Too much to read and not enough time! Sound familiar?
Drowning in a sea of email, memos and presentations, many of us frequently delete internal newsletters without reading them and rarely have the time - or the inclination - to visit the intranet for company information.
In a busy workplace, it doesn’t take long for ineffectual internal communications to fan the flames of employee disenchantment and disengagement. The rise in remote work arrangements - and the resulting reduction in face-to-face meetings - further adds to the growing feeling of disengagement among employees.
Gallup’s recent State of the American Workplace report found only 30% of American workers feel excited about their jobs. This employee disengagement is estimated by Gallup to cost American businesses $450 billion to $550 billion per year. So, how to stop employees from checking out while on the job?
Motivation and effective communications are critical here. Adding video into your employee communications mix can help to re-engage and motivate employees in a way that text-based communications cannot. It’s not difficult to see why.
Today’s employees typically spend work breaks surfing the web, with video viewing a popular choice. With a sandwich in one hand and a mouse in the other, a new generation of professionals is re-inventing the notion of downtime as the online video primetime. In fact Nielsen found that 44% of all web video is viewed at work, with a peak between 2-4pm.It’s
clear that cat videos have conquered the coffee break.
In the US, Wharton’s Research Center undertook a study of video effectiveness and found that respondents experienced an increase in attention on video sites of an astonishing 833% when compared to text sites; similarly, online video viewing translated into a 50% boost in
message memory retention versus a 22% increase for text-only sites.
Enterprises that have bypassed a death-by-memo culture to harness the potency of video for engaging employees are seeing significant success. According to a Melcrum survey of 400 communications professionals, adding video to an employee portal makes a major impact: 50.4% of respondents stated that video creates a personal connection with company
executives, and 49.8% confirmed video increases employee engagement.
So how can the medium of video be used to more fully engage employees?
There are three main pillars that make workplace video work: Video Programming, Promotion and Platform.
Content, of course, is king. Content programming needs to be relevant to the audience, informative, motivational and entertaining. Effective content injects information with emotion. It also needs to be refreshed regularly (so that people come back for more), clearly signposted and easily discoverable - to maximize views of all available video programming. Creating a buzz around event-driven programming can help here.
Production of custom videos that reflect a company’s culture and values are a powerful way to inspire and motivate employees. Short-form programming - which we call ‘Cubicle-Sized Reality TV’ - can take a number of different forms that resonate with authenticity by putting executives and employees in front of the camera. Effective episodic video formats include showcasing top executives sharing 30 seconds of workplace wisdom and celebrating
company superstars by highlighting their successes via video.
Don’t forget to involve employees in content creation too. Employee generated content might include: sharing subject matter expertise, highlighting department/contract wins, spotlighting successes at trade shows, identifying industry trends and introducing colleagues to one another. Just be sure to add a moderation layer for preventing any inappropriate videos
from being posted.
It’s also worth investigating the addition of third-party premium content with the help of a professional subscription video service that can create and curate interesting workplacerelated video content on a daily or weekly basis. Consider programming videos covering areas such as motivation & inspiration, business news, tech tips and health and wellbeing to keep employees motivated and inspired.
It’s also important to plan video content availability and refresh rate frequency. This can be done by putting yourself in the shoes of a TV network executive and creating a programming grid that schedules content across the work week, such as the one below.
One of the companies we have collaborated with on custom programming is Mars Chocolate. Mars challenged us to engage their dual employee and consumer audience with fresh programming to celebrate fitness and wellness while also positioning the Twix brand as the official office snack. Together with Mars, we created a show called World Office Sports which featured fun office-inspired athletic events such as Swivel Chair Sprint, Mailcart Luge, Toner Cartridge Discus & Wastebasketball. The show was a hit for Mars, with four episodes generating 500,000 views among employees and consumers alike.
Promotion is another key part of the push to re-engage employees through video. Internal communication practitioners must act as promotional agencies to build awareness of video content, initiate trial and drive adoption.
Teaser videos screened at company-wide events are a great way to build awareness and create buzz in the office for your employee video channel. These might include:
• Creating a cubicle casting call for employees who’d like to appear in front of the camera;
• Tapping senior executives and influential employees for cameos in the teaser videos.
Execution of an internal social media campaign aimed at key influencers within the organisation is another way to build word of mouth and momentum.
To encourage trial, kick-off the video service with a major employee launch event like a red carpet premiere complete with popcorn and refreshments. Be sure to educate employees on when and where to find the launch video and reward employees with promos and gifts to help drive traffic to the content. Of course, make sure employees are greeted with a steady flow of quality content once they sample your initial programming offering. Success comes
by setting expectations properly and delivering a rewarding content experience.
It’s all about creating a regular viewing habit among employees. Deliver reminders about new content and recruit employees to share, ‘like’ and comment on programming. It’s important to be proactive, but also reactive to shape programming and promotion efforts based on the content employees most want to watch.
The introduction of a video-based employee engagement programme is an iterative process, so content should be recalibrated based on employee feedback, both implicit and explicit. This can be done by reviewing your intranet site traffic, analysing video viewership and interaction metrics, and gauging employee sentiment via polls. Unlike text-based communications, video enables tremendous granularity and precision of measurement.
The final pillar is choosing the right enterprise video platform to make the content publishing and consumption process seamless. Look for a platform that offers powerful video creation & authoring tools, advanced social engagement capabilities (e.g. share, comment, like, rate), strong security controls, and an intuitive user interface. Be sure that the platform you choose
is capable of handling uploads from, and streaming to, any device, given the multi-device world we live in spans desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
It’s never been easier to make workplace video work for your organisation as a way of reengaging, inspiring and motivating employees. With the power of video at your fingertips, that memo on your desk might just as well be typed on carbon paper. Welcome to the YouCube era.
 “Maintaining Employee Engagement with Video” - January 2012.
By Russ Zack, Vice President and General Manager, Kaltura EMEA and Jordan Berman, Founder & CEO of Office Engagement Network.
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