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How Storytelling Can Build Employee Knowledge

18th May 2018
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Employee training initiatives have grown more important than ever before, and millions of business owners, savvy entrepreneurs, and cunning managers have begun investing more into employee-boosting initiatives aimed at bolstering the knowledge held by their labor force. Countless business owners and HR departments large and small are still making simple, easy-to-avoid mistakes, however, starting with the fact that too few of them are relying on storytelling to build their employee’s knowledge while preparing them for the future.

Here's how you can harness the power of storytelling while training your workers, and why distinct narratives with powerful heroes and villains are so alluring to the human psyche when it comes to learning new information.

Humans have always told stories

If there’s one great struggle that necessarily comes with employee training efforts, it’s getting your workers to be engaged during the training process. The human mind loves to wander, and even the most dedicated of us has to admit that we’ve had our trains of thought drift aimlessly during a lecture when we should have been paying attention. That’s why storytelling initiatives are so powerful when it comes to boosting the skills of knowledge possessed by your employees; riveting tales capture us on the edge of our seats, and demand our attention from start to finish. Thus, by integrating carefully woven stories into your training endeavors, you can assure you’ll hold the attention of your rapt audience.

This should come as no surprise; telling stories is, well, a tale as old as time, and human beings have always sated their curiosity by weaving complex tales. For fun and for professional pursuits alike, storytelling is a classic staple of human evolution, having existed since before written communication. This doesn’t mean that you’re relying on outdated techniques, but rather that you’re tapping into one of the essential parts of the human spirit that makes us unique.

If you’re worried we’re getting too old-school, think again; though we may have begun telling stories to ourselves in caves with hieroglyphics and grunts, storytelling has kept pace with humanity throughout our dizzying technological evolution, and digital tech now allows us to tell stories in exciting new ways. Explore some of the ways that recent technical innovations have enabled us to capture storytelling in a new light, and you’ll come to appreciate the power of tech insofar as it can boost your employee training efforts.

Relying on an e-learning platform, for instance, can have seriously positive results for your employee knowledge boosting initiatives. Companies across the world are relying on digital platforms to school their employees in the exciting new skills they’ll need to thrive in a digital economy, and those business managers and bosses which learn to weave storytelling elements into their online training programs will be pleased by the results they get. It’s important not to lose the forest for the trees, however; when it comes to enhancing your employee’s knowledge, you always want to make sure you’re hitting your bottom line, and that your training initiatives are impactful. So, how should you measure progress?

Storytelling with engage your employees

More so than anything else, storytelling will build your employee’s knowledge by making them more engaged during training periods, especially if it’s a difficult subject like calculus tutoring, which you can measure by soliciting feedback from them after having introduced a new training regime. A story-filled learning experience is likely to resonate with your human capital on a much deeper level than traditional lecturing will, and by pairing up workers up though mentorship programs, you can help them spawn cooperative stories for themselves, too. Always remember that good intentions meant to boost the potential of your workers is at the heart of any successful training program.

Academic research has demonstrated that storytelling helps simplify and enhance the results of training initiatives, but you can’t just bandy narratives about in the aimless pursuit of success. If you don’t master meaningful storytelling, which necessitates making a tale relatable to the audience that’s hearing it, you won’t have much success relaying important info down the line to your everyday workers. Well-done storytelling helps contribute to a group’s culture, so don’t be afraid to employ storytelling to boost worker cohesiveness, but understand that you’ll need savvy storytellers in order to succeed.

Stories are intimately familiar to all of us; we grow up with them surrounding us, and in many senses, stories are an inescapable part of contemporary society. Start harnessing the power of storytelling to boost your employee’s knowledge, then, and you’re sure to be impressed and pleased by the results. Understand that stories can only help us along our journeys, however, and they you need skilled and careful storytellers to succeed; rushing the process could spell out disaster for you. A calm, measured, and story-centric approach to training will doubtlessly pay off, however, and imbue your workers with the skills they need to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

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