Never Mind the Alarmists: AI Isn’t the Workplace Apocalypse

Contrary to popular belief, artificial intelligence, or AI, is no longer relegated to science fiction novels and “think pieces” on future innovations. In reality, AI has already arrived and is much more pervasive than most people realize. For HR professionals, the technology is already providing dividends in the areas of recruiting, onboarding, and training procedures by significantly streamlining operations.

As useful as AI is already proving to be, it is already clear that it’s best utilized as an accompaniment to people in the workplace and not a replacement, allowing employees to perform their responsibilities in a much more efficient and effective manner. Despite how the vocal naysayers are reacting, AI’s negative impact on a workforce itself will be negligible, but could instead increase the overall health of many organizations. This is evidenced in the banking industry, where ATMs could have caused job losses but instead streamlined operations and reduced costs, allowing many banks to add staffed locations. This created a positive situation for workers and customers alike

That said, many union leaders are concerned that automation means workers will no longer have the ability to demand higher wages, which will in turn continue the decline in union membership. In the private sector today, just 6.4% of workers belong to a union. Contrast that with 1983, when about 17% of private-sector workers were in a union.
union-free technology

Practical Uses for AI in HR

The typical HR professional is being pulled in a thousand different directions at any given moment. In fact, no matter the length of the work day or size of the staff, the work always seems to continue to pile up. This unending accumulation of duties is exactly where AI can positively impact the workplace. Through various platforms, AI automates the bulk of the tedious responsibilities that are important to the organization but a tremendous expenditure of time and effort as well.

 

In terms of recruiting, an AI-based suite can administer any and all social media efforts, email correspondence and even interview scheduling with an interface that makes it difficult to tell if the communication is coming from a human or machine. Furthermore, all testing and training for onboarding and existing employees can be personalized down to the individual level to adhere to the training method that best fits a particular person. All of this functionality can be synced with current CRM and ERP systems to further streamline the entire process.

A Look Down the Road

Like most technologies, AI will only continue to grow and evolve in the future. As far as impact on overall operations and a workforce are concerned, it will work alongside humans to make them more efficient in their responsibilities. While specific tasks like email correspondence might be automated, it will always be under the watching eye of a human being.

In other words, while on the big screen AI might still enslave humanity in a zombie-like state of perpetual anguish, in reality, it will simply permit us to excel and reach levels we otherwise would never reach. That might not be as dramatic as the Hollywood version, but, at least for HR professionals, AI will undoubtedly be a welcome tool to significantly enhance productivity.

 

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How to Motivate New Employees With Video Onboarding (6 Great Tips)

new hire orientation videoDoes effective onboarding increase employee motivation? SHRM (The Society for Human Resource Management) has gathered information indicating that it does. Their findings? That the result of effective onboarding is that both employee AND employer reap long-term benefits.

According to SHRM, effective onboarding will increase job satisfaction, organizational commitment and performance levels. In addition, it can reduce turnover and new employee stress levels. When you research onboarding, you’ll find that video is one of the most effective approaches available today.

Why Video Onboarding?

Traditional onboarding often consists of classroom-style lectures accompanied by documentation the new hire must study. Providing video is more memorable and far more effective than a lecture. It’s a way to build trust of company executives and ensure that the message to new employees is consistent. In addition, top-notch onboarding that includes video can reduce in-house training costs, and even reduce turnover in the first 90 days of employment.

Must Read: Inspire Your New Hires! How To Create A Stellar Orientation Video

Tips for Creating a Dynamic New Employee Onboarding Process

1. Create an Online Portal for Access to Your Onboarding Videos

You can build a library of onboarding videos and update them as required. When the employee has access to the library, they can revisit information that they need to reinforce.

Another advantage is that you don’t need to overwhelm new hires by providing all the information they need at one time. It’s easy to set up a drip email campaign that spaces out delivery of links to the videos in sequential order, based on the employee’s start date.

2. Create Shorter Orientation Videos to Address One Topic at a Time

Separate the information you want to convey into manageable pieces. For example, one video could be a welcome video from the CEO; another might come from department heads and so forth.

Employee Onboarding

3. Plan Orientation Video Content Carefully

Get employee input for ideas on the topics to cover. Ask existing employees of differing seniority in what ways they got lost when they were new hires. Also, ask them what they know now that they wish they’d known when they first joined the company.

4. Create an Orientation Video Series to Introduce the New Hire to the Organization

Here are some topics you may want to include in a multi-day orientation program:

  • CEO welcome
  • Department heads talking about the role of their department in the overall organization and the department’s mission and objectives
  • Where the company’s prospects and customers come from
  • A comprehensive view of the company’s products and services
  • Information on the company’s competitors
  • Marketing approach and the company’s competitive advantages

5. Create Operational Videos to Ease the New Employee Into Day-to-Day Operations

The types of videos can cover issues that may seem mundane but are important to new hires. Examples include how to use necessary equipment, IT policies, how to get support if something goes wrong, and a wide variety of other day-to-day challenges.

Operational videos are also useful for reference – they’re the sort of content that the new hire may return to later, when they encounter that particular challenge.

6. Create Videos Focused on “Inside Insight”

Of course, your onboarding videos should reflect your company culture. Expand on that idea with fun videos that illustrate what it’s like to work at the company. Take a video of one employee, or edit the input from a variety of employees into one video. Your team members can share on a variety of topics, such as what they do, their biggest challenge, their greatest satisfaction, the resources they find most useful, the help they can offer to new employees, and what they like about their job or the company. If you have employees whose career paths have included a series of promotions, arrange for them to provide a testimonial on career opportunities for long-term employees.

If you’re responsible for onboarding new employees, video is a tool you won’t want to ignore. Don’t get overwhelmed if you don’t have a video library right now. Since you’ll be creating specific videos to address specific topics, you can easily build a library over time. The most important thing is just getting started!

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Inspire Your New Hires! How to Create A Stellar Orientation Video

Employee Orientation VideoSo, you’re an HR manager and your company is growing fast — fast. You expect five, perhaps 10 new recruits over the next six months. No, make that 50! Now what? As Donald Miller of StoryBrand states, “All (employee) engagement rises and falls on the employee value proposition.” Part of that value is in how new employees are treated from day one. An orientation video can also raise that value proposition by ensuring that every employee is provided with a consistent welcome message that emphasizes the importance of every role at the company.

Think of your video as the foundation for the company’s “tribal knowledge.” It should include the top things you want every employee to be able to talk about confidently – both inside and outside the company. Here, step-by-step, is how to create a killer employee orientation video.

1. Create a Content Outline

Start by with a “napkin sketch” outline — just the nuts and bolts of your message. Detail the basic narrative and your brand message. Is your company history vital to the corporate culture? Has the company won awards that have directed its later success? What about points of pride in the local community?

Remember that new employees want to feel that they’re a part of something great. What do your clients come to you to achieve? Talk about their successes as much as you do your own and new hires will go home bragging about the company right from the start.

As you refine your outline and add detail, remember that any new employee can easily become overwhelmed. Make a point to focus on the most important takeaways that will inspire and motivate your new hires.

2. Write Your Script

Once you have a solid outline, fill in the blanks. Write a robust script, and decide who will deliver each aspect of your message. You may want one narrator, or two. You may want to use upper management if they have a good on-camera presence. You may even want parts of your message delivered by current employees.  The structure of your video is worth thinking through. Take tech brand Cisco — their employee introduction video has an easy-to-follow format. It starts with a member of the company’s HR talent management team addressing the camera — “We’d like to give you a view into our new employee orientation experience,”  which is then followed by testimonials from the sales, engineering and operations departments.

If your teams aren’t so keen about being on camera, professional talent is definitely the way to go. Keep in mind that if you hire those whose first language isn’t English, you may want to consider producing in alternate languages at the same time, a definite cost savings. Connecting with a Spanish-speaking employee in their preferred language from day one is a sign that you care about and respect their needs.

3. Record Your Talent

The first element of your production includes capturing your script. This might involve recording a company executive on camera, or recording a voice-over by professional talent. Whatever your script calls for, be sure you are prepared. If you’re using company executives, do your best to make them feel comfortable. Recording in a professional studio with a teleprompter can make them feel much more at-ease. If you’re using employees, a question-and-answer approach will help you get the best sound-bites with the most candid approach.

4. Get Shooting

Lights, Camera, Action! Create a shot list from your script to make sure you get enough footage to cover all your narration. If you have multiple locations, plot out how you’ll accomplish everything. You may have interior and exterior shoot days. Be sure to get establishing shots of the company, as well as production, current employees, even your products being used by the customer.

When in doubt, over-shoot! It’s better to have 3 different angles of the same thing than have to re-shoot a close-up later on (particularly if you’re inconveniencing employees to get just the right shot!) You can always trim down your video during the editing process. Oh, and remember, stay true to your script.

Employee Onboarding

5. Post-Production

Next, you’ll want to create your graphics, animation and any titles for your video. You may want to hire a professional animator or graphic artist to help with this part of the production. Plus, you’ll need to decide whether you want to use any music, and purchase the tracks you’ll need.

Editing is just as important (and just as much fun!) as recording your orientation video. During this process, you’ll select the shots you want to use and add transitions and music. This orientation video from hotel chain Ayres Hotels (and here it is in Spanish) is a good example of professional post-production.

“Visual elements such as transitions, slow motion, split screen and other effects will add flare to your video — and who doesn’t want more flare, right?” says the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. “Just don’t overdo it with flashy transitions or animations.”

6. Distribute Your Video

Finally, you need to distribute your video so employees can watch it. You can do this online — direct new hires to your website, for example — or in a small group meeting during onboarding week. Alternatively, upload your orientation video to YouTube, just like Talmer Bank and Trust and Omni Hotels & Resorts.

Sixty-nine percent of staffers are more likely to stay with an organization for three years if they experience a great introduction to their new company. An orientation video definitely improves your onboarding processes but can be time-consuming to make. That’s where a professional production company can be a definite asset. Choose one with decades of experience who can help you create an orientation video that really works. Click here to find out more.

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A Unique Employee Engagement Strategy That’s Actually Working

Employee Engagement StrategyWorking to create motivated, engaged employees is a full-time job. That’s why a static approach to onboarding no longer works. You need real interaction, but as the number of team members grows, it’s often hard to individualize not only your new hires, but your existing employees as well.

Consider a unique approach to employee engagement that, when done right, can work wonders. “Blind Dates” between employees can not only increase worker morale but improve productivity, motivation and work quality as well. Beyond that, Globoforce reported that when they have a friend in the office, employees are 69% more likely to describe themselves as “highly engaged” at work.

Engaging Employees With Blind Dates

The strategy, while a bit awkward at first, simply calls for your Employee Relations team to arrange for different employees – who likely would never interact in their normal workday – to meet and greet each other.

Toronto-based FreshBooks, has completed several rounds of blind dates among employees, and reported that of the employees who chose to opt-in, “100 percent of people who joined said they liked it.” These meetings are all about building rapport and giving staff a break from the daily mundane work tasks. Employees can treat the time as a brainstorming session since bouncing ideas off someone with a new perspective is often helpful.

Staff from different departments can also get together for parts of assignments where their work connects. They can work with each other to clear confusion and gain more knowledge — each employee will have something unique to bring forward.

Employee Onboarding

Letting Employees Grow Off Each Other

Their blind date is a time when all regular work should get thrown out the window. Let them sit down for coffee and find ways to help each other grow. Your employees will not only engage with each other, they also get an emotional break from their normal work life.

This personalized communication truly matters. The one thing that makes an employee feel worthless, or on the brink of getting fired, is a lack of personalization. You should want your entire team to be comfortable with each other, regardless of which position they hold or what department they serve.

Plan Smart to Strengthen Employees

The key is to plan these blind dates strategically. Don’t just pick names out of a hat. If Bob from the IT department can help Janet from accounting overcome software confusion, why not let them interact?

They might already communicate through certain protocols or systems. But by building rapport, less negativity and fear surrounds their communications. In the end, Janet will walk away more confident that she can reach out to Bob for little issues. Meanwhile, Bob will have a better feel for Janet’s weak points and will no longer feel like he’s offending her when he offers unsolicited help.

See for Yourself

The idea might sound a little “out there,” and it is, but the results may astonish you when its done right. Focus on cross-department dates; create interactions that wouldn’t happen otherwise. Set aside an hour each month for “corporate dating,” and have department managers coordinate the two employees, based on what benefits their current workload the most.

RELATED: 11 Positive Employee Relations Strategies You Probably Haven’t Tried

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5 Ways A New-Hire Orientation Video Can Improve Retention

Improve Employee Retention RatesWhen you bring new people into your organization, your goal should be to engage and retain that talent long-term. Assuring your newest team members that they have made the right decision by joining your company is achievable from day one with a new hire orientation video. We’ve found that there are five key advantages to using videos to onboard your new hires including consistency, flexibility, creativity, delivery and engagement – all of which add up to better retention rates. Here’s how:

Ensuring Training Consistency

Typically, during orientations, different employees give presentations on the same topics. This can send different messages to your new hires who are just learning the ropes. To avoid this confusion, you can improve training by using videos and creating similar experiences for new hires. Maintaining a high-quality messaging standard with videos helps companies consistently train new employees both in-house and at remote locations. Original videos can present all your company information in an efficient way, reducing the time required for employee onboarding.

Offering Flexible Topic Presentation

If you’re a company trainer and are bringing new-hires up-to-date about company policies, you want to present information in a clear format. With the flexibility of videos, you’ll cover a wide range of topics. For example, a library of videos, arranged in order of length, might include: equal opportunity employment, medical leave, harassment, phone use, internet use, drug testing and workplace safety. Offering company videos, you can either show a separate segment for each topic or store segments for employees’ later use. This flexibility gives employees all the time they need to select and view each video individually or in small groups.

Employee Onboarding

Sharing Creative Content

Videos that increase employees’ enthusiasm about their new jobs have something in common: They have creative content and teem with engaging elements. One popular video format is documentary-style. Featuring interviews with company employees, documentary-style videos help to introduce new hires to their colleagues. A second format is known as script-based. In this type of video, actors deliver talks concerning organizational topics, like compensation and benefits. Another useful style of video is the virtual office tour. This format helps those just starting out feel comfortable with their new surroundings. Facilitating onboarding, any of these video formats shares creatively designed content that makes new hires feel welcome.

Providing Efficient Delivery

Most of the time video delivery–online or in person–is an efficient process. Whether you’re uploading a video to a social media website or, for privacy, to a Learning Management System (LMS), it is easy to deliver a quality video online for your new hires. For in-person showings, staff can use TVs, computers, laptops and hand-held devices, such as cell phones. Further, PowerPoint presentations with audio voiceovers can also be used to present videos. Overall, all these video platforms effectively bring tools together for content creation, sharing and management.

Fostering Informative Engagement

Did you know that most workers retain knowledge while they are actively engaged in a learning environment? When your new employees experience orientation through video, they learn. This learning process evolves as they are introduced to older employees, team leaders and management via videos. By watching coworkers’ video-based presentations, your new employees will not only understand policies but also focus on the importance of their own jobs. Similarly, videos of company events help new hires learn about company culture. So, for informative engagement, the best onboarding videos promote company values, not just training goals.

Take Away

Knowing these five advantages of using videos during your orientation sessions is the key to smooth new-hire transition. Letting new employees know that you value and care about them establishes a welcoming atmosphere that encourages low turnover and high productivity. As a result, producing a successful onboarding experience with powerful video messaging benefits employee morale and bolsters company performance, boosting productivity and improving retention rates from day one.

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