Why stories aren’t just for kids


This week*, is national storytelling week – and whilst we all love a good story, you might ask, what has that really got to do with employee engagement?

Well, having a clear, compelling story about where an organisation is going (and why!) can really help provide employees with a vision and a purpose. Helping employees to understand how they contribute to the bigger picture, can instill feelings of pride and motivation for employees. In fact, in 2009, David MacLeod and Nita Clarke cited Strategic Narrative as one of the key enablers of Employee Engagement in their report to government.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the anecdote about  JFK  touring NASA in the ‘60s. He stopped to ask a janitor what he was doing, and the janitor replied ‘I’m helping to put a man on the moon’.

This is a great example of  strategic narrative done well –  the janitor understood how his day to day job was part of the bigger picture and that gave him a sense of pride.

Providing  a compelling purpose at work, or strategic narrative, can create meaning for employees, which contributes towards employee engagement.


So, how do I make my story compelling?

For a story to be compelling it needs to be:

  • meaningful to those hearing it
  • about something people care about
  • exciting, dramatic and inspiring
  • believable (no matter how audacious it is!)

You also need to think about the role your leaders will play (both in terms of creation and roll out) and what you need to do to keep the story alive.

To help you with this, we’ve created a handy guide to developing your Strategic Narrative, which you can download here.

In the coming days, we’ll be sharing some of our favourite case studies that showcase where organisations have really delivered strong strategic narratives.  If you have a ‘story’ to tell, why not get in touch today.  Contact us here.



*Storytelling weeks runs from 27th Jan – 3rd Feb 2017

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