Onboarding Powered by Storytelling

Train New Hires with Stories from Their Peers

A common concern of the Human Resources and Learning Officers we speak with is inefficiencies in the onboarding process that can leave employees less prepared for their jobs and under-engaged. They are well-aware that a lack of engagement can lead to lost productivity, costly mistakes, and low degree of assimilation of the values and mission of the organization. Plus, this can create higher turnover. Consistently, we hear a wish for an onboarding process that makes information more palpable, that reduces the learning curve, and that enhances the sense of belonging from day one.

Stories Increase Employee Engagement

Narativ brings 20 years of listening and storytelling to bear on these critical issues in training. Storytelling has a unique ability to make training content personally relevant for your new hires. When they listen to the stories of managers and their peers, they asborb information in an “as if they were there” mode, which is the nature of how stories enter the brain. Stories provide a powerful means to turn concepts and abstract ideas into concrete, relatable teaching moments. Culture and values, too, are vividly portrayed through stories, which bolster the impact of information presented in other formats.

Applications of Storytelling in Onboarding

  • show values in action
  • tell the origin story of the organization
  • show “how-to” do role-related tasks
  • create a sense of belonging
  • increase assimilation by having new hires tell their own stories

Our skills as story-excavators and interviewers allow us to identify the stories that will best support your learning goals. In the end, stories scale knowledge. They are a proxy for mentorship in growing teams and organizations, reaching many on a personal level when training budgets or HR teams are small yet facing the wonderful challenge of rapid growth.

Benefits of Storytelling in the Onboarding Process

• put knowledge-seekers (listeners) in a reciprocal dialogue with knowledge-originators (storytellers)
• discover useful connections between seemingly unrelated knowledge assets
• replace costly and time-consuming workshops and reduce travel expenses
• transform data-heavy presentations into relatable, memorable story content
• build relationships from day one

Case Story Video

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



a Case Story