Improve internal communication with video
You don’t want your company’s mission, vision and values to be a blur of words in a dry document your employees barely skim over.
You don’t want your employees to lack direction or feel confused about their priorities.
And you should never ever want disconnected employees.
In this article, I’ll cover how to improve your internal communication with corporate videos.
Videos that will cut through – and resonate – with your team.
I’ve seen it in action:
- In videos that onboard and train with consistent [and re-watchable] messaging
- In videos that clear up corporate confusion, shining a light on the way forward
- In videos that move employees to proud tears
Instilling a sense of pride and belonging in the workforce.
And that means productivity. And profits.
1. Corporate video for internal communication is a smart business move
Let’s look at two scenarios:
Workplace scenario #1
Your company CEO delivers a team message to launch a new digital platform.
You’re given the heads-up that there’s a learning curve. And you’ll be supported with ongoing training.
Armed with this knowledge, you feel confident.
A little nervous but you’re ready.
Workplace scenario #2
Your company sets up a new digital platform with little warning, preparation and minimal training.
You might feel out of the loop, unvalued, and obstinate about the change.
This could have been avoided with improved internal communication.
It’s how you build – and strengthen – shared purpose and community.
2. Common communication barriers in the workplace
The guilty shall remain nameless, but once, there was a client.
A large client with the busiest, most overworked team of employees I’ve worked with. And they were spread far and wide.
We had a large video project to create for them and needed to liaise with multiple team members to nail the brief.
I struck multiple – and common- communication barriers.
Physical distance and different time zones – it was hard to get everyone together at the same time. Slowed progress for sure.
Lack of clear communication – the State Manager gave us a vague brief – followed by ‘talk to these people to flesh this out.’ The employee stakeholders had no idea what the boss wanted.
They were flat-out busy – so I couldn’t get direction and had to guess what they might want.
Conflicting priorities – with their packed inboxes, multiple projects and different goals, they couldn’t prioritise this new video project.
What other barriers could block workplace communication?
Lack of understanding of roles & responsibilities – was new Noah welcomed into the company with a clear and comprehensive onboarding?
A digital divide – overwhelmed Olivia doesn’t understand the new workplace system, she’s stressed and unproductive – and not on board with the changes.
Lack of feedback – the fastest way to confusion and dissatisfaction for unsure Ursula. ‘Am I doing a good job?’ ‘Is the boss unhappy with me?’
Lack of trust between team members – will selfish Sam take all the glory for the work you’ve spent days on?
Status or power barriers – is Barry the boss approachable? Standoffish? Intimidating? That’s an immediate communication block.
Cultural and language barriers – will shy Saadia be comfortable asking for help? Or remain confused?
3. Why use corporate video for internal communication?
Let’s face it; most of us skim – rather than read – a long multi-page PDF.
Emails get lost in the inbox. And explaining processes face-to-face is time-consuming and labour-intensive.
Especially when employees are spread around the state or country.
There’s no denying it:
Video is way more engaging.
In a survey by Vidyard, 82% of employees prefer video, compared to the 14% who prefer reading.
In another study by Wistia, employees retain 95% of a message they watch in a video, compared to 10% when reading a document.
And who wouldn’t want that retention rate?
4. Videos tell a story your employees want to be part of
Video allows you to share who you are as an organisation.
In a company culture video, you paint a picture of your company mission, vision and values – inspiring your employees to feel part of something special.
With a sense of shared purpose.
When you share your workplace story, everyone knows how they fit into the larger picture.
5. What types of videos are most engaging for internal communication?
Use company culture videos to share workplace pride
There’s nothing more influential, personal or authentic than employees sharing their workplace experience.
How they’re supported.
Not just by management but also by the teams they work with.
It’s contagious when they share:
- What they enjoy most about working for your company or organisation
- The fun and comradery
- And how much they appreciate the recognition they receive
When you capture their perspective on video, your employees are hands down the best ambassadors for your business.
Whether that’s for recruitment, onboarding, training or for marketing.
Recruitment videos attract the best and brightest
It’s tough out there at the moment.
Employers are competing for a smaller, pickier pool of job applicants, who are looking for more than the dollars.
Job seekers are more likely to apply if they better understand your company culture and what it’s like to work with you.
- What are the career development opportunities?
- How flexible are your work arrangements?
- What employee perks do you offer?
Nothing shows how awesome you are to work for than a recruitment video.
Video supercharges your training and induction
Onboarding new employees. Training your teams. You’ve got to get this right.
Over and over.
With nothing missed, overlooked, or forgotten.
With video’s superpowers, you can:
- Break down complex concepts into easily digestible chunks
- Create reference videos your employees can watch any time and as many times as needed
- Reach employees far and wide
- Free up the time and resources needed for live training sessions
All for less time and cost. And…
- More engagement!
- More consistency!
- More understanding!
- More retention!
Workplace safety videos: show, don’t tell
Keeping your people safe, it’s a big responsibility. There’s:
- Proper lifting techniques
- Machine operation
- Chemical handling
- Working at heights
- Personal protective equipment
- Emergency procedures
- First aid
- Safe zones, unsafe zones
- Etc, etc
Safety awareness and training videos help your company avoid costly accidents and injuries.
Sending your employees home to their families safely, every day.
Clarity and connection: A video message from the boss
Keeping teams in the loop is easily overlooked.
Leading to confusion > low morale > and lack of productivity.
A challenge that’s easy to fix.
A from-the-top video message to share updates and goals keeps everyone informed, connected and on the same page.
Increasing employee understanding and buy-in.
With all employees working towards common goals, your company is more productive.
That’s an easy competitive advantage.
P.S – authentic and natural is more important than slick and over-polished for this type of internal communication.
Use video for service or product launches
Your company has created an awesome new thingamabob service.
But you don’t know much about it.
Can you see where this is going?
A customer who knows more than you about your new thingamabob service expects an answer to their related query – and you’re clueless.
Total launch fail.
If your company had launched to employees before customers, you would have avoided this.
- All team stakeholders feel like they’re part of the launch
- They understand the new service or product
- You have team buy-in and feedback
- You generate excitement and anticipation
- You’ve prepared employees
They know what to expect – and what customers will expect.
Boost employee participation with event videos
Internal corporate events and conferences are huge to organise.
In a concentrated period of a few hours or days, employee stakeholders deliver and receive huge amounts of information.
There’s a lot of information to absorb and recall – and put into practice outside the event bubble.
For many of our clients, we film their events and speakers to preserve all the valuable information, insights and learning.
We edit a highlight video, plus speaker videos, tidied up to key points and supported with graphics.
And there you go.
Instead of a one-off event, you have an on-demand video library – an internal communication resource.
Leverage video storytelling for major projects
Let’s pretend you’ve preserved a project’s story on video.
A ‘future’ version of your company will thank you for it.
And in the present, your internal stakeholders will appreciate the transparency, engagement, and connection to the project.
You can share behind-the-scenes stories, provide insights into challenges and problem-solving, and showcase the creativity and innovation that goes into every project.
- Team morale and motivation – tick
- Everyone up-to-date and on the same page – tick
- Lessons learned for next time – tick
6. Expert tips for engaging internal communication videos
Involve decision-makers early
Nothing worse than going gung ho into production with what you ‘think’ decision-makers want in your video.
Way better to get messy at the start with everyone’s wished-for points to cover.
This means no surprises – and a happy ending.
Know your most important points, and don’t stray
Let’s say you have an employee in front of you.
And only 15 seconds to explain the most important point you want them to understand before they rush off to a meeting.
What is that ‘most important point?’
From there, brainstorm more important points and put them in order. [This is where you involve your decision-makers.]
Less is more: don’t cram everything into your video
It’s an easy trap to fall into.
But information overload will have the opposite result you’re hoping for.
Confusion instead of clarity.
Video length – short and sweet or long and informative?
I see many recommendations to keep video lengths short. I don’t always agree.
Because all length options should be on the table.
How do you decide?
Start with the viewer…
In a competitive job market, the potential employee is skimming all the job opportunities.
You’re one of many. That pushes your recruitment video towards a shorter length.
But that training video to cover workplace safety?
Don’t avoid going into depth because you’re worried about the minutes. [That doesn’t mean you can’t break it up into manageable chunks.]
Where will your viewer watch the video?
Let’s say you’re creating a corporate anniversary video using employees past and present, sharing their memories and anecdotes.
You’ll play it at a corporate event with your people held captive.
In the recent series of branch video stories we produced for our client Hastings Deering, each video was between 10 and 13 minutes long.
Our internal audience smiled at, laughed with, clapped along with the videos – and watched to the end.
Narration should sound the same way you speak
It should be easy for your viewers to understand and relate to what you’re saying.
That won’t happen if your video sounds like an annual report.
You have to ignore everything you learned in English class – chuck it all out.
You want narration that sounds natural and conversational.
- Choose contractions – ‘you’re’ instead of ‘you are.’
- Sentences starting with ‘And.’
- Short sentences. In the simplest set of words possible.
- Flowery adjectives banished.
You, not we
Switch out the word ‘we’ for ‘you’, and you’re in the connection zone.
Overusing ‘we, we, we’ is beyond boring. Your viewer doesn’t care.
Tip! Use word search to count the number of times you say ‘you and your’ – and make sure these outnumber selfish words like ‘we, our and us.’
End with a clear call-to-action
Don’t leave them hanging.
This could be as simple as asking prospective employees to apply [and telling them how]…
…or asking for feedback on a project launch [and telling them how.]
7. Key takeaways: internal communication with corporate videos
Video is a hardworking medium to cut through and connect.
Leaders can communicate with employees, fostering transparency and trust…
Internal stakeholders are kept in the loop, boosting engagement and a sense of belonging…
The time and effort that in-person training demands is smashed…
A large or dispersed workforce is brought into the communication fold…
And a valuable resource library is created to be re-watched and shared.
With 82% of employees preferring to watch a video, it’s what your employees want!
Video on your radar?