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Three stories your wellbeing network should be telling 

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Three stories your wellbeing network should be telling 

As part of a group, network or ERG that champions wellbeing and mental health you want to make a positive difference. But the commendable goal of keeping these critical topics high on the agenda is not being met. People don’t know what your network does or why they do it. So, how can you help to fix it?

Communication alone won’t make your staff network a success, but without it, your group’s efforts remain unheard and undervalued, as opportunities to promote your network’s activities are missed. Worse still, you risk losing leadership and financial backing from senior teams who can end up thinking it’s all a waste of time, money, and effort.

Want people to understand and remember your key messages? Tie them to a story and you’ll make them 22 times more memorable. 

Wish people would get involved and be moved into action? Around 98% of the decisions we make are based purely on emotion.

This is why a considered and compelling story-sharing strategy is vital when it comes to amplifying your wellbeing network’s aims, activities and achievements.


Remember that stories work when they: A considered and compelling story-sharing strategy should be a vital part of your planning process.

  • Are honest, meaningful, aspirational and emotive
  • Contain a common purpose
  • Are told by real people, genuinely and truthfully
  • Enable a personal connection to be made
  • Invite people to take ownership of the problem
  • Visualise an end goal and feature an aspirational message

To energise your existing network members and increase engagement with the rest of the organisation, consider how you can create and share a frequent flow of stories like these:


1.     The ‘purpose’ stories Articulate why your network exists and share the ambitions of your group.

These stories help to articulate why your network exists and the ambitions of your group. You should be regularly reviewing your objectives to ensure they remain relevant and talking about them frequently to help the rest of the organisation understand your current priorities, as well as how you plan to achieve them. Through these stories you can also promote the people responsible for each of your objectives and why that particular priority matters to them. Help others make an emotional connection with your cause by personalising the priorities. Claim that credibility by including and amplifying voices from leaders talking about how these objectives support business performance and the broader corporate strategy.

Feature the humans that sit behind the headlines.


2.     The ‘lived experience’ stories

While you’re talking regularly about the key priorities and objectives of your network, share the stories behind these topics and themes to feature the humans that sit behind the headlines. Help people understand the depth and breadth of the issues you exist to tackle. Demonstrate how the organisation has helped people to be considered and cared for as valued employees and as unique individuals when they’ve needed it most. Link peoples’ personal challenges and struggles directly to the help and support that your network has been responsible for supplying.


3.     The ‘impact’ stories

Focus on spotlighting your achievements in fresh and creative ways. You might want to create an annual ‘impact report’ to present the data alongside your stories in a digestible and visually appealing format. Bolster your stories by including your own survey results, focus group and workshop insight, and anecdotal feedback, as well as data from your EAP and other external support providers. Talk about how your network’s actions uphold the organisation’s vision and each of its values to link in with the bigger picture. Feature messages that help others to feel a sense of collective responsibility for maintaining the momentum that your stories are building.

Spotlight your successes and achievements in fresh and creative ways.


Remain future-focussed

Your stories, told by your network should ensure that employee voices always:

  • Help the business understand what colleagues need to thrive in a fit and healthy workplace that promotes diversity of thought and perspective and that contributes to collective and creative development and problem-solving.
  • Keep on top of big topics when it comes to tackling common challenges like staying active, managing stress and burnout and cultivating a healthy mindset.
  • Shape your storytelling strategy to help enhance employee engagement and belonging, and the morale of your diverse and demanding workforce.
  • Use the collective experiences of your network’s members to provide invaluable guidance on wellbeing policies and new ideas for initiatives and programmes that people actually want to take part in.


You’re not alone…

If you haven’t already done so, make friends with your internal communications team to enlist their expertise in helping to make your stories relatable and relevant and help your network members to polish up their comms skills.

And if you want to chat with us about how we help to shape and amplify your narrative too, get in touch with the team at Alive and we’ll be happy to chat it through.


By Caroline Roodhouse for Alive

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