A highly specialized manufacturer of skin grafting products is using a video to motivate its employees to increase its global sales goals. A case study.
The motivational video is to be used via intranet for internal communication, at internal events and for further training. Ideally, the motivational video not only reflects the pioneering spirit of the company (and its employees), but also gives a voice to the patients to emphasize the meaningfulness and importance of the company’s mission.
Case study motivation employees with video
The example of a motivational video presented here is based on a real assignment from the practice of film production. In order to comply with the client’s corporate policy, business areas and products were anonymized and modified.
Goals for creation and production
In order to keep the motivational video as authentic as possible, we have to work according to the customer’s specifications:
- Real employees of the organization must appear in the video.
- Casting is undesirable so as not to disrupt operations.
- Employees, from Nobel Prize winners to laboratory assistants, can volunteer to make an appearance.
- However, whoever signs up for the film, telegenic or not, must be able to appear in the video later.
- A selection process (only talented or photogenic employees in front of the camera?) is not desired.
Challenges for the motivational video
The customer defined a cost ceiling for the corporate video at the start of the project. Based on this, quality and impact are now jointly defined and an initial deadline layout, including a reserve for unforeseen events, is agreed. Since the customer already has a single contact person with all the necessary competencies, the energy of all those involved is quickly concentrated on the content once a few formalities have been settled.
Motivation is a collective term. In this case study, it stands for a multitude of individual reasons that ultimately lead to a concrete willingness to act. It is the sum of the individual reasons for action. The term is derived from the Latin verb “movere” (German = to move, to drive).
Just as the production of a video requires the competence to transform a concept or script consisting of words into effective moving images, in the case of motivation and employees, it is not only the evocation of the intention itself that counts, but also the translation into action. Implementation competence requires the will to want to bring about change. This is the point where the planned motivational video should start. After all, we don’t want the audience to be in the wrong movie.
Warning signals for motivation
The requirement to shoot a video without the possibility of a casting with real employees of a company means: to put laymen, who are also employees of the client, in the best light.
The screenplay and the filmic realisation must take this into account. Regarding the challenges arising from this, reference can be made to the interview with director Patrick Merz, who states about the use of amateur actors in front of the camera: “It’s never up to the person. But always on the script.“
Video production / implementation
Motivation also exists beyond the basic functions of existence. However, it must be activated for this purpose. Emotions play an important role in this. The amount of activation is absolutely central to the effect.
By linking emotions to alignment with an action goal, the motivational video in this case study communicates a motive. This creates a latent willingness to act and promotes motivation. The more impressive the action, the more lasting the effect.
Four decisions are discussed and approved by the creative team together with the client:
- The film concept must surprise the employees. The motivational video must be of such a high quality that it will generate a lot of feedback and views on YouTube as well, making it a success and one of the best in its class;
- One short film is made per employee;
- The same rules apply as for creating an image film.
- For genre and the way of realization established mechanisms of TV entertainment are used.
This means in detail:
Concept and script for the motivational video
The creation and conceptual work for the task presented in this case study is based on the following assumption: Those who feel and understand the meaningfulness of their actions will perceive their task with motivation. Therefore, for one day, the employees will take on the role of patients with skin injuries who have not yet been able to benefit from skin transplantation.
All the amateur actors are given artificial burns and skin damage by professional make-up artists, which are indistinguishable from real injuries to the uninformed. The video then accompanies these people to the public, where they have to cope with different everyday tasks.
Video series for employee motivation
Since it is not possible to estimate how employees and unknowing passers-by in the public will react in individual cases, a single video will be shot per person. Each clip is a motivational experience, shot in the style of a docusoap. They show the employee before/after his/her experience as a patient.
Synergy from the TV world
The filming is carried out in typical TV style: flexible crew, agile and situational planning, deliberately bordering on the hidden camera in the handling of the recording equipment. Almost everyone involved has strong reactions at the sight of the injuries, ranging from extreme sympathy to rejection.
Of course, after a few minutes in each scene, the practice facility is revealed to the unknowing passersby. Also because permission is required from all participants to use their own image in the motivational video. Surprisingly, not a single person refuses to agree.
Even the people “prepared” as performers are literally under the skin of the unaccustomed appearances as people affected by a terrible disease in public space. They report on it while still on the set, tell of their feelings, expectations and learnings in so-called detached interviews (another typical element of TV dramaturgy). And they tell in their own words what no author can put into their mouths: of the recognition of the meaningfulness of their professional work and of the importance of being able to help those affected.
All videos, all appearances of the employees succeed and become strong, distinctive videos. For the pleasure of the strong footage, the editor creates an additional long version at the producer’s risk. This tells the different experiences of the participants in a parallel montage. After a visioning of the long version, the customer also orders its completion.
Shortly after delivery of all versions, the Group CEO writes an e-mail: He is enthusiastic about the intensity of the videos and congratulates all internal and external participants on the motivational video.
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