What Happens If You Don’t Closed Caption Your Company Training Videos?

Updated: June 3, 2019

What Happens If You Don't Closed Caption Your Company Training Videos?

When it comes to eLearning videos, closed captioning isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s essential for delivering the full value of your content — and avoiding some unintended consequences.

Here are five consequences of NOT adding closed captioning to your company’s training videos:

1. Risk of ADA Lawsuit

Federal disability law requires that employee training processes be accessible to people with disabilities. Closed captions are necessary to make training videos accessible to deaf or hard of hearing employees.

If your company eLearning content isn’t fully accessible, you could risk being sued for disability discrimination.

It wouldn’t be the first time. FedEx Ground was sued for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act for its failure to caption employee training videos.

Closed captioning your eLearning videos sends the message that your company is aware and inclusive of people with disabilities — and it’s one way to protect your company from an accessibility lawsuit.

2. Employees Will Lose Focus

Studies on Facebook video and YouTube video show that closed captions increase watch time, which means they’re effective at keeping viewers focused.

Closed captions help employees focus better on the content of your eLearning videos, too. Long training videos or talking-head style videos often lack compelling visuals, which makes your employees vulnerable to distraction. If they can read along with captions as the video plays, they’re more likely to stay engaged.

If an employee has a learning disability like dyslexia or ADD, closed captions are instrumental in maintaining focus on the video. And of course, if they request closed captions to accommodate their disability, your company is obligated by the ADA to provide captions.

3. Employees Won’t Retain Information As Well

A 1996 US Department of Labor study found that people learn best with a combination of visual aids and oral explanation.

After three days, study subjects were tested on recall for information delivered orally, visual, or both orally and visually. Oral-only instruction saw an information retention rate of 10%. For visual-only instruction, subjects recalled about 35% of the information. A combination of visual and oral reinforcement saw a 65% retention rate.

Graph of Retention of Information. Oral only: 10%; Visual only: 35%; Oral & Visual: 65%

If you go through the trouble of creating training videos, don’t you want employees to retain more than just 10% of the information?

Closed captions can provide the visual reinforcement your videos need to deliver lessons that stick.

4. Employee Training Takes Longer

Onboarding can be very time consuming, especially if it involves watching hours of tutorials or lectures. If your onboarding videos have captions, then employees can watch them on a noisy train on their commute to the office.

The more eLearning they can do en route, the sooner they can complete their training.

No captions on those training videos? Then you’re limiting how, when, and where employees can learn, which can draw out the onboarding process.

5. Risk of Language Barrier

If you hire employees for whom English is a second language, closed captions are a great way to ensure clear communication in your training videos. They’re even helpful for native English speakers who are unaccustomed to decyphering certain accents or dialects.

If your employees aren’t fluent in English, captions can easily be translated into multilingual subtitles. This is especially important for international businesses that want to ensure consistent communication across countries and languages.

Explore closed captioning solutions for your company here:

3Play Media closed captioning solutions: 99% accuracy, Unlimited downloads, 50+ caption file formats, Trusted by 1,600+ companies

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