Stories are the oldest technology. Stories have been used by Homo Sapiens since the beginning when they shared learning with each other and create meaning for the world.
Hayden Holland Arizona believes stories can help us feel part of something greater than ourselves. They also give us a sense of purpose and help us to smuggle information and beliefs into our brains in a dynamic, memorable way.
They are, in other words, naturally viral and powerful tools for motivating staff.
Storytelling can be used to increase motivation in your staff.
This is where you can create stories that are connected to a purpose.
You can create stories that revolve around a purpose to help your employees understand what you’re trying to accomplish. The problem with these approaches is that they focus on the company. This will inspire some, but not all.
Research has shown that four other factors increase motivation in staff by giving people a sense of meaning and allowing them to impact the world.
- Society: This includes improving society, building community, and helping people’s relationships at home thrive.
- Customer: For example, making life easier or providing a human service.
- The team: This could be a feeling of belonging, a caring atmosphere, working together efficiently and effectively and building a trust-based environment.
- Self-development: This includes personal development, empowerment, meaningful work, and reducing stress.
Tips to Create a Memorable Story
A story is like a recipe. It must have certain ingredients to succeed.
These are some ways to create a compelling story about change and increase motivation among staff.
Spend some time crafting the story structure
It is a changing world. How are these changes affecting us?
Perhaps it’s customer expectations, trust, regulation, information access, or the competitive landscape.
No matter what example you choose, it’s a crucial question to ask yourself when creating your story.
- We are where we are now.
- Where are we heading? (What is the significant intention, vision, and why?
- What can you expect of us to help you live and breathe the new behaviours?
- What will it bring you? It will bring benefits to customers, employees, and the business.
- Passionate and positive are the best (of course!)
As direct as possible
Do not try to sound like Harvard Business Review or hide behind business jargon.
Imagine that you are reading your story to someone who doesn’t know anything about the industry. What would they think?
Imagine that you are reading your story to someone who doesn’t know anything about the industry. What would they think? They would laugh at your arrogance and stiffness.
It must be simple and straightforward if you want to make your story stick with people and be a motivator for staff.
Avoid cliches and use short sentences. However, the occasional colloquialism (yep, honestly), down-to-earth metaphor (in the trenches lip service) or emotive word (love/hate) are acceptable.
Ask: Is this Honest?
Stop feeling like you’re writing corporate justifications irrelevant to the reality of what you are doing. Think. Challenge yourself. Do you want to change the status quo?
Do you think some of the actions you ask your employees to take will be difficult? If so, do you need to admit it? Are you exaggerating to get the desired effect? Is it possible to underplay the fear factor by exaggerating it?
You can tweak until you are 100% sure of the truth of what your writing is saying, or they will look hollow.
Ask yourself: Does this excite you?
This is how you influence others. You should be excited about your big goals and their impact.
That excitement should be expressed through your words, not with lots of exaggerated adjectives (inspiring!). Empowered! brilliant!) But by communicating your vision in the most simple, bold, and heartfelt manner.
You can get maximum clarity by summarizing your whole story in one hashtag. It’s almost like a marketing campaign.
As if you were running a marketing campaign, summarize your entire story with one hashtag.
What kind of revolution are you trying to inspire in your people? What is the essence of the revolution you are trying to create or your desired outcome?
It will help you clarify your story if you can make it memorable.
The problem with storytelling
Many organizations don’t know what to do to give their employees a sense of purpose.
If you make garage doors or ball bearings, inspirational visions such as Walt Disney’s “Make people smile” or Google’s”Organize the World’s Information” are irrelevant.
Alternatively, you can tell stories that focus on not only the internal workings of your company but also the more comprehensive benefits of your business to society, customers, and employees. This is the key to motivating staff.