Every business has a story to tell, and how they choose to communicate that narrative often determines the success of the business. Storytelling is great for your employer brand; it works wonders on a customer centric approach, and it keeps your employees engaged. There’s no doubt that it’s a powerful tool, but more often than not, it isn’t entirely clear where the responsibility of storytelling lies. Each department can throw it around and pass the buck all day long, but ultimately, your HR department will always be the keeper of your story. And while it might seem like it’s a responsibility, it’s actually a very useful weapon to have in the armory. For example:
Writing the business narrative
A clear and compelling business narrative guides employees on their journey, builds a culture, and works as a talent attraction tool. It helps set the scene and define the business, which then empowers the individuals across that business to take ownership and personally contribute towards the narrative. HR can work collaboratively with other departments to craft this, and then cascade across the business in a meaningful way. If you’re the one holding the pen, you’re able to write that story in a way that reflects every character and who better to do that than a department that works with everyone, every day.
[clickToTweet tweet=”A clear and compelling business narrative guides employees on their journey.” quote=”A clear and compelling business narrative guides employees on their journey.”]
Telling employee stories
The idea that you only ever deal with HR if you’re in trouble is a dated one. HR is no longer the disciplinarian of the business world and should be interacting with employees on a regular basis in positive and meaningful ways. Collecting and telling employee stories is a great way to do this, and it also gives you the chance to make your employees your heroes. Craft stories that center around them and use them both across the business internally and externally. No one tells your brand story better than the advocates of your business.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The idea that you only ever deal with HR if you’re in trouble is a dated one. ” quote=”The idea that you only ever deal with HR if you’re in trouble is a dated one. “]
One of the best things about telling stories is that it allows room for emotions and human empathy to work. Data, spreadsheets, and figures are all great, and naturally, HR will always have those; however, there’s no room for human sparks and emotion in between the cells on a spreadsheet. Stories allow you to humanize your business, to add personal touches and to speak in human voices and connect with others in ways data doesn’t always allow for. Use as many stories as you can to create those emotional currents.
Stories are for customers
While storytelling works like magic internally, they’re just as effective outside the walls of your business. They’re a customer tool that engages your audience, promoting and encouraging them to take action. And when HR is also tasked with growth targets, their approach has to be customer-centric. The Dollar Shave Club did this when they first released their video explaining their product. The video told a story of how one man found razor blades too expensive and too complex, and how he stripped it down. He spoke about his grandfather and current sports players. He was witty and humorous, and above all human. It went viral, and that business grew exponentially overnight all because of one story.
Of course, not every story HR tell will be an internet sensation, but they will craft emotion that connects with both your customers and your employees—that’s not something that any business can afford to ignore.