Employee engagement. It’s a term we're all familiar with. But what exactly do we mean when we say it, and how can video help to improve this nebulous concept in your business?
However you define it, it’s a complex issue with many factors.
But at its root, I believe employees fail to be engaged and motivated at work because they don’t truly feel a cohesive part of the company they’re in. They don’t feel like they have a purpose, and they don’t trust their superiors. They don’t feel committed. They don’t feel connected.
Somewhere in your company right now, there’s somebody sitting at their desk, doing work they don’t feel is valuable, who is just waiting for the minutes to tick by until they get to go home.
That’s because they don’t feel committed or connected. They don’t feel engaged. And this is something every business needs to improve.
A serious challenge
This year HRN Europe conducted a study. They asked HR professionals what their biggest challenge at work was. ‘Employee engagement’ was in the top 5 of responses (and I’m sure this is backed up by your own personal experience).
It’s been proven over and over again that higher employee engagement leads to higher productivity, higher profitability and higher customer ratings, along with lower employee turnover and absenteeism.
And employee engagement is absolutely critical to recruiting and retaining talent in your business. (By the way, that was another of the top 5 challenges of those HR professionals.)
So the real question is... how can you improve your employee engagement?
There are lots of different ways to engage people. But one solution that we've found real success with is video in internal communications. We've used video with many of our clients to improve employee enagement.
Stories that spread emotion
Here's an example. A few years ago Experian, a global information services company, wanted to launch a campaign through a series of over 20 videos. It was called The Heart of Experian, and the core idea was that the heart of Experian isn’t its processes or services, but its people.
The videos we created were all focused on storytelling. The aim was to show the experiences of real employees, and how they helped Experian’s clients each and every day. We told real stories about real people. Such a simple idea, but very effective.
Through video, a visual, intimate medium, we told these stories that allowed employees at Experian to connect emotionally with their co-workers and superiors. It enabled them to feel part of a whole, and to recognise that they’re all working towards the same goals and same values.
In fact, the Heart of Experian initiative and its videos helped to unify the business and break down isolated silos that have become so common in large companies.
By spreading this idea of people and their stories through video, we were able to pass on these emotions of happiness, closeness, pride, passion — because emotion in video is infectious.
And video catches people’s attention, which meant the stories kept people’s attention and they spread. The result was that employees across Experian became more engaged. They felt more connected to the people around them, as an important part of the company they work for.
But that’s just one way video can help to engage employees.
Video can also encourage the adoption of other tools and services which make employees feel more valued and appreciated in their business. That’s what we did with Boots and their Learning portal.
Earlier this year we used an animation to announce the relaunch of Boots Learning, to celebrate employee’s successes so far and get across the importance of employees learning new skills. By learning new skills they grow both as people and employees, and this continuous investment helps them to feel like a useful part of a team.
And again, this brings people together towards a shared goal. A shared vision of what their company can be and what their purpose in it is.
Video is a great medium to get all this across, because it allows employees to really visualise that future and feel excited about it. That gets them motivated. And that gets them engaged.
Recruiting new talent
Lastly, we’ve used video with BWB Consulting to help attract and recruit new talent.
BWB is a engineering and environmental consultancy that’s always on the lookout for talented and valuable new team members. We created a series of recruitment videos for them, explaining the culture of the business, the vision of the company and the business plan that would lead them there, the opportunities on offer and the closeness between the team.
Video gives prospective employees an authentic, engaging look at a business. It can really help to draw them into that shared future and envision themselves within it.
Good internal comms video builds a culture of openness, transparency, equality, passion, and shared values. It gives employees the motivation they need to feel connected to the company they’re a part of and what it stands for. It can excite them to want to be an important part of their business. And not only that, it inspires new talent to become part of that business.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Josh Bersin, of Bersin by Deloitte. He says:
The change we need to make is to redefine engagement beyond an ‘annual HR measure’ to a continuous, holistic part of an entire business strategy."
Video content is a great way of making employees feel engaged throughout your business.
So, how can you use video to improve your employee engagement? How can you make that employee, waiting for the minutes to tick by, feel committed and connected — feel like the important part of your business that they really are?
Consider what you want to achieve with internal video, and set in place some clear and defined objectives. Once you know what your end goals are, the next step towards the production of your video content is planning and creating a video production brief.