Corporate Training and Onboarding in a Virtual World
Updated: March 16, 2021
In light of recent events, many organizations have moved to remote workforces. What’s typically conducted in person is now being moved exclusively online.
Although a virtual environment is new for some companies, it doesn’t mean that regular business procedures, like training and onboarding, need to come to a halt. It’s still very possible to foster a productive and engaged workforce outside of the office.
Thanks to the flexibility and convenience of the digital world, virtual workforces are becoming increasingly attractive to both job seekers and current employees. According to FlexJobs, about 3.4% of the population, or 4.7 million U.S. workers, work remotely. With more and more uncovered research on the benefits of virtual work environments, that number is expected to rise.
But how can companies ensure new hires are adequately onboarded or that current employees are properly trained in a virtual environment? The good news is that a number of organizations have introduced remote work to some capacity, whether it be a full or partial remote workforce – so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
Companies can learn just how simple it is to implement the best possible virtual corporate training and onboarding, all while making it engaging and accessible.
Video, Video, and More Video!
You may be wondering, what’s the best way to support training and onboarding in a virtual environment? Video, that is!
Video training is not a new concept. Even in the office, videos are used to train and onboard new and current employees. Once recorded, it’s easy for senior leaders and managers to distribute the information, which ultimately saves time.
According to Panopto, industry analysts have found research that proves that video is helping companies train smarter. After face-to-face interactions, video is the next best thing. Employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents or articles.
Training and onboarding videos have a slew of benefits. One benefit is that they make it more effective to learn important information. Did you know? In just six months, the average person forgets 90% of training materials. Studies show that video can improve people’s ability to comprehend concepts over time.
Training videos also help companies save money in the long run. Budgets spent on expensive conferences and in-person training could easily be reduced with video.
Finally, training videos can help employees learn on their own time. There’s no need to worry about schedule conflicts because videos allow you to learn when and where you want. Many companies have a large workforce, with some employees in other cities or countries. Organizations can deliver critical training and onboarding videos to all employees, even as the company expands and grows in size.
Video Courtesy of Zillow Premier Agent
Making Corporate Training and Onboarding Videos Engaging and Accessible
Training and onboarding videos are a great educational tool, but in order to make them engaging and accessible, it’s important to implement video accessibility for all videos.
In order to make your videos accessible, they should include tools like captioning, audio description, transcription, interactive transcripts, and playlist search. 62% of employees with a disability have an invisible disability or a disability that cannot be immediately identified upon meeting someone. Without these tools, training videos become completely inaccessible, leaving employees with disabilities excluded from learning important company information. Not only is this morally wrong, but it’s against the law.
Companies are legally required to make training and onboarding video accessible to employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. This means that companies must provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities, such as making training and onboarding videos accessible with closed captions, live captions, and audio description.
Title I and Title II of the ADA specifically protect people in employment and public entities. Title I prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities and it covers all aspects of a job including job training. Title II, on the other hand, prohibits entities from refusing to accommodate people with disabilities and must provide the necessary aids to ensure equal access.
EEOC v. FedEx Ground
In 2014, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. for violating the ADA and discriminating against deaf and hard of hearing package handlers.
The shipping company provided training and onboarding videos for new and current employees, including new-hire orientations, safety training, staff meetings, and much more. However, they did not provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters or closed captioning for their videos – violating the ADA.
The main reason employers could be exempt from providing reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees is if it causes an “undue burden” on the company. This could be defined as financial hardship. However, in the case of FedEx, the company employed over 65,000 people and at the time, had a revenue of $11.6 billion. With that type of revenue, it’s highly unlikely that it would cause a financial burden on the company to provide reasonable accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing employees.
Ultimately, FedEx agreed to pay $3.3 million and is responsible for providing deaf and hard of hearing package handlers with ASL interpreters, captioned videos, and more.
Maria Luis Morocco, Supervisory Trial Attorney for the EEOC had this to say about the case against FedEx:
The Benefits of Accessible Training and Videos
There are a plethora of benefits of accessible video, but for training and onboarding videos specifically, it helps with accessibility, engagement, and translations.
Not only are accessible videos required, but it’s the ethical thing to do for employees with disabilities. As mentioned, many people in the workplace have a disability that may not always be physically apparent. When it comes to accessibility, it’s important to be proactive rather than reactive. Just because an employee’s disability isn’t disclosed, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Accessibility ensures that all employees receive an equal chance at success.
Accessibility also aids in engagement. Have you ever sat through a long lecture before? I’m sure it was hard to stay focused. Videos are a great way to share information in an engaging way. Even with video, however, it can still be hard to keep people’s attention. Humans have embarrassingly short attention spans, but with video accessibility, you can keep viewers’ attention over a long period of time.
Video accessibility even helps with diverse audiences. Many companies are global organizations with bases in multiple countries. It can become time-consuming and expensive to get company training and onboarding information translated into other languages. When your videos are accessible, for example, if it’s already captioned, it’s easy to translate it for a broader audience.
Corporate Companies Investing in Video Accessibility
Many organizations are realizing the tremendous impact that video accessibility can have on their employees.
The company Oracle uses captions and transcripts to enhance its on-demand video training program, Oracle University. Many working professionals use Oracle University to help further their careers by seeking knowledge specific to their role or industry. Oracle captions and transcribes 100% of their video content. They noticed an improvement in engagement, comprehension for non-native English speakers, and greater flexibility for viewers. Oracle believes that the increase in overall production cost to make their videos accessible is worth the extra value that video accessibility provides.
Additionally, Mary Kay, Inc. produces educational and training video content for its independent salesforce, who are English and/or Spanish speakers. The company saw the value in captioning its video in English and Spanish because it ensures that everyone, regardless of ability or language, had equal access to valuable training information that could impact the success of each contractor. Now more contractors have access to important information whenever and wherever they want.
Discover How To Make Your Training and Onboarding Videos Accessible 👇
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