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How to Use Video for Async Training that Actually Works

After what feels like a lifetime of working from home, only two percent of employees say they want to return to the office.

Meanwhile, 65 percent strongly voiced that they want to stay remote. And 57 percent said they’d even consider quitting if forced to go back. 

As a result, more companies are opting to go hybrid for the foreseeable future. Only 1 in 5 companies made plans to work fully in-person this Fall. As a result, leadership teams are scrambling to rethink how to communicate need-to-know information and scale knowledge sharing within their organization. Specifically, they’re focused on building the processes and policies to ensure these hybrid arrangements will work for the long term. 

That's where employee training videos come in. Why video? Three words: flexibility, freedom, culture. AKA the reasons most employees wanted to stay remote but settled for a hybrid situation instead.

Flexibility 

At this point, hybrid work is synonymous with flexibility. One of the many positives of this is choosing when and where you work. But that same flexibility can also be a major blocker to getting your team trained. 

If your organization is like the majority of companies, your team has probably converted pre-pandemic in-person training into a virtual format and called it a day. But that requires an hour (or more) of synchronous time when everyone can be logged in and participating simultaneously. Conflicting timezones, busy schedules, and more meetings on calendars than ever can make scheduling training an impossible feat.

If you can’t find a synchronous time that works for everyone, you're left running one-off (usually impromptu) training sessions every time someone asks, "how do I do this?" And while you might get that one person trained, you have more folks who need that information. Depending on who they ask, they might get a different answer, leading to inconsistency — not to mention wasted time — throughout your organization. 

By recording training asynchronously, everyone gets the same information. They can watch on their own time, pause it when they need a break, or rewatch it if needed. As a result, they retain more and need to retrain less. 

Freedom

A surefire sign your training isn’t as effective as it could be is that your team asks the same questions over and over again — questions that should have been clear from the training. If someone isn’t available to answer that question quickly, people spend on average 100 minutes per day looking for the answer themselves. 

Rather than repeating yourself, wasting leadership’s time answering questions repeatedly, or watching your team’s workday slip away hunting down information, async videos allow you to answer it once with an evergreen asset. By housing it in a training platform (like Trainual), those answers are available on-demand and your team is empowered to get the information they need quickly and autonomously. 

Culture

One of the primary reasons many companies have opted to keep a physical office as an option for employees is to preserve their culture. That same prioritization of engaging and compelling content for building culture should apply to your training content.

Sure, you could double down by forcing people back to the office for one-off training sessions. Or you could just email everything your team needs to know with a few gifs sprinkled in to keep things hip. 

But neither option will be super effective long term. Either your team will be zoned out in person (and frustrated they had to rearrange their schedule) or they'll delete/miss the email without reading it. By turning that same information into a short series of training videos, people are 75% more likely to engage with the information. 

Videos give you the power to show off (and reinforce) your culture. Plus, your team is more likely to actually learn what they need to know, all while maintaining the flexibility and freedom your team has now come to expect from a hybrid environment.

The easiest way to make effective training videos

Choose one process, policy, or idea for your video to cover. Just one. Then, film yourself talking through that topic from start to finish. 

No need to invest in fancy video equipment (unless you want to). Keep video production simple with a tool like Loom (Loom actually integrates with Trainual so you can record videos right where your team will watch them). 

When you hit ‘record,’ you should share your screen or, if it’s a tangible skill you’re teaching, physically demonstrate the process on camera. Explain what you’re doing and why every step of the way. The ‘why’ is a game-changer for helping the information stick. 

That’s because adult learners already have a lot happening in their brains. Everyone is tasked with balancing competing priorities and deadlines, so unless you explain why this information matters to them personally first, people are less likely to flag it as important. 

Remember that simply explaining why isn’t always enough to hold their attention. The typical rule is once you have it, you have roughly eight seconds to make an impact. After that, you’ll start losing a few folks. Try to keep each video under around five minutes. It’s better to have 10 short videos than one 50-minute training movie. 

At the end of the day, done is better than perfect. So, don’t worry about making it into a Hollywood production or ironing out the fine details. As long as you cover what your team is responsible for knowing in a clear and concise way, you’re good. 

The traditional idea of a workplace will only continue to change. Hybrid adoption is growing and by the end of 2021, Gartner forecasts more than half of all knowledge workers are expected to be remote. Ensuring your teams are trained remains just as critical as ever, but disseminating and tracking that training comes with net-new challenges in a remote or hybrid world. 

By adopting async video, you not only save leaders and employees precious time, but you can also create a body of evergreen assets that ensure everyone has the information they need, no matter what timezone they’re in or what role they play.

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Author

  • Chris Ronzio

    Trainual Founder & CEO