Best Practice

Using video to encourage managers to communicate

Communicators have been lamenting for years, decades even, that their managers do not communicate like they need to.  In our last post, we discussed some of the data supporting this concern.  Here are a few more bits from Hogan Assessments:

  • 75% of employees considered their direct boss to be the worst part of their job. 
  • 65% of respondents indicated they’d take a new boss over a pay raise. 

The stakes are high.  We mentioned previously that according to Gallup, managers account for 70% of the variance in engagement, affecting profitability, productivity, retention, innovation, and so many other critical business outcomes.

I’ve spent years traveling the world, helping managers at all levels, increase their communication competency. While the live sessions were inspirational and impactful, the skills didn’t stick because the overload of too much information in a short period of time, with no ability to stop and apply the learning in a real-time environment, meant that most of the learners reverted back to their old way of doing things.

One and done does not work when considering the communication capabilities needed to lead.

Fast-forward to today’s new world where managers and their teams aren’t even in the office. Live training is even less of an option yet the need for important conversations such as change and Diversity & Inclusion have increased immensely. Good manager communication skills are required now more than ever. 

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Remote working has added yet another level of complexity to the already challenging manager communication dilemma. 

The many years of working towards improving the manager’s ability to communicate for the long-term has not always culminated with overall success.  In-person training is expensive, short-lived, and non-scalable. The solution to these problems is video in a micro-learning format.  

Video is the new normal and many companies are using it in their communication strategies. Culturally, video has exploded and people, in general, like the creative, interesting way that information is conveyed.  There’s a lot of reasons for this.

Video is:

  • Flexible and mobile. Advances in technology have allowed for on-demand options where managers can listen wherever they are, choose a specific topic that they are struggling with in the moment and immediately implement what they’ve learned.
  • Cost-effective. 40% of training budgets are usually spent on travel costs.
  • Less formal. Learners prefer it.
  • More engaging. Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read text.
  • Scalable. There’s no limit to its reach.  Once it’s purchased or created, there are minimal future costs.
  • Customizable. A learner can pick and choose what they want to learn, when they want it, and for as long as they have the time.
  • More engaging and sustainable. The average person will forget 65% of material covered in a course, within 7 days. Video can be played over and over. Listeners can pause the content, replay certain sections, and stop to take notes.
  • Consistent in messaging. Everyone hears and sees the same thing and a trainer’s style or approach doesn’t influence learning outcomes. 

The key to using video effectively for learning and communication purposes is to take the micro approach. Micro learning design allows the creator to focus on particular learning points and spend the time ensuring those few concepts translate into measurable action. 

When you add too much, there’s too much to apply and therefore, little ends up being useful. 

Micro-Learning is:

  • Bite-sized. The specific content helps the learner apply concepts in a more efficient way. Instead of a number of concepts and applications vying for mind-space, the shorter, specific messages land faster and last longer than the hours of sitting in a class format with a trainer.
  • Quick. Attention spans have gotten shorter over time with theories ranging from 8 seconds to 15-minutes. Shorter is better, resulting in increased engagement.
  • Efficient. Changes in our social media from hours of content to ten-second clips have made adult learning more challenging and we have less tolerance for long, boring content. Done well, micro gets to the point and makes it quickly and clearly.

Video killed the radio star because the experience of visuals along with lyrics enhanced the music experience to a place that simply just listening could not.

Video not only creates a more interesting and engaging approach to learning, but it also leads to more efficient processing of information and better memory recall.  It’s just a better way to communicate, and an even better way to learn. 

 

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