Before we get in depth about how to use motivational stories for better employee engagement let’s first analyze what a motivational story is, how to write one and what employee engagement is.
What is a motivational story?
Motivational or inspirational stories are stories of hope, promise and encouragement. They arouse emotion in the reader, and they build a strong connection between reader and writer. The main goal of a motivational story is to inspire the reader with an emotion of positivity. Whether that be a sudden sense of inspiration, or hope in a desperate situation. Motivational stories can be written in different forms, and writing one is not a very difficult task.
How to write a motivational story
- You need to use emotion in your story. Motivational stories are supposed to present personal details from someone’s life. By definition, they are full of emotions, some of them sad, some of them funny. Do not deemphasize the main character’s struggles or triumphs.
- Your stories need to be real. Motivational stories inspire the reader, because they are not some work of fiction created in the mind of a fiction writer. They inspire, because they prove that change can happen and hope does exist. These emotions will be transferred to the reader only if they story they are reading is real. Do not try to rise the fantasy of your story by adding fake or unknown elements. These may get the reader to think that the story is false, disconnecting them from the point of the story.
- Write a story that has a point. Motivational stories need to have a basic plot and follow a person who endures hardship but comes out of it admirably. This plot can usually be a lesson or concept that gives hope to the audience. If the triumph of the hero comes from irrelevant events, there is no connection. For example, think about a man who lost his child but later won the lottery. Those events do not connect, because even though the man now has a lot of money, he has lost his child, something invaluable. This does not represent a motivational story. A story that would be motivational could involve a man who lost his child but finally managed to have a second child after years of his wife’s frutlessness. As you can see at the second example there is hope, and a triumph.
- Talk with relevant persons of the story for details. Completing the story with details you made up is a really bad idea, but talking to people who actually endured the story and discovering details from them will give credibility to your story. It will also make it a lot easier to write as you will have more material to get inspired.
What is employee engagement?
There are several definitions of what employee engagement is.
William Kahn said “the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances.”
Schmidt said “an employee’s involvement with, commitment to, and satisfaction with work. Employee engagement is a part of employee retention.”
In plain words employee engagement is the degree of commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals long or short term, and at the same time feeling good and not forced to do things.
For example, an employee with a high degree of employee engagement will work over hours when needed without being asked by his supervisor, and without asking extra credit for doing that.
How to use motivational stories for employee engagement
As we mentioned above, motivational stories are used in order to inspire people. They also need to be true in order to establish a connection between the writer and the reader.
The best way to use motivational stories for employee engagement is to use real success stories from your own company. Like the founders story that has gone from rugs to riches, or a story from a CEO or an executive that started working at a really low position without having a degree, but after their hard work and dedication to the company they got noticed and promoted to where they are now.
These kind of stories are really great, and they are effective at boosting employee engagement. They give hope and inspire, especially for lower positioned staff. Encouraging them to work harder as they might one day get promoted to a better, and higher paying position. But once again, keep in mind that the stories you will use have to be TRUE.
BIO: Karl Burton is the webmaster and owner of BetterMindBodySoul.com . He believes that having a balance between those three elements can lead to a better quality of life.
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