Instructional design Employee onboarding

8 minute read

5 Actionable Ways to Use Videos for Team Onboarding

Victor Blasco

Victor Blasco

Imagine this: a new hire starts their first day working remotely. They open their laptop, excited to dive into their first day on the job, but instead of the welcoming buzz of a busy office, there's just silence and text on a screen. 

That's the reality of remote onboarding, more often than not, which is a world away from the traditional workspace experience. So, how do we bridge this gap and make new hires feel involved and genuinely part of the team? Well, that's where well-crafted training videos can help a great deal. 

In this piece, we'll dive deep into how you can improve and empower your training videos to transform remote onboarding from a challenge into an opportunity, ensuring every new hire feels welcomed and ready to hit the ground running!

remote worker watching onboarding video at home

1. Set clear objectives for each video

As one of the most popular examples of microlearning, each onboarding video should have a distinct and well-defined objective, serving as a foundational pillar that shapes its content and delivery. You should not just list the goals of the video; you should integrate these goals into the very fabric of its content to ensure relevance and effectiveness.

For instance, a common onboarding video objective is often to familiarize new hires with company policies. But it should do more than just enumerate these policies. It should contextualize them within the daily workflows and scenarios the new hires will encounter. 

Similarly, for role-specific training, the objective isn’t just to inform. It is to equip. 

Your onboarding videos should bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application. They should provide real-world examples, showcase challenges, and offer problem-solving techniques that new hires can apply in their roles. 

So, when starting production, ensure you're clear on your focused objectives so you can deeply integrate them into the content and maximize their effectiveness! 

2. Incorporate personalization and customization elements 

Incorporating personal messages from a CEO or team leader in your training videos can be really powerful, especially for a new hire's first introduction to the company in a remote setup. 

While not always feasible for every situation, adding these personal touches, even if used sparingly, can significantly bridge the gap caused by the lack of face-to-face interactions in remote work environments.

You can make these messages even more personalized by acknowledging the new hire's specific role or previous achievements, making them immediately feel noticed and appreciated. 

On the customization front, developing training videos for specific roles or departments is vital to effective onboarding. A one-size-fits-all approach is far less effective in a remote context where direct guidance is limited. 

For instance, a remote onboarding video for the sales department might focus on client engagement strategies and using CRM tools, while a video for the IT department might delve into specific software tools and coding practices. 

With this approach, you ensure that new hires receive relevant and practical training, enabling them to contribute to their roles more effectively from the outset. 

3. Offer guided technical tutorials 

Producing video tutorials on technical setups and the main tools a remote position uses can greatly aid new hires in adapting to a remote work setting. Of course, we’re not just talking about basic software installations or network configurations (although they can be really useful as well!), but also mainly about developing tutorials that address common remote work challenges. 

For example, your tutorials could include guiding new hires on optimizing their home workspace for productivity or providing step-by-step instructions on effectively using key project management and communication tools that are integral to your company's operations.

For example, you can use your course authoring software to embed videos like the one below into your training resources so that your new hires can refer to it on demand.

These tutorials will need to be particularly intuitive and comprehensive, considering that in a remote setup, new hires don’t have the luxury of in-person IT support. Moreover, the tutorials will emphasize self-help and problem-solving skills. They will include segments on troubleshooting common issues, ensuring they feel confident enough to handle technical glitches that are an inevitable part of working remotely. These types of training videos ensure new hires can jump-start their roles right from the beginning without having to Google stuff every now and then. 

4. Use role-play 

Role-play in training videos can effectively translate theoretical knowledge into practical scenarios, allowing trainees to visualize and interact with realistic simulations of their roles. 

The effectiveness of role-play in training lies in its ability to simulate workplace situations. Take, for example, a training video where a new hire might engage in a role-play scenario where they handle a project deadline negotiation. 

This scenario realistically portrays how to communicate effectively under pressure, apply time management strategies, and collaborate with team members, providing practical insights into common workplace challenges. However, the challenge in a remote setup is creating these interactive role-playing scenarios without the logistics of live-action filming. 

A practical alternative to this can be using animated explainers, which provide a lot of flexibility to create diverse scenarios without the constraints of physical location, actors, or extensive production resources.

5. Showcase departmental collaborations

Highlighting how different roles and departments within a company collaborate can be a crucial element that elevates your training videos—especially for remote work positions! While illustrating the company's structure, these videos can also provide insights into the practical, day-to-day collaboration that characterizes remote team dynamics.

However, it’s important to note that the design of these videos is key. They should paint a clear picture of the interconnectedness between departments, something that's often less tangible for remote work positions. 

For example, a video could walk a new hire through a project lifecycle, showing how it moves from one department to another, highlighting the contributions of various teams – from conception in the design department to execution in the development team and finally to the marketing department and sales. This holistic view helps new hires see where their role fits in the company's operations and goals.

With this approach, you offer insights into the company's collaborative culture, helping onboardees understand and adapt to the dynamics of day-to-day operations. 

Key takeaways

Effective training videos are essential when onboarding new team members in a remote setting. To ensure these videos are as impactful as possible, here are some key steps you can take away right now:

  1. For each video, determine specific learning objectives that align with the skills and knowledge new hires need.
  2. Include messages or scenarios in your videos that are tailored to the backgrounds or roles of new hires to boost their engagement.
  3. Embed scenarios in your videos where new hires can see practical applications of their training through role-play.
  4. Create segments in your videos demonstrating how various departments collaborate to give new hires a sense of how interconnected roles contribute to the company's success.
  5. Develop clear, concise tutorials for the technical tools and setups new hires will use, ensuring they are easy for beginners to follow.

Ready to spice up your employee onboarding program? Ensure that your new team members have relevant, interactive content with the use of custom courses. Get the GoSkills course builder and create unlimited training resources for your team.

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Victor Blasco

Victor Blasco

Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video production company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.