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About the Author: Kyle O’Brien is a freelance writer who enjoys writing on all topics concerning the business industry, from discussing the formulation of eLearning training platforms to tips on developing company leadership and more. He also works as a consultant for ej4, a performance improvement company working with businesses to create such training videos.

It’s no secret that companies need some form of training for their staff. They need a crash course on everything from standard workplace compliance to sales training procedures and more. And while some businesses may still go the traditional route of offering sizable binders and packets containing the necessary protocol, it’s the training videos that tend to offer more value to employees.

For one thing, you physically see them viewing the training segments instead of rolling the dice that they’re actively reading through packet after packet like it’s finals week. Here are some ways to make those training videos more engaging and productive for your business as a whole, and to take advantage of the eLearning approach to training.

Understand The State Of Attention Spans

Not to say today’s employees are actively skimping through everything put in front of them (because that wouldn’t really sit well with their work ethic attributes), but nobody likes to sit through a training session that comes off as three-part mini-series. According to Statistic Brain, the average time a person views an online video is roughly 2.7 minutes. Attention spans in general have dipped even more, in 2000 it averaged 12 seconds whereas in 2012 it’s around 8 seconds.

The abundance of so much technology, such as smartphones, tablets and so forth, could arguably have a say in the decrease in attention spans, but regardless, how engaged an employee is with a training video is crucial. Companies must balance the efficiency and depth of their eLearning videos and find a good stopping point. Better yet, you can break down specific sessions into multiple parts. That way you’re still able to focus on making the information digestible, but within a comfortable timetable that’s not detracting too much from that employee’s daily tasks.

Keep Up With The Times

You wouldn’t create an eLearning piece training employees on how to use MS-DOS when they should be educating themselves on how to work their way around Windows 8 or Mac OS. And while that seems like a given, the whole point is to keep eLearning sessions current. There’s always something bigger and better in the works, some new software that your employees could utilize with their sales or project management team, and the best way to counter that is by thinking of how to adapt training videos to reflect every change thrown your way.

Don’t Lose Sight When Making The Video

Do a quick YouTube search for “funny training videos” and the list quickly populates with some of the most bewildering training videos of yesteryear. I’ve talked before about this gem from Wendy’s back in the 1980s. It was a training video geared towards Wendy’s cooks on how to properly cook a hamburger, among other things. What at once was a tutorial on why you don’t use the microwave to cook raw hamburger patties, suddenly blossoms into a rapping video complete with loud noises and quirky music. Now, I applaud the effort to stray away from some simple “bullet-point video” with boring graphics and a monotone voice-over in the background, but seriously, upon first glance you’d surely be mistaken that this was a music video and nothing more.

Keeping in mind the two previous points above, companies should strive to make eLearning segments lively, informative and above all else, in a way that makes sense. Ditch the fancy plot lines and concentrate on creating a video that sells itself well, and has a real person reeling off the information in a confident manner.

In the grand scheme of things, employees are eager for more information to help further their career and help the company grow to new heights. Treat eLearning as you would an important landing page to your company’s website. If not constructed properly, it won’t warrant further views and chances are you’ll have lost the audience. Same goes for your employees and their understanding of training videos laid out before them.

What do you think? What ideas do you have for implementing eLearning training videos in your business?

Interested in learning more about creating and distributing video specifically to your mobile workforce? Sign up now for our free webinar on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at 1p ET.

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