Why video is the killer app for creating compelling employee experiences

Serge Van Dam
Serge Van Dam | March 12, 2019
Employee Experience
Why video is the killer app for creating compelling employee experiences

Video is eating the world. It’s as true for companies as it is for consumers – and yes, this includes yours.

Consumers and businesses are all responsible for the massive growth of online video. Consumer video traffic will be 84% of consumer traffic this year, up from 75% in 2014. And business video traffic will be 63% of traffic this year, up from 36% So it’s no surprise that more businesses are turning to video for HR processes; particularly those that are trying to transform the employee experience (EX) for the better.

Employee Experience Objectives

If we apply the lens of any contemporary human resources management model (e.g. the Standard Causal Model of Human Resources Management see diagram below), they are centred on Activities (or tasks) and Outcomes (or objectives).

HR Causal Model

Typical key outcomes include:

  • Employee Engagement to improve retention, enhance participation in the firms challenges and generally make the work environment better
  • Performance and Capability to improve the calibre of the talent in the organization and combined efficiency and effectiveness of its people
  • Culture, Trust and Participation to sustain strategic performance and mitigate employee and talent-related risks

Human Resources Activities

The activities required to achieve these objectives are your usual mix of HR practices:

  • Recruitment and Selection
  • Coaching and Performance Management
  • Training and Development
  • Compensation and Benefits

Video makes every HR activity better

They can ALL be improved by using video!

HR Video PhoneImagine video job descriptions, starring the employing manager and team. Wouldn’t that give candidates a much better idea of the business culture, and the personalities of the people they’d be working with?

Imagine explaining a stock option scheme via an interactive video, rather than a 60 page regulatory document. Wouldn’t participation increase if people don’t have to work so hard to understand what’s involved?

Imagine performance feedback loops in video format on a weekly or monthly cadence involving managers, peers and customers alike. Wouldn’t that lead to more open and honest communication?

Video is transforming the employee today

I happen to be on the Board of Directors of a video tech company called Wipster.  Wipster is a collaborative video platform for enterprises so that they can make more video and do more with it (win with video is our internal strapline). Many of our users are HR departments and EX professionals who are seeing an amazing set of results from making video front and centre of their employee experience strategy.  Examples include:

  • Retailer American Eagle has both and internal and external video team to facilitate regular training and communication with their employees across more than 1,000 retail stores. The process is so effective they are able to do so three times a week to keep their team engaged, up-to-date and committed.
  • Consulting firm Deloitte uses video to built relationships between its global and regional leadership and their 282,000 employees. Video gives executives a direct line of communication across geographic and hierarchical boundaries.
  • Manufacturing giant Graco focuses its video strategy on product training (B2B) for employees, partners and installation agents. And video is central to developing its sales organization and of course, marketing its products to prospects and customers alike.
  • Government agency NZTE New Zealands export agency uses video as the primary format for executive communication to the global team. So much so, that the CEO has his own weekly Vlog (Video Blog)

Video is the killer app because it is an experience

Why is video the killer app?  Here’s eight compelling reasons (there are more!):

1 Video humanises

By its very nature video needs more human involvement than other forms of media. It literally puts faces to names, bringing the human back to human resources.

2 Video is context-rich

Video brings its own context. You dont need a 40-page strategic plan to provide background for viewers. Video provides context in seconds, as part of the content.

3 Video is engaging

On average, video is 3x more engaging than other media: it gets three times more watches, comments, shares.

4 Video generates better data

Modern video platforms will provide your HR team with data about who watched what and when. You can also find out which parts they viewed more than once (or skipped!) so you can iterate and improve quickly.

5 Video aggregates other media

Video doesn’t have to be just faces on camera. You can include infographics, documents, interactivity…  use video to aggregate the media and content you already have, and make it more engaging.

6 Video is authentic

It is far easier to showcase your tone, brand and personality in video than any other medium.  If authenticity matters to you and your employee experience, video is an easy choice.

7 Video triggers action

Ultimately, HR activities require employees to do something: review performance, choose a compensation plan or complete a reference check the right way. Video accelerates paths to action.

8 Video is easy to process

People retain 95% of what they watch, vs 10% of what they read, which makes video the perfect fit for communicating complex ideas (like stock option schemes!), and for training and development.

Getting Started with video for EX

So you want to use video for EX transformation. Getting started is easier than it might seem.

My advice:

1) Try a few tools to help you with creating / editing, collaboration and publication.  Tools like Wipster, Vidyard and Brightcove are making video more accessible and easier to produce every day.

2) Hire a video dude for your HR department, even if it’s just on a temporary basis.  Once you have one of these capable experts on board, you will be amazed how easy and speedy it can be to get things done.

3) Experiment across the employee experience spectrum.  Your sweet spot for video may be training and development, or it may be job descriptions or internal communications.  Try a few video experiments out and see what works for your own company.

When it comes to transforming the employee experience, video is the killer app! What are you waiting for?