Telling the story
A worthwhile session has the right talking points.
- Overall, your founder should highlight a few main points to keep it concise. Sora’s Co-Founder and CEO, Laura, does a great job with this. She splits it into “chapters” for a flow that makes sense.
- They can start by explaining why the product exists and how it came about with an origin story. What problem did they create the product to solve, and what did the first iteration look like?
- Have them talk about how the brand was created. Recap the process of choosing the name of the company, the logo, and color scheme - it’s fun for new hires to learn this!
- It’s great for them to share how the company and product have evolved over time. They should be open about any struggles, pivots, or successes along the way. Transparency from your founder will resonate well with your new hires and reflect an open workplace. We can’t make progress without learning lessons along the way.
- They should wrap up with the last “chapter” on where the company is now. They can bring it all together and highlight the current state of the company, where it fits in the market, and how your customers view it present day. They need to paint a clear picture so your new hires understand the audience and how they’ve adopted the product thus far.
- Make sure they make time for Q&A at the end (or between each topic) so everyone can feel seen and heard. You want them to understand the mission and vision and get involved in the story.
Prepping the session
Nail the logistics, so you have one less thing to worry about.
- Group new hires into classes to stay mindful of your founder’s limited time. Hold a session for each class once a month, and get an invite on everyone’s calendars as soon as possible.
- Add the event to the new-hire agenda you send out in advance. Be sure to let them know it’s a casual storytelling session and the founder is excited to share with them. Give your new hires something fun to look forward to!
Make sure the story lives on beyond the session.
- Record the call for reference and reach out to each new hire class after the session to get their thoughts on how it went. Relay their feedback to your founder so they have an idea of how their message is resonating and can adjust for the next one, if needed.
- Document a shortened version of the story in your company’s wiki and make it accessible to everyone. Beyond new hires, your sales teams could benefit from sharing the story with potential customers!
Don’t underestimate how powerful it is to share the company history during the new-hire onboarding journey. It’s an easy way to boost buy-in from employees who need to connect the dots around why they’re doing what they were hired to do, and it reflects the humanness of your founder. Go ahead and drive that connection with a great storytelling session from the person (or people) who started it all.