Why are so many skilled professionals clamoring to land a job with companies like Facebook and Google? While yes, these companies appear stable and lucrative, there is something much bigger fueling interest: their employer brands. The perks, the opportunities, the flexibility and the social environment – these are the factors job seekers want to hear about. So if your company isn’t attracting quite the right candidates or if your retention rates are lower than you’d prefer, consider tweaking your employer brand.
No false advertising here. Just start providing an honest look at your company’s work environment. That’s why it’s key to focus on the Employee Engagement Journey and help prospective employees understand what it means to become a vital part of your team.
While each job and each person is on a unique path, clearly defining what your employer brand promises can go a long way toward establishing trust. You might publish pictures from an office party or a sneak peek at employees collaborating on a new product. Just make sure the kind of content you publish aligns with how your company presents its brand identity and values.
Consider recruiting current employees to participate in communicating your employer brand. While you can talk about how wonderful the company is all day long, seeing social media posts or reading blogs from employees themselves often creates a stronger image of work culture.
There are a few key factors that will propel your brand from anonymity to popularity. As these factors are reiterated and established over time, candidates will come to trust your brand.
Being an “employer of choice” requires that you think of “compensation” as more than just wages paid. For a company with a strong employer brand and reputation, compensation includes the full range of benefits an employees enjoy. Broaden that scope to include things that move team members along in their journey with the company, including skill-building workshops, work-from-home opportunities and bonding and networking internally with co-workers. Be sure to present the full range of compensation (your employer brand) to candidates, as few will be fully aware.
Another thing to remember is to keep your compensation package open and adaptable. As you communicate more with employees, you may find that certain benefits need to be tweaked, added, or removed to be sure the brand is supporting their journey.
One of the most powerful forces that will make you an employer of choice is word of mouth. Your current employees are the best spokespersons for your brand – both during and after their time with you. Thus it is critical to continuously check in on employee engagement. Keep the lines of communication open so when a change needs to happen, employees have no problem talking to you about it.
Consider creating a “pre-hire orientation” message that will communicate all that is expected of employees. This way, your recruiting efforts have a better chance of resonating with the right candidates. If an applicant sees something they don’t like in the pre-hire orientation process, they (and you) know your company isn’t a fit for them.
Build a network of trust both within and outside of your company, and your brand reputation will shine through everything else. As Lindsay Nahmiache, co-founder of Jive PR eloquently phrased it in Forbes, “Building a network is a gradual process that takes months and sometimes years to pay off . It consists of continually providing support and value in two-way relationships.”
Video is easily the preferred medium for consuming information, and is rapidly outdistancing other options for ease and versatility. Recent data shows that video is expected to be responsible for 82 percent of online traffic by 2021. So, if you’re not already incorporating video in your internal communications, you may be missing out on an opportunity to connect with your employees.
When you use video as a communication channel, you increase the effectiveness of internal communications. People remember only 10 percent of the information they hear; however, they remember 65 percent of that information if it’s accompanied by a relevant picture.
You can use videos to improve employees’ understanding of an important topic, such as union organizing. A video used during a union organizing drive to effectively communicate the facts about joining a union before the employees make the commitment will drastically help your cause.
Today’s employees are accustomed to consuming their information, news and entertainment via video. A 2013 Pew Research Center study found that 50 percent of adults watched educational videos online. YouTube’s educational content via YouTube EDU is an example of the exponential growth of video-based instructional content online. In 2011, YouTube EDU started with 500,000 educational videos and doubled its viewership by 2012. In addition, academic enrollment in online courses is growing by nearly 3.9 percent annually, with thousands of online courses, saving $130 billion on certification and corporate training annually for organizations.
When you hold training sessions, capturing and maintaining your audience’s attention just by speaking alone may be limiting your employees’ learning experiences. However, when you incorporate a video into a training session, it helps support what the live training is trying to communicate to your employees while enhancing their learning experience. Video combined with a live trainer is better than a live trainer alone for a variety of reasons:
Videos are useful for breaking down important or complex information into digestible content that is shown over time. For example, you can stretch out complex topics regarding union organizing into discussions that are shared and released to employees weekly. This can include releasing a topic on strikes in the first week, on job security in the second week, on collective bargaining in the third week, and additional topics in the weeks that follow — such as union dues and finances, union card signing and how unions organize.
Using video is a modern and helpful method to connect with your staff. Employing videos in your training sessions doesn’t have to be complicated or a solo job. Whether you’re looking for innovative training approaches to provide managers with union avoidance tips or you want to educate employees on union organizing, working with a professional team with experience in producing videos for employees ensures you provide relevant, engaging and memorable content.
Does 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here are some topics you may want to include in a multi-day orientation program:
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.
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!
So, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Working 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.