4 Ways to Use Storytelling to Provide a Better Training Experience


employee training program

According to a study by the Aberdeen group, 86% of new employees decide to continue with or leave the company within the first 6 months of joining. In fact, if they find the new employee training to be a positive experience, they’re 69% more likely to stay for 3 years or more.

 

Stories trigger imagination, grab your attention, stir up emotions and make you think. They also make it easier to remember the facts, something essential for the success of every training program.

 

So how can we use storytelling in microlearning and corporate training?

 

Here are 4 training categories where you can use storytelling to deliver maximum impact

 

1. During New Employee Onboarding

New employees join an organization with a lot of hope and ambition. They not only want to develop new skills and excel at their careers but also be a part of a great organization. And stories are the best way to make them feel like they’re a part of something big.

 

Typically new hires are made to sit through long presentations and videos about company background, culture, mission, and values. This can be humdrum and cause new hires to turn off quickly.

 

Instead, tell them a story of how your organization started – how the founders got the idea to start the business, how they acquired their first customers, what challenges your company faced and how it overcame them, and how your organization grew to what it is today.

 

To make things more interesting, you can show a simple photo slideshow as you narrate the story. Also, include interesting anecdotes and funny incidents to keep the mood enjoyable.

2. During application training

Every employee has to use a bunch of productivity tools and applications to get more things done, faster. However, their training can be quite monotonous. Generally, application training involves reading documentation, creating demos and simulations. There’s hardly any human aspect to it.

 

Provide a brief background of why you needed to build the application in the first place, who built it and how. This will add a rich history to your applications and engage your audience. For example, one of the applications I used when I was a new joinee, was developed by our CEO over the Christmas Holidays.I still remember the story after all these years.

 

Also, present additional documents, audio-visuals and other media that will add an enticing context to your training. This will make it easier for the learners to understand why they need to absorb what they’re being taught as well as why things are being done this way.

3. For soft-skills

With the emergence of online collaboration and distributed workforce, soft skills have become more important than ever. It’s not enough to be knowledgeable and hard working, it’s essential to be able to clearly communicate your work, its challenges and solutions to your team.

 

While training about soft-skills new hires are often told about communication frameworks (such as the Pyramid principle, 7S Framework) and best practices to be able to draft better emails, presentations, proposals and improve their communication during team meetings.

 

However, it’s also a great opportunity to teach learners how to incorporate storytelling elements into their verbal and written communication. This not only helps add more context to their communication but also makes the information more palatable.

 

For example, if your boss enquires about an issue, in addition to describing what happened and what you’ve done to fix it, you can also add a couple of lines narrating what caused it and who all have worked to resolve it. This will add more context to your communication and reduce any follow up questions.

4. During Product Training

Training customers about your product involves giving them a demo of your key features, and walking them through the various uses cases, that fit their requirements. However, this can be quite information-heavy and difficult to remember.

 

As a result, most customers won’t remember the lengthy list of features that your product offers, and when time comes, they won’t be able to find what they’re looking for or use a certain feature properly. In the end, they’ll conclude that your product doesn’t meet their requirements and switch to your competitor.

 

Instead, when you demonstrate your product or a specific feature, start with a story about an actual customer – who they are, what problem they were facing, how your product helped solve it, how they use it, how they benefit from it. You can also narrate it from an imaginary customer’s point of view, to help drive home the point.

 

This will make it easier for your prospects & customers to remember the feature & its benefits, and understand how to use it. It will ensure that more prospects turn to customers, your new customers are happy with your product and your old customers stick around longer.

 

Wrapping up

Storytelling is an effective way to make your training programs more effective, and get people to easily remember your company’s products, policies and procedures. The key is to keep your stories short and relevant. Your customers & employees will not only be impressed by your training programs but also look forward to it in future.

About Sreeram Sreenivasan

Sreeram Sreenivasan has worked with various Fortune 500 Companies in areas of Business Growth, Sales & Marketing Strategy. He’s the Founder of Ubiq BI, a cloud-based BI Platform for SMBs & Enterprises.