Instructional Design

Multimedia Messages: How to Save Your Employees From Text Burnout

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Think of how many bits of text you read each day. Whether it’s text messages, social media, emails, or just scrolling through the daily news, it’s no wonder we all have a little bit of text burnout. That’s why visual media is so engaging: it’s a break for our overworked eyes. Multimedia also gives some of the context that text-based media often misses, like tone.

Swapping out some of your text training for multimedia solutions helps capture your learners’ attention and engages them. It conveys more than words alone while ensuring that your message is understood exactly the way you intended. 

Inspired multimedia messages do everything plain text can’t. Video and audio create the same quality of interaction as grabbing drinks at happy hour, pulling an all-nighter for a big client, or a constructive one-on-one evaluation. There will still be mundane emails to send, but executive teams who are willing to be discerning and authentic in their communications can and should identify opportunities to go all-in on multimedia. These periodic bursts of strategic creativity set the tone and make all the other messages more digestible.

If you want to implement multimedia but aren’t sure where to start, take a look at these benefits: 


  • Promote your current eLearning programs. Don’t have the time or resources for a complete training overhaul? Use multimedia to increase interest and spruce up your current efforts. A video introduction or even an informal interview with one of your execs can help increase employee buy-in for existing programs. 



  • Quickly grab learners’ attention. If you need to deliver learning quickly, multimedia can expedite the process. If you don’t have time or resources to produce new content, supplement your training with tutorials, podcasts, and illustrations you find online.  



  • Cut back on white noise. Emails and memos can seem like white noise to employees who read text all day long. Multimedia is a great way to break up some of the monotony of regular communication. Use an illustration to show, rather than tell, and your message won’t get lost in the never-ending paper shuffle. 



  • Brand your training. Good branding can help create an emotional connection between your learner and your training. When they see clear, consistent branding across your channels and training, it can set the tone for the user experience. You can brand multimedia training using a more serious approach or take on a more playful tone using animation. 



  • Connect the group. Think of all the times you’ve gathered around the coffee pot to talk about the Game of Thrones finale. Multimedia connects and engages people and can have the same effect on your employees. (And, let’s face it: employees rarely gather to talk about a memo during their lunch hour.) Have everyone listen to the same podcast or video and lead a discussion to strengthen your training culture and extract insights you might have missed. 


The next time you’re tempted to rely on text to introduce training, send out reminders or even share product information, consider how your message might be better received via multimedia. It might take a little more effort than a quick email, but reducing text burnout will pay off with engaged, connected learners.