Opinion: How can video content help solve the UK productivity crisis?
Ahead of next week's Employer Brand Management conference, Jeremy Stinton talks about the relationship between video and productivity. The conference will be held on 6 December in London.
In his autumn statement, chancellor of the exchequer, Philip Hammond pledged £23bn to help the UK address its “productivity levels per head,” which are consistently below the average of G7 advanced economies.
Employer brand management is an organisation’s control of its reputation as an employer (as opposed to its value proposition to its customers), and it has a direct impact on the way its staff behave – and, therefore, their productivity.
Video, with its power to engage and convey emotion like no other channel, can play a significant role in support of a successful employer brand. Towers Watson’s ‘Change and Communication ROI Report’ demonstrates that productive companies typically convey a consistent story about their business, create greater certainty, confidence and engagement with employees, and build a shared experience across diverse audiences.
Storytelling is essential for comprehension and retention as it stimulates parts of the brain in a way in which simple prose delivery doesn’t. Brand stories have the power to inspire and shape culture, be they client case studies, emotive demonstrations of staff ‘living’ the brand, or other content.
We all know the importance of visible leadership support for the values and brand story; video can be a great way for leaders to relate poignant stories, in their own words, which can be reinforced across channels.
They can also help create greater certainty, confidence and engagement with employees.
In a time of constant change and adoption of agile methodologies, organisations often unwittingly create constant uncertainty. Video updates in the form of senior manager addresses, and animated films highlighting changes for example, can help demonstrate clear direction and dispel the dangerous rumour-mongering which otherwise ensues.
Investment in training creates confidence in employees that the firm is developing them for the long term, as well as boosting their productivity. The use of interactive video content incorporating quizzes and helpful download links can deliver training economically, effectively and measurably.
Companies should seek to build a shared experience across diverse audiences.
Bonding of teams can be achieved by sharing experiences. User-generated video content with its open, authentic voice is perfect for this – creating a sense that everybody is ‘in this together.’
In a recent survey of over 100 respondents, carried out for enterprise video platform Buto by Communicate magazine, only 23% of internal communications professionals said their organisations currently encourage user-generated video.
The really exciting thing is that 36% say they don’t yet, but plan to do so. That shift is complemented by the 72% of IC professionals who believe their employees want to share more of their own enterprise video content. The future, as one respondent rightly says, “Is user-generated.”
A representative from a major British bank adds, “User-generated content, there’s a big shift towards that. I think [people] love seeing their colleagues on film, but knowing that they’ve done it themselves and that there’s always that edgy DIY sense to it, they quite like that as well. In some sense, it’s not ‘propaganda,’ because a colleague has made it.”
Employee engagement, in which video can play a crucial role, drives productivity and ultimately improvements to the bottom line. Those organisations that don't wake up to the need for employee engagement are highly likely to be left by the wayside in a globalised world.
Jeremy Stinton is COO at Buto
The Employer Brand Management conference takes place on 6 December at 30 Euston Square. Speakers from the likes of Unilever, Diageo SAP, Aviva, Odeon and Dixons Carphone will discuss the employer brand in times of change. Book your place now.