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Why Do 77 Percent of US Corporations Use Employee Training Videos to Onboard New Hires?

I recently created a series of employee training videos for Atlanta-based homebuilder PulteGroup. The purpose was to train their sales team to sell the company’s new Smart Homes.

It’s no wonder so many companies are developing their own employee training videos. On average, people remember 65% of what they watch in a video, compared to 10% of what they read.

What’s more, training effectiveness can be maximized by simply following a few e-learning best practices.

Here are guidelines I used for the Pulte project.

7 Best Practices for Effective Employee Training Videos

#1 Use Short Modules

Human attention spans have dropped 30 percent in the past 15 years, so don’t expect people to focus their attention for more than a few minutes.

By dividing content into short modules, you enable self-directed learning.

In other words, each employee can go through the training at their own pace, so they retain the information more effectively.

#2 Organize Subject Matter Into a Logical Order

Bouncing back and forth between subjects makes information hard to follow. It’s much better to cover each segment completely and then flow to the next, so viewers can follow intuitively.

Don’t just list random facts. Approach the employee training video as if you’re telling a story—and keep it simple!

It’s also a good idea to begin with an outline. Each heading becomes a separate video module.

#3 Present Verbally and Visually

Some people are visual learners—they process and retain information more effectively when given graphics or video demonstrations.

That’s one of the advantages of training videos.

Video is a visual medium, perfect for showing how things work, or doing step by step demonstrations.

In the PulteGroup sales training, we incorporated graphics and video clips as well as typography. That way, viewers were able to read along as the information was presented.

#4 Use a Clear and Effective Instructor

Regardless of subject matter, employee training videos are packed with information, so the choice of instructor is extremely important. Whether you’re using an on-camera presenter or a voice-over talent, that person must be articulate and easy to understand.

I remember back in college, I nearly flunked a chemistry class because it was being taught by a visiting professor from Japan. He was a brilliant scientist, no doubt, but his broken English had us scratching our heads.

For the PulteGroup training videos, we used a professional VO talent. Expensive, but worth it!

#5 Use Explanatory Names

If you use generic names such as “Lesson One” or “Module A,” you’re missing an opportunity. The file names should help communicate the content covered in each video.

During training, employees may want to review

certain sections or answer specific questions. Explanatory file names make it easier to find the answers they’re seeking.

In the PulteGroup Sales Training, each video covered a different Smart Home feature. Module names such as “Smart Lighting” and “Using Voice Commands” made the videos intuitively searchable.

#6 Provide Supplemental Course Materials

Training videos are extremely effective teaching tools, but work even better when combined with printed course materials such as brochures or training manuals.

It is also important during training to accommodate employees with disabilities. Hearing-impaired or visually-impaired employees may require detailed transcripts of the videos to help them follow along.

In the PulteGroup example, the videos were designed using the same artwork and typography as the course materials. This gave the entire training program a unified graphic approach.

#7 Compress Files So They’re Easy to Download

Our last best practice has to do with file size. Employees shouldn’t have to wait for videos to load. Whether being downloaded from a server or watched online, each video should be optimized for immediate streaming using your video host’s specifications.

Thank you once again to Diahann Young at PulteGroup for the employee training video project. Hopefully her sales team will learn as much as I did during the process.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions. Before starting his business, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

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