Video communication is the most effective way to deliver information to the hearts and minds of your staff and 2020 isn’t going to change that. In the old days, the norm was using corporate training films shot by an outside firm that repackaged them for as many clients as possible. The digital and mobile revolutions have banished that model to the landfill where it belongs. Now, we’re seeing custom video communications that have been tailored for specific audiences. This trend is likely to continue in 2020.
Customer support departments have already adopted various forms of artificial intelligence (chatbots, for example) that help clients uncover information more easily. This is the year AI joins video and mobile in shaping internal communications. The reasons for this come down to effectiveness and time constraints.
Video Communications and Artificial Intelligence
As we have said here time and again, video works. Artificial intelligence also works. Alexa, Siri, Bixby and Cortana are doing everything from turning on our TVs by voice command to dimming the lights. They can place orders for products and food delivery. It’s inevitable that AI should combine with video next.
There’s an urgency to this marriage because of the increasing demands on HR professionals’ time. Simply put, there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. After all, no company has 100% engagement. There’s always something more that could be done.
AI frees up human beings to perform the responsibilities that AI, as yet, cannot do. Before AI, if employees had a question, they could have spent hours on the intranet looking for information that may or may not have even been there. But a recent study by Perficient Digital Media showed that only 13% of employees use their company intranet on a daily basis, and 31% have NEVER used it. People don’t spend a lot of time looking for information. Whether they don’t have the time to search (or the patience), they’re not getting the information they need. If there’s no accessible video communication system or another easy way to find and access the information, they give up or don’t try at all. They disengage.
Right now, more companies are taking their intranet systems to the next level. Utilizing video and AI, they’re customizing these systems to their workers’ specific needs. Need to know who to contact or how to do something? Ask the system.
The Office of the Future
Let’s move briefly into the office of the (not-too-distant) future. I need to check on a savings plan in my benefits package. I call up the internal AI and ask it about the savings plan. The AI replies, perhaps even as a speaking avatar on my phone screen, with a video addressing the issue. All the searching I had to do in the past is now performed by a computer algorithm at a gigabyte a second. And if I don’t get everything from that video, I can say “replay” and watch it again. This is one way your video communication system and your AI could work together.
Or if the question isn’t completely answered by anything in the video library, I can ask HR directly. HR can then do two things to further improve communications. First, they can answer my question. Second, they can arrange to add further content to the video communication library, so the AI will have new resources for similar questions in the future.
Custom-Designed, One-on-One Video
But there’s even more that lies ahead. Video communication is great, and custom-designed communications are great. Like the candy ad tells us about chocolate and peanut butter, they’re greater together. It may not go mainstream this year, but the technology already exists. Custom-designed, one-on-one video is going to play an enormous part in employee communications. Let’s look at how they’ll impact the recruitment and hiring process.
Is there any reading duller and drier than a job description? The only reason people read them, I’m convinced, is they need a paycheck. Make a video out of it, though, and people will view it. If they’re not suited for the job, they may forward it to someone else who’s a better fit. A written job description isn’t going to get the same exposure.
During the interview process, questions crop up – usually half an hour after the candidate leaves the interview. Just as some companies have videos on file that address common customer questions, it’s both possible and desirable to have the same for potential employees. You can create FAQ videos for prospective hires, including those questions that occurred to them after an interview.
The principles of employee engagement match those of customer engagement. When companies can solve technical problems for customers with a quick, face-to-face video, the company builds rapport and engagement with those customers. The same happens with employees (or prospective employees) by explaining complex concepts and step-by-step guides in a more readily consumable manner.
How to Reach Millennials, Gen Z and Beyond
What’s so amazing to me (my first computer was an Atari 520ST with two floppy drives), is how cheap and easy video has become. My six-year-old granddaughter steals my phone when I’m not looking and makes videos of herself and her dolls. This brings us to a demographic reality. Millennials have been getting comfortable in the workforce for a while now. Globally, they’re half the workers in the workforce and, in five years, they’ll be 75% of it. They love their phones, and they expect to get all their information easily on a mobile platform. Gen Z, right behind them, have a similar relationship to mobile technology, and it’s a safe bet the generations after them will too.
Custom video readily accessible on a smartphone is going to reach them. It’s going to save your HR professionals time. And it’s so cheap, you can’t afford not to use it.