Prior to COVID-19, 60% of companies didn’t have a long-term internal communication strategy.
The last few months have highlighted how big of an oversight that was on their part.
Companies that lacked the proper internal communications apparatus were forced to adopt or develop them, quickly.
Luckily for them, video-related solutions are more than up to the task.
Major improvements in software and technology now offer affordable video-related opportunities. Organizations using integrated internal communication videos are thriving, even during these unprecedented times.
In the age of indefinite remote-work, embracing these video-related solutions is no longer a luxury.
What is internal communication?
A simple definition of internal communication is the way a company and its employees interact. More to the point, internal communication is the information shared by employees of a company about the company. In practice, this communication will come in the form of emails, an all-hands, physical meeting, and, most importantly, meetings conducted via video conferencing platforms.
Successful internal communication will facilitate an optimal workflow; one that will see all employees working together to accomplish company goals.
Internal communication includes everything that’s said and shared within an organization to facilitate relationships and foster dialogue, at all levels.
Proper internal communication drives productivity, innovation, and belief in what the organization is doing and everyone’s role in facilitating its vision.
Why is internal communication so challenging?
Traditional internal communication methods (i.e. email, phone calls and physical mail) are subject to various challenges:
- Lack of feedback. Although still a common communications tool (and with good reason), email leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to providing a dynamic communication experience. Asynchronous by nature, you’ll have to wait for your contact to answer your email before you can gauge how he or she feel about what you have communicated to them.
If given, feedback will often won’t be immediate.
- Email overload. Communication overload in the form of emails often results in important information being forgotten, deleted or ignored. An EmployeeApp survey states that 30% of employees simply ignore internal emails from their employers.
- Device chaos. People no longer work only on desktop computers. They also use smartphones, tablets, laptops, notepads, and even smartwatches. It becomes difficult to cut through all the noise and ensure that information reaches employees on the right channels.
This may prove to be an even bigger problem now that so many work remotely. Forced to work at odd hours in order to take care of their kids, employees will be away from the desks, much more often than they were when working from the office.
- Inherent difficulty of internal communication. As many as 65% of managers feel uncomfortable communicating with employees. Additionally, employees, particularly millennials, don’t believe the feedback they get from managers is particularly valuable.
- Budget constraints. Many organizations don’t allocate enough resources to properly develop their own internal communications strategy and means of implementation. Not every company can afford to opt for enterprise communication solutions
Why use video for internal communication?
Video provides improved employee experiences: A study by Melcrum on the use of video in internal communication, states that 93% of 1,200 employees believe that video is a vital part of internal communication. Another report says that 54% of all employees expect to see video-oriented internal communication. They are also more likely to watch it than engage with other forms of content.
Employees would much rather watch a video than go through a long document about company policies.
A video conference will almost always be viewed as preferable to combing through meeting notes. They can also watch videos using a variety of devices, when they’re on-the-go and at any time.
Video helps employees learn more effectively and retain more information: More than any other form of media, video enhances the comprehension levels of those who engage with it:
Video is easy to create and distribute: Today, there are a variety of tools that render video creation an extremely easy task. Very often, all you’ll need is a webcam. RecTrace enables you to easily record yourself and send videos to your employees and team members. If you feel that the video contains information you think should be shared with the world, you can even post it directly on social media.
Video enables employees to convey more information in less time: People can understand in a moment what it would take pages to explain. Nonverbal communication is a big part of video; with email, if you don’t write it, it doesn’t exist. A lot can be discerned via a speaker’s body language, as well.
Video is searchable: With features such as in-video search, every team member can easily record and share ideas, reviews, demos and more, right from his or her tablet, laptop or smartphone.
Video is more intuitive than traditional methods: Employees find that it’s easier to talk their way through a problem than to sit down and write an email. Many employees find It easier to communicate verbally than it is via text; video communication is a perfect way to facilitate such transactions.
The initial camera shyness disappears pretty quickly; you’d be surprised how even the more reserved employees (i.e the ones whom have a hard time maintaining eye contact) come out of their shell when given the opportunity.
Employees start having fun with it and expressing their personalities. Unlike traditional internal communication methods, using video places employees at the center of the experience and makes them feel valued and important.
Video is the preferred communications tool for executives: 87% of young executives prefer to work for a video-enabled organization and would rather skip the one with no video investments. This is a clear indication of how new-age employees value a brand with its video presence.
Video is measurable: Cincopa Analytics provide you with valuable information regarding individual employees’ interaction with internal communication videos.
If certain team members aren’t watching or engaging with videos, you’ll know it. You can either optimize these videos or reproach the disengaged employee.
Important elements to pay attention to for internal communication videos
Not so long ago, video wasn’t an obvious choice for internal communications. Human resources managers had to host internal communication videos on external platforms, such as YouTube, which meant concerns with confidentiality and privacy.
Modern video platforms allow organizations to record multiple video streams, capturing more than one presenter, as well as computer screens, whiteboard notes, presentation slides and more to help everyone stay in the loop.
Security and ease-of-use: Trying to create and manage videos used to be very intimidating. Today, bandwidth is cheaper, broadband is faster, and camera quality is far better. Just as importantly, you can share video securely without compromising on video quality and without paying and arm and a leg. Thanks to the pervasiveness of smartphones and tablets, employees can consume video wherever they are and whenever they have time to.
On-demand or live: Watching videos on-demand will typically mean that not every employee will watching a video at the same time. This may work for some companies. However, if you need to enable video-based meetings with hundreds of participants, you might want to start thinking about live streaming solutions.
Oracle saved almost $10 million in costs by using on-demand video to bolster sales kickoff meetings. With in-person events for off-shore employees proving to be too expensive, Oracle has successfully transitioned into the age of on-demand video meetings.
How should I create internal communications videos?
Video conferencing platforms: The notorious ‘star’ of the global pandemic, Zoom has become the weapon of choice for businesses looking to ensure proper video communication, both external and internal. Hardly the only option out there, you should explore using a video conferencing solution, if you aren’t already using one.
Via mobile: Most people have a smartphone today, connected to either 3G or 4G networks, making it easy to shoot and share HD videos. This is acceptable in certain situations, delivering finished products that convey an air of authenticity and immediacy.
RecTrace: With this free Chrome extension, you can record yourself via webcam. The latter is a built-in feature within virtually every laptop in 2020.
How should I use internal communications videos?
Companies are using video to disseminate information across departments – from salespeople to product marketing teams, financial teams and everyone in between.
Announcements and update: Organizations are using video to keep their employees informed about company updates, product updates, change announcements and more.
A survey by PoliteMail of 56 million internal email messages found that although 77%of employees opened internal emails, only 37 % of recipients read those messages, and a measly 24% clicked through to see links or images.
It’s far better to use video for this purpose.
Share company wide, keynote meetings: Live streaming internal meetings, like CEO addresses, helps keep employees informed and helps bridge hierarchical gaps. Sometimes an physical, company-wide meeting is impossible (especially in the age of social distancing and remote work). Live streaming these events is a great option. Providing an on-demand recording of the meeting to employees whom could not attend live (due to time zone conflicts etc.) is always a best practice. Using the right video hosting platform, you can add closed captions, chapters and annotations, to help those who watch the video later feel engaged.
How should I present internal communication videos?
Video hubs: A video hub is like a video library for employees. Organize it into topics, video styles, etc. and make it searchable, so all content is easily found.
Good video hosting platforms will offer templates that are tailored for employee knowledge bases.
Deloitte, has a video portal and encourages executives and employees to engage with it.
Since it’s been launched, employee engagement increased dramatically, with a 75% play rate among company employees.
Webinars: People across an organization can listen and interact with an expert on a specific topic without having to gather in a specific location. Employees can ask questions, and the webinar host (be it the CEO or an internal topic expert) can gauge employee understanding of certain topics.
Via email or Slack: According to Forrester, 75% of employees are more likely to watch a video than to read emails, documents or web articles. Using video in emails is proven to increase open rates, especially if the word ‘video’ is used in the subject line. Status updates, document reviews and meeting summaries that take time to type (and are unlikely to be read), are easy to share in short video form that is likely to be watched.
Use video analytics to measure and improve
Traditional internal communication methods made it difficult to assess how employees engaged with messages. Do you check to see whether emails are opened or assess the amount of traffic on intranet pages? How do you know someone read an email even if they opened it?
IABC survey report found that 60% of internal communicators do not measure results!
With a good video hosting platform, there is no guessing when it comes to video engagement.
With robust analytics, you’ll see exactly how each employee engaged with a certain video. Did he or she watch the video? If so, where, when and using which device? Did he or she watch it a few times? When did he or she drop off while watching?
You’ll know the exact answer to all of these questions, and many more. That way, you can judge whether a certain method of style of video (e.g. webinars) is resonating with employees. You can break down video interaction rates according to department or seniority, and, according to the results, optimize your internal video communication strategy.
Tips and Ideas for starting with internal communications video content
Keep it simple: Try to avoid using jargon and take time to spell things out when necessary.
Use a mix of content: Your company doesn’t have to create all the video content. Try encouraging employee-generated content. Get employees to talk about their experience at the company or how they have experienced a change. Mix up different types of content, from interviews and training videos to highlights from events.
Try to keep videos short and sweet: Most people only have an attention span of about 90 seconds when watching online video. Focus on getting the most important points across in the shortest possible amount of time. If you have a lot to say about a topic, think about making a series of videos to keep the content more digestible and your videos at reasonable length.
Use targeted communication: At times, communicating company-wide via video is the best option. However, there are occasions when you need to target small groups. Create videos to address a specific target group.
Final thoughts and takeaways
As organizations grow, facilitating proper internal communication channels can become challenging. This becomes that much more pressing in an era of (potentially permanent) remote work.
Too many organizations are still relying on traditional forms of internal communication: Emails, text-heavy documents and telecommunications. Not only does this type of content take time and effort to create, employees often don’t have the incentive to read it.
Video is more than up to the task of facilitating optimal internal communication. Good internal video communication allows for employees to quickly capture and share ideas, accelerates the onboarding process of new employees and provides dynamic employee training possibilities.