The ongoing training of staff can consume lots of time and money. These costs are multiplied when a company has many employees spread across multiple locations. However, with a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, we can replicate face-to-face meetings and training sessions from the comfort of our own homes and offices.
What is Video Conferencing?
Thanks to video conference software it’s possible to talk to someone on the other side of the world as if they were in the same room as you. Video conferencing is especially useful for organizations that need to communicate with other branches, remote employees, or business connections across various locales in lieu of an in-person meeting.
At its core, video conferencing is communication between two or more people through the use of cameras, microphones, monitors, and speakers. A high speed internet connection is central to its function, otherwise audiovisual transmissions will lag or cut out completely.
Modern teleconferencing also incorporates cloud technology. In addition to giving real-time face-to-face talks to trainees, you can also share your screen and upload files to the group.
For many businesses, the coronavirus pandemic dramatically sped up the shift to a remote workforce. Video conferencing is now more important than ever, being the only channel through which remote workers are able to receive in-depth training. In this article we’ll look at the unique ways in which video conferencing can improve employee development.
The effort to battle the pandemic by restricting travel made both local and international meetings extremely difficult. When you need to provide training to your remote employees, phone calls and emails don’t cut it. They lack the necessary human element.
So much of our communication is non-verbal. When these social cues are removed, miscommunications occur. Humor can be misconstrued and facial expressions are not transmitted.
Video conferencing fills this void by bringing your people together; side by side, over and under each other, into a neat grid. Whether they are in New England or New Zealand, they are able to attend personalized, real-time sessions. Geography is no longer a limiting factor when providing training to your team.
As an advantage of no longer being limited by physical locations, you will save time. Through video conferencing, employees can all be trained together, in one go. Sessions do not need to be limited due to the size of the room, or the volume of the speaker’s voice.
Employees are also more agile; they can quickly enter meetings with different groups, guest speakers, and managers. Ordinarily, plenty of time would be consumed traveling between various rooms, buildings, or cities in order to receive the same training. Teleconferencing eliminates this wasted time, proving itself a valuable productivity tool.
Saving time goes hand in hand with saving money, too. IBM saved just under $600 million after moving half of their training programs to an online video format. They were previously spending 40% of their training budget on travel and accommodation.
In addition to saving on all travel costs, you will save labor costs as less trainers are needed. Global companies could streamline their spending by centralizing their training to a single hub. Employees from around the world could enjoy this expert training through video conferences.
Improving Decision Making
Genworth Financial also saved a lot of money on travel when installing video conferencing systems in their 38 offices across the United States, Canada, India, Australia, and England. However, the main benefit was the increase in the speed of decisions.
In the past, messages and information would slowly trickle down the chain of command from the company’s CIO Scott Mckay. Like a game of Chinese whispers, the original meaning of his message was lost. This all changed when he was able to directly talk to 300 of his staff through a global video conference.
A huge advantage of conducting training through video conference is that it can be recorded. Training videos can be paused, replayed, slowed down, or sped up. This means that employees can review the training and understand it at their own pace.
This is in contrast to in-person training sessions where they must closely follow along to the speaker’s words and often rely on their memory if they wish to review any information.
The video recordings can be organized into an archive for future reference.
Consistent Training Quality
Global, splintered corporations can struggle to maintain the consistency of their training resources across locations. This creates an inconsistent quality of service to their employees. This is especially true when there are multiple layers of middle management and locations with different onboarding processes.
Training videos enable a company to take control over the messages that are communicated during training and development. In this way, companies can directly deliver the same presentation to all of their employees.
Furthermore, videos are just inherently more enjoyable. Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than read handbooks, emails, or other documents. Audiovisual stimulation is much more likely to hold a trainee’s focus, so it is important to maintain an employee centric mindset when developing training courses.
Another benefit of video conferencing is that it’s easier for employees to focus on their personal computer screen as opposed to looking at a faraway screen in a training venue. They are also actively using internal communication tools as opposed to passively listening. This is another useful layer to the training.
To further increase interaction, trainers have multiple virtual tools at their disposal, such as starting quizzes, sharing images, and dividing a large group into smaller ones to generate discussion.
When compared to other methods, video conferences rule supreme in holding people’s attention. In a survey, 92% of people admitted to multitasking during meetings. The format of the staff meeting generally determined their levels of engagement. Multitasking was more prevalent during phone conferences and web conferences. The number of multitaskers decreased to 16% for in-person meetings and 4% during video conferences.
Having learned that more people pay attention during video conferences, it should be no surprise that people learn more during them as well.
Video conferencing has proven to be more memorable than other forms of training. A study found that only seven days after a training session, most employees will only remember 35% of the training. After six months, they will remember just 10%.
When audio or written information is combined with video, there is a marked increase in retention. Most employees will remember 65% of their training after a week; a 30% increase!
Corporations, departments, and employees collaborate daily on a global scale. A business may have offices and suppliers in multiple countries. A video conference is like an online meeting room, allowing people to work together efficiently. The ability to quickly upload files, screen share, and create shared documents greatly boosts the effectiveness of training.
For employees completing training exercises in groups, they are able to edit shared documents at the same time as talking with one another. Everyone is able to contribute to the group and have a fair input. No time is wasted on asynchronous communication.
Teleconferencing can be crucial in maintaining a relationship between employees and executives. Rakuten’s new graduate training program is fully remote. Due to this, senior managers are more accessible and are able to squeeze in talks with trainees throughout their busy day.
Senior managers are also able to garner useful insights from employees. These interactions can be two-way streets; improving employee growth as well as business growth.
An FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) page could arise as a result of video conference training. Over the duration of the training sessions, there may be questions that keep popping up amongst employees.
These questions could all be addressed in one document and uploaded to the cloud as a useful resource for those who participate in the training in the future. Gathering nuggets of information and collecting them in one place online is much more efficient than constantly repeating information during in-person sessions.
Improved Work/Life Balance
Employees who are allowed to work from home give their employers an 8% higher approval rating than those who worked traditionally in an office. Importantly, productivity doesn’t drop when employees perform remote work.
It follows that employees would approve of remote training. Training a new hire is already a costly investment, so it makes sense to conduct the training in a manner favorable to the trainees, or else risk losing them to someone who will.
As businesses implement and utilize modern technologies, remote employee training is becoming commonplace.
Saving time, saving money, increasing employee attention, improving collaboration, and building an archive of information are all great reasons to use video conferencing as the core component of a training course.
The shift to remote training processes, such as video conferencing, has come about speedily due to the pandemic. However, the advantages will remain true even in a post-COVID world.
Whilst some managers will be eager to return to the office where new employees can be closely monitored and training delivered in-person, many will not. The increase in efficiency and decrease in expenditure enabled by video conferencing makes the shift a smart business move.