By Hannah Moyo, Head of Consulting UK, The Storytellers
‘Freedom Day’ saw the most significant easing of COVID-related measures in England since the pandemic began. But despite this, many organisations will remain working remotely or in a hybrid way. In May, 50 of the biggest UK organisations, employing 1.1 million of the UK workforce, confirmed long term plans for a blend of home and office working while staff at The Bank of England will only be going to the office now for one day a week.
Hybrid working brings many obvious benefits to business and employees, from reduced travel – which also has environmental advantages – to less expenditure on office rent. On the flipside, remote workers can be left feeling disconnected from the business if engagement and communications is poor between organisation and workforce.
Following more than a year of intensive, monotonous, and often exhausting Zoom and Teams meetings (Zoom fatigue is a real thing), people want more. So, how can companies reap the rewards of hybrid working while communicating to virtual teams in a more meaningful way? Whether it’s a business update, to share a global vision or a new strategy, how do leaders do this in a way that inspires and energises scattered teams to collectively drive change?
Having to attend online company events may have become a regular thing for employees since the start of the pandemic – but humans are social animals. Interacting as a group or a ‘tribe’ is a fundamental need for our sense of wellbeing, and to help us to make sense of the world and what is going on around us. Emotional connection is more important than ever with showing that 56% of people value togetherness more than before lockdown.
This is where blending storytelling, with the latest in live virtual event technology comes in to its own. Unleashing the power of your company’s story can unite workforces through a common connection, shift mindsets and accelerate change. Adding further elements such as CGI and interactive technology into the mix takes story-driven change to another level, ensuring that brand messages get cut through, immersing entire workforces into the culture and building a community that’s taken together on the company’s journey. So how do you exactly do this?
- Create a strong narrative
In an age of endless online meetings and presentations, sharing your company vision, strategy, plans etc. as a live ‘story’ through virtual conferencing will energise your audience. It will capture attention, imagination and influence how employees think, feel and act. Using story driven content will propel the audience so they become part of the narrative – the company’s bigger picture – in an interactive way, showing them how they can make a difference and help cement their buy-in.
A clear, simple, and emotionally compelling narrative that describes, honestly and credibly, what you are trying to achieve or communicate is all you need. Thread this story throughout via crafted bespoke content that is relevant to your businesses’ communications.
- A live TV production
Think of your virtual event as a live TV production. It needs to be slick, compelling and entertaining, and by the end the audience needs to have felt something. There is an art to online performance –and the key lies in quality production. Value a strong production team –allow them to help guide on the best technical solution for the experience you want to create and trust in them to deliver a seamless production on the day.
As with live events, virtual events need navigation; a pilot who will take people from start to finish, knows the rhythm of the event and is sensitive to its highs and lows. Skilled navigation ensures all the disparate messages delivered are positioned meaningfully within the context of the business story and, crucially, ensures that the event creates a dialogue with the audience. The information must flow both ways, from screen to the audience and from the audience back to the screen.
Inspiring your people in this new hybrid workplace, where employees can be working in isolation at times, is more important than ever. And by being creative, compelling and captivating with the delivery of your message through story driven content will soon move your people to do great things.
About Hannah Moyo
Hannah Moyo is Head of Consulting UK at The Storytellers, a storytelling and business transformation specialist.
Hannah holds a wealth of experience in working with large, complex organisations, helping them to navigate through times of uncertainty and accelerate key performance metrics.
Hannah has always been inspired to help organisations adopt new technologies, unlock new ways of working and motivate people to champion change, and wholeheartedly believes that connecting people rationally and emotionally to the journey is the way to drive results.
As Head of Consulting UK at The Storytellers, Hannah is committed to truly understanding clients’ needs and working with the interdisciplinary team to tailor impactful programmes, with unique, story-driven change methodology at the centre.