Video Vs. Text: How to keep your employees engaged

Written by Maren Dinges | 7th February 2024

explainer video versus text sheet
Internal communication at eye level strengthens the personal sense of belonging to the company. When looking at the consequences of the shortage of skilled workers and also the increased number of internal resignations, internal communication is more relevant than ever.
Numbers from 2022 and 2023 also show this:
  • “Only around 16 percent of employees feel connected to their employer”
  • “Only 20 percent feel obligated to their employer”
  • “25 percent of employees consider changing jobs”
Other studies show that employee commitment increases when they identify with their work. Employees who recognize a sense of purpose in their work are more productive. This impacts many other parts of the company, such as satisfied customer reviews or the increased innovative strength, but also in clear figures: Satisfied employees do not leave the company.
Finding meaning in your work: This is only possible if employees know about their opportunities and changes in the company or its visions. Being informed has two effects at once: Employees feel included and appreciate the benefits of their working relationship.
This is exactly where internal communication comes into play.
computer and smartphone showing texts and emails

How written words are received: Text-based communication

Keeping employees motivated is one of the leading factors in preventing both internal and actual terminations. In order for employees to feel involved, the first step is to have transparent communication channels. This is the only way to ensure that employees are always up to date and aware of the company’s current offers.
In most companies, internal communication informs the staff via text. E-mails, news on the intranet, digital information signs in the office or the in-house newsletter provide updates on any changes in the working environment. It is obvious why texts are popular for internal communication: texts provide information in the fastest possible way. Yet this communication could be more open and clear. Employees tend to click off newsletters straight away and misinterpret emails. In the worst case, what remains is frustration. For example, false conclusions like this result from the absence of facial expressions.
You can also find this effect in messaging programs. Once an emoji is added after the sentence, the overall tonality changes. It is the digital substitute for facial expressions. In a business environment, we often don’t use them.
For example: positive feedback can be presented in a more negative way than it was intended. This can already happen due to passive sentence structure. The tone tends to remain negative without an indicator of the other person’s intention (for example, with an emoji).
It is the minimal tendencies in the tonality of a text that can lead to misinterpretation. The reason is simple: texts are difficult for the human brain to process. The attention span is significantly shorter when reading a text than with media such as images or videos. Even without interpretation difficulties, the relevant information is quickly forgotten.
According to studies, we only remember 10 percent of a message when we read it. This is a significant disadvantage for employee commitment because only information that remains in the memory also ensures an improved retention rate.
hands forming a heart

How videos bring more empathy to internal communication

In contrast, the brain processes videos rapidly, where texts are spoken and connected visual elements evoke emotions and provide additional context. This makes it easier for employees to remember the content and the room for interpretation disappears. Combining image, sound and animation guarantees a clear transfer of knowledge. So clearly that 95 percent of the message transported is now memorized.
Videos convey information as a story to reach the target group. For example, change processes could be explained to the affected employee Martin in the video. Who is a representative of the concerns and hopes that employees associate with the process
Videos can be used in numerous use cases within internal communication:
  • providing new information
  • informing about individual potential and development opportunities
  • preparing feedback discussions
  • motivating employees
  • explaining procedures, for example the onboarding process
Even with a small budget, this is possible. The simpleshow video maker, for example, includes all the features you need for video creation. You don’t need to be a pro to do it: the tool supports you with text and images using artificial intelligence. The simpleshow video maker even does the editing for you automatically.
bridge between video and text

Building the bridge between text and video: How to engage employees

Texts are ideal for conveying information. However, videos are used to put the content into an emotional or factual context. Combining both media improves internal communication. For example, text can be used to subtitle videos. It is also possible to post videos on the intranet and store the most important content in text form underneath for easy storage. Or you could do it like we did in this blog: You provide general information in a text and a video summarizes everything for your staff.
So the possibilities are endless. The effects, on the other hand, are obvious. Employee loyalty increases through the use of video due to:
  • contributing emotions to appreciative and empathetic communication
  • employees having the feeling of being seen and heard
  • ensuring that information is always available and in the right context
people walking up stairs

Step by step: Engaging employees with videos

The reason videos are so successful in communication is that they are aimed directly at the target group. Location-specific characteristics, but also the emotional worlds of employees, can be subtly depicted in videos without distracting the focus from the facts. Such recognition values make video communication more trustworthy – the basic precondition for long-term employee loyalty.
Here are five steps for creating videos within internal communication:
1. Know your audience: Understand the wishes and concerns of employees. Build the tonality of the video based on this.
2. Define a goal: A video should always have a specific goal. It should inform, inspire or even create curiosity.
3. Formulate your message: Each video only ever has one call to action. It is worded as a message that stays in mind.
4. Select channels: Videos change with the channel. Whether a video appears on the intranet, in the hallway or in the newsletter changes the entire setting.
5. Create a video: Now all you have to do is implement your idea. It’s easy with the simpleshow video maker.

Conclusion: Videos as a tool for employee retention

A benchmark study by the University of Leipzig shows the success of videos for employee retention. Outstanding companies in the study increasingly rely on digital formats such as videos or storytelling in their internal communication. Text and video are mutually dependent. After all, a video is only as good as its message. And in most cases this is written as a text.
The simpleshow video maker helps you to write the right messages and bring them to life with animation, illustrations and sounds. Try it out now and practice your storytelling.

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