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Creating Training Videos for Your Franchise - StoryTeller

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Hiring the right people for your business is difficult and for franchise operators, making sure new hires are trained correctly is critical. Setting up your new team members for success begins with effective and repeatable training processes. However, the challenge franchisors and franchisees often have is time. 

Training takes time, attention, and ongoing coaching. If your business does not have a full-time trainer, you may share the training responsibilities among employees in a "train the trainer" environment. In these situations, veteran team members have pulled away from their jobs, which means a loss in productivity. As a franchisor with potentially hundreds of independent franchisees, the importance of consistent training becomes exponentially valuable. One of the most effective ways to create a turnkey training process is through the use of video. Not only will it save money over time, but all team members will also receive the same information, and often it is self-guided allowing the trainee to learn while other team members continue to work.

Unfortunately, for most people who are responsible for onboarding new employees, video production is not one of the arrows in their quiver. Furthermore, understanding where to start and how best to bring video training to life can be difficult. In a franchise environment, this challenge is magnified because of the need for consistency in all locations, often across the country in hundreds of locations. When considering a shift to video training for franchise locations here are some basic questions to address: 

  • Who is your audience or viewer?
  • What percent of your training can be through video versus live?
  • What is your desired level of production?
  • Who will write your training video scripts?
  • Who will be your spokesperson?

Understand your audience

Just like any marketing campaign, your training videos should begin with clarity around your audience - who will be watching these videos? What is the typical age group of this audience? What is their native language? Are they male or female? What is the viewer's level of education? All of these factors can help shape the scope, presentation, and content of these videos. Let's face it, for most people training is a grind. No one likes to be the "person in training" and they usually just want to get started! Yet training is a critical step in helping an employee get started quickly and align with the franchise guidelines. Do your employees and yourself a favor and produce training videos that your new employees will actually WANT to watch! A general profile of this typical employee can help guide your selection of a spokesperson, length of each video, aesthetics of graphics, and of course any music that is used. Your brand integrity is too important to simply produce one-size-fits-all training videos.

What percent of your training is video?

A common and cost-effective way to train employees with video is to host all the training videos on a learning management system (LMS). This allows the employee to train asynchronously and delivers training results to the training leader once each segment is completed. This also provides the trainer visibility into how successful the employee has been in his/her training. In this scenario, the training is nearly 100% video-based. Inbound marketing software company, HubSpot has created a vast training library of videos that include tests for viewers who can earn valuable certifications. 

However, if you're planning to build a training video library over time, you may need to mix in video with "in-person" training. For example, if you're a quick serve restaurant you may have a team member show a new employee how to use the point of sale system and then have the trainee watch a self-guided video series on sanitizing equipment. Of course, in time, you'll be able to replace all in-person training with video training.

What is your desired level of production?

A brief glance at YouTube will show you that there are all levels of video production that generate millions of  "views" these days. This suggests there is a range in cost for the training videos you create for your franchisers. Typically, if you're producing training videos that will be used by all your franchise owners, it's important that your training videos meet your company brand guidelines. This will reinforce the standards that your home office has worked so hard to create while also communicating the brand to new employees. If you've ever watched "how-to" videos on YouTube then you know a video doesn't need to be polished to show someone how to do something. However, if you would like to ensure that you are presenting your company in the most favorable light possible, with franchisees who are investing in your business - make your training videos shine. Does this mean you need to have "over the top" production? No, but a consistent, professional look and feel that is "on brand" will go a long way. Below is a video clip of an internal training video produced by Dairy Queen. It's simple, straightforward, and most importantly, cost-effective.

Who will write your training video scripts?

Put simply, writing video scripts for on-camera talent is different than writing training manuals. Granted a versatile writer could adapt to writing for video, but it's not fair to expect your internal copywriter to be able to knock out video scripts overnight. One of the most challenging aspects of writing for video is that the writer is creating copy that speaks to the person watching the video and then also writes for what the viewer is seeing on screen. In other words, the script should match the personality of the person delivering the information and when there is secondary video, also known as "b-roll", the writer needs to write to that video. For example, if the Dairy Queen Team member is showing the viewer how to make a Blizzard, their script could look something like this:

[On Camera] 

If you love going to your local Dairy Queen there's a good chance that you're also a big fan of the DQ Blizzard, am I right?

[Voice Over Video]

Before you get started, the first step is to wash your hands... [B-roll of a team member washing hands while people hear the voice over]

Selecting a Spokesperson

If you're planning on having a person act as the "host" of your training videos, a critical step is selecting a spokesperson. Once again, depending on the person who will be watching the video you will want to be thoughtful about the spokesperson. Age, gender, and race may all be worthy considerations. If you want the viewer to identify with the presenter, as Dairy Queen does with their training videos, take time to audition (if necessary) and identify the right person. Based on this selection, you can even tailor your scripts for your on-camera talent. Again, keep in mind, if your training videos need to be in multiple languages you may even want to find on-camera talent that speaks in additional languages. Otherwise, subtitling is always an option!

For many franchisors, high-quality training that is repeatable across multiple locations and regions is the first step in running a successful organization. Without clear direction on how to do a job correctly, a new team member will be lost in any business. However, for businesses with multiple franchises, the importance of consistent and repeatable training increases exponentially. Keep in mind, building a video training library is never-ending and the most important step is the first. Just get started and, before you know it, you'll have training content that will ensure the success of your business and hopefully help you keep your top performers for years to come.

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