Why Companies with Remote Employees Should Adopt Video Training

Video training has multiple benefits for trainers and trainees and can exceed in-person training in learning outcomes.

During the COVID pandemic, employees could experience the advantages of remote and hybrid work arrangements. And many of them are reluctant to return to a world of full-time, on-site employment.

As the pandemic thankfully winds down, employers are facing the absolute truth that remote work is here to stay. However, remote work makes things a bit harder for companies trying to train their employees and foster the next wave of corporate leaders. A newly remote workforce is dragging company training programs, however reluctantly, into a new normal: a flexible work environment responsive to their personal needs.

The people responsible for training all those employees and helping them advance their skills, and thus their value to their companies, will need to adjust. In-person training is becoming less viable, so trainers must adopt new techniques for upskilling and reskilling employees.

One of the best ways to make this transition is by adopting or enhancing the company’s use of video. Video training has multiple benefits for trainers and trainees and can exceed in-person training in learning outcomes. With the proper preparation, companies can bring employees’ skill sets further along the learning curve than ever before.

Fast or Slow, Just Go

If there is one word that defines remote work, it is flexibility. According to Gartner, employees and employers enjoy this new locational freedom, which may actually increase work productivity. Not everyone is at their best from 9 to 5: some of us are night owls while others are larks, who are at their best in the early hours of the day. Employees can work at their own pace and choose their most productive hours.

Those same timing preferences apply to when, where, and how we learn. While in-person meetings might be convenient for trainers, a nine A.M. session may not be optimal for many trainees, especially those in vastly different time zones. And if employees aren’t primed to learn at a particular time of day, that’s a waste of precious time and resources.

Training videos allow employees to train at their own pace and at the times of day that work best for their learning styles. For employees with deadline-driven tasks, videos give them a chance to establish their priorities in a way that doesn’t derail them from their most important work.

Video Inclusion

In reality, the need for flexible training preceded the shift to remote work caused by the pandemic. Increasing awareness of neurodiversity has also meant that companies have had to rethink their training methods.

For instance, the rise in the number of adults diagnosed with ADHD has meant trainers have to engage employees in ways that suit more than one learning style. For those with ADHD, this means giving them more time to think about, work with, and absorb the material that other employees might absorb more quickly.

Video training can help to address these learning differences. Video provides neurodivergent employees with multiple learning modalities, including auditory and visual learning, far beyond any printed matter employers may provide.

Also, employees can slow down, speed up, stop, rewind, and fast forward their way through the material at their own pace. This is something that live training sessions won’t allow them to do. Many experts agree that, for many employees, training videos can optimize what they can learn and take away from their training process.

Beyond issues of neurodiversity, there are other key personality differences that video can help address. For instance, introverted versus extroverted employees. Introverts can often get short shrift in an office environment, losing out on learning opportunities because they’re simply not as assertive as others. Video allows introverts to learn in the environment that suits them best: left to their own devices but with the opportunity to reach out to trainers with questions.

Videos also benefit employees for whom English is not their native tongue. Even the most practiced and dedicated ESL learners may not understand every idiom or turn of phrase that goes by them in a live session. Videos can not only provide subtitles as an aide to ESL learners but also feature animations, voiceovers, and other explanatory tools to engage non-native English speakers more effectively.

Hardware and Software

Of course, successfully adopting video training will also mean new skills for trainers. Some of these will be hard skills like camera work, lighting, sound, video editing, and post-production, all of which might help accommodate different learning styles. Fortunately, as video quality and internet speed have improved, videos have become more accessible for companies to create and disseminate, allowing trainers to record from home or an office. The company can outsource the production and editing to take the burden off of the trainers and incorporate slick, eye-catching infographics and social media elements to improve employee engagement.

Trainers might also need to learn some new soft skills, such as working with and speaking to the camera most effectively. Using a live producer to guide each shoot can drastically improve the comfort of the trainer and ensure that the video content flows efficiently. This may take considerable change, as many trainers are used to having a live audience. That in-person back-and-forth can undoubtedly be helpful, and it’s a good reason to include live training when possible. But the video allows trainers to expand their repertoire and start thinking about the benefits of creating a customizable employee experience.

So, perhaps this is one good thing that can come out of lockdown: companies reconsider their training processes and find ways that not only accommodate a hybrid workforce but also present all employees with opportunities to learn new skills to advance in their careers––and augment their value to their employers––but in ways that embrace a true diversity of learning styles.

Ian Folau, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearMix, a 100% remote video production platform that allows individuals and companies to create training/educational videos, video hiring campaigns, customer testimonials, or company overviews via 4K webcams, with assistance from professional producers and editors who manage interviews remotely.