Use Real Employee Stories to Boost Engagement

HR employee benefits communications consultants

Use Real Employee Stories to Boost Engagement

We are hard-wired for connection. It’s why we watch “This Is Us.” Why we read “Eat. Pray. Love.” Why we all know the lyrics to “My Heart Will Go On.” We learn about ourselves and our world by hearing other human stories told back to us.

Something strange happens, however, when we sit down to prepare communications for employees. We go from our hearts to our heads – focusing only on the facts and tasks at hand – forgetting that we do these things with the hopes of improving employees’ lives.

Infusing your corporate communications with a little human personality is a lot easier than you might think. Here’s how we help our clients humanize their communications to really connect with employees:

  • Highlight real stories. Employees love to see themselves and their co-workers featured in your communications. Using real photos of your employees and telling their stories makes your benefits real. What resonates more?
    • “When my son, Andrew, needed glasses, the HSA was there to help,” or
    • “Choosing the right benefits for your family is important.”
  • Lead with the human impact. Headlines like the personalized one above focus on the human impact first. You still need to follow up with the proper calls to action and reminders about deadlines, but you need to start the conversation on a more relatable note. Start human and find your way to the nitty-gritty administrative details from there.
  • Create “personas.” Personas are a great compromise if you don’t have the budget or bandwidth to capture professional images and collect real employee stories. Personas can help you humanize benefits scenarios by telling stories of imagined employees and the ways they use their benefits to support themselves and their families. By imagining themselves in the experience of these personas, employees can begin to see how their own lives might be impacted by one benefits choice versus another.

Show your employees that your benefits have real value by telling them how their plans have benefited the people they know. Storytelling helps employees see beyond the abstract impact of their benefits choices. This creates engagement, curiosity, and a sense of possibility.

After all, if your co-worker is smart enough to figure out their benefits, then maybe you can too.


We help companies create and implement meaningful communications strategies that elevate important opportunities, programs and benefits that create best-in-class employee experiences. Contact us to learn more.