How to Boost Employee Engagement Using Video
— September 10th, 2021
Sixty-five years ago, video recorders were sold for US$50,000 and videotapes cost US$300 for a one-hour reel.
Nowadays, feature-length films are being shot on phones, cloud storage and smaller file sizes allow us to capture hours of footage and easily share it with anyone, video apps are revolutionizing the editing process, and there is no shortage of excellent free tutorials on YouTube that will teach anyone how to create professional video content cost-effectively.
So if quality, cost, and knowledge are no longer the barriers they once were, then why aren’t more companies embracing video to communicate their messages internally? In my opinion, it comes down to incentive and confidence.
Many companies want to include more video in their strategies but don’t motivate, encourage and reward employees for diving into the world of video production.
It’s important to give employees space and time to upskill and it’s also important to make sure that their efforts are recognized.
The Value of Belonging in The New World of Work
Here are four ways for you to start incorporating video into internal communications and boost employee engagement:
1. Get the ball rolling with Video Updates
If you’ve already taken the time to craft a perfectly worded email update, why not repurpose this content into a video?
A video update will help you to convey the emotion attached to your message and reduce misinterpretation that text-based updates can be subject to.
For some of us, it can be difficult to speak to a camera and remember all the information that you want to share in one take. So, to take the pressure off you can record yourself with your phone and a teleprompter app.A teleprompter app will allow you to read your script and with a bit of practice, your viewers will think that you are speaking naturally and with confidence.
For iPhone users I recommend, Teleprompter for Video by Norton Five. This app allows you to position the scrolling text right next to the camera lens, helping you make eye contact with your audience.
With many other teleprompter apps, the text fills up the entire screen so you may look like you are reading.
But with a bit of practice and distance from the lens, you’ll be able to master any teleprompter app in no time. For more tips on presenting to the camera, check out our 10 Steps for Filming Yourself with Your Phone.
Once you’ve shared your first video update, ask a colleague to do the next one. Meet with them and show them step by step how you did it and be on hand to review any of their drafts before they share with others.
2. Make Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Great Again
SOPs are a great way to communicate step-by-step instructions to help teams carry out routine operations.
But isn’t it time to bring SOPs into the 21st century and start creating Video SOPs? Rather than sending your team a lengthy document telling them how to do something, record your screen with a voice-over, and show them instead.
There is no shortage of software for screen recording, but since most people are already familiar with Zoom and Teams, I recommend people start there. Simply enter your own meeting room, share your screen or your slide deck, and hit record.
Leave your camera on if you’re feeling confident as this will help the viewer to connect with you and remain engaged throughout. You can pause the recording at any stage to catch your breath and just hit record again to pick up where you left off.
If you want to create a mobile screen recording, most newer phones come with a built-in screen recording option but alternatively, there are loads of free apps that you can download.
Encourage others to send you video tutorials and then ask their permission to share it with the wider team.
Hopefully, after a while, you and your team will build up a bank of explainer videos that will be a great resource for new joiners or anyone who needs a memory refresh.
3. Share Highlights from an Event
Many people will be returning to work over the next few months or meeting up in person at internal events. Montage videos are a simple and quick way to share the key moments and highlights from a meet-up in an engaging way.
However, sometimes montage videos can be boring so it is important that you take some time to plan your montage so that it includes a storyline.
Every great video takes the viewers on a journey and keeps them watching until the very end.
Quik by GoPro, allows you to select videos or images from your phone and the app will edit them together into a beautifully timed video that is cut to the beat of the song you choose.
You can also add short text to your clips to help you tell your story and to signal to the viewer that the video is going somewhere.
Apps like Quik will make you look like a pro video editor in no time but don’t forget to create a Video SOP of Quik to show others how they can look like a pro too.
And if others start to outshine you, then you’ll be forced to up your game and get even more creative so it’s a win-win!
4. Host an Internal Film Festival
Teambuilding has never been more important and what better way to encourage employees to learn new skills and work together on a project than asking them to produce a short video.
Whether your team is working from the office or remotely, they’ll be able to come together to brainstorm creative plans, capture and share footage with their phones, and explore video editing software, apps, and tutorials to bring all of the clips together.
To start, choose a video topic such as ‘Just an Average Day’ or ‘You’re on Mute!’. Then assign a different genre to each team such as comedy, horror, or drama.
Put a duration limit on the videos such as 1-2 minutes and set a deadline for when and where the video should be submitted.
Then host an internal black tie film festival online or in-person and play each of the videos before announcing the overall winner or use a poll to allow the audience to decide.
You’ll be amazed at what people can produce when they’re given the space and incentive to create. And you might be surprised by who has a hidden talent for production or has a more creative flair than you’ve realized before.
Those are just four simple ways to incorporate video into your internal communications but there are infinite possibilities.
As Stanley Kubrick said 'if it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed'. What's more important is that you start now and never let fear of failure hold you or your team back.
If I were to show you some of my first videos, you would never believe that is what I do for a living now.
Video production is a journey; it's exciting, it's creative, it's frustrating and sometimes it feels like you'll never reach the end. But you'll never regret starting.
Main image by Vanilla Bear Films on Unsplash