Storytelling remains a powerful means of communication for employer branding, yet it's something many organisations struggle to get to grips with. Through storytelling, we've helped clients identify and express their work's meaning and purpose, bringing to life the true values of an organisation and its people.
Here, we share our approach to uncovering good stories, so they stand out from the crowd.
Striving for authenticity
Remember: authenticity is key, so while some employers might want to wax lyrical about how great their benefits package is, if it's not what's motivating the employee, it'll only come across as contrived.
Instead, we focus on what their employees are talking about and hone in on it. What's important to current employees will likely resonate with potential employees, so we'll get an accurate insight into what matters to the people and work it back from there.
Clients need to stay relevant, so we apply our experience and knowledge to the latest trends in employer branding and see what everyone else is doing, including competitors. For example, in 2022 just some of the trends were:
- Workplace flexibility
- DE&I-focused strategies
- Employee wellbeing
- Work-life integration
- Leadership buy-in
It's one thing for the employer to have an opinion on how well they're handling these topics, but the authentic voice on this will always be the employee – and the one that will pique more interest.
Finding and keeping the storytellers
We've chosen what topics to focus on, so what's next? Well, this is the tricky part; we need to find employees willing to open themselves up and be one hundred per cent authentic. Not only that, but they must be able to confidently articulate their story on whatever platform we're using, be that video, podcast or any social platform.
So first, the buy-in. What's in it for the employee? Is this an opportunity for them to speak on something they're passionate about? Can sharing their story help others? Will they become brand ambassadors? Can they expect recognition for their involvement?
It may be one or all these things, but whatever is decided, we map out how to reach people with this message. Depending on the audience and budget, this will vary from client to client. For example, internal comms and social campaigns are some of the most effective tools we use to attract storytellers.
Providing freedom and transparency
Transparency around the process and expectations from the outset is vital. We involve the participant across all stages and share the full transcript with them before it gets published. This helps them to better tell their story, gives them control, and ensures nothing goes out without their consent. It also gives them a sense of freedom should they want to change anything before it goes live.
Empowering the storyteller
The whole storytelling experience must be a positive one. While this might sound obvious, don't underestimate the importance of employees feeling empowered through sharing their stories. It's more than just dispensing a sound bite; it's about delivering personal insight into an experience they choose to share.
So how do we empower someone in the context of storytelling?
We make sure the person telling the story feels comfortable and supported to be themselves – it will make the story believable and engaging. Not only this, but we ensure the organisation and individual are aligned in seeing the importance of the story they want to share. It's a big part of the authenticity process.
Also, we're always mindful of how information is collected, edited and used, allowing the storyteller to be part of the process, and any changes, along the way. It's about creating a story together, helping the organisation and the employee unite in seeing its value.
The last word
Storytelling in employer branding is about finding a truthful representation of people and their organisations. It's a powerful tool that provides a brilliant platform to express a company's values and demonstrate its commitment to important topics affecting us in the work-sphere, from the micro to the macro.
By keeping it real, using real people, experiences, and authentic voices, we can help create stories that are as unique and honest as powerful and thought-provoking.
If you need help telling your story or want further information, please get in touch with our Employer Brand Advisory team.