Video: From Nicety to Business Necessity

While instant feedback via video enables management to align core workplace competencies, it also represents a platform employees can comfortably engage with.

Video was introduced to the corporate world in the 1980s with the emergence of conferencing. However, it wasn’t until the early- to mid-2000s, when it became more accessible and affordable, that video became commonplace. It is also around this time that our perception of video began to shift.

Up until this point, we thought of video in the cinematic sense—highly polished productions that take hours to create. While there is a time and place for this type of content, the advent of YouTube helped set the stage for short-term video. In addition, the introduction of consumer-grade platforms and mobile devices further armed folks to produce and share content faster than ever—and without sacrificing quality.

From training and development to online learning, this new form of video presented a way for organizations to collaborate around processes and services. But video is entering yet another new era, and is going far beyond traditional create-and-share uses.

According to a 2013 Bersin by Deloitte report, employers have found key reasons to incorporate video into their learning and development programs. In fact, 78 percent of respondents said they built their business case on the transition from classroom training to on-demand learning using video. Additional reasons they cited were to keep pace with changes in the business environment, and to encourage increased productivity. In this sense, video is becoming the most important tool to develop the workforce and influence transformation.

Instant Feedback

While using video to communicate and train talent is important, there are many other ways you can use it to truly enhance the bottom line. Have you ever asked yourself: Can I improve how quickly something happens? Or the efficiency with which it gets done? With video, the answer is, “Yes.” But it’s more than simply viewing video in its traditional sense. It’s using software to help analyze, recognize, measure, and predict things.

Much of what happens currently with performance reviews is manual. While observations, diagrams, and written notes are helpful, some work environments can’t afford missing a beat when it comes to analysis—either for safety reasons or dollars. Enter video. Video enables reviewers to break down what is happening step by step. With telestration and narration, you can diagnose situations, movements, and scenarios to give immediate and measureable feedback. Even more, you can leverage the content anytime, anyplace depending on the process and the need.

Instant analysis isn’t about changing steps though, but rather improving consistency. Learning and measuring processes is a time-consuming job. Often, there are actions that can’t even be captured by the naked eye. Intelligent video systems can analyze even the most complex of functions to look for ways to improve them and create a more streamlined workflow for organizations at large.

While instant feedback via video enables management to align core workplace competencies, it also represents a platform employees can comfortably engage with. In recent years, employees increasingly have demanded more social technologies for group learning, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration. Today’s corporate environment expects consumer-like functionality and two-way experiences with peers and managers, from onboarding and learning and development to performance reviews.

In fact, recent research by comScore reported that the Millennial generation watches 356 online videos per month, nearly 100 more than Generation X. Therefore, incorporating video into the daily processes of a business—whether it is for training or performance—is a natural fit and provides a much better platform to help analyze its impact on the organization.

Video can be an asset to any organization, no matter the use. In the training setting, it helps employees understand what to do and how to do it. Performance analysis, on the other hand, looks beyond improvement and identifies capabilities and motives, among other things. It’s the real-time engagement that ultimately will have a bigger, more direct impact on your business.

Matt Pierce is customer support manager at TechSmith Corp., a software company that provides practical business and academic solutions that change how people communicate and collaborate across devices. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Education’s Department of Instructional Systems Technology, Pierce has 10 years of experience working in learning and development with a focus on visual instruction. He has directly managed the training and user assistance teams for TechSmith, and also has run its visual communication Web show, The Forge, interviewing guests from around the world discussing the use of visuals, video, and technology in education, training, marketing, and more. Teach him something @piercemr.