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Rethinking Communication: Using Storytelling for Better Engagement

Storytelling in business is an integral part of communication and organisations must be able to see its importance in connecting with its people.

In our human world of constant communication and information overload, what can be more effective than a little storytelling. In the world of business, storytelling focuses on the human ‘being’ instead of the human ‘doing’.

Traditional communication has become ‘noise’

Traditional communication has reached its limit which sometimes result in total indifference because it has become ‘noise’. Stories connect people with other people, business, brand, employee dreams. Consider this. Employers want maximum performance from employees and employees want maximum satisfaction from the work which they do and the company they work for. Storytelling can help connect the dots for both sides.

Help employees learn by helping them ‘connect’

When we integrate storytelling, we are transmitting to influence, persuade through information, reason, emotion and passion. Through this approach, we give employees meaning to their interest, linking their desire to take part in the bigger picture.

People don’t join the best companies, they join companies they can understand best. The challenge is, how do organisations help employees ‘connect’ at work and enable them to believe in the company’s vision, mission, values and its strategic direction?

A Case-story:

Have you ever wondered why there is so much resistance to change in the drive for SUSTAINABILITY?

How many employees in the organisation really understand the urgency of this accountability? Companies who are serious about how investors view them in building companies that last, look beyond just financial performance, but also Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. In fact, these companies will be held accountable by shareholders and investors, if they aren’t already.

How do you help employees demystify this subject (WHAT), understand its importance (WHY), influence them to take action and achieve collective impact (LEARN / APPLY / DO).

Creating a Psychologically Safe Space

Don’t make learning into a transaction between novice and expert, focusing on information and skills downloading. Be mindful to build that socio-emotional relationship in the programme, which fosters learning and growth. Build familiarity and trust as early as you can, to allow participants to enter the story and opening up to learning. Have a repertoire of different tools in your toolkit to do this. Companies need to help employees find their own ‘why’ and then let them decide. If the employee’s purpose, needs, wants are aligned with the organisation’s, that’s where engagement happens because they see themselves as an integral part of the company story.

People Learn Best in the Way They Prefer To Learn

In any given group, there will be those who learn best from videos, diagrams, or illustrations. They are visual learners. Then there are the auditory learners, whose preference is to sit through lectures and have discussions. Kinaesthetic learners are those who learn best by doing, experiencing, or have an emotional connection with. Learning is a journey even within a programme, so it is so important to layer and be inclusive where different learning preferences are concerned.

Stories Help Learning Stick

Storytelling helps with learning because they are easy to remember and programmes if well designed, are very effective in influencing; a start to making change happen. Take for example, whenever you decide to buy a product or a service, do you not look at reviews to aid you in your decisions. Reviews are about experiential learning aka storytelling, from people who have used these products and services before.


Engaging Leaders helps our clients to understand how to ‘sustain’ sustainability over the long term.

We view sustainability as a goal rather than as an end point. One key component of this journey involves embedding sustainability into organisational culture.

Find out more about our approach here.


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