More employee engagement through storytelling

HR/learning in organisations

How do you provide engaging storytelling for your employees? Of course, we have a few tips for HR and communication departments that want to strengthen their employer branding.

People have loved stories since ancient times. A well-told story brings easier to convey ideas, information, emotions and values to the listener. It can provide insight, make you laugh, shudder or cry. In addition, a story has another important advantage: it connects.

When a story resonates with you, the message no longer belongs to someone else. It becomes part of your own world of experience. We love that. Because that giving meaning provides us with both psychological and emotional benefits. After all, people like to be part of a bigger picture, where they others can trust and feeling good about their decisions. And that's exactly why storytelling has become so popular. Not only privately, but also for business.

How come you choose this product? Why do you want to work for this employer? With such a story, corporate storytelling can really bring a brand or organisation to life. It is therefore not surprising that this communication technique is being used more and more often. Not just with the fast guys in the sales department. Storytelling also deserves to be embraced within HR. After all, with a good story, you're not alone. new customers, but can you also use your retain and engage employees. And that is certainly an important advantage with the current labor market.

Before we give you our tips, a warning is in order. In corporate storytelling, we're talking about real, real stories. Don't tell fairy tales, because no one lives in the Efteling. So don't make promises you can't keep, and don't make the truth more beautiful than it is. If the story isn't believable, it misses its purpose because people stop taking you seriously. And that's just not where you want your precious applicant or valued employee!

1. Ensure familiarity

Incorporate recognisable people and situations into your story, so that your target group can empathise more easily. This ensures a good connection between the narrator and the audience. Or, in the case of HR: between the organisation and the (potential) employee.

So ask a colleague to tell you about his or her knowledge or experiences. In your own way, at your own work location and, very important: in your own words. Avoid hollow business terms. After all, this is not about numbers and targets, but about human feelings, norms and values. Your target group must be able to relate to it. That people can identify themselves well and feel involved in the message you want to convey.

2. Make the message easy to remember

Incorporate your message into the story in an attractive way. A fun anecdote, a penetrating image or a human perspective always stick a lot better than dry numbers and statistics. It ensures that your audience is almost automatically included in the message you want to convey.

Build the story with a beginning, middle, and end. Opt for a clear storyline and language. It may well be a bit playful or humorous are, but make sure that doesn't distract too much from what you want to say.

Opt for a positive conclusion, and your audience will more quickly become co-owners of a good idea, development or smart solution.

3. Tell the corporate story

What is the origin of the organisation? What mission and values was the company ever built on? Highlight the motives and expectations of the founders and make the connection with current business operations.

Tell that corporate story with gusto. If you include the employee properly in the 'why' of the organisation, you lay an important basis for the connection. It inspires people to want to help build to the company, and to take action for further growth.

4. Make complicated things understandable

Stories are ideally suited to show the interrelation of things. This can be in many areas. For example, if you clearly and practically identify the cause and consequences in, for example, production processes, administrative workflows or developments in society, employees can suddenly lose a quarter.

There is insight into why something needs to change in order for everything to go well or better. Because of that new understanding, an idea or concept is more likely to be embraced, causing resistance to disappear or even enthusiasm is created.

5. Make sure you connect

So many people, so many opinions. Everyone has their own background and experience. Cherish that diversity and let all those different stories be covered. This does not always have to be done via a post on social media or a company video.

Especially live, during knowledge sessions or the onboarding of new employees, beautiful, exciting conversations can arise that inspire and connect colleagues. This may sometimes require guts on the part of the employee and some adjustment from the organiser, to prevent too heated discussions. But isn't that just a nice aspect of a learning organisation?

Extra storytelling tools
Of course, you can make excellent use of your digital knowledge platform to make optimal use of storytelling. Challenge employees to share their story too, and spread it via your intranet or watch the many possibilities of Pluvo to house your corporate storytelling. Put your videos, photos and written texts with beautiful stories in a central, accessible place where they can occasionally be picked up for a team building or onboarding.

Indeed, there are many online ways to keep stories alive and inspire each other. Do you want to know more about that? Then contact us. We'd love to share our story!

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