Employees Prefer Images: Here’s How to Make Your Onboarding Process More Visual

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Released in June, the “Internet Trends 2019” report from technology investment firm Bond came with a clear message for the employment market : People love visuals. According to the report, the number of people sharing and consuming images and videos through online platforms like Instagram and Snapchat has climbed year over year since at least 2010.

People aren’t just increasingly visual in their personal lives — they also prefer visuals at work. According to a recent study we conducted at TechSmith, 67 percent of employees perform better in the workplace when communicated with visually compared to with text alone.

It stands to reason, then, that organizations should look for opportunities to bring visuals to their corporate communications. Onboarding in particular presents a key chance for organizations to make their processes more visually engaging.

From an organizational standpoint, onboarding should be repeatable and compliant. For new hires, it should be engaging and the information it delivers should be retainable. The implementation of video into your onboarding process can check all these boxes and more.

Here are three types of videos to incorporate into your onboarding for a more effective approach to employee training:

1. Welcome Videos

Joining a new company is an anxious experience for most. In addition to getting up to speed, new employees are worried about what the culture will be like and whether or not they will fit in.

Video can help smooth those initial introductions between new employees and the company. Video can show — not tell — a new employee what your company is all about, conveying the fundamentals of your organization’s history, beliefs, culture, and overall purpose in an inspiring and digestible way.

You may also want to include a “meet the staff” portion of your welcome video in which top leaders and key team members within the department give the employee quick introductions of themselves. This will help the new hire get to know their team before the in-person introductions even begin.

Video captures far more than a written welcome packet ever could. For example, videos will express the emotions and body language of the people delivering your message, thereby conveying your company’s spirit and culture in a more personal and immediately palpable way. Upon watching the video, new hires will feel assured they’re joining a great company full of purpose-driven, supportive teammates.

For more expert HR insights, check out the latest issue of Recruiter.com Magazine:

2. Screen Recordings for Software Training

Every organization has its own standard set of computer programs employees must use to get their jobs done. Learning the ropes of these programs can be overwhelming for a new employee, especially if your organization’s technology suite is totally foreign to them, and face-to-face training sessions with the IT department can be time-consuming and costly.

A more convenient and cost-effective approach to software training might be to record simple narrated screencasts showing new hires how to use your organization’s key programs. A step-by-step, visual walkthrough of your company’s standard software can make these often intimidating training sessions much easier to digest. Employees will also be able to rewatch these videos whenever they need a refresher, and you’ll save time by avoiding individual in-person training sessions for each and every new hire.

3. Knowledge Handoff Videos

Nobody knows how to do a job better than the person who does it every day. Unfortunately, new hires rarely get an in-person knowledge handoff with the person who previously did their job. This can lead to brain drain for your organization as seasoned employees walk out the door with all the institutional knowledge they cultivated throughout their time with the company. As a result, it often takes incoming staff members that much longer to familiarize themselves with the intricacies and nuances of their new roles.

A series of short videos can serve as a great way to bridge that gap and capture valuable knowledge from departing staff members so it can be passed on to their replacements. These videos don’t have to be fancy to be useful. Even a simple cellphone or webcam video will do. The key is to have the departing expert capture their workflows and everyday processes in detail. That way, important lessons learned by former employees won’t be lost when the worker is.

While creating onboarding videos may seem intimidating, the effort is well worth it. The more you invest in employee training early on, the more likely you are to retain your best talent.

Remember, too, that the phrase “less is more” applies here. Don’t make video production more complicated than it has to be. A smartphone is all you really need to get started.

Once your videos are ready, store them in a central, easy-to-find location, such as your organization’s intranet. That way, new and seasoned employees alike will be able to access the tools they need to succeed in their roles whenever they need.

Dan Porta  is a corporate recruiter at TechSmith.

By Dan Porta