Captions help improve the engagement and training value of videos. Here, we break down how to create and use subtitles for employee training materials.
In 2023, the world of work has long moved on from the days when managers had to physically round up employees and herd them into a hall for in-person training sessions. Now, each member of your team can access necessary developmental resources digitally and at their convenience thanks to video conferencing and enterprise video software.
However, 41% of respondents in CIPD’s Learning at Work survey cited a lack of engagement as one of the issues with workplace learning & development. This suggests that it’s not enough to create employee training videos—you must also make them immersive, accessible, and inclusive for all.
This is where subtitles can come in helpful. Subtitles in employee training videos can significantly improve the content’s engagement value and the wider teaching experience.
Here, we’ll explore how to use subtitles to help your team get the best out of every video learning opportunity.
How captions improve corporate training videos
Did you know that subtitling is immensely beneficial for video learning? It can assist employees with hearing impairments to keep up with lessons. Beyond that, it also helps learners to better grasp any complex ideas presented during their training.
Below are a few advantages of using subtitles in your training videos.
Subtitles make content delivery more effective
Often, despite a tutor’s best efforts to present their insights clearly and audibly over video, audio quality will be lacking. Unsurprisingly, this can make it difficult for trainees to fully comprehend what they’re being taught.
This problem can be even more of an issue if the trainer has a strong non-native accent for the language they’re using to deliver the lecture (think of an Asian subject expert delivering a course in English). Communication challenges like this can significantly reduce the teaching value of training videos, making them less beneficial for employees than they should be.
Subtitling eliminates this challenge. Using captions on the video will make it easy for employees to keep up with the training regardless of the tutor’s accent or any speech quirks they might have.
Subtitling removes language barriers
More diverse workplaces may have several team members who aren’t proficient in the language a tutor uses to deliver their training. Making subtitles available in each employee’s preferred language ensures these language barriers don’t hinder the learning process.
Captions are also vital for employees with hearing impairments. Subtitling ensures they get equal access to the information in the video. Not only does this help them to learn more effectively, but it also fosters greater inclusivity, equality, and a sense of belonging among your workforce.
A major advantage of video training is that it gives employees the opportunity to learn from anywhere at any time. Workers get to take lessons at their own pace and get the most out of your training materials.
Consider a situation where an employee wants to take a video lecture in a library, but they’re without headphones. Subtitling stops this from being a problem.
Not only can your team access training on the go regardless of their physical location, but using captions helps viewers grasp lessons quickly without having to listen so intently to the audio.
Helps improve trainees' concentration
While video training allows participants to progress through a course at their convenience, it also leaves space for distractions. Unlike a traditional in-person conference, which typically mandates that all trainees must pay attention, employees in this scenario may find their minds wandering mid-session.
Fortunately, subtitles provide an object of focus for the learners in an online class. This gives your team something tangible to concentrate on while learning.
In addition, subtitles reduce in-learning distractions resulting in the learner having to listen to parts they missed again. The learning experience thus becomes more stable, progressive, and engaging for participants.
How to effectively use subtitles for employee training videos
There are two common ways to add subtitles to videos. Firstly, you can use a transcription tool to generate captions from the resource audio automatically. Alternatively, you can manually listen to the video and transcribe its contents.
The second option may initially sound undesirable, as it requires a significant amount of effort and time to complete. On the other hand, the first approach requires less time investment and will speed up your production process, making it preferable for many.
Regardless of your choice, the goal is to create engaging training videos using subtitles. With this in mind, here’s how to effectively incorporate these into your employee training resources.
Inform the presenter in advance
Subtitling isn’t just a post-production activity. It starts with the presenter because their mannerisms can disrupt the subtitle’s alignment and hamper the employee learning experience.
If a presenter uses a lot of quips or unnecessary asides in their content, you may not want to include this fluff in your subtitles. However, the absence of these comments can disrupt the conversational flow for learners.
That’s why it’s a good idea to let the presenter know your intentions beforehand. Doing so will encourage them to be more direct with their teaching approach.
Also, get the presenter up to speed with your in-house subtitling process, including the style, speed, and format.
Use professional subtitle services
If you can afford it, why not outsource your video captioning? Doing so takes the bulk of the workload off you. Plus, professionals are likely to do a better job of it. You’ll also save valuable time by having someone else handle the process.
You can either employ a professional transcriber or use an automatic transcription tool. Nowadays, several transcription programs incorporate artificial intelligence, significantly improving their accuracy and making them more reliable.
When incorporating subtitles into your employee training videos, it's essential to choose the best font for subtitles so they are clearly visible and accessible to our entire team.
4 best practices for taking full advantage of subtitles in employee training videos
Using subtitles in employee training videos requires generating an audio transcript for the resource and adding it to the final video. As simple as this sounds, however, it’s easy to get it wrong.
The following best practices will help you leverage your subtitles to achieve optimum results.
Create a standard for accuracy
To begin, your captions must accurately represent the spoken content you’re transcribing. This is the first rule to creating useful subtitles for your employees.
Without this, trainees may be confused when captions don’t tally with the audio they’re listening to, diminishing the effectiveness of your employee training programs.
AI-driven transcription and captioning tools have become more sophisticated and accurate over the years. By staying informed about the latest AI statistics and trends you can make informed decisions about incorporating AI-powered solutions into your video training processes. These tools can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of your subtitles, ensuring a better learning experience for your employees.
Creating a benchmark will help you visualize the level of accuracy you want to achieve. For instance, you might detail how many editors should read over the transcript, who will deal with any spelling mistakes, and whether or not you’ll be using any editing tools.
Format captions properly
Consider a training module with multiple videos explaining how to buy domain names from Only Domains. Using the same formatting style for the subtitles in each video within the module will best support your employee’s learning experience.
That’s because they won’t have to get used to a new subtitle format with every video they open and will receive a more uniform learning experience. It’s also less distracting for them than chopping and changing.
Ensure accurate audio synchronization
Captions that are out of pace with the audio will also mar the learning experience. This can distract learners, make them lose concentration, and prevent them from getting the most out of the educational resource.
Accurate audio synchronization is vital to help employees enjoy the learning experience. The goal is to make good subtitles for employee training videos, and this is only possible if the captions keep time with the audio.
Ideally, you should also provide subtitles that are tailored to each employee’s native tongue. However, depending on your team’s size and diversity, this may not be realistic.
Alternatively, you can provide subtitles in the local language or accent for on-site employees.
For example, if you’re conducting call center training for your customer service reps in France, but the video tutorial is presented in English, you could subtitle it in French.
Improve employee video training experiences with subtitles
Using subtitles for employee training videos helps improve each trainee’s learning experience. In addition, it can foster greater workplace engagement, inclusivity, and a sense of belonging for team members with hearing impairments, language barriers, or other similar challenges.
Moving forward, be sure to include accurate subtitles in all your business’s video training resources. By applying the recommendations discussed in this blog, you can create training videos that help employees learn more effectively and make the process more flexible and rewarding.
Increasing eLearning accessibility and efficacy, transcripts are textual representations of course content, aiding student retention, searchability, catering to diverse learning styles and improving SEO.
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