Video can be an invaluable tool for cutting through your team’s crowded inboxes. Shelley Stuart explains how DFP Recruitment used video to hack the employee experience.
You’ve just sat back at your desk after a morning of meetings and flipped open your laptop. The list of bold items vying for attention in your inbox strikes you like a sledgehammer. Where do you even start?
If this sounds like you or your organization, video could be the internal communications strategy overhaul you’ve been searching for. Amid the sea of email, video communication can cut through the text overload, improving productivity and information retention, and boosting employee experience and engagement in the process.
We spoke with DFP Recruitment’s Digital Community Manager – National, Shelley Stuart, about what’s worked for her organization, as well as the benefits of using video as part of your internal communication strategy.
Turn email fatigue into engagement
Most of us are dealing with email fatigue to some degree in our work lives – it’s essentially accepted as a necessary evil. But an organization’s internal communications can soothe employees’ text-based malaise by using video to convey key messages and simplify complex information.
“At DFP, we internally review our communication processes fairly regularly and explore ways to improve,” says Shelley, a digital technology expert with more than 15 years’ experience in business marketing.
DFP spent time looking at the pain points in their communications to evaluate how video might increase efficiency. They found they got far more engagement on their internal communications by using video. “It breaks up the high volume of text emails employees receive each day. It also highlights to new employees that we encourage video communication,” notes Shelley.
But, as with everything in life, balance is crucial – it’s also important to avoid getting carried away and communicating everything via video.
“Video has helped our employees retain key information,” says Shelley. “But we don't flood our internal communications with it, so when a video is sent out, staff engage at a greater rate.
“As an example, we evaluated our internal onboarding process for all new staff and felt it was a lot of information to process. We then implemented induction videos and department-made video messages for new employees, which not only covered important points but also sent new staff a warm welcome to the DFP family.”
DFP also uses video to promote the charities it supports, such as Very Special Kids, The Lost Dogs Home and Steptember. “It helped create a culture of participation among our staff to give back where possible in the community,” says Shelley.
Creating a sense of connection
We all know how essential video became during periods of lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of us, our day-to-day jobs didn’t stop – they just continued from the dining table. But, with face-to-face contact no longer an option in many cases, the emails soon became overwhelming.
For DFP Recruitment, video communication cut through crowded inboxes to alleviate employees’ sense of isolation and the inevitable loss of connectedness the enforced work-from-home conditions created.
“During lockdown, our leaders wanted to reach out and support all staff across the country,” Shelley explains. “Our CEO Robert Van Stokrom and COO Kate Coath started a weekly video update about what is happening in the business. These videos worked so well that they have now become a regular feature in our internal communication and – based on viewing numbers – staff still value and engage with these updates. They’re one of our most popular updates at DFP.”
On a personal level, those videos helped Shelley feel engaged with the organization. “Being at home in lockdown for months with a growing toddler and no available daycare, I really looked forward to those videos. It gave me and many DFP employees comfort.”
The case of trial and error
There are no hard-and-fast rules for what video can and can’t be used for in an organization’s internal communication strategy but, as Shelley found, some areas resonate with employees more than others.
“We have trialed many ways to use video over the last four years and we’ve found it’s best suited to executive updates, team events, promoting new employee programs or technology, and using it for training internally.”
Shelley also suggests measuring success via the level of engagement it receives compared to its text-based predecessor and by asking employees for feedback. Keep innovating and refreshing your video content to see what works and what doesn’t.
“There is value in trying videos you think would be effective to test how well they work – you’ll soon find out what is the right fit or what isn’t,” Shelley says.
“For DFP’s internal communications, we selected video champions in our business who want to be involved. They will invariably present as authentic, natural and engaging. Starting something like a weekly or monthly video champs’ workshop can help keep those people engaged and flesh out new ideas for more content, allowing us to work better as a business together.”
Shelley’s tip for encouraging people to get in front of the camera? It’s about playing the long game. “I recommend videoing those who are eager to participate to begin with, have some solid use cases and build some enthusiasm for the video comms format in the business.'' Later she says, “compare an employee's first video a year down the track, so they can see for themselves how they’ve improved – it’s a big confidence-booster.”
Traditional text-based emails will always have an important role to play in employee communications. But supplementing text with communications delivered via video provides much needed variety – and adds a human touch to employees’ work days.
Want to explore how video can revamp your organization’s internal communications and enhance the employee experience? Get in touch with VideoMyJob to book a free demo today.