Email is bad. It turns a simple form of internal communication into one of nerve-churning self-doubt as you watch the minutes tick away writing, rewriting, and rererewriting a message that ends up being “Sounds good!!”
And the exclamation points – my god, the exclamation points. We live in an era of exclamation inflation and where once this exclamatory punctuation served as a garnish to highlight the underlying emotion of a single sentence, we are now forced to pack as many as we can at the end of every sentence or risk being seen as someone incapable of joy.
Fortunately, video can help rectify much of what is wrong with email and help improve a company’s communications with and between its employees.
Now, this blog has already discussed how video can do wondrous things for your external communication. For instance, it can educate your customers and boost the ROI of your events. While the video used in those scenarios should be highly produced, you don’t need professional production values for video to improve the internal communications at your company.
Video, whether it’s through virtual conference software like Zoom or Google Meet or whether the video is broadcast live or recorded beforehand, can make it easier to communicate ideas, provide feedback, and onboard new hires.
Video Makes it Easier for Managers to Manage
It’s harder to be a manager than ever before. Previously, managers could seek and establish connections with their team by popping by their desk or otherwise engaging in the needed face-to-face communication that builds relationships. As companies continue to make it easier to operate remotely either from home or an office in another location, though, managers now lack the simple ability to literally see how their team is doing.
Video can help return some of the aspects of working and meeting in-person:
- A video chat can make it easier for managers and employees to feel connected even over great distances.
- A live Q and A session can allow employees to ask questions in an open forum about a new policy or procedure
- A group game session or happy hour over Zoom can help build camaraderie.
Recorded videos can also be a useful tool for managers. Offering a moment of recognition to an employee during a weekly or daily update lets the manager use the reward of sweet, sweet praise to help motivate members of their team.
If the manager is using video to share out status updates or new policies, they’ll also be able to see who has watched the video and for how long. Those engagement metrics will give the manager insight into who’s paying attention, whether the videos are effective, and whether updates need further explanation.
Video Allows Employees to Better Collaborate
To bring the conversation back to email, there’s a reason that exclamation points have become commonplace: emails lack tone. They are depersonalized; it’s almost impossible to guess exactly how someone meant to say something, and far too often the tone inferred by the reader is not the one implied by the writer.
Video changes that. Instead of beginning yet another email with the stuffy, stodgy “As per my previous request,” you can send a video where the tone of the message is the literal tone of your voice. This cuts down on passive aggressiveness and builds up actual two-way communication.
For those working on projects together, video also provides an avenue to both show and tell. Instead of leaden SOPs, you can record your screen as you navigate a complex system. Instead of describing in words a visual update to a project, you can use video to compare the beginning and current stages of a graphic.
In each of these cases, video brings people together by offering another element to the message. Video engages, clarifies, and unites.
Video Makes Onboarding and Training More Efficient
The process of onboarding new hires and training current hires is difficult to scale. Video is an elegant solution to this problem. With little effort, your HR team can record videos of how to set up direct deposit, request laptops, or enroll in benefits. If your HR team can show one person how to do all this, with the power of video they can also show 500.
The same is true of ongoing training. A recorded screen share can walk a team through a new process or procedure. For customer success teams, a video can help explain a new policy in a language and tone that they’ll likely have to repeat to customers.
In the case of both onboarding and ongoing training, the metrics of a video can also identify knowledge gaps or areas that need further explanation. In the example of the customer success team, if a video explaining a new policy is getting repeated views from multiple team members, then there’s a good chance the video’s explanation is confusing. This gives trainers a chance to dig deeper and offer different wording.
For new hires: if a question is repeatedly asked of HR when there’s a video stored in the knowledge base that already answers it, then that video can be better surfaced to be made easier to find. These metrics can uncover where training is falling short as well as highlight areas of strength or growth.
Video Makes Internal Communication More Effective
Video can’t necessarily replace all aspects of email. There are times when a quick message needs to be sent out when you don’t have access to a camera or good lighting. However, using video to supplement your company’s use of email or other internal communication methods can help bring managers, employees, and new hires closer together.
So, schedule a Zoom meeting or record your screen as you walk through a new operating procedure. You may find clearer communication lines, and that sounds good to me!!
For more on how video can help your managers and employees communicate with one another, listen to episode 37 of The Video Reformation podcast.