Save time and money: create training videos with your own smartphone

Mar 15, 2017

smartphone

For some employers, a new season means a fresh batch of employees who need orientation training to get them up to speed quickly.

Three years ago, Gina Marchionda already had a comprehensive orientation program in place, but she challenged herself to make the training more fun, fresh and engaging. Her solution: filming training videos on site with her smartphone and featuring her co-workers. Added bonus: fun and engagement for her too.

Gina is responsible for health and safety at Jeffery's Greenhouses Inc., a wholesale flower grower with farms in St. Catharines and Jordon Station, Ontario. Jeffery's Greenhouses employs about 50 people full time, and three to four times as many again in the growing season, some of whom are Spanish speakers from abroad.

The employees' experience and language skills vary widely, as do their job responsibilities: plant propagation and growing, packaging, transporting and loading products for shipping, making deliveries, merchandizing the products at customers' retail locations, and more. Gina wanted to create videos that could address this diversity while demonstrating site-specific hazards and safety procedures.

"Our first video was on rack handling - how to move them around the garden centre, load them onto trucks, and then unload them," explains Gina. "Another video shows the proper use of electric carts that pull trains of shipping racks through the greenhouse. Each video is shot on site with people in a setting that employees recognize."

"The videos have proven to be such a huge success," says Gina. "We now have four. We make a new one every year."

How it's done

Before shooting starts, Gina and her team already know what hazards and safe practices they want to demonstrate, which they film on a smartphone and edit with an app. They also use the smartphone to tape voiceovers, in English and Spanish, which they lay over the video track at key points.

Videos are downloaded to a laptop for viewing on a big-screen TV. Supervisors can also access them on a private server to share with smaller groups.

"There's no significant cost to it, other than our time putting it together," says Gina. "It's all done on everyday technology already available in most workplaces."

Gina's advice for others

"Before we started, I never would have thought we could do this. But any workplace can, regardless of the industry."

"To make your own videos," she continues, "just pick a job-specific activity that you want to focus on and think of ways to communicate it visually. Break it down into specific steps, and then film each of the steps. Anyone with a steady hand can shoot the video."

The best part is showing the video. "Employees are very engaged by seeing people they know and recognizing settings they work in. Even watching us film engages people. Both the filming and the viewing become a community activity with an important message that everyone understands and buys into."

Spring means seasonal employees for many workplaces. For over a decade, it’s also meant a new and young worker inspection blitz.

Make your orientation program the best it can be with WSPS orientation training resources, including onsite health and safety awareness training, e-courses, free downloads, and more. But don’t stop there. You’ll find everything you need to comply with new and young worker related requirements, including information on past inspection blitzes.

How WSPS can help

Spring means seasonal employees for many workplaces. For over a decade, it's also meant a Ministry of Labour new and young worker inspection blitz.

Make your orientation program the best it can be with WSPS orientation training resources, including onsite health and safety awareness training, e-courses, free downloads, and more. But don't stop there. You'll find everything you need to comply with new and young worker related requirements, including information on past inspection blitzes.