resources. sequel talks.

24 January 2024

Why storytelling is a key differentiator to an organisation’s engagement success

Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill when it comes to business.’ 


I’m in the middle of a research project to revisit the key ingredients that make employee engagement in organisations more effective, impacting productivity, business success, people satisfaction and the ‘new’ workplace experience.

So far, I think there are five, possibly six, maybe seven factors. Some days there are more, some days there are less, depending on the rabbit hole of the research that I go down.

But storytelling stays at the top as a big differentiator to an organisation’s engagement success.

Our brains are hardwired to remember stories. Brains love them. They help us to cut through distractions, engaging hearts and emotions, holding our attention far better than a raft of numbers or bullet points.

Last summer’s IC Index from the Institute of Internal Communication and IPSOS Karian & Box found that the average employee engages with corporate content for just 15 minutes each day. Good business storytelling that is relevant, meaningful and important has the potential to hold their attention longer, extending this time.

And we’ve all seen how fast visual media is growing, mostly because of its great storytelling abilities. It connects with audiences quickly and at a far deeper level. Last year the average global individual spent 17 hours a week watching video, mostly on their phone.

Unfortunately, I’d put money on that content not being the CEO’s video diary or Gail in HR sharing her self-shot film of the new expenses process.

Engaging employees through great stories – whether visual or written – is a skill.

Good communicators have this. They know their audiences, how to recognise what’s important, what’s not. They understand the right tone, style and language to use, have an instinct for how much content is enough, and know the best media and channels to reach people.

They help leaders to shape and tell a compelling story, including the positives, the challenges, and the personal experiences to build trust and rapport.

Good storytelling is a powerful skill that helps organisations build stronger connections, inspire action, and increase loyalty inside and outside the business. Utilising the knowledge of communicators in telling/crafting that narrative to make the end result count and noticed needs this skill.

Valuing it shouldn’t be underrated.

#storytelling #employeeengagement #internalcommunications #businessstorytelling

Need help? Our team can work with you to make your storytelling meaningful, and memorable, whatever the channel or media.