When you are concerned with how best to train new hires in the values and mission of your organization, and the best practice of their jobs, you may be stymied by the question of abstraction. How does one convey mission-critical concepts and experiential knowledge in a way that makes them real for employees? For example, how do you communicate in concrete terms, as one of our clients needed to do, the slogan, “Give every customer a WOW experience”? Storytelling for onboarding is a unique solution to this common business challenge.

Knowledge Story from Narativ offers a fresh take on training, onboarding, and knowledge management by harnessing the power of storytelling to make information engaging, relatable, and seriously sticky.
Impart crucial skills, core competencies, and mission-critical information quickly and creatively

Storytelling for Onboarding Begins with Listening

The Knowledge Story process starts with a visit to your office for a listening-assessment session, where we identify pain-points and training objectives and locate the knowledge-holders who will provide content. Excavation of that content and story-crafting follow in intensive, interview-like sessions. In some cases use group storytelling to catalyze insights not found in one-on-one interviews. The stories and information these sessions produce give shape to the training modules and courseware, which features recorded episodes either on audio or video, built around stories told by employees or management. After taking the training, employees workshop their own stories, from which their own personal connection to mission, values, and best practices emerges. Often these stories are reabsorbed into future modules, which keeps the training fresh and up-to-date.

A natural cycle of information exchange

The process at the heart of Knowledge Story marries well with the natural cycle of information flow within an organization. This begins with individual experiential knowledge which then flows to peers and eventually a wider knowledge pool, shaping and influencing a company’s culture. Eventually, new ideas and experiences need to be extracted from the culture and shared with new hires.

the knowledge story cycle

Use Knowledge Story to Unearth
Critical Information

Knowledge Story is particularly well-suited to uncovering unarticulated or tacit knowledge because the storytelling process naturally unearths information hidden in experience. That such buried treasure exists should surprise no one, but the ability to identify and capture it in large organizations is a known challenge. The investigative and iterative process of story collection familiarizes participants with each other’s experience, whether as colleagues or in the interviewer-knowledge holder setting, and fresh insights more easily emerge. Our work with Measure for Justices serves as an example. (See below.)

Other benefits of storytelling for onboarding include

• 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 knowledge-sharing workshops

• iterate training based on emergent information

• transform data-heavy presentations into relatable, memorable story-content

The Measures for Justice Case Study

“I took more out of it than I ever have with a training before. It was genuine and honest, easy listening—I liked the conversation back and forth—and it made me feel more confident.”

Jennie Brooks, Regional Data Outreach Manager, Measures for Justice

“The training modules ended up being so much more than stories, but lessons learned, which were so necessary. We ended up with a tool that we will use for many years to come, every time we bring on a new outreach person.”

Caroline Nobo-Sarnoff, Assistant Director of Data Outreach, Measures for Justice

With Measures for Justice, we demonstrated the viability of our courseware based around podcasts to not only provide instructional training content in story form, but to successfully unearth insights that may lay even closer to the intent of the training.


In summary, the use of Knowledge Story to deliver training content, and share knowledge systematically, is ultimately about giving access to the flow of information that fuels business objectives. In that, stories presented through podcasts make a stark contrast to the rote use of white papers, handbooks, written case studies, and canned training videos. They are intimate and personal. The listening is deeper and creates a connection. For administrators, podcasts are easily distributed and updated, allowing episodic or singular instances of content delivery. User engagement is tracked through the browser, and in the near future, through a proprietary Narativ app, a solution that offers greater analytics and integration of your training goals.

Ready to talk about storytelling and onboarding for your organization?

Jerome Deroy, CEO

Schedule a 15 minute consultation