Here’s an unconventional way to increase your revenue…

Give your employees more opportunities to train and learn.

No, seriously! Research shows that companies with more on-the-job training and learning opportunities generate 25% more revenue, on average.

Of course, it’s not as simple as “train employees harder, then swim in money like Scrooge McDuck.” You would need to invest in high-quality training material – like engaging, memorable employee training videos.

But sadly, most brands output videos for training that can’t ever be described as “engaging” or “exciting.” Not even if we’re being extremely generous.

So today, let’s talk about what makes a great employee training video. In this article, we’re going to give you seven ideas you can use to boredom-proof yours.

Let’s start at the beginning – with your video introduction…

1. Open on a strong note

When creating video content for customers, it’s important to grab their attention from the first second.

Would you agree?

Well, the same goes for using video for training. It’s just as important to engage your employees. Problem is, most brands act like this is not the case! Nine times out of ten, their employee training videos start off weak – with a mission statement, or something else tired and generic-sounding.

We have to ask: why? Just because your employees have to sit through your content doesn’t mean they won’t tune out! So make it a little easier on them.

If you want your employee training videos to grab attention and hold interest, the first 5-10 seconds are critical. Nail your introduction, and the rest will fall into place.

For some detailed advice on how to create strong, attention-grabbing openings for your videos, check out this article. But here are a few quick ideas:

  • Open with a problem. Something your employees can personally relate to. Maybe something unpleasant they have experienced on the job. It needs to relate to the topic of the video, of course. For instance, if it’s an employee safety training video, you can talk about how their eyes feel sore at the end of a workday, and how they can prevent it.
  • Say something unexpected, and then connect it to the core message. For example, your employee training video could be about operational efficiency. Start it off with something unusual, like a comment on how the office kitchen sink is always overflowing with dirty dishes – clearly an efficiency problem! Then, you can beeline to your main point.
  • Ask a question. When in doubt, open your video with a question. It lets your viewers know: “You can’t just sit this one out. You’ll have to turn on your brain!” Starting with a question sets the right tone and makes your task of engaging people somewhat easier.

Speaking of questions, here’s another strategy you can use…

2. Quiz viewers as they watch

Oftentimes all it takes to get people to pay attention to your employee training video is…

…giving them a reason to do so.

Incorporating questions throughout your content is a great way to do that. Make it a little game: pose a question to your team and invite them to guess the answer.

But here’s the thing: don’t immediately answer the question in the video. Instead, open a knowledge gap – elaborate on the idea, then revisit your question a little later in the video and answer it then.

This is how all the best educational content is structured – by sparking curiosity and withholding gratification for a little bit.

Of course, straight-up quizzes and tests work, too. But to make them as seamless and exciting as possible, it helps when your video is interactive. In our last article about interactive employee training videos, we touched on that a little bit.

But you don’t even need interactivity to use this tip. As we just mentioned, as long as your video takes the time to thoughtfully ask questions and answer them as it goes, you can achieve a similar effect.

3. Make up engaging characters

Don’t you hate it when people talk at you instead of talking to you?

Well, everyone does. It’s annoying, it’s disrespectful, and it immediately causes the listener to dismiss whatever is being said.

Sadly, this is how far too many internal company videos come across – especially employee safety training videos. Just because what you have to say is important doesn’t mean people will listen – at least not if they see you as being condescending!

Here’s an easy solution, however. Don’t talk directly at your employees. Instead, create a character they can relate to. This works wonders in marketing content, but you can use it in video for training just as well.

Similar to how cartoons work by making us empathize with the characters, having a stand-in for your viewers will help them open up to the message and connect with it emotionally.

And as Zig Ziglar famously said, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” Getting your employees to care is the first step towards engagement. And achieving it can be as simple as creating relatable characters!

Speaking of emotions and caring, here’s another technique that increases engagement with your employee training videos…


Brands like Twitter, Uber, Hubspot, and others are already using whiteboard video to attract more customers. Discover exactly how they do it, along with 9 more business-boosting tips – like how to increase your conversion rates by 20%!

Click here to download your copy of “Top 10 Ways to Use a Whiteboard Video”


4. A little humor goes a long way

Humor works wonders for engaging people.

When you are creating internal content of any kind – newsletters, announcements, videos, presentations, anything – and it’s not getting the response you were hoping for, your first question should be:

“How can I make this more ridiculous?”

Sure, sometimes your policies and guidelines will prevent you from going overboard with jokes and goofiness. But every company has some wiggle room for humor. Even a terrible pun that makes people groan audibly is useful!

Because guess what – it made them pay enough attention to get the joke and find it absolutely horrendous!

Employee safety training videos in particular are the kind of low-hanging fruit that you can easily revitalize with humor. They are extremely important, so anything that makes people pay attention is fair game. Bad puns, slapstick, and even black comedy can all work to your advantage.

But even if your employee training video remains dead serious from the first second to the last, you can still make it memorable and engaging. All it takes is a strategy we’ve been using for literally thousands of years…

5. Tell a story

If we asked you to name one random fact from your high school curriculum, you would probably struggle to remember anything.

Not because you were a bad student – we’re sure you were great! – but because the human brain is bad at remembering facts out of context.

Stories is how we remember things and pass them on. You could tell us a bunch of them right now: anecdotes, urban legends, funny (or terrible) stuff that happened at work, cautionary tales about people you know… you name it.

We are born storytellers, and story-listeners. So why not use it to your advantage?

For your next employee training video, instead of giving them instructions on a silver platter, deliver them through a narrative. For example…

Instead of stating your corporate commitment to amazing customer service and listing the rules, tell a story about it. Like:

  • An especially memorable time an employee went above and beyond to make a customer happy…
  • That time when your CEO stepped in to talk to a disgruntled customer…
  • An event that made you change a long-standing company policy about support…

You get the idea.

For more tips on how to tell a better story, check out this article – it’s an oldie, but a goodie!

6. Roleplay a situation

Speaking of storytelling – it doesn’t have to be rooted in the truth!

A hypothetical narrative works just as well as the real thing. If you want to prepare your employees for real-world situations they will face on the job, focus on specific scenarios they might encounter.

Just as with regular storytelling, the same principle applies. People remember things much better when you present them in the context of a story. It’s just that in this case the story happens to be imaginary. But that doesn’t make it any less likely to happen!

For example, let’s say you’re training someone to become a better project manager. In that case, your employee training video can’t simply tell them what they need to do, and how they have to react when something goes wrong.

Instead, show them a video that shows them what it’s actually like to be on the receiving end of crunch time, project delays, scope creep, and other situations they will face in a project management role.

Just, you know, don’t scare them into resigning a few days into the job!

Bottom line is:

Whenever you need to educate your employees, you want to invite them to use their imagination and insert themselves into the scenario you created for them.

What would they do when faced with a similar situation? What kinds of consequences might happen to them?

If you’ve ever played Dungeons & Dragons, you’ll be a natural at this! And as long as we’re talking about adventures and choices and all of that good stuff, here’s another strategy to try…

7. Make it interactive

Finally, the best – and easiest – way to make your employee training videos more engaging is to allow them to interact with them.

As we wrote last time, active participation beats passive consumption ten times out of ten. And if your goal is to set your team up for great performance from the get-go, adding interactivity will help you accomplish just that.

Just watching a video isn’t enough to impart new skills and knowledge to your employees. Even multiple viewings won’t do the trick 100% – it’s not how memory works!

However, giving them control over the “plot” and the outcome of the video will create much stronger engagement. It will also help your employees remember the contents of the video much better, and retain those memories for longer.

Not only that, but making decisions that impact their interactive experience is going to help them in the real world, when the stakes are high and there’s no instruction manual sitting in front of them!

Interactive video is the future of employee training. If you want to improve performance in your company, you can start there. According to IBM, every $1 you invest in employee training will return a $30 productivity gain!

Does that sound like a worthwhile investment to you? Then let’s talk…

Time to create your best employee training videos yet!

Any business can benefit from a well-designed employee training video. Here are just a few ways it could make a difference for your brand:

  • Speeding up employee onboarding would improve performance across the board. The faster a new hire starts pulling their own weight in the company, the better!
  • Improving your training quality would help your employees resolve high-stakes situations faster. This could bring all sorts of benefits, from reducing your refund rates to making operations more efficient.
  • Better onboarding and training means that employees will stay at the company longer, reducing your turnover rate and hiring costs.

If you want to create a super-engaging employee training video, we’d like to help! Get in touch with us today and book a no-cost, risk-free pow wow to discuss your idea.

You can do it on this page – or simply fill out the form below, and we’ll get back to you post-haste!