How to Make Corporate Training Less Boring
Corporate training is an essential reality in starting any new position. This might include training a new hire about aspects of their role, compliance, workplace policies, or company software. Many of these trainings can be dull, boring, and frankly hard to remember or apply. This is a HUGE problem because your employees need all these trainings to do their jobs effectively, efficiently, and to ensure your workplace is safe inside and out.
So, how can corporate training be less boring for employees and actually have them not only enjoy but absorb and apply the material you’re teaching?
Our trusty Powtoon advisor, Renee Teeley, who’s worked with large companies such as Brightcove and Ooyala, has seen her fair share of corporate training. Using her superpowers as a video creator and content strategist, she created this video to help L&D trainers and instructional designers (just like you!) create awesome corporate training videos!
Here are some of the key takeaways so that you can make your corporate training not only less boring but fun and impactful for your audience!
First Off: Why Use Video for Training?
Excellent question! In today’s day and age where 85 cents on every dollar of in-person training is spent giving it over, solely relying on classroom training just isn’t scalable! And with 66% of companies jumping on the remote-work bandwagon, many companies can’t offer onboarding and continued learning face-to-face, even if they wanted to. Not to mention, video is the way to teach Gen Z anything, from your culture to company policies.
The magical tool that gives you, as a corporate trainer or L&D professional, the ability to make your knowledge portable, measurable, scalable, and on-demand at any time.
Gosh, you’re just the Genie of professional education, granting unlimited workplace educational wishes. What a time to be alive (and work in training), amiright?
No matter if you’re already rocking video for corporate training, looking to learn some bonus ways to make it more fun, or starting from scratch with training videos, here are some must-know tips to make it awesome.
Keep Each Video Short and Topic-Specific
I’m not sure there are corporate training professionals who aren’t at least a little guilty on this one. You’re an expert in your field. There’s so much technical information to cover. So many anecdotes to tell to drive the message home. So many (albeit) tangential bits that you know aren’t needed but add an element of depth to your message you’d hate to leave out.
We totally get it. But what happens when there’s so much packed into a training video that employees miss the main takeaway? They’re getting lost in your train of thought and it’s making it hard for them to retain your message. Oops!
An effective training video is usually shorter in length. Think about how you can prioritize your message and cut your script or video by a third. Then try cutting it by a third again. It may hurt at first, but we promise: the more concise the better. Your audience’s short attention spans will thank you! The proof will be colleagues who are better equipped to remember your content and apply it.
Can’t seem to cut it? Consider the possibility that you have multiple subtopics to cover, that’s ok! Break down your videos into micro-courses, each with a specific topic to cover. That way, employees then feel focused on a single bite-sized piece of information. They’ll feel like they’re flying — or binging —through your organized course. A win-win all around.
Ask Employees What They Care About
Before we jump into this tip, we have to mention that we understand that some training is mandatory. Be it compliance, diversity and inclusion, or workplace safety — some types of training you can’t do without.
But what about training that isn’t mandated from the higher-ups?
When it comes to continuous learning and professional development, training can be an awesome way to help current employees upskill. Simply start by asking them what they want to learn more about!
Maybe they want to become a better public speaker, looking to amp up their presentation skills, learn how to use a new tool, or even prepare themselves for a promotion. Find out what employees care about and then begin creating employee training videos around those topics.
By doing this, you’re fostering employee engagement which leads to workplace commitment. Showing them that you care, you’re letting them know that your company is invested in their future growth! Not to mention empowering and equipping them with the tools to be more confident, efficient, motivated, and effective employees. All because you asked!
Include Your Audience in Your Videos
Here’s one last way to make sure your corporate training isn’t boring! Include your audience!
When I was a kid, I could watch hours upon hours of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? on TV. But more than Regus’ New York accent or the diverse amounts of trivia knowledge needed to win, what caught me the most was how inclusive it was to the audience compared to similar shows. When “you ask the audience”, your audience suddenly becomes better viewers and listeners.
Here are a few ways you can reach out and include your employees in your videos!
Mini “TEDx Talks”
Your company is full of experts! Sometimes their expertise is in something that sits within their job titles. Other times, employees have certain skills they’ve picked up from previous roles or simply through independent study and experiences. Ask employees what they’re passionate about what they think others would be interested in learning more on.
Then, ask them to give over a mini TEDx-style talk to others who would like to be trained in this skill. Just remember to video it! That way, not only can it be an awesome live event for your employees to enjoy in real-time, but something that future employees (or those who missed it) can also learn and benefit from.
This type of video allows your employees to be proud and show off what they know. It also allows others looking to gain those skills the best practices to apply them. Who knows? Maybe it will springboard a company club of people who want to continue working on that topic together or even a treasured mentorship.
Another idea Renee mentions that I really like is guest-star cameos from your employees! Many employees will get excited if you ask them to be part of a training video. In addition, other employees watching the training videos will enjoy both a mix of trainers and professionals in your videos. They also might be star struck (in the most fun way) when they bump into those very cameo employees in your office’s kitchen!
Integrate Interactive Elements
Interactive videos offer an exciting solution to capture the viewer’s attention. This is a particularly useful element to include in corporate training because it can make learning the material fun and exciting to learn.
Not only do interactive videos gain learner engagement by requiring regular action, but they also help keep the content relevant to the viewer, since they choose which direction the content is going.
How do YOU make training a treat?
There you have it! Three great ways to get started making training videos that don’t bore, but engage, motivate, and inspire. Corporate video training, be it mandatory or elective to offer additional professional development, has the opportunity to be exceptionally memorable as long as you keep videos short, ask for feedback, and be inclusive to your audience.
As a corporate training professional yourself, what helps YOU create outstanding, memorable training videos? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below. Stay tuned for our next Training Tips session with Renee, and until then, don’t forget to make it awesome!
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