Employee disengagement is even scarier than it sounds, with poor engagement leading to decreased productivity, retention problems, and associated hiring costs. For today’s organizations, an employee engagement strategy is essential – and video should be a key part of the mix.
Something’s going on with Prisha.
You can remember when she first started with the company. She was excited to be here, eager to learn and bursting to share her ideas.
Prisha has worked from home ever since the pandemic began. She delivers her work on time and politely responds when you have a question for her. But recently you’ve noticed that she is silent during meetings. As her manager, you can’t help shake the feeling that Prisha plans to hand in her notice of resignation one day soon.
You’ll be sorry to see her go and worry that she’s going to be hard to replace.
Prisha’s story might be familiar to anyone who has worked in an organization with low employee engagement. While some CEOs continue to dismiss engagement as a “HR problem”, the business impacts are very real.
Why does employee engagement matter?
Research from Deloitte found that poor employee engagement affects:
- Productivity: Across the United States, businesses lose as much as $300 billion a year due to disengaged workers becoming less productive.
- Growth: Organizations with highly engaged employees have a 2.3 times greater growth rate than average.
- Retention: Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave than employees in organizations with low engagement.
Then there’s the pandemic to consider. A Gallup poll found that the overall percentage of engaged workers in the US in 2020 was just 36%. This means that two-thirds of the entire workforce felt disengaged during the COVID-19 pandemic, with associated falls in productivity and retention.
While several research papers have revealed that employees overwhelmingly prefer to work from home, the sudden rise of remote work has presented managers with a new challenge in terms of communicating and engaging with their teams.
It’s clear that organizations need to get proactive by creating an employee engagement strategy – and video should be an integral part of this strategy.
What is an employee engagement strategy?
An employee engagement strategy is made up of all the initiatives and tactics used to increase the levels of enthusiasm, connection and commitment employees have in relation to their organization.
- Meaningful work, trust and autonomy
- Supportive management
- Work-life balance
- Learning and development opportunities
- Trust in leadership
- People and culture, teamwork and inclusion
- Purpose and values alignment
- Physical environment
The success of your strategy should be tracked and measured with key employee engagement metrics that support continuous improvement. Many organizations roll out an annual employee engagement survey, but best practice involves frequent pulse surveys instead.
Popular employee engagement metrics to capture in your surveys include workplace recognition, work-life balance, professional development, wellbeing, autonomy and values alignment.
How video supports your employee engagement strategy
From employee onboarding to learning and development, internal communications to milestone celebrations, video provides companies with a way to connect with employees in a meaningful, engaging and often entertaining way.
It also helps to capture employee attention – using video as part of a rich content mix across multiple platforms reduces the likelihood that employees ignore or skim over important messaging.
Employee engagement ideas that leverage video
Here are some ideas for boosting employee engagement through the power of video:
1. Create a rich content mix for internal communications
Whether you’re communicating corporate policy, a message from the CEO, or day-to-day comms, your employees are probably tired of reading endless text-based messages. Before you reach for your keyboard, consider if your message could be delivered with more empathy, more enthusiasm and more impact on video.
2. Turn your employees into video stars
A great way to boost engagement is to ask your team to participate in your organization’s videos. Real people are always preferable to hired actors in this work and, in our experience, we’ve found that many employees enjoy being in day-in-the-life videos, video job ads and employee stories that help build the brand and describe the people and culture.
3. Use video for remote onboarding
Want to keep new hires engaged in the crucial period between job acceptance and their first day? Why not ask the people they will be working with to create a welcome video?
You could also create a video tour of the office, local cafes and more to give them a sense of the people and culture in the physical workplace.
But if your new hire is working remotely or won’t be coming in to the office that often, get creative. Ask the colleagues they’ll be working with to film a short video outlining a typical day in their life – or try experimenting with other ways of showing the team’s personality and building connection. You might get them to create a “desert island” series, for example, where they list their top five books, movies or songs.
4. Show, don’t tell your culture and values
Copywriters spend hours sweating over the exact wording of a company’s cultural statement or corporate values, but it’s much easier – and more dramatic – to show, not tell, by creating videos that show your company culture and values in action.
Culture is much more than corporate perks and team activities. While you might highlight communal activities, like ping-pong tournaments, lunch clubs and other get-togethers in these videos (and that’s great too), we love this example from Basecamp, which focuses on a blind coffee taste test. One white cup has McDonald’s coffee, the other a fancy blend, and employees are asked to guess which is which. The result? A really personal approach with plenty of laughs.
5. Avoid team updates that no one will read
Create a video instead! Use video to summarize team events, project updates, celebrations and important milestones.
The simple act of sitting or standing in front of a camera to deliver news is more impactful – people need to actively watch the whole thing, rather than half-scan a long email. A video also humanises the information and builds connection – try calling out and congratulating team members to boost that connection even further.
6. Boost learning and development with video
The most effective online learning contains a rich mix of text-based and video-based formats to engage employees. We all have different preferences when it comes to learning – you can probably immediately name the people in your team who respond better to visual cues, for example. A mixed approach to learning and development caters for both text-based and visual learners, meaning the information is more likely to be absorbed and retained.
7. Communicating during the pandemic
VideoMyJob’s State of Video In Talent (SOVT) 2021 report found that the top six use cases for video in terms of the pandemic were to:
- Help leaders communicate during times of uncertainty
- Keep a dispersed workforce connected
- Onboard new hires remotely
- Support a return to work and/or a return to office strategy
- Attract critical skills lost after lay-offs
- Promote internal mobility
Prisha might still depart the organization. But there’s a chance that she may yet engage better through tactics like video-based communications instead of emails, being invited to participate in an employee story video and more. All it takes is a phone camera, a little imagination and a willingness to lean into what your employees are telling you.
Book a time with one of our video experts to discuss your employee engagement strategy.