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Keeping Employees Engaged with Online Video the GM Way

Online video isn't just a tool to reach customers; many companies use it to communicate with their employees, as well. At the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles, Steven Griffes, manager of broadcast services and global communications technology for General Motors, told the audience how his company uses video to keep employees informed and engaged.

One of GM's ideas is to put employees in the field in charge of some video. They offered 31 employee journalists Flip video cameras and had them all send back reports from the same day. The resulting videos were popular, and gave employees a look at how different parts of the company run.

GM also ran an employee video contest. To make sure that there were no royalty issues, it provided all the music and logos that employees could use in their videos. All entries were screened before being distributed, naturally.

"You will be amazed what they submit," joked Griffes.

The GM intranet, called Socrates, is used to distribute video to employees, or to upload employee-created videos. For company-created videos, Griffes suggested putting "your rock stars" in frequently, such as the company's CEO and CFO. "They've got to be in there every once in a while," Griffes said. 

Along the way, Griffes has learned plenty about what videos employees enjoy and how much is too much.

"Video, very quickly, if you don't keep it interesting, if you don't keep it short, if you don't make sure you understand, they're going to do something else during the day. We learned if there are more than three videos in a day, they won't watch it. If they are more than three to five minutes long, they won't watch it," Griffes said.

GM has also found that employees rarely watch live events as they're happening.

"They'll come to town halls -- only 20 percent will watch it live; 80 percent will do it on-demand. So remember when you spend all the money on a live show, most of your viewership will be after the event, not during it," said Griffes.

For companies contemplating a "YouTube for enterprise" system, Griffes has some advice: make sure it's a YouTube clone. 

"If it doesn't work like YouTube, you get endless emails about how your system doesn't work. If you don't lay it out the same way, if you don't make it operate the same way, or be able to search the same way, you've got to remember your employees are going to hold you to a standard of what they have at home," Griffes added.

For more enterprise video tips, including advice from QAD and Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, watch the video below. Click to download the presentations by GM, QAD, and Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.

How-To: Enterprise Video Case Studies

This session presents case studies from leading enterprise organizations showcasing their use and deployment of video for live and on-demand applications. Attendees learn about webcasting workflows, on-demand applications, and ways enterprise companies are using video today to improve communications, increase efficiency, and enhance their businesses.  

Moderator: Patty Perkins, Team Leader, Wells Fargo Creative Services Technology, Wells Fargo
Speaker: Scott Lawson, Business Systems Architect, QAD
Speaker: Mary Gallagher, VP, Administrative Services, Los Angeles Trade-Technical College
Speaker: Steven Griffes, Manager, Broadcast Services, Global Communications Technology, General Motors Company

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