Storytelling for Employee Onboarding

Humanize the process. Transform your culture.

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Make or Break

Master the “Make or Break” Moment with Story

Your employee onboarding process can make or break the relationship new hires form with your company. Stories create a warm and engaging welcome into your company’s culture as part of orientation and compliance. It’s the difference between, “Welcome and here is your desk” and “Let me tell you a little bit about why we do what we do, and how you can succeed.”

Why Story? Why Now?


Stories are tangible, emotional, and easy to recollect and apply.

Humanizing Effect

Stories are about people, what they do, why they do it, and what they’ve learned on the job.


Stories build trust and ownership and create transparency.

What Our Customers Are Saying

…about integrating storytelling into their onboarding or training program:

“Instead of having to go in right away with no background about what to expect, people are far more prepared for that first meeting. The other impact has been performing at a higher level.”

“It cuts down on the learning curve.” (6 months to 6 weeks in this case)

“The program helps to avoid common mistakes made in the first month.”

“Narativ helped us create a sense of belonging and ownership from our employees within the first week.”

“It builds relationships and supports teamwork.”

“The whole thing Integrates seamlessly with existing onboarding strategies and platforms.”

Narativ’s Onboarding Program

For more than 20 years, our clients have been creating stronger cultures and supporting initiatives through listening and storytelling. We find the stories that matter most and turn them into fascinating learning content through video production and learning content development.

The end result can be housed in your own LMS or in Narativ’s Story Library which offers a lightweight CMS to categorize, interrelate, and search stories.

Our program is delivered over 6 phases that include:

  • Discovery
  • Workshops
  • Coaching
  • Production
  • LMS deliverables
  • Impact measurement.
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Story Enhances Learning Content

When used in onboarding, Narativ’s method:

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Brings key ideas to life with memorable moments and relatable experiences

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Accelerates understanding, retention, and time to performance

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Surfaces new or hidden knowledge from existing employees

Scales mentorship

Scales mentorship through personal stories of leaders or managers

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Creates a repository for organizational memory

Client Profile: Measures for Justice

Our work with Measure for Justice demonstrates how one mentor’s stories were used to train a cohort of new hires.

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Learn how to use the power of stories to train new hires.

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything we do begins with listening. That is our approach to a Discovery phase, the beginning of our process. Listening is especially important when it comes to storytelling because company narratives come in two flavors: established, “branded” stories; and stories that live within the current moment and reflect change and growth. Those need to be “listened out,” crafted and integrated.

In addition to listening, storytelling coaching is key to our process. We collaborate with you to identify people that will be telling stories for onboarding and coach them in finding, crafting and presenting their stories. Stories from their peers are what make for an entirely more engaging and responsive onboarding experience from the new hire’s perspective. See the entire process in our One Sheet.

We understand employee engagement as essentially a process of assimilating values through storytelling. This is nothing more than harnessing a human being’s innate receptivity to storytelling as a means to imagine and imprint your culture in the hearts and minds of new hires.

When employees live by the values of the organization, they feel a sense of belonging and like their voice matters. By seeing their role through the stories of people who’ve been in their shoes, they remember and integrate key knowledge while being empowered to bring their own life and work experiences to the job. Our onboarding program doesn’t only give tools to be better prepared for one’s new job, it boosts people’s confidence by highlighting the importance of their own story. When we are actively engaged in the crafting of our own story, we are shaping how we want to express ourselves, rather than being spoken for by others. This gives new hires a sense of agency that in turn creates a higher level of engagement. 

An example is best. At Measures for Justice, field workers seeking criminal justice data often face challenging interactions with the local police chiefs, attorney generals, or law clerks. There was no way to prepare them for these spontaneous and unpredictable encounters except for shadowing a seasoned employee. 

When we collected stories from that employee and new hires listened to those, they had a measurable improvement in their confidence to meet those challenges—before event setting out the door! An additional benefit was training time and expense were greatly reduced with the removal of in-person shadowing (necessitating extensive travel and attendant expenses). 

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Turn your employees into storytellers capable of transforming your organization!