Onboarding plays a vital role in your workforce’s growth; after all, the difference between a good and a bad employee onboarding experience can make or break your team’s efficiency and success (or lack thereof!).
It might sound scary, but there’s nothing to worry about if you take the time to develop the right tools to give people everything they need to get the most out of their new position from the get-go — something that training videos are uniquely equipped to provide; if you know how to leverage them.
But just like any experienced video production studio will tell you, training videos will take many different forms depending on your particular needs. You just need to focus on styles that excel at condensing and conveying information in compelling ways.
After all, these videos aren’t magic. If you don’t understand what makes them work and how to synergize them with the rest of your onboarding process, your whole effort is liable to underperform.
To ensure that doesn’t happen to you, we’ll go over some crucial ways in which training videos contribute to the onboarding process, give you key insights you should consider when making them, and explore a few specific video types you can start with!
4 Core Benefits of Using Training Videos for User Onboarding
You can’t use a tool to its fullest if you don’t understand how it works. So we’ll start by clarifying the five core attributes every effective training video should bring to the onboarding experience.
1. Improved Information Delivery and Feature Understanding
Providing clear and understandable information to your new hires and users is the primary goal of any onboarding effort.
A lot of the time, new hire drop-off can be directly linked to a lack of understanding of what their new position entails. This isn’t surprising; if people don’t have all the information they need when they need it, they simply don’t have the tools to carry out their tasks.
But making sure your training videos contain all the relevant information is only part of this vital equation. You also need to ensure your video communicates this information in a way that can be quickly and easily understood.
Fail at that, and your onboarding process will fall short for most employees.
2. Increasing Retention
Trying to increase employee retention goes hand in hand with educating your workforce effectively. A training video designed exclusively for new hires isn’t enough; once they’re no longer in that beginner phase, they still need valuable content to help them make the most out of their post.
A good onboarding experience shouldn’t be relegated to just a single welcoming video teaching them the basics; you should also have a scalable video strategy in place to help your workforce can effortlessly navigate the learning curve.
Doing this increases employee satisfaction and sets the basis for a long-term relationship between you and your workforce. If they feel listened to and catered to, you can be sure they’ll be more likely to stick around and perform well for a long time.
3. Helping with Self-Paced Learning
On the topic of learning curves, it’s also worth mentioning that letting new hires take the wheel and learn or reinforce the specifics at their own pace is crucial to a good onboarding process.
They might be excited to hit the ground running, but between the huge change, family, and the never-ending list of to-do tasks that always come with a new job, it might take a while for them to access and absorb all the content you prepped for them.
Having your set of training videos available at all times for them to browse or revisit at their convenience makes the onboarding process much more flexible and reliable.
4. Reducing Onboarding Costs
More often than not, your new hires will have quite a few questions when they first start at their post, or right after in-person training sessions.
This isn’t necessarily a huge issue by itself, but when these questions keep popping up over time and by multiple employees, it can become an expensive or time-consuming problem.
You can minimize the impact of such problems if you craft a series of training videos that tackle your users’ most common doubts, or that reinforce core concepts that others have struggled with in the past. This will not only contribute another dimension that smooths onboarding but also free your senior team to focus on helping new hires with more advanced or unique challenges.
Making Training Videos for Effective Onboarding: Best Practices
When it’s time to actually produce training videos aimed at onboarding talent and teaching them the ropes, there are some key elements you’ll want to pay extra attention to ensure you develop a piece that delivers results and enhances your onboarding process.
Here are some of the most important ones:
• Hone into the central topic and purpose of your video (and stick to it!): It can be easy to get distracted during production and try to cram as much information as possible in a single video. It’s equally easy when doing that to end up missing the mark of what these training videos were meant to accomplish in the first place by the time you are done.
Unless you have an excellent reason not to, always try to focus your training video’s content as much as possible. A short video that fully and effectively explains a single topic or handful of core features to new hires will be a far more valuable onboarding tool than a long-winded video that overloads viewers with data they won’t fully understand or remember five minutes after watching.
• Brand your videos effectively: Your onboarding training videos are also a great tool to help you establish your company’s brand identity to generate awareness and nurture a sense of belonging in new hires around your company’s culture.
Just like you work hard to give your more marketing-oriented video content a unique and distinctively branded feel, you want your training videos to have similar design elements that form a coherent whole between your marketing aesthetics, your onboarding content, and your brand culture.
• Keep the video short and sweet: Hand-in-hand with the previous point, it’s also worth mentioning that most effective training videos tend to sit around the two to 12-minute mark, as most people lack the inclination, time, or attention spans for longer content when they also need to get around accomplishing their tasks.
During onboarding, you are trying to convey as much as possible as quickly as possible, as the soonest you have someone equipped and ready to take on their post, the more productive it will be for the company as a whole. So, you’ll want to take some time to tighten up your video’s content during production and endeavor to make it as short as possible while still accomplishing its core educational goals.
• Use simple language: It might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by the vast amount of onboarding training videos that fall into the trap of technical speech.
You know what that position in your company requires to be effectively handled, and as an industry expert, it’s easy to get carried away and talk in jargon or niche-specific terms that can muddle your message and make things more convoluted than they have to be.
Spend time refining your training video’s script to make it easily understandable to as many people as possible; you’ll have a more effective onboarding piece that way.
• Leverage animation to help you illustrate information: Different types of animated videos have proven to be highly popular across industries—and for good reasons! The medium gives you a lot of freedom to present complex information in ways that make it easier for viewers to follow and remember while keeping their focus where it matters most.
For training purposes, videos like animated explainers or How-tos can bring your message to life and help you convey all the required information in ways your viewers won’t have problems focusing on and won’t soon forget.
• Supplement with Structured Onboarding Materials: While training videos play a crucial role in onboarding, they can be further complemented with structured presentations to provide a more comprehensive learning experience. Consider using an onboarding PPT as a guide or supplementary material during the onboarding sessions.
The Best Types of Onboarding-focused Training Videos to Get You Started
By this point, you understand the key areas where training videos contribute to the onboarding process and know the key elements you’ll want to focus on during production to enhance their quality and effectiveness. That alone is great and will dramatically improve the quality of your onboarding process!
But before you go, let’s go over a few types of training videos that can give you a solid place to start your onboarding content production process.
1. First Steps Training Videos
Once your new hires are ready to begin exploring their position and tasks, a training video detailing the first and most important steps they should take is vital, as it can dramatically cut the time it takes to get them going.
First-step training videos are all about smoothing over the first steps of the onboarding process, which can be as straightforward or detailed as you like. You may want to provide an in-depth tour of workstations or just a quick overview of how to log in to a platform and start working remotely.
Whatever your needs, these videos are all about honing into the first few tasks your new hires will want to accomplish or keep in mind right off the bat, ensuring they have access to all the info they could need to make this experience as smooth as possible.
2. Core Tutorials
When it’s all said and done, your training video is there to fulfill a need by helping viewers accomplish a task.
Whether that’s using a piece of complex software, talking directly to potential customers, or prepping a meal makes no practical difference in terms of onboarding: your goal is to ensure that you are, effectively and efficiently, giving your employees all the info they need to accomplish their tasks. That’s exactly what core tutorial videos are all about!
Now, depending on the goals and complexity of a post, you might be able to cover all or most of it in a single video. More complex jobs might require a video series where each installment describes and demonstrates a different task your employees will need to take care of.
3. Updates and New Features Introductions
In many cases, taking care of a position in a company is an evolving thing, so onboarding doesn’t stop once your new hire stops being “new”, as things are likely to change sooner or later.
When these developments take place within the company, it’s often useful to update your existing onboarding content; or at least complement it with new training videos that expand to cover the position’s new responsibilities.
Keeping your employees involved in the evolution of your company and updated with all the latest developments relating to their posts is crucial for the effective growth of your business. And training videos covering these updates go a long way to keep your workforce up-to-date and ready to handle the ongoing challenges they might face.
We all can understand just how vital user onboarding is to a company’s success, so delivering a high-quality onboarding experience to your workforce should always be a top priority.
Training videos can be the perfect tool to carry this out. Guiding your new employees through the ins and outs of a position, and providing them with all the info they need to be effective.
Now that you’re acquainted with the best practices behind making these videos and how to get the most out of them, it’s time to go out and start crafting your own. Do it right, and you might be amazed by how much of an impact great onboarding can have in your company’s growth!