This article was submitted by Brad Smith, Director of HRIS and Payroll Services, Kennesaw State University.
Here at Kennesaw State University (KSU), we are embedding Brainshark videos in welcome emails to new faculty, staff and student employees. These videos have been a tremendous help in getting our new employees registered for the KSU self-service portal and also assisting them in downloading the correct timekeeping application so that they can report their hours.
KSU has over 5,000 employees, including over 1,400 faculty and 1,400 student employees. There is a mix of permanent full-time, part-time, temporary, and casual workers. Each employment type has particular needs regarding reporting time worked, vacation, illness, etc. We deal with a large amount of hires and re-hires, especially during the beginning of each semester and in the summer.
To assist new employees, we have developed targeted welcome emails that are prepared and sent out via a Microsoft Word mail merge the day after new hires’ employment information is entered into our database. Each morning an Excel file is automatically pulled and moved to a network drive where these emails, specific to the employment type of the individual, are created and distributed. They include personalized information that the new employee will need in order to get registered for our self-service portal and to report time.
For this purpose we have created a number of Brainshark videos that explain how to register for the self-service portal, how to download the timekeeping application, and, if needed, how to re-add the time-keeping application (if they are a re-hired employee). These videos are each less than four minutes and include step-by-step instructions on each process. At the end of each video, a URL link connects viewers to the Payroll Services web page for more information on the payroll calendars, tax information, explanation of pay stubs, campus procedures, and other useful information.
The videos are narrated by members of the Payroll Services staff who deal with employee calls and customer services. We have found that if employees recognize the voice of the person they are hearing, positive outcomes are much more likely without the need to escalate calls.
Prior to using the Brainshark videos we included PDFs with written instructions. We found that the employees would not print the instructions, they were too long, or the employee simply found it easier to call Payroll Services and have someone lead them through the process. The use of Brainshark videos has reduced these types of support calls five-fold since we started sending videos four months ago.