How Video Became Necessary Part Of Employee Onboarding

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Video training and onboarding are nothing new. Anyone who started their first job in fast food throughout the 80s and 90s likely remembers a corny VHS training video about safety and integrity. Yet, the broader adoption of video onboarding is recent.

Video is considered one of the best mediums for onboarding and training employees. Here are some compelling reasons why your organization should consider this approach and how to get started.

Visual Aids Provide Clarity

Written protocols and training manuals can only convey so much. Using video as a training tool provides more clarity when learning a new concept. This medium allows for a combination of auditory and visual cues, text, and motion for accurate depictions of how to use a program or process.

Many companies use written SOPs to create training references and capture processes. Yet, there’s a difference between looking at a screenshot versus seeing the mouse track to the right part of the screen.

Screenshots and imagery add clarity to training documents, but a video takes it to the next level. It’s also a powerful way to show how a finished product should look.

Promotes Self-Paced Learning

Each employee will learn and adapt at a different pace. While one person may fly through the onboarding process, another may prefer to take things slowly. Some employees will need additional help with one tool rather than another. Video onboarding fits into these diverse learning skills by promoting self-paced learning

Employees with video resources can pause, rewind, and replay the training videos as often as needed. This approach eliminates the intimidation of asking for more information during an in-person training session and ensures the employee is ready to progress through the materials confidently. 

Customizable for Different Tools

Onboarding isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Different roles and individuals will have varying needs. Providing training materials that cover irrelevant tasks or tools wastes resources.

Video is customizable for different tools and unique tasks, allowing companies to piecemeal individualized onboarding materials for new hires. Your business can create standardized videos for elements like the company history and culture and have key stakeholders create training videos for the tools used in their roles or departments.

Minimal Resource Requirements

Creating videos no longer requires thousands of dollars worth of recording and editing equipment. You can get high-quality screen recording tools for a nominal monthly fee and edit, cut, and resize video online. As many tools are now subscription-based, small businesses and solo entrepreneurs can save money by batching content and pausing the subscription when it’s no longer needed.

As videos can be reused, they help minimize training costs. Video allows hiring managers to continue their daily work rather than disrupting productivity. Videos also eliminate the need to have someone teach the same concepts over and over.

Video training materials also help cut back on office supply consumption by reducing the need for paper, printer toner, and physical storage.

Easy to Update and Amend

There’s a common misconception that text-based SOPs and training materials are easier to update than video documents. This may be true in some cases — policies and agreements, for example. However, video training materials are more straightforward to update than written training materials.

Create a policy within your organization that when someone discovers a training video is outdated, they make the necessary changes. Suppose a hiring manager reviews the training video before onboarding a new employee and finds a change since the latest software update. Rather than pulling up the document, finding the right spot, working through the process, and pausing to take screenshots and notes, the hiring manager can record the process as they work through it.

Take a proactive approach to ensure employees are updating video SOPs and training materials within their role. This approach ensures continuous improvement with minimal disruption to the organizational workflow.

Easy to Source

Approximately 3.7 million videos are uploaded on YouTube every day. Consider the additional videos on other social media channels, online courses, etc., and you could surmise that decades worth of video content hits the internet daily. 

This overwhelming amount of data leads to a straightforward question that’s withstood the tests of time: why reinvent the wheel?

If creating detailed training and onboarding videos isn’t feasible for your company, consider outsourcing to the experts in each tool your employees use. You can get expert videos covering project management software’s functionalities, AI calendars, social media platforms, and more. 

Consider sourcing videos from other creators and subject-matter experts to build onboarding packages. Focus your internal video creation efforts on specific processes and workflows.

Ideal for a Hybrid Environment

The global pandemic changed how people work. Telecommuting and remote work were becoming more commonplace before the pandemic, with occurrences growing 216% between 2005 and 2019. Before the pandemic, an estimated 4.1% of the US workforce regularly telecommuted or worked remotely, compared to 69% in 2020.

While many people have since returned to a remote work environment, more companies are exploring the benefits of a hybrid work model. This model includes a combination of full-time employees working remotely, in the office, or a combination of each. Additionally, companies are hiring more contractors and engaging in staff augmentation rather than investing in full-time employees.

Video training is ideal for a hybrid work environment with team members from different geographies. You can easily add subtitles to video for team members who speak English as a second language. The visual element of videos also helps with this aspect of the hybrid work model.

Better Engagement and Understanding

Evidence shows that video learning can improve engagement and understanding. One evaluation showed that video learning satisfaction was higher than other teaching methods while reducing the instructor workload by 25%. Video learning also leads to a 95% retention rate compared to a 10% retention rate via text.

Video onboarding can help new employees learn and retain information better than other approaches. This helps them feel more engaged in the process and minimizes the time to full productivity by improving learning efficiency.

Improved Employee Experience

A recent survey by Glassdoor indicated that a positive onboarding experience improves employee retention by 82% and productivity by 70%. Another survey revealed that over 52% of employees prefer video to text.

This data indicates a correlation between video onboarding and the overall employee experience. Incorporating video training could help companies reduce turnover and increase employee satisfaction with new hires.

Optimal Scalability and Consistency

New hires are essential for business growth and output capacity. Traditional training methods need to be more scalable and require a significant investment of resources.

Video onboarding materials are scalable, with a heavier workload upfront and minimal maintenance requirements over time. Uploading video links into a project management tool like ClickUp can help automate the process further. They also provide consistent training, regardless of the season, manager, or external factors. Whether you’re hiring ten new employees in the busy season or one new employee when things are calm, they’ll get the same quality of onboarding with video content.

Valuable Reference Point

As one progresses throughout their career, their roles and skill sets will change. It’s common to forget old skills and processes if they’re irregular or unpracticed for a significant period.

The value of video onboarding and training is that anyone can revisit the videos anytime. A seasoned employee stepping in to help a colleague or filling a staffing gap can use these videos as a refresher.

Opportunity for Branding Elements

Video onboarding materials are a prime opportunity to implement brand elements and showcase the company culture. According to the experts at Gallup, onboarding should:

  1. Teach the employee what makes the brand unique.
  2. Show the employee how they fit into the broader company mission.
  3. Immerse employees in the brand values and mission.

Videos are a powerful tool for showing behind-the-scenes accomplishments and the perks of working with your company to spark passion and excitement. 

Access to Analytics

Depending on the program used to create videos and onboard employees, management may have access to analytics. Video analytics can provide insights into which videos are watched most frequently, where employees lose attention, what sections are revisited, and which videos are left uncompleted. 

The analytics will help key stakeholders understand where more information or clarity is needed and track the onboarding progress.

Simplifies the Feedback Process

Videos simplify the feedback process as new employees get comfortable in their roles. It also allows for asynchronous guidance throughout the training process. 

For example, if a copywriter submits content for review, their manager can use a tool like Loom or Loom alternatives to create a screen recording to provide recorded improvement feedback and guidance. Employees can use screen recording to showcase where they’re running into roadblocks, which are common throughout the onboarding process. For example, if they get an error message related to permissions.

Tips for Implementing Video Onboarding

There are many reasons why video has become an essential part of the employee onboarding process. To capitalize on this approach, your business should:

  • Define the project scope – what steps must take place to create an employee onboarding flow?
  • Determine resource needs – what tools are required to develop, organize, display, and store onboarding videos? 
  • Outline tasks – empower department managers and employees to outline all of the tasks they complete.
  • Consider brevity and relevance – determine how tasks can be further broken down to ensure customization in onboarding.
  • Explore existing options – look for videos created by subject-matter experts in the tools your company uses.
  • Incorporate brand and design elements – work with designers to create a consistent brand image and engaging designs.
  • Create storage and use protocols – ensure video content is preserved and updated with a clear workflow.


Video is a powerful tool for employee onboarding, as it allows for the efficient delivery of a large amount of information in an engaging and interactive format. It also allows for the creation of personalized and targeted content for different groups of employees, ensuring that each individual receives the most relevant and helpful information for their role. 

Creating a video onboarding flow requires a lot of upfront resources. However, when the work is done, it will make your business more productive, profitable, and attractive to top talent.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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