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Video is also a great tool for posting necessary static information on a company-wide server, and for telecommunications across time zones, continents, and borders. (Image: Shutterstock)
Offices and teams work best when everyone is informed and open communication flows. When employees are engaged, appreciated, and have the resources they need, they work hard, stay loyal, and improve your brand. Conversely, when employees feel ignored or don’t have the resources available to do their jobs well, they could hurt your brand in the long term.The workforce is changing, along with how people do their work and communicate with each other, their managers, and company executives. Millennials are reaching majority status in workplaces, bringing their own tendencies, communication preferences, and values to the office. And the office itself is changing. More companies today rely on employees and contractors working outside their main headquarters. Suddenly, an office can mean many things other than a building where everyone works. It means telecommunications and conference rooms where workers from around the world can collaborate.

The “benefits” of video communication

All of the changes in the workplace means human resources managers have new challenges to deal with .First, there’s benefits packages. A one-size-fits-all approach no longer makes sense when your workforce wants different things in different places. The best approach is to lay out a variety of choices for your employees. The more options available to employees, however, the more complex the benefits decision process becomes for them. One-on-one help can give employees the answers they need in a welcoming, easygoing setting, but it simply can’t be available to everyone all the time in an organization. This is why decision support videos are becoming essential in many organizations.Decision support materials do just what they say they’ll do: provide information to employees to help them make important decisions on matters like health insurance and other benefits. With a library of informational videos that quickly and easily convey concepts and choices employees face, organizations can trust that their workers are getting what they need to take advantage of the benefit options available. Many times, investing in decision support videos long before enrollment deadlines saves time by limiting the number of hours required from HR managers and others who work directly with employees.Video is also a great tool for posting necessary static information on a company-wide server, and for telecommunications across time zones, continents, and borders. Orientation videos and other recorded video information don’t take the place of personal help in getting new employees onboarded and ready to work, but they can provide contextual information for new employees.Making sure all new workers have the same information and experience the same welcoming attitude when they come aboard is crucial, and with advanced video communications technology, you can do this without overwhelming new hires with a huge packet of orientation information they may avoid reading.

Video communications and your brand

Can you see the eyerolls every time you send a “housekeeping” email? Do employees see the benefits packet and cringe? Packets and emails are common, necessary forms of communication in any office, but when it comes to important communications like health insurance and retirement benefits, employees not only need more effective communication, they need to know their employer cares enough about them to provide the tools they need for personal and professional success.Video communications need to be sleek, informative and so easy to understand and use that employees won’t be able to resist them. The branding should be your own. Whether you hire an HR video communications team to produce content for you or not, the videos are yours and bear your signature. When employees see your newest link to a video, they know from experience that it will be worth a watch.

What to look for in a communications provider

Brokers and the organizations they help provide communications systems to know all about what their workers need to know. The trick is providing them with the information they need to make educated decisions in an effective way. What all stakeholders in employee information systems need, especially when it comes to employee benefits, is clear, consumable content. In video form, animation is a great way to convey basic information. The ability to insert information in readable, watchable graphics and ‘special effects’ is crucial.Creative control and feedback is another key aspect in any employee communications plan. HR managers need to have the ability to make their point and tell the employees what they need, and the ability to make changes to the messaging and the video production process itself, if need be. Communication is all about being flexible and addressing the needs of your audience. Your communications company has to listen to you and be ready for changes. Brokers, too, need to set up their clients with flexible communications abilities.No matter how you organize your company-wide communications, video is a powerful tool when used properly.

Wayne Wall is the founder of Flimp Media, a leading human resources and employee benefits digital communications company and video creative agency based in Boston. Flimp provides educational video content, benefits decision-support tools and interactive engagement solutions to large employers, benefits brokers, HR consultants, insurance carriers and health care providers.

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