Boosting engagement? Start with storytelling and challenges


by GoodUp Info

Get ready for part two of our engagement series! Read our tips on how to boost engagement numbers for your employee engagement -, volunteering – or giving programme.

Our Engagement experts Amber, Anne Jet and Marleen (see photo) sat down to share their most insightful learnings from working with our customers. In this blog, we’ll share some engagement tips on storytelling, challenges and ambassadors.

Storytelling matters

“Everybody loves a good story”. That’s so true. And it is highly relevant for your Engagement! Stories stick with us, much more than just buzzwords, hollow phrases or stats without any feeling to it. You might know this, but we strongly feel that this concept is often neglected in practice. How many stories did you send out last year about the results of your programme? Did you write about how it impacted peoples lives?

Creating ‘I could do this too’-vibes

Sharing stories helps people to realise that ‘if they can do it, I can too’. If you see that your direct colleague just started a project for a cause that he or she is really passionate about, it might get you thinking: “what is it that I care about? And why shouldn’t I start acting on it? I’ve got time and resources available via my job… this actually is a great opportunity!”

Word of Mouth is still very important in our digital age. No matter how well you’re constructing and spreading your marketing message, you’ll never be able to be a discussion topic at the lunch table if you don’t have any cool stories out there.

Make them proud

Motivate your people to tell their stories. Give them a stage. Interview them. Get a photographer in to create some nice photos to go along with the interviews. Make participants proud. This will encourage them to share their stories even more.

Need some inspiration? Learn how Deloitte showcases one of their projects. Or see how Accenture shares their stories. Both are perfect examples of storytelling done right!

Challenges boost engagement

Besides stories… We all love to win! If you turn something into a competition, whether it’s the dishes or letting your kids clean up their rooms… gaming gets us excited and motivated. Take advantage of this evolutionary magic!

So how might this benefit your programme? When engagement is low, and you want people to be more involved with the programme, you could come up with a challenge. A contest. Think of a specific topic or purpose theme that is key for your programme. Ask your people to come up with great ideas to create positive impact that contributes to your programme.

Simple, short, specific

Keep things fun and easy to join. Use as little information as possible, be very specific. Make it very interactive, have people share updates and let them score the ideas of others. Set a fixed time period for the challenge, to keep everyone involved and active.

Shell did an amazing challenge last year, providing their people with the opportunity to come up with ideas to support NGOs. Employees were highly motivated and continued working on the projects after the challenge ended.

Find your ambassadors

When you’re running a programme, you know: it truly is hard work. The good news is: you don’t have to do it all by yourself! Contributing to a better world is something that many people feel attracted to. However, for most people, it is not included in their job descriptions. Therefore, many people might not spend so much time on your programme.

However, there always are a few people that are very supportive of your work and of the programme. Cherish those people, reward them and turn them into true role models. They are your ambassadors!

Ambassadors will support you in getting the job done

When launching an ambassadors programme, start by looking for those who are already (silently) there. Keep your eyes open for those who are already a fan of your programme. Some might be shy, or just need an incentive to become more active. Sit down, discuss how they want to contribute to the programme and provide them with the necessary resources. Enable them to work their magic! This will make your job so much easier, and obviously; it will greatly benefit the programme, resulting in better results and higher engagement.

Next to that, your ambassadors will be able to practice their skills and work on their personal development outside of their daily jobs. It’s an absolute win-win situation.

Stay tuned for our next blog on boosting engagement, where we’ll discuss how to nurture the relationships with people that are already engaged. And in the meantime, do let us know which tip you liked best!