Q&A: How do I make my dull Workforce Induction into a Motivational Video?

Question: We’re thinking of producing a workforce Induction video to replace our old (and let me be honest), fairly dull Induction slideshow presentation.

I’ve seen a few workforce induction videos on the web, and most look fairly uninspiring, with voiceover rattling off the safety points – and that’s it.

I’d like to do something better.

What can you suggest?

Safety Manager
International Healthcare Group

 

Answer: There are four areas you can focus on that will give any workforce Induction Video you plan look and sound far better.

These are:
> the script
> understanding how long you need
> the use of actors
> post production

I’ve gone into some detail. I hope it helps.

 

The Script

The script is the engine of any induction video, so if the script is wordy, or dull, or unmotivating, then, the steps that follow invariably are wordy, dull or unmotivating too.

You need a message that is concise and easily understandable.

So write to ensure your script reads aloud like good conversational English – and isn’t simply a cut & paste from your Safe Systems of Work docs.

Always remember that what might be obvious to you might not be obvious to others.

So the reasons for things will need explaining in some areas, for example, local hazards & risks.

As well as this, if your induction is going to be used internationally, or viewed by workforces who speak English as a second language, you’ll want to avoid using a complex vocabulary.

Use a 10 year olds vocabulary – and keep it simple.

Doing these things will ensure that your message is properly understood.

 

Understanding how long you need – Runtime

Calculating your runtime is one of the more straightforward parts of the production.

However it’s vital to know this when you’re working to a budget.

You want your voiceover to be engaging and interesting, but also slow enough that your international workforce can still absorb your message.

100 words per minute is a good pace for this.

So from this we can calculate:

A 2000 word script = 20 minutes runtime.

For measuring the number of days it’ll take to shoot the production you can usually reckon on filming around 5-7 minutes of runtime video per shoot day.

With this we can estimate that 20 minutes runtime will take around 3 days shooting.

This matters as the number of day’s shoot is a fairly high cost item in your video bill.

You want the right amount of shoot days to cover the amount of script you intend to deliver.

 

The Use of Actors

For a workforce induction video, many businesses will try and use their own staff to play the parts of the workforces in their production.

Although this may appear to save you money, it can be a bad idea for numerous reasons:

> You want your viewers to be able to relate to the characters. Very often real people can look wooden on screen, or may have some kind of physical blemish e.g. poor teeth or anything else which may make them look unphotogenic.

The right actor will have high acceptability across all your audiences.

> To be able to shoot to a schedule you need consistency. You may well need to film each scene 3 or 4 times to get it right.

But own staff will do it different every time, which makes editing twice as hard. This is time-consuming and inefficient. By contrast, professional actors can repeat a performance on demand. They’ll be consistent – and so much quicker – and easier to edit.

> Actors register thought with their expressions so they can quietly exude confidence, express understanding and display all the emotions required to portray successful compliance or understanding (e.g., is this machine locked off or not?)

Own staff will often look wooden and uninspiring. This is not their fault as they’re not trained actors accustomed to delivering intelligent performances.

 

Post Production

To end up with a professional production that grips your audience, your graphics and post production should play a large role.

Within post production there are many ways to further improve the quality of your induction video.

Here are a few of the main post production pointers:

> Animated titles will look professional and will help to structure your workforces thinking by signposting what’s to come.

> Animated captions throughout will help affirm any key points you are making and enhance the meaning of the content being described.

It’s a great way to highlight key safety messages.

> Graphics will allow you to theme your production in your own corporate style, e.g. you can place your logo by the title captions, or have your company colours & text style appearing throughout the production.

Good branding & postproduction adds lustre and a quality feel.

 

Summary

Script, Runtime, Actors & Post Production are all good places for the first-time workforce Induction Video producer to make a start.

Although this means more work & time, by incorporating these suggestions into your induction video you’ll end up with a production that keeps your audience engaged.

This means a better understand of your Safe Systems of Work, and fewer incidents.

A great workforce Induction Video can reduce your induction time by half an hour, and do it better, more often, than a Powerpoint.


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