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Does Your Learning & Development Strategy Include Interactive Video? Here's Why It Should

/ Patti Greco

The workplace is constantly changing. Just consider how the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend towards remote jobs; or how an increased emphasis on work-life balance has placed a premium on flexible schedules. Overall, the modern workplace has become more malleable, tech-driven, and focused on employee well-being and growth. Has your learning and development strategy evolved with the times?

In this article, we’ll cover: 

Let’s dig in.

What should a learning and development strategy look like today?

Behind the back shot of woman at desk working on computer.

Via Unsplash

A learning and development strategy identifies the skills expected of each employee at a company, spots the capability gaps in the workforce, and puts a plan in place for getting staff the training and development opportunities they need to succeed within an organization—that much hasn’t changed. 

But just as the workplace has evolved, so too has the L&D landscape. The prevalence of hybrid and remote work means that in-person training is near impossible while traditional, non-interactive video training is no longer really enough (without a dedicated workspace, staffers are more likely to feel disconnected from their jobs—and merely pressing play on a video isn’t going to mitigate that). 

Even if jobs weren’t trending remote, the speed at which technology is transforming the workplace means that old-school approaches to skill-building aren’t ideal anyway. Those methods aren’t nimble enough to allow for the sort of fast, on-the-job learning that modern workplaces require and today’s employees crave (more than half of employees rate the training they receive as either average or poor and 88% say they would stay with a company longer if management offered better training).

For an L&D strategy to be successful today, it has to be remote-friendly, easy-to-launch, and truly engaging. Let’s take a closer look at how interactive video can help.

Why your L&D strategy should include interactive video 

Mans hands gesticulating in front of open laptop.

Via Unsplash. 

As of this year, 88% of companies use training videos to encourage high-level employee development. That’s great news! Video features visuals, graphics, and storytelling, all of which hold a learner’s interest for longer than, say, a manual or a lecture. (According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners.) 

Now it’s time to take the next step in your L&D programming. Research shows that interactive video is three times more effective than its linear counterpart. 

Interactive videos include clickable elements such as: 

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Questionnaires 
  • Different video paths (the “choose your own adventure” of training)
  • Decision-making scenarios 
  • Drag-and-drop elements
  • Polls
  • Informational overlays
  • Fill-in-the-blanks

Why is interactivity so crucial to an L&D plan? 

1. It boosts learner retention

Your average video is more engaging than a block of text, but it still has the potential to put employees to sleep. An interactive video, on the other hand, demands that learners not only watch (or press play on) a lesson, but that they engage with it. That means a sales training video that they may have otherwise zoned out on (or multi-tasked their way through) is now a dynamic piece of content that they have to communicate with directly. As a result, the content sticks.

Why does that matter? Workers who know what they’re doing are more efficient, which also means they have a higher output. That’s just common sense! 

2. It offers flexibility and accountability 

Why ask employees to disrupt their workflow for training purposes when they can watch a video at whatever time jives with their schedules? Video allows employees to access training materials from anywhere, at any hour, and on a variety of devices, making it ideal for both remote work and self-paced learning. That’s huge. 

But there’s arguably a downside: You have no way of knowing if your employees are actually, you know, paying attention. You trust them, of course, but you also understand that life is full of distractions (many of which come from Slack messages and work emails!), and a 10-minute video can pretty easily turn into background noise. 

With interactive video, you can rest assured that learners are paying attention because, well, they have to in order to advance. But the good news is they’ll also want to—interactive video is just that fun. 

3. It encourages critical thinking 

Let’s say you want to train your staff on managing customer expectations. You can start by explaining to them your company standards, sure. But think of how much deeper their knowledge will be if you then ask them to apply what they’ve learned to real-world situations. With interactive video, you can deliver scenario-based lessons that encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. 

For example, learners may be presented with a difficult customer who is upset about a product or service, then asked to demonstrate how they might handle the situation, allowing them to practice their communication and conflict-resolution skills in a safe environment. That sort of L&D training leads to better customer service, which in turn lifts client satisfaction and loyalty, and improves your company’s reputation. 

4. It promotes a culture of learning

Given how quickly technology has advanced in the workplace, many employees worry that they can be replaced by automation and artificial intelligence, and want to expand their skill-sets to maintain their competitive edge. As a result, quality talent doesn’t just want a one-and-done training session—they want regular opportunities for development and growth. Interactive video, which requires less time and resources than in-person training but offers high levels of engagement nonetheless, is easy-to-launch while still signaling to recruits that your organization prioritizes deep learning. 

And guess what? Providing employees with opportunities for growth doesn’t just attract top talent—it retains them. Employees who feel valued and recognized for their contributions are more likely to stay with an organization for the long term—and a higher retention rate means less time and money spent recruiting and training new staff (you don’t like sifting through resumés, do you?). 

5. It can be personalized 

Traditional video can feel a bit impersonal, kind of like a mass email—everyone will learn something from it, but no one will feel on-the-hook to reply. Interactive video eliminates that anonymity by tailoring lessons to each employee. Content can address them by name and include branched course paths and interactive touch points that make sense for their specific roles. 

Not only does personalization boost learner engagement, but it also makes employees feel more seen—and valued—by their employer. That in turn increases their job satisfaction and engagement, making them more likely to work harder, smarter, and more creatively for your organization. When you invest in your employees, your employees invest in you.

Overall, the use of interactive video in an  L&D strategy can improve employee performance, engagement, retention, innovation, and organizational culture, and lead to better business outcomes and a more successful organization. 

5 ways L&D professionals can use PlayPosit to drive results

Group of friends laughing at something on laptop in office space.

Via Unsplash

Now that we’ve established why interactive video is essential to your learning and development strategy, let’s take a closer look at how you can use our interactive video product, PlayPosit, to execute an effective plan.

1. Ensure accountability through locked progression

Example of locked progressionWhen you create interactive video content in PlayPosit, you can customize playback options for as flexible (or progressional) of an experience as you want. 

As discussed, video training is the gold standard for flexibility, but without interactive elements, it can make for a distracted learning experience—one in which employees kinda listen but also reply to the many emails piling up in their inboxes.

Playposit puts that concern to rest with features like locked progressions (learners can’t advance unless they’ve completed certain touchpoints), disabled fast-forwarding, and required interactions. Learners get all the benefits of self-paced, asynchronous learning without the temptation to cut corners.  

2. Elevate teamwork through peer review

The rise in remote work has been a boon for flexible schedules and better work-life balance. But an obvious drawback is that it can leave employees feeling lonely and disconnected from their workplace

PlayPosit can help mitigate that downside and foster a sense of collegiality with peer review forums, which you can add to your content so that new hires can receive time-stamped feedback from more experienced colleagues. The feature encourages employees to get to know each other and motivates teams to work cohesively as a unit. 

3. Stay organized with playlists

Example WeVideo 101 course playlist for teachers, made in PlayPosit.Create course playlists for your staff members, like this sample "WeVideo 101" course we created for education customers.

Establish a built-in community of knowledge that includes all your professional learning content by creating a playlist. All of the resources you create with PlayPosit are saved to the cloud and easily accessible, and from there you have the option to:

  • Grant staff access to a shared media library.
  • Enable timestamped comments for learners to ask questions any time.
  • Offer multiple playlists focusing on different topics

Besides keeping you organized, playlists are an excellent way to signal to employees that growth and development is a company priority and ongoing goal. 

4. Create leadership opportunities with learner-made video content

One objective of your L&D strategy is to create future leaders for your company. With that in mind, have staff create their own training modules, giving them the role of instructor and empowering them to show off their leadership abilities. They can even add their course materials to your company playlists. 

5. Evaluate the effectiveness of your L&D strategy with built-in analytics

Once you’ve implemented your L&D strategy, you’ll want to measure outcomes. Access instructor data from PlayPosit's analytics dashboard including learner attempts, completion rates, course progress, and more. Plus, gather employee feedback throughout the process by adding free response or polls to training materials.

PP user dataTrack individual learner progress and scores, or access high-level admin views that detail engagement across your programs.

Stack the outcomes up against the intent of the L&D strategy. Were your company goals met, and if not, what changes could be made to improve the L&D strategy going forward?

Final Thoughts

The workplace is constantly evolving, whether due to advancements in technology, changes to social norms, or unforeseen circumstances, like the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important that your learning and development strategy evolves as well. In today’s environment, that means integrating interactive video into your L&D plan.