I always find it interesting to hear the story of a business. Who started the business, how it was started and why, as well as what happened along the way. Often times, when I am visiting the same business I will make a point of asking a different employee about the story of the business and am surprised at how much each version I hear differs from ones I have heard before.
While you tell your employees, managers, etc. the story of your business when they first join the company, you don’t always have the time to keep track of what the story has morphed into through the telling process and the passage of time. It’s important to remember, too, that what you said is not necessarily what the person heard. The brain is very clever about shifting things around. Just because someone has been told something doesn’t mean that they remember it in the way it was told to them. As George Bernard Shaw said,
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place”
There are a few things we can do to help staff members remember the story correctly. The easiest one is to start by putting the story in writing and making it part of the employee manual. If you don’t have an employee manual then start one using that as the first page.
Another method that works well is having different staff members tell the story of the company and its owners, as well as what the vision and goals of the company are, at staff meetings, so you know everyone is on the right track. If there are any discrepancies in the telling of the story you have the chance to correct them with everyone present.
It’s important to make sure the stories of your business are being told consistently.
A tip of the glass from me to you!
Next Week: Telling Your Story To Connect