Millennial and Gen Z workers are bringing different expectations to the workplace than the generations before them. And as video becomes a more prevalent and integral part of communicating with this modern workforce, those expectations should influence how HR managers approach their video strategy. Whether it’s vying for attention from top candidates, or keeping employees engaged, well-trained and productive there are many tangible benefits to upgrading your HR video efforts to better reflect what the workforce of the future is looking for.
“…many employees are sophisticated viewers and will have high expectations of any benefits-related video.”
– Vern Oakley(2)
Having been immersed in platforms like YouTube or Vimeo and streaming media for most of their lives, younger workers take the ubiquity of video for granted. Even though expectations vary depending on the context (for example they wouldn’t expect a brand video on TikTok) they equate production value with seriousness and credibility. And there’s an assumption that the way their employer speaks to them, is at least of the same quality as the way the company speaks to their customers. It’s just seen as a necessary part of consistent branding.
“Employee brand and reputation—the story that employees in the external world tell about your company’s employee experience—will be a critical competitive differentiator.”
– Josh Bersin et al.(14)
To deal with this demand for brand consistent, high quality HR videos, some companies are consolidating all communications (to employees and customers) under one roof, apart from their HR department. If this isn’t possible, just make sure that the person or team in charge of employee-centric videos has access to similar professional resources as the marketing team.
“When we’re talking about advertising or branding or public relations, the employee message is considered and incorporated as well.”
-Dave Aker, senior vice president of worldwide human resources, Unisys Corp (quoted in SHRM)(12)
Focus on Purpose:
“ It used to be that people went to work for a paycheck, but now people are looking for a higher purpose, something to get them out of bed in the morning besides just money. They want to have meaning in their jobs.”
– Lisa Mcleod, Keynote Speaker, Best-Selling Author of Selling with Noble Purpose
If you want to attract and retain a millennial workforce you need to focus on the higher purposes of their job, not just traditional incentives like pay and health benefits5. There’s a growing realization that work isn’t just about where you spend most of your day. It’s a fundamental part of one’s identity. So millennials, and the coming Gen Z workforce, need to know that they’re investing their talent into a worthwhile mission and are having a tangible impact.
Whether it’s through client testimonials or video job descriptions it’s imperative to produce videos that show employees how their work matters, to the customers and to their broader community. The gains extend beyond just your employees sense of self worth but to your business outcomes as well. As Deloitte reports in their 2019 Global Human Capital Trends:
“Wharton management professor Adam Grant found that call center employees were 171 percent more productive when they had the opportunity to spend time learning about the impact their services were having on the end customer.”
– Deloitte 2019 Global Human capital Trends(6)
“We know today’s learners have high expectations for learning experiences that are highly relevant, personalized, and engaging.”
-Abbey LewisHarvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning(7)
L&D departments and budgets are growing(8), proving a growing acceptance that offering employees opportunities to upskill is a vital part of business success. We’re also seeing a clear preference for video-based learning formats over paper-based or instructor-lead training(3). One reason for this is the inherent flexibility this offers since learners can choose when and how quickly they do the training. What makes online learning even more important is that this expectation for on-demand training is seen across the major generations currently in the workforce, not just Millennials and Gen Z.
For companies willing to commit to the customization that comes with video-based learning there are plenty of options available covering a wide spectrum of implementation levels. From AI powered ‘learning coaches’ delivered through an internal LMS like Docebo, to internal YouTube-like experiences from Learn Your Benefits or Brandlive’s video-training platform. For those more apprehensive, even incorporating an element of video somewhere in a course can see a lift in engagement according to HR Technologist.4
“Survey data shows that employees want self-directed learning opportunities accessible in the flow of work. One way to accomplish that is through online learning, which enables employees to learn in the moment of need.”
– Linkedin Learning 2019 Workplace Training Report (8)
Freedom of Mobility:
“Creating the best possible employee experience is about getting the right message in the right media to the right person at the right time”
– Jennifer Benz in Workforce magazine (10)
As faster data speeds makes streaming media on phones and tablets more prevalent, the demand for mobile access to HR videos will become harder to ignore. Tied to the expectation of personalized training paths is the desire to access these materials while on the go. Consider remote workers, those with long commutes or whose jobs don’t require them to be at a desk all day. Using a mobile-friendly platform distribution platform for videos means your entire workforce has access to the material they’re most likely going to learn from.
“For those who enable learners with mobile today, you can provide incentive for employees to join your company, benefit from a modern onboarding experience, and better retain employees in the long run by empowering them to do their job every day.”
– Jeff Carr, CEO of Inkling in HR Technologist (11)
So What does this mean?
The HR communications landscape is always shifting. In the past companies could afford for their employee communication efforts to lag behind their front-facing media. But now that there’s an increasing focus on the employee experience13, the bar is being set higher and only those companies incorporating video throughout their entire communications portfolio are meeting those demands. Creating high quality HR videos that excite workers with a sense of purpose and give them the tools to better themselves whenever and wherever they want can no longer be a luxury.
- Chiradeep BasuMallick, Why Video Is Essential to Recruitment Marketing in 2020, HR Technologist, 2020
- Joanne Sammer, Using Videos in Benefits Communications, SHRM, 2017
- Rachel Maltese, Kaltura survey on video in the Enterprise, 2020
- How to Use Video for Learning & Developemt, HR Technologist, 2017
- Hire, Retain & Grow Top Millennial Talent – Linkedin Learning Course
- Erica Volini etal. From Employee Experience to Human Experience: Putting Meaning Back into Work, Deloitte 2019 Global Human Capital Trends, 2019
- Abby Lewis, How To Engage And Enrich Millennial Learners, Training & Development Excellence, 2020
- Artem Chelovechkov et al. Linkedin Learning 2019 Workplace Training Report, 2019
- Linkedin 2018 workplace Learning Report, 2018
- Jennifer Benz, The Future of HR Communications, Workforce, 2016
- Jeff Carr, Buying into Mobile: Why It’s the Right Tool to Optimize the Learner Experience, HR Technologist, 2019
- Lin Grensig-Pophal, HR & the Communicators, SHRM, 2003
- Ryan Pendell, Employee Experience vs. Engagement: What’s the Difference?, Gallup
- Josh Bersin et al. The employee experience: Culture, engagement, and beyond, Deloitte 2017