3 Common Pitfalls Holding You Back from Using Training Videos

Training videos help save time and resources, and they’re easier to make than ever. Here’s how to overcome some of the more common hurdles so your company can start reaping the benefits.

Did you know the average employee attends 62 meetings every month? Workers have their time pulled in all directions. And, generally speaking, training sessions are viewed as one more thing to add to their ever-growing to-do lists. To shift this perspective, we need to make sure we are using their time effectively when it comes to training.

Ideally, your training will provide your employees with useful skills and knowledge to help them do their jobs better, but we know it’s not always perceived that way. As training developers and trainers, we want to make the most of the time we have, and the answer to that is video. 

Videos are especially powerful for training purposes. They allow for greater retention of information and can remain available for on-demand access to the content for new employees or when current staff needs a refresh.

While the thought of creating videos can be daunting for some, it’s never been easier. However, many companies still struggle to incorporate them into their workflows. Here are the three most common challenges organizations face when introducing video creation—and how you can solve them.

Pitfall #1: You don’t have the time to create videos 

With the prevalence of smartphones, most of us have become pretty comfortable recording videos on our phones to share on social media. Yet many are still hesitant when it comes to work-related content. Most of the time, it’s because we think our videos must be really professional and polished to share at work. While it’s true some videos will require a bit more polish than others, often a simple screen recording or smartphone video can be all you need to get your message across. It’s this cycle of perfection that can lead to frustration and, ultimately, deter your team or staff from incorporating videos into their workflows. 

How to overcome it: Before jumping into your first training video, think about the goal and audience you’re trying to reach. But don’t overthink it. For many simple tasks, a quick and easy video without all the bells and whistles will do the job just as well as something more professional. Then, as you get more comfortable creating videos, you can think about adding more polish.

Pitfall #2: You need special skills or equipment

Some people are naturally more nervous their first time creating a video for work or assume they’ll have to be in front of the cameras. Others might be unsure of how to use the software or aren’t aware of how easy it is to create a video. 

How to overcome it: If you have access to special recording equipment or studios, by all means, take advantage of that. If not, you’re likely reading this on a powerful tool right now: your smartphone (check out my article on getting the most out of your smartphone). Couple that with modern editing software and your teams will be empowered to share high-quality videos. 

Pitfall #3: You’re not sure of where or how to start

Even if you have all the tools and resources your team needs to make engaging videos, they might not start creating videos right away. Just like a habit, getting started takes consistent use and practice. 

How to overcome it: If your normal process is to hold meetings or send wordy e-mails when there’s a new training need, try to create a video instead. Identify a topic you could easily turn into a video, such as instructions for a commonly used software or how to submit for time off. Nominate a champion to create a video instead of the normal process, and use this as a use case for the positive impact of videos for future training needs.

Maybe you’ve experienced one of these pitfalls or a combination of the above. The important thing to remember is that your content doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. Using videos in your organization is meant to simplify while allowing you to provide a clear and concise message. With the right tools and leadership buy-in, you’ll soon have an effective training engine that makes the most of your and your employees’ time.

Matt Pierce is Learning & Video ambassador at TechSmith Corp., the go-to company for visual communication. TechSmith empowers people to create remarkable content to share knowledge and information. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Education’s Department of Instructional Systems Technology, Pierce has more than 10 years of experience working in learning and development with a focus on visual instruction. He has directly managed the training, user assistance, video, and other teams for TechSmith.