My friend Sherri, who works for a Credit Union in Eastern Canada, uses story. Every week Sherri sends out an email/story that reinforces core behaviors the organization is seeking to develop. Sherri is a one person communication shop and her time is her budget.
Coca Cola, EDS and Wynn Hotels also use storytelling. These organizations have implemented corporate-wide initiatives that reach tens of thousands of people. They use story to engage and align employees to the corporate journey so that they understand, not only what the corporate goals and objectives are, but also their role in meeting those objectives. Like Sherri’s much smaller initiative these programs illustrate the kinds of behaviors that employees must adopt to live the organizational values. The programs these organizations have adopted are integrated into their very fabric. Wynn for example uses story in hiring, training, to reward and for marketing.
Sherri and the high paid execs at Wynn understand that story works. Where facts and figures might alienate or bore us, stories are real and memorable. In a world of information overload they are a quick means of illustrating the complex and immediately helping employees understand how they contribute and indeed what is expected of them.
Take this story from Wynn for example. It’s about an employee who helped an elderly guest recover important medication left in a cab. The employee painstakingly reviewed video footage of the guest’s arrival and identified the cab license plate in the rear view mirror of the car in front. For fellow employees stories like these are not only good for morale, but they also illustrate goals and objectives in action and how they translate into behaviors.
I’d like to hear about your employee stories in action and post them on this site.