of content. And when you need an authentic voice to talk to your colleagues then it helps to be seen, to be believed.
To sum it up, video communication is an essential element when informing and engaging with your team, so let’s go through some tips on the effective use of video in internal communications.
Do It Yourself
In this day and age smart phones produce good enough quality video for simple video communications. Why not start with regular, short messages from key communicators, the CEO, the head of safety, department heads, lead HR and more? Keep your teams updated on new developments and changes within your company, a short User Generated Video is the perfect solution. And once you start you’ll want to do more. There are plenty of free and low cost editing packages you can get online so you can add simple captions, effects, music and voice-overs to build more effective video packages.
The best CEOs or MDs are visible, and if they are leading from the front they need to be seen to be doing it. A regular update from the CEO or MD on where the organisation is, and where it’s going to is a great way to introduce video into your internal communications schedule.
Where the CEO leads others will follow. Internal communications should lead external communications, and the messages be joined up. So when there is a big announcement, a new development, even where bad news is involved, (especially where bad news is involved) find the right person for the job and get them in front of the camera talking to the team.
Consistency and Clarity
Video communication can’t be corrupted. It can’t be interpreted. If your internal communications rely on middle management holding team briefings using key messages from a printed document or from a PowerPoint, then your people may not be hearing what you want them to hear. We’ve all been to presentations from people we don’t like, we don’t trust and we don’t respect. So it is not uncommon that anything they tell us will be ignored, dismissed or distrusted. If the key messages are delivered by video it’s the right message, in the right tone… every time.
Peer to Peer Communications
People listen to colleagues and usually trust colleagues more than the boss. And certainly more than a corporate spokesperson. If you want field workers to understand a change in working practices, get a field worker to show them and tell them on video.
Day in The Life Video
If a business is big or growing then the left hand almost certainly has no idea where the right hand is, let along what it does. It certainly has no idea who the people on the other side of the organisation are! ‘Day in The Life’ videos can not only let accounts know what the canteen is doing, but it also shows the whole organisation that these are real people caring about their role within the organisation just as much as you do, just as much as the boss does. It puts a human face and a human voice to the job. It makes your organisation an organisation of people, not job titles.
Just like the newsletter, and just like the news on TV, video communications should come in a familiar format and at regular times. Yes, there is obviously room for the big one-off announcement. But once you’ve integrated video into your internal communications strategy then keep going.
Tone of Voice Matters
If you have a Video Production Company business partner, then they’ll bring plenty of ideas on style and tone. But no one knows your organisation’s tone of voice better than you do. If you’re a construction company, then the glitz of a Paris fashion shoot will not be for you. Having said that we all watch TV and we all go to the movies and it is those production standards we are all used to. So your corporate video communication tools should have high production values. But the tone of voice, the language that you use and the people that you put before the cameras must be authentic. The people on screen have to be seen and to be believed.
It is worth stressing this word possibly above all others. The CEO on video leading from the front, Peer to Peer videos, Day in The Life videos, video communication in a crisis, speaking to your own people first, using the same video messages internally that you do to external stakeholders. Tone of Voice. All these things add up to delivering an authentic video communications strategy. Being seen to be believed.
There we have it, some ways to effectively use video in internal communications which can have a profound effect on employee engagement. Using some of these tactics can help an employee’s understanding of their role in an organisation, and where they fit in a business’s purpose and objectives.
Using video is also an opportunity for employees to be given a voice in a business’s ideas and help contribute to any decisions made. This helps engage employees as they’ll feel fully included as a member of the team, and also a great opportunity to be thanked and recognised for achievements.
To put it simply, employee engagement is important because businesses with more engaged employees, perform better. And this can quite easily be achieved using video to communicate internally, not to mention it is one of the easiest ways to motivate and energise staff.
*US Research by Melcrum 2014