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Engaging employees through story

Extract: A bus driver taking a group of elderly citizens on an outing was amazed at how well they treated him. They regularly offered him peanuts to eat during the journey – his favourite.
As he dropped them off after the outing, he said, “That was uncommonly good treatment. Thank you”
“Oh, absolutely no trouble” a spokesperson replied, “You see, most of us have false teeth. We can only suck the chocolate off our chocolate-coated peanuts, and then it’s such a pity just to throw them away”.
Keys are not big things, yet a small key can open a big lock. In the same way a story that takes just a minute to tell can stimulate a big, facilitated conversation. The stories we tell include ‘it happened’ (challenges, successes and failures in actual organisations) stories, and fictional tales.
The peanut story has for example opened up discussion of questions amongst service providers in an organisation, covering questions such as:
• Are we satisfying our customers deeply or only on the surface?
• Does our product have enough added value?
• Is our work a means to an end and about the pay packet rather than about
a passionate involvement in something truly worthwhile?
• What are our true motives for providing customer service?

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