Stories to Instill Pride in New Employees

During my PhD program, I tried to latch onto the term “organizational entry” to describe, in part, my field of research. Organizational entry is the term used in academia to cover there activities surrounding bringing new employees into an organization. Though the term is much more commonly applied to what happens after employees are hired, it also refers to the actually hiring process. (Job search, recruiting, and hiring don’t get an enormous amount of attention in academic research, though.)

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All that is a long-winded intro to my observation that organizational people in the real world don’t, as far as I can tell, use the term “organizational entry;” instead, they use “onboarding.” It’s a perfectly decent term, but I like the descriptiveness of “organizational entry.”

Writing on ERE.net, David Lee yesterday offered 5 Kinds of Stories to Tell During Onboarding. His thesis is that helping new employees develop pride in working for your organization is the most important message you can convey to them. Happily, Lee prescribes stories as the best way to convey that message and suggests five themes:

  1. What makes your product or service great.
  2. How your product or service has made a difference in the lives or businesses of your customers.
  3. The good things your organization does in your local community, or for the world community.
  4. Examples of employees performing at elite levels, such as providing over-the-top customer service that blows your customers away.
  5. How your organization is run with integrity, respect for its people, and competence.

These, of course, are important story themes for organizations to think about in several contexts, including branding and advertising. As Lee suggests later in the article, you can also use these types of stories to attract talent to your organization.

Lee also details how organizations can find and develop stories for these purposes:

  1. Collect stories from employees at all levels, about Moments of Truth that illustrate why they are proud to work in your organization.
  2. Collect and catalog these stories in a database. Note what message they communicate, what value they personify, and use these as searchable keywords in your database. That way, you can easily locate what stories communicate the specific message you want to communicate.
  3. Start including these stories in your new employee orientation program, but don’t stop there. Include them also on your recruiting site, have your recruiters share them at job fairs, and include them in your hiring interviews.