Whether its scrolling through feeds on smartphones, reading articles on computers, or watching news and entertainment televisions, people are constantly consuming content in a myriad of forms. It’s no wonder why the human attention span is decreasing – some would say rapidly – and this shortened attention span is affecting how we live and how we work.
Organizations in all industries are not just battling for their employees’ attention, but also for their engagement in this high-paced, data-overloaded environment. Employee engagement has been on the lips of about every organizational leader and companies are continuously striving to grab and keep the attention of their employees, while also training them effectively and in a manner that promotes quality engagement. Before we share one of the methods that can shake up your employee trainings and rally your employees around business objectives, let’s take a quick look into exactly what engagement is and how it is measured.
Engagement is a multi-faceted concept, having been difficult to define concretely in the past. Because engagement can be exercised at a behavioral, emotional, and cognitive level, there is no one, true measure of when someone is “engaged” or not.
However, the most pervasive measure of engagement is a level of enthusiasm or focused attention towards a particular task. In organizations, engagement is also measured by an employee’s willingness and commitment towards the goals and missions of the company they work for. When employees are engaged, it has been shown to have major benefits towards their individual attitudes, health and work performance.
So, what engages modern-day employees? The answer is video.
Did you know scientists postulate that the human attention span is now shorter than the average goldfish? Grim, but true. And what’s worse, humans are easily distracted, often jumping from task to task without fully placing attention on one project.
With this scarcity of user attention, science has found that visual content is both more engaging and easier to retain than the basic text content. Videos have quickly grown in popularity in many spheres – from social media to Youtube, to advertisements and news – and the visual content has been shown to be much easier to digest and conceptualize. When compared to text-only content, videos are reported to be better at showing processes and procedures, and can also contribute with ‘real-life’ learning situations that cannot be properly conveyed through text alone.
For example, if you are looking to train your employees on exactly how to handle a tough client situation, having them read a block of text won’t be as engaging or impactful than if you perhaps showed them a short video of a role-playing conversation showcasing how the situation should be handled. In this way, video is able to go beyond reading and comprehension; video entertains while training users and is becoming more and more sought after because of this. In fact, over 59% of senior executives reported that they prefer to watch video rather than read text when both options were available, showing that video is becoming the preferred method for learning, training and absorbing information in an engaging way.
As we mentioned before, videos are an excellent tool for portraying processes or situational information that can often appear bland when just put into words on a paper. That’s because when we read text, only the left side of our brain (the language processing center) is activated. And when one side of our brain is working, that means the other side is less engaged.
How do we get the right side of the brain in on all the fun? Well that’s where storytelling and story-based content come to save the day. “A story-based tutorial is what we call the videos we produce that combine storytelling with instructional training to create a captivating learning experience. It is well known that storytelling activates both sides of the human brain helping us remember better”, Storyals.
As said above, storytelling – which involves emotions, visuals, language, sensory and motor information – actually lights up both sides of the brain, increasing attention, focus and overall engagement on the particular content. Therefore, producing video content that not only trains but entertains users will inherently spark more engagement in the material. Plus, with the average length of an internet video being 2.7 minutes, you don’t need a lengthy video to inform and captivate users.
Producing video content for learning purposes does not have to be challenging. There are incredible visual storytelling resources, such as LMS365 partner Storyals who are artists in the way of developing clear and concise videos for a range of industries and purposes. For instance, Storyals works with unlocking the power of Office 365 by inspiring and training users with engaging guided tutorials that empower them to get the best value out of the Microsoft platform.
Additionally, video content can act as a support to your other, in-person or text presentation trainings as well. This type of blended learning is amazing for offering individualized, diverse content to your employees and is shown to increase engagement as variety is essential to making your trainings effective.
Visual storytelling with video is a new, promising way to engage and train employees. Looking for next steps to incorporate storytelling content into your LMS or training program? Check out Storyals’ 10 steps to creating an engaging story-based tutorial. Remember, attention spans are short; don’t wait until it’s too late to grab attention and engage your employees.