Employee Generated Video (EGV) is on the rise and 81% of executives believe the demand for these videos will only increase. So, is it about time your company got involved? There are a lot of mixed thoughts about EGV in the business world, executives are often put off using it for fear their employees will upload “irresponsible content”. According to a study last year by Qumu51% of executives are concerned about this yet 100% of respondents have never actually experienced any inappropriate video being uploaded to the company network. So, are there any benefits to this strategy? We’ve decided to share some of our research to let you decide whether Employee Generated Video could be beneficial for your company.

But firstly, what exactly is Employee Generated Video?

User-generated-videoEssentially, EGV is similar to public User-Generated Video, such as Doritos’ Crash the Super Bowl contest and Gmail: Behind the Scenes campaign, in which companies invite customers and fans to submit home-made videos that the brand can use for video marketing content. This is not only a great way of marketing a company, but it really engages customers and makes them feel personally connected to the brand. Such campaigns have likely influenced businesses to engage their employees in similar ways, inviting them to upload video content to the company network for knowledge sharing, company announcements or as part of a company changeover strategy. For example, in 2006 Pfizer implemented EGV into their global “transformation” strategy. Pfizer selected 10 employees and gave them each a camera and tripod asking them to record video diaries of their experiences as the company changes took effect. This strategy was successful for the company in terms of helping employees adapt to organisation changes while feeling engaged with it.

Use internal video to enhance employee engagement

A key reason to implement EGV is to engage employees and improve internal communications. EGV can be used to relay information to employees, by using how-to videos, online presentations and webinars or even video diaries, but how do you measure if these videos are enhancing employee engagement? The Edge Picture Company’s whitepaper (available for download here) suggested that measuring success is not the number of videos entered, but “how the wider workforce engages with them.” When IBM implemented EGV into the company, less than 0.1% of the workforce produced their own videos. But within a month of the content launching, employees shared the videos internally nearly 4,800 times and left 3,212 comments. Although only a hand full of employees may engage with the video making process, it’s important to apply social media, commenting and sharing tools to encourage employee interaction. Interaction and engagement is where you will find the true benefit of internal video.

Sharing knowledge with video in the workplace

Video is a great tool for training and educating, as it creates memorable learning experiences; we remember 50% of what we both hear and see, in comparison to only 10% of what we read. Video can be used as an e-learning tool within the workplace, allowing executives and employees to share their knowledge with colleagues or even hold training sessions on an internal webinar platform. Research conducted by Paolo Tosolini at RUN Studios showed that organisations are encouraging employees to share knowledge that drives performance. Xerox launched an internal user-generated video platform that encourages everybody to ‘Show, Share, and Lead’ through the power of video, while SAP also have their own ‘internal video platform’.

What if employees upload inappropriate content?

The fear that employees might upload inappropriate content makes it tempting to limit the type of employees creating content to company executives and CEO’s only. However a survey reveals that, at 45.5%, co-workers produce the most interesting corporate content, even though CEO’s produce the highest volume of videos. So, with co-workers producing such a large percentage of engaging content, it may not be beneficial to discourage the amount of content they can create. It’s also never in your favour to give employees the impression that you don’t trust them. If you’re really worried that employees might upload content you’re not happy with, then controlling which videos go onto the network is the certainly best way to go. Instead of employees being able to upload content straight to the network, try giving someone the task of managing which content is uploaded. This will filter out any inappropriate videos.

Make sure Employee Generated Video is right for your company

Employee Generated Video sounds easy to execute into company practice, after all your employees are doing all the work, right? Well, that’s not always the case. Executives need to make sure they have the resources within their company to train the employees who may not be familiar with the process, as well as ensuring the employee generated project has a clear purpose. It’s vital to make sure that you’re taking the right approach when using employee generated content. Pfizer’s video diary programme aimed to “take out the corporate” and focused on videos made by ordinary employees, rather than corporate directors and CEO’s. The videos were real, informal and authentic, employees felt connected to the people in the videos as they could relate to them. This really worked for Pfizer’s programme, so you need to make sure you pick an approach that works for the purpose of your project.