How to Make an Authentic Company Culture Video
The truth is, no matter how awesome it is to work at your company, there’s another company that’s just as awesome – on paper, at least. That’s the problem with paper: it’s just data, and it doesn’t show anyone what it’s really like to work for your firm. A company culture video is the perfect way to address this.
5 ways to make your company culture video authentic.
If you want to make a company culture video, you probably sense that video can achieve something special that will help your company distinguish itself from the litany of other companies with near-identical perks. You’re right – video can be magic. But it’s easy to miss the mark.
1. Don’t talk about policy, talk about your leadership.
Most companies have policies meant to improve the employee experience. For example, you may have an open door policy meant to encourage open and honest communication between staff and management. Unfortunately, employees often suspect that an open door policy is really just code for “Say anything you want to my deaf ears.” or “Let us know if you’re a boat rocker so we can keep an eye on you.” Unlimited PTO could easily mean “prove how devoted you are by how little vacation you take”.
Simply stating your policies is not only ineffective, it makes for a very boring company culture video that’s unlikely to be watched at all, let alone enjoyed.
What prospective employees really want to know is whether your leadership will make them feel valued and respected. They want to feel like the job will invigorate them, rather than slowly grind down their spirit. As anyone with a bit of work experience can tell you, nothing grinds down the spirit more than clueless, dispassionate bosses.
Your company culture video is an opportunity to show that you’re different. It can show prospective employees that character and integrity matter to you; that you cultivate an environment that values universal human virtues, like honesty, transparency, vulnerability, and kindness.
This can only be achieved if you use your video to show what kind of human beings your leaders are.
2. Don’t talk about benefits, talk about purpose.
Nobody has ever told me they were happy at a job solely because the office had a ping-pong table and a fridge full of kombucha, or even because of a 401(k) or a generous vacation policy. Those things are nice and worth mentioning, but they have little to do with overall job satisfaction.
Employees want come to work with a sense of purpose and a clear understanding of their contribution. They want to know that the work they’re doing is making a positive impact on the world. Yes, pay and benefits are important considerations for job seekers, but they are just data – and they’re already listed in your job posting. Approximately 100% of your applicants will take it upon themselves to discover this information. Don’t waste your video on it.
What you can’t put into a written job posting is the animated and sincere faces of you, your leaders, and your employees talking passionately about the exciting mission they get to serve every day. Not stock footage and scripted tripe from the company talking points (see #3), but genuine human enthusiasm that can only flourish in a true community of team players working toward a common goal that everyone cares about.
A company culture video that emphasizes a meaningful mission that employees can get excited about will be far more impactful than one that simply lists items from the benefits packet.
3. Don’t use a script, speak from your heart.
Every human being is born with phonyness radar. If you’re not a masterful writer and actor, reciting a script in your company culture video will send that radar into convulsions. Even if you really mean the things you’re saying, using a script will make it sound stilted and inauthentic. Besides, who needs a script? You already have lots of great things to say about your brand, your people, and your mission. And your people have lots of great things to say about their work and about you.
Going unscripted is a great idea for many reasons, including an astronomically higher chance that your audience will believe what you say. A great production company will know how to interview you, your leadership, and your staff in a way that draws them out emotionally and gives them the freedom to speak excitedly about the things that matter to them.
Similarly, a great production company will edit your video expertly so that everyone who appears in it will be working together to tell a unified story of meaning and purpose. When you see it, you will be pleasantly surpised by how wonderful it turned out, because it will feel different from your memory of the conversation. That’s the beauty of having a third party help you tell your story. You’re inspiring in ways you don’t know about yet.
4. If you don’t want to talk about what is, talk about what should be.
Every idea that’s put into action will always be a work in progress. There’s nothing wrong with being an idealist.
Maybe your company culture doesn’t yet look like you know it could. That’s okay. You don’t need to make things up – just talk about what you believe a company culture should be. Your heartfelt beliefs as a leader are even more important the current conditions at your company. As a bonus, your vulnerability will come across as much more authentic than a video that only boasts about present conditions at a company.
If you can show prospective employees that you and your senior leadership truly care about an ideal, no matter how pie-in-the-sky, they’ll be getting in line to help you create it.
5. Use your video to do what your website can’t.
Your company culture video is an opportunity to make a serious emotional impact. This opportunity shouldn’t be squandered on rote information that a handbook or a website could convey better.
An outstanding video will focus entirely on subjective, emotionally resonant factors:
How you and your employees feel about company
Your beliefs and passions that drive the company mission
Why the company mission personally matters to you
Videos that do this well will cut through the clutter and communicate to prospective employees that they’ll be part of something that matters.
Need help creating a high-impact company culture video? At Concurrent Productions, we’re passionate about the way we tell stories and would love to help you tell yours. Please contact us today!