Mention the word “training” in the office, and you will likely hear a collective groan rumble through.
More often than not, employees view training as more of a distraction that interrupts their day than as something useful for their professional development. In many cases, the those organizing the training are no less thrilled about having to schedule it — they’re usually just trying to fit it in when it will least impact productivity.
And when it’s a distributed team? Then the challenge of training employees increases exponentially.
The virtual interaction among team members, the inability to get everyone in the same room at the same time, the limited access to training materials, the different learning styles, the lack of engagement with remote training and the cost necessary to reach team members across different locations all make it extremely difficult for distributed companies to implement effective training programs.
There is a solution that overcomes these challenges: online video training. Online training videos allow you to create an alternative, cohesive learning environment that is more productive, cost-effective and impactful for distributed teams than traditional in-person or written documents training.
Here are some unique advantages for organizations implementing online video training.
Video Allows Coworkers to Connect And Share Skills
One of the biggest disadvantages of having a distributed team is the slack connection between the company and team members. Human resources professional Robert Half says that remote employees can feel isolated from in-office colleagues, a feeling that can potentially lead to them being less productive. (Or not.)
The geographical distance creates a strong disconnect that can lead to an "us-versus-them" mentality when remote workers feel they are kept in the dark and the last to receive company information, distributed agile professional Hugo Messer says.
Online video training is a key tool for overcoming this disconnect because you can inject personality into the training. That helps co-workers get to know one another, it encourages engagement, it facilitates communication and it boosts morale, says the team at Kast.
Christoforos Pappas, MBA, MEd, explains that online training can help facilitate collaboration between remote teams, helping to build teamwork skills and keeping the lines of communication open. Employees then feel as though they are a part of the team, receiving the same training, rather than separated from it.
Too often, however, on-site employees have the advantage of first-hand training while remote workers get sent the highlights in a document. But with online training videos, everyone receives the same training no matter where they are located, giving everyone the same access to the same subject-matter experts, UX design expert Kumar Venkatesiah says.
It Relieves the Pressure of Scheduling Convenient Training Times
Online training provides easy access to training materials to those in different geographic locations. As Pappas notes in another article, online training gives organizations the ability to reach an unlimited number of employees quickly no matter where they are located. Team members across the globe can receive the same training, providing continuity and cohesiveness across an organization.
Online training allows employees to choose the training times that works best for them. Education professional Stuart Pedley-Smith notes, “The primary benefit of flexible learning is not to minimise study time, but to make it work around business needs.” Workers are able to plan their study times around the rest of their day, not the other way round, which minimizes the impact on productivity.
Another benefit of using videos as training tools is that the videos can “live forever.” eLearning professional Nikos Andriotis suggests creating an online repository of videos where employees can find resources and training videos. By developing an online course map, Andriotis says, companies enable employees to get training when and where it is most convenient for them.
Companies that utilize online videos for training are able to create more flexible, convenient training programs that employees will be more motivated to complete.
It Allows Organizations to Customize Training Materials
The ability to customize the training is another reason why online video training is so effective. Business writer Brigg Patten explains that online training programs can be aligned with a company’s business objectives as well as the requirements of different employee profiles.
Unlike with traditional training, training videos can be quickly changed or updated as new processes or new technologies are adopted within an organization. Online training allows companies to quickly disseminate new information to distributed teams, keeping everyone up to date in a timely manner.
Managers can use video to make employee observation videos, then use the videos to provide feedback for improvements, Refract Chief Executive Officer Kevin Beales writes. Beals also notes that live presentations can be recorded and timestamped so that viewers can be directed to specific training points within a video.
Videos can also be customized to fit specific learning styles.
It Adapts to Different Learning Styles
Not all employees learn the same way. The team at MediaPlatform notes that people remember only 10 percent of what they hear, 30 percent of what they read and 80 percent of what they see. Video incorporates a variety of different learning styles, combining audio, text and visual styles, so that everyone has a better opportunity to retain knowledge.
Another advantage to online training is the ability for team members to watch the videos repeatedly, as often as needed to understand the material, instead of a one-time presentation. This flexibility can increase the effectiveness of training by allowing people to learn when they are most alert, which also promotes team unity by eliminating embarrassment of someone who can’t get it, business author Terry Brock notes.
People learn at different rates. Online video training allows time necessary for individual employees to internalize the skillsets at their own pace. That way, they are able to move to the next level of training, if available, when they are ready, not when timeline constraints dictate that graduation.
Business writer Kate Rockwood suggests that personalizing training based on an employee’s retention and performance elevates training because traditional, or static, learning delivery methods — in which an instructor goes through information at the same pace for all employees — are quickly forgotten.
It Saves the Company Money
Creating videos for training purposes saves organizations money over using traditional training methods. Companies can invest in creating a single video and post it online for everyone to view, no matter where they are located, as opposed to spending the money to either fly a trainer around to different locations or pay for travel for employees to come to one office for a training program.
Learning consultant Dionna Odom notes that video training can also save companies money by cutting down on the amount of time spent learning. A technique can be explained much faster through video than oral explanation, and the learner grasps the concept more quickly through demonstration.
It Motivates Employees to Actually Implement What They’ve Learned
Corporate training consultant Art Kohn has a great piece on “the forgetting curve,” which illustrates that learners forget 70 percent of what they learn within 24 hours. Video engages people in a way that text-based learning cannot. This helps them retain more of what they learn.
Video training helps to overcome this issue through its interactive nature and the ability of users to repeatedly view videos until the information sticks. A report by WR Hambrecht & Company states that e-learning experiences increase retention by 25 to 60 percent. But for training videos to be successful, the must offer a high level of interactivity.
The human element of online videos gives them an advantage over text-based learning because employees feel as if they are being personally mentored, which increases the chances of retaining the information taught.
Today’s the Day to Start Using Online Video Training
Training a distributed workforce is difficult. The best way to ease the pain for everyone is to implement a training program that utilizes videos that can be posted online for all employees to access.
That way, everyone has access to the same information, and employee discord can be avoided. Remote workers have the opportunity to feel more a part of the team than if they did not have access to those materials.
A happy workplace is a more productive workplace, and video training is one element in creating a happy workplace.