Employee Engagement and Storytelling
Employee Engagement, like a good story, is recognised as being greater than the sum of its parts, and the MacLeod Report ‘Engaging for Success’ showed a strong correlation between a highly engaged workforce and improved levels of productivity and innovation. Benefits also include greater employee retention and lower rates of absence.
Employee Engagement describes the nature of the relationship between organisations and the people that work for them. It also describes the activities undertaken to improve motivation and performance. To encourage people to be at their best there are incentives such as financial rewards and recognition through promotion. However, establishing a positive company culture is also essential for employees to develop commitment and loyalty to departments and the organisation as a whole.
Stories and storytelling in the workplace helps create an open and progressive company culture. Exploring and sharing an organisation’s core story ensures that employees understand its purpose and values. Further story gathering celebrates the importance of people’s contribution to the mission through their daily efforts. The acknowledgement of employees’ expertise, talents and passions is empowering. This process improves job satisfaction and involvement.
Storytelling also promotes co-operation in managing change and in establishing a shared commitment to future possibilities. One of the key recommendations of the MacLeod Report was for ‘a strong narrative that provides a clear, shared vision for the organisation.’
Business leader Jenny Burns commented,” We want our people to come with us on the journey……there has to be a clear vision in the first place. We want to paint a picture of where we’ve been, where we are and where we need to be in the future that is easily shared and often talked about.”
Story Space Workshops
Story Space can boost employee engagement by connecting people to organisations using a narrative approach. The workshops take place in a supportive atmosphere with practical activities that develop an understanding of storytelling and creative thinking skills. There is also time and space for reflection which allows new ideas to emerge.
“For me it was a good opportunity to learn how to structure a story but also have the time to think creatively about our messaging – which on a day to day basis we do not have the time to do. There were some really great stories drawn out of people that you might not have expected…”