3 Keys to Unlocking Video's True Workplace Potential
These best practices can help employees get in the habit of using video to drive business.
In August 1981, a new network called MTV debuted with the aptly named Buggles video, "Video Killed the Radio Star."
Indeed, MTV and its music video format would soon go on to change the way people experienced music. By then video had, of course, changed the way we experienced a lot of things as consumers. But not so much in business. Eventually, of course, video conferencing would find a foothold in large organizations, and by the early 2000s it was available to just about anyone.
But it's been more than a decade since all the major instant messaging platforms came out with video chat capabilities, and six years since we began making free video calls on the iPhone. While video continues to evolve in some really exciting ways for consumers, its evolution within organizations has stalled.
High-quality video is available across every tablet and laptop. Many of us walk around with at least two video cams in our pockets. Smartphones come with two. The technology has done everything it can to make it easy for us. We have the power to make and take video calls from just about anywhere. But most of us don't.
It's a shame, because with video, people have the power of instant collaboration via shared visual spaces regardless of the physical distance between them. We can establish more productive work relationships, communicating and sharing more and faster visually than we ever could via phone or email. We could be forming closer relationships. We could be building stronger teams. We could be arriving at solutions and decisions faster, all while cutting costs and bringing a new level of competitiveness to the enterprise.
So why aren't we? Because workers aren't in the habit of using video to drive business. It's something they schedule, not something they launch within a project's workflow. It's also a matter of culture. People aren't conditioned to be video-ready within a moment's notice. But most importantly, it's a matter of simply not knowing where to apply video for transformational benefit. Even Millennials and younger remote workers haven't been able to unlock video's full potential. Why? Because nobody is showing them how.
Unlocking Video's True Potential
Organizations can do a number of things to get video to take, starting with introducing video into the hiring process. Set the tone with employees from day one that this is the company culture (see related post, "Hey Recruiters, Video Is Calling").
Work with HR to demonstrate how helpful this can be. Take 10 minutes to formulate the key questions you want asked into a document and have one member of the HR team record and share the session with the hiring team. This will do two things. It will introduce this as a cultural element to the candidate and show the folks on the hiring team a new way to think about the power of video. You mean, I can watch the interview while I am waiting in the airport and provide my feedback from there? They will appreciate you accommodating their schedules and maybe giving them some time back.
Second, organizations must create a formal adoption strategy that identifies and trains employees on all the worthwhile use cases across the various lines of business. They need to incentivize employees, especially the non-Millennials, and demonstrate how these new technologies will make them even more valuable to the enterprise (and a stronger professional in general). They need to show their workforces how to use it.
Third, identify evangelists within the organization and elevate what they are doing. You could even use video on your intranet to do this.
What you need to keep in mind is that if you don't, your competition surely will. Right now, you likely have a competitor trying to figure out a way to eat your lunch. Empowering employees and engaging with customers or partners in new and exciting ways is part of their DNA, and you will need to make it part of yours. By the time the slowest moving organizations realize the misstep, the faster-moving enterprises will already be on to newer forms of video collaboration, such as those that incorporate telepresence devices, virtual reality, and even 3D holographic displays.
Skype for Business on the HoloLens anyone?