When a star employee accepts an opportunity at another company, there may be just two weeks to preserve their knowledge and contributions. Fortunately, challenges like this no longer require expensive tools or dedicated specialists. As technology becomes more capable and storage costs continue to fall, L&D leaders are turning to video to record, capture, and share everything from formal instructor-led training and live company webinars, to informal social learning presentations. Here are six ways learning leaders should use video.

1: Preserve the knowledge of exiting employees

Make video the keystone of the off-boarding process. Identify those who will take on the exiting employee’s responsibilities, and record every meeting they have with the exiting employee. In addition, ask the departing employee to record him or herself performing tasks unique to the position, describing the process in detail.

2: Bring new employees up to speed

Video can make the onboarding process more efficient, consistent, and valuable. Record new employee training sessions and team-specific departmental orientation meetings, and make those presentations available on-demand. This will enable new hires to familiarize themselves with the material prior to face-to-face training, and refer back to it when they have questions.

You can also use video to build team connections. Instead of the staid email most managers send out to announce a new hire, encourage the new team member to record a two-to-four minute video introduction. These will create empathy and enable the existing team to find more things in common with the new hire. Building a library of employee introduction videos will help new hires learn about their coworkers, as well. 

3: Simplify social learning

It can be difficult and time consuming for experts to explain to non-experts in writing how a given process works or how a product feature was designed. Video is an ideal medium for social learning because it’s easier to record an informal video than to write up a formal document. To help your team get used to the idea, start by recording brown-bag sessions and informational meetings where social learning occurs, and cherry-picking subject matter experts (SMEs) to record informal videos (five to 10 minutes in length) on their unique knowledge. In all likelihood other employees will see their colleagues sharing and, in turn, will find expertise of their own to share. Over time, you’ll create a library of potentially hundreds of mini learning modules, at nearly zero incremental cost.

4: Support learning anytime, anywhere

With flexible schedules, global workforces, and “bring your own device” policies, employees are not just consuming instructional content during work hours. Today, corporate learning videos must be available for viewing in and out of the office, on a wide range of devices.

Supporting mobile learning with video ensures that employees have access to institutional knowledge at home or while traveling. Instead of reading and interpreting lengthy text instructions from manuals that quickly go out of date, mobile video manuals enable workers to learn as SMEs demonstrate how to troubleshoot common challenges, or the proper way to set up products onsite. Frontline employees interacting with customers in retail environments or with specialized equipment in the field can view role-specific content on the smartphones and tablets they already have. And field employees can use their mobile devices to record their own knowledge, providing practical tips to share with other team members.

5: Deliver executive messaging

Most organizations are already familiar with recording executive messages. In the past, that usually meant a big (and expensive) team of videographers, editors, and AV specialists, working in dedicated studios or other production facilities. Calling in a team of specialists for every message limited the number of messages leaders could produce and share.

Modern video technology eliminates many of those previous hurdles. Using their laptops or smartphones, executives today can easily record and share information and insights on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. What’s more, data suggests that recipients are more likely to consume and internalize information in this form. According to Forrester Research, employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than read an email.

6: Record instructional videos at scale

Learning leaders who fail to capture every all-hands meeting, brown-bag session, guru talk, or guest presentation are missing out. The more instructional content that you can record—whether it’s formal, instructor-led training or informal, socially curated expertise—the easier it is for employees to engage in just-in-time learning. The bigger the corporate library grows, the greater the likelihood that employees will be able to find something valuable when they need information.

Producing video at scale requires rethinking the way you capture it. That means ditching the AV and post-production vendors. Instructional videos don’t need Hollywood-level production values—all that is really necessary is the webcam built into smartphones and laptops, and a video platform to serve as a library to manage and share recordings. In fact, many modern video platforms today will do most of the technical production work automatically, at a fraction of the price of a dedicated AV specialist.

In conclusion

Until recently, the traditional challenges of video prevented corporate learning leaders from using the medium to its full potential. Video technology has become increasingly user-friendly and accessible, opening up a wide range of possibilities. This article has described six ways learning leaders should use video … there may be countless more!