From my experience of first days at new jobs, I’ve found that there seems to be three approaches to onboarding:

1. The throw you in the deep end and see if you can swim approach — essentially no onboarding at all. All you can do is try and find a friendly colleague that will hopefully show you the ropes.

2. The we’re very efficient, but not really approach — the old school approach to onboarding. A presentation on a dusty projector, lots of documents to read and sign, and, if you’re lucky and your employer can find the VHS, an ’80s training video.

3. The 21st Century approach! – The best way to onboard. A file on your desktop filled with useful assets and cool training videos that you can access whenever you want.

While I’ve nothing against hilariously outdated training videos, like this gem by Wendy’s:

The reality is that just 30 minutes after a training session, people only retain 58% of the material covered. That number drops down to 35% in 7 days, and dips to just 10% six months later.

So, ditch the dusty VHS and stuffy meetings in cramped training rooms and use online video files to train your team. Video files that they can access whenever they need to refresh their memory, and videos that they actually want to watch.

In this article, we’re going to cover 4 reasons why you should use video to train your team.

1. Reduction in Training Costs

Traditional training methods tend to be costly. For a start, other staff members are required to run the training sessions, which takes them away from their desk and away from their work. Plus, there’s the added effort of gathering everyone in the same place at the same time, which, depending on how many people you’re hiring, may require you to rent out a venue, provide lunch, pay towards travel expenses, and so on.

Purchasing a video, or even a series of videos, can reduce costs massively. After finding that up to 40% of its classroom training costs were spent on travel and lodging, IBM moved half of its training programs to an eLearning format. Over the first two years of the program alone, the company saved $579 million.

For a one-off payment, you have a complete training tool at your disposal that can be used time and time again. Simply save the file to your employees’ desktops, show it to them on their first day, and let them know that the videos are available to watch anytime.

2. Improved Engagement

Video marketing has been growing and growing in recent years as a popular way to engage customers. So why not use it to engage your employees?

Studies show that highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity.

Visual content is more engaging if it tells us a story. Our brains are far more engaged when visual storytelling is involved because 70% of all sensory receptors humans have are concentrated inside the eyes.

Animated character videos are a great way to connect with an audience as they can identify with the character and this increases engagement. Plus, animated videos are fun to watch — and this will help to keep your team’s attention focussed on the message you are trying to convey. Check out this animated video below:

Although it is a marketing video, we can still consider the same techniques when using video to onboard employees. The catchy song, fun characters, and thought-provoking ending make this video hard to look away from, and the message stays in your head for a long time after.

3. Easy to Update

As mentioned above, outdated videos are great for a good laugh. But they rarely fulfil their purpose – which is to train your team and introduce them to the culture of your workplace.

With modern video platforms, you can easily update videos as and when you need to without having to spend the money, and the time, required to create a whole new video. For example, if you needed to change a minor data point, such as, ‘we have 5,000 clients worldwide‘ to ‘we have 7,000 clients worldwide‘, then you can simply get in touch with whoever made your video, ask them to make the edit and voila! — your video is up to date.

When using video to train your team it’s important to keep everything updated as this reflects well on the business and will help new recruits settle in easier.

4. Improved Knowledge Retention

Training your team through presentations, seminars, and activity sheets may seem productive at the time. But did you know that just two days after hearing something people can remember only 10% of what they were told? That figure jumps to 65% if the information is accompanied by visuals.

This is called the Picture Superiority Effect.

Knowledge retention is improved through video because 65% of people are visual learners. It’s easier for us to remember visual content because it is more engaging than text alone.

There is so much to take in on a first day at work. By using videos to train your team, they will take in what is needed much quicker, and remember it for much longer.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up this article, here are a few examples of exactly how you can use video to train your team:

  • A fun animated overview — This could be an overview of health and safety procedures, or of the tasks expected by team members
  • Employee Testimonials — Have your employees answer some questions on camera to help new recruits get to know the company a little better
  • Screen-recorded walkthroughs — Lots of companies have screen-recorded walkthroughs of their web apps to make onboarding easier for customers, so why not use this type of video to train your staff on how to use new systems?

Onboarding can be a tedious process, but video can make it easier in so many ways.