What Story are you Telling with your Employee Communications?

February 3, 2014by Mike LepisStorytellingInternal Communications1

What can we say about storytelling that has not already been said? That’s tough. Stories are great, we all love them, we know they have value in communications. People remember more when they get information in story form, and form deeper emotional connections to brands that use storytelling.

Employee Communications Tells a Story

There is another type of story out there: The story the employee is telling herself. What assumptions is she making about your brand, what you offer her, or how you communicate about it. How empathetic is she to her employers? What you do and how you engage with her sets the stage.

What does the story you tell say to your employees?

Here’s an example. I once looked at an outdated intranet for a major retailer. It was old (10+ years old). The organization knew it had passed beyond its maximum usefulness. After discussing how they built it with Dreamweaver in 2001 I asked them, “What does this say to your employees?” It was that bad. And this was not an outdated brochure/feel good/company picnic type of intranet.  Thousands of employees were required to use it as part of their job every day. So, I answered the question for them, “This says, ‘Hey employee, I don’t like you very much.'”

Think about the story you are telling with your employee communications. Are you saying, “We think you are smart and valuable.” Or, are you saying, “Eh, we’ll get around to making your work experience better, but it is not a priority right now.”

I’m happy to report, after a few years of persistent work by their communications and operations teams, this retailer is getting a new intranet which we helped them create. We’re looking forward to hearing the new story when it goes live.

Your Internal Comms Story

What has your experience been? What story are you telling your employees?

Mike Lepis

As a Creative Director, Mike is responsible for developing insights and mapping them to the creative solutions that drive employee engagement for Vignette’s clients. Early in his career Mike worked for both consumer marketing and internal communication divisions at Nike. In event marketing, Mike saw how a strong brand can bring people together. In consumer marketing, Mike learned how modern practices and measurement shape effective messaging. In Latin American marketing, Mike was immersed in video and digital communications channels. And with internal communication, Mike saw how—when employees are challenged, encouraged, and supported—they will get behind a brand and its mission.