Are Your Employees Stories Affecting Your Workforce?

October 8, 2015

Employee Stories

If not, they should be! But only the positive ones.

Stories are an effective way of inspiring your employees and you should be encouraging them to share and tell you about their own experiences.

We all know that the way that someone acts can be contagious, but stories can affect behaviour and also breed positivity which can in-turn influence decisions.

This article was written by a Behavioural Economist and is based on research about what motivates us, especially in organisations. From this we have outlined a few key messages….

  • Employees stories can be a really powerful way to instil behaviours and values in an organisation;
  • Stories that focus on positive reinforcing aspects of organisational culture can be contagious;
  • Stories told by senior or junior staff can be powerful but take note…
    • Uplifting stories about junior staff are more uplifting than those about senior staff
    • Negative stories about senior staff behaviour are more discouraging than those negative stories about junior staff.

What Could A Story Be About?

I’m sure that within your business your employees have plenty of stories to tell but they might just need a little bit of encouragement. Here are a few ideas on what their stories could be about:

  • Excellent customer service, staff going beyond the call of duty;
  • Staff showing innovation and bringing new ideas to the business;
  • Learning new skills and using them to progress through the business;
  • Staff showing support for each other;
  • Customer appreciation, this could be recognition through testimonials or case studies;
  • Successful implementation of new ideas.

How Can I Utilise This In My Business?

So you now understand the importance of employees stories, but how do you start to utilise these within your business?

· Seek out opportunities to allow staff to share stories about what is working well in the business, positive behaviours, etc;

· Ensure all staff get a chance to contribute and also hear the others’ stories;

· Use the stories to reinforce the values that are important to the business.

As with all projects within a business, communication is key. Depending on how big your organisation is, it would be useful to communicate this face to face, of course telling the story behind the task.

You could hold a few sessions to explain what it’s all about and make it a proactive session so employees’ can share their stories there and then and maybe elaborate on them afterwards. If you hold regular meetings you could talk about it there.

Alternatively if you like to use email communication, you could send a personal email to each employee asking for their experiences and explaining the importance of employees stories. You could incentive people if you wanted to too.

Whatever way you choose, make sure that you get the key messages and purpose of the exercise across so that everyone understands the importance of telling employees stories.