When talking about online video, cat videos and viral campaigns like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge immediately come to mind. However, as a communication medium, there is nothing more effective than video, making it particularly appealing as a tool for employee training. Importantly, video can save a substantial amount of time and money for businesses undertaking a major training program. Read on for our top five tips for making smarter employee training videos.

Employee Training

1. Keep it Short, Sweet, and Asynchronous

The announcement of a mandatory employee training program is all too often met with subtle eye rolls and groans, but that is largely due to the inordinate time commitment required to participate in the training program, not to mention that it’s usually scheduled without regard to existing workloads. Sometimes travel may even be required for training, adding to the expense of organizing the event and the inconvenience it presents to employees, not to mention the cost of meeting rooms and hotels. It can really add up – for instance, one of our subscribers mentioned saving as much as $1 million by switching from live training sessions to online video.

All of those issues can be easily avoided with video. When training is made readily available in on-demand thematic video segments, it becomes a true resource to employees. Anyone required to complete the training can do so when it suits their schedule from the comfort of their home or office. By breaking the training program into shorter chunks, it becomes more easily digestible, and less work to produce and consume the content. Think one topic, one short video, with several series of videos. That way, employees can go back to specific segments and rewatch them at any point, and can complete the training series without disrupting all their other projects.

2. Restrict Access to Your Training Content

That’s all well and good, but you might be wondering how to prevent unwanted viewers from accessing your training videos. There are actually a number of ways you can quickly and easily regulate access to your content, and make sure it remains for employee eyes only.

One of the fastest and simplest ways is to use allowed IP addresses to make sure all viewers are originating from your company’s network. Videos won’t play for anyone on an internet connection originating outside of your company’s network, and will not display the video posterframe, title, or description. This solution is optimal for large companies with lots of employees, or relatively high turnover.

Another option is to assign user logins to all employees, or one for each group of employees, and grant video access to each individual or group. When login protection is enabled for your video content, you can control video access at a very granular level, making it optimal for situations where you need to assign different videos to different people or groups, or set video access to expire, or only allow downloads for specific videos and individuals.

A third option is to embed your videos in an employee portal, like Sharepoint for example. Since you already control access to specific pages and sections of your Sharepoint site, access to your videos will also be regulated. If you leave your videos set to Private on SproutVideo, they will only show up and be playable where they are embedded. This ensures that only people who can access your employee portal can view your content. For additional security, you can use domain white-listing to ensure your embed codes will only work on your internal site, and cannot be copied to another webpage.

3. Include Interactive Elements

Training videos don’t have to be boring or dull. One simple way to increase engagement around a training video is to allow commenting on the video site. Comments can be moderated, and the questions and answers will serve as a resource for any future viewers who may have a similar question about the material. That way, viewers can interact with each other and have conversations around the video.

4. Follow Up Post Play

Using a customizable post-play screen, you can link to a quiz on the material, a survey, or more training resources. The important idea is to keep viewers engaged with the training program, and give them an opportunity to provide feedback, confirm their learning, or look into related information.

5. Make Sure You Can Measure Completion Rates

Ultimately, you need to know if training is working, and part of that is the ability to know exactly who has completed the material, and whether they watched all of it, skipped some of it, or replayed certain parts extensively. All of that data is available with SproutVideo’s video engagement metrics which provide detailed reports of viewer behavior.

If people are not completing the training or are skipping parts entirely, you can seek feedback, and check for areas needing improvement in the material. If certain sections are being rewatched repeatedly, viewers either love it, or the concept might be too complex or glossed over in the video, indicating it may need to be reworked. If specific parts are being skipped, check if those individuals are already proficient in the subject matter, and suggest more advanced topics.

Thinking about implementing video for employee training? Ask me your questions in the comments below!

Written by Courtney Purchon

Courtney is the Head of Marketing at SproutVideo. Follow her on Twitter.

Posted November 3, 2014

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