“Over 71 thousand audiobook titles (were) published in 2020, a 39% growth between previous years”- Statista

“73% of the U.S. 12+ population (an estimated 209 million people) have listened to online audio in the last month, up from 68% in 2021”- Edison Research

“Narrative presentation of corporate strategy, comparative advantage, is more effective at producing a consistent and confident choice of competitive advantage among an audience than a presentation of corporate strategy using a PowerPoint style, bulleted list approach”- Journal of Strategy and Management

“64% of Millennials consider a company’s social commitments when taking jobs and will not work for a company if they do not have strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) values”- Cone Communications

“Researchers have shown that storytelling strengthens the connections consumers have to brands, so that to a great extent what a brand means to a consumer is based . . . on the narratives he or she has constructed that incorporate the brand.”- Journal of Business Strategy

“Employees have a deeper affiliation with the message through organizational storytelling due to aligning stories with their own experiences and understanding”- International Journal of Business and Social Science

“19% [of Millennials] say they have paid in the last year for a subscription service for eBooks or audiobooks such as Kindle Unlimited or Audible”- American Press Institute

“There are currently about 1000% more titles published since 2011”- Audio Publishers Association

“Audiobook sales revenue has been on a steep rise since 2018, reaching 1.3 billion USD in 2020”- Statista

“The audiobook market share shifted from 42% digital copy sales in 2009 to 87% digital copy sales in 2017”- Audio Publishers Association

“Maximizing success through onboarding by storytelling during orientations, [helps employees understand] the company's culture and values [and] its goals and history”- Society for Human Resource Management

“Audio narrative has recently benefited from profound cultural shifts in media consumption associated with on-demand television’s binge watching revolution and the advent of digital longform storytelling”- Journal of Radio & Audio Media

“Spoken word audio listening is up 40% in the past seven years, and up 8% year over year”- National Public Radio Organization and Edison Research

“The majority (79%) of Millennials want to work for a company that cares about how it contributes to society and 69% would refuse to work for a company that is not socially responsible”- Journal of Education For Business

“Audiobooks have had a big shift in popularity in 2018 where for the first time, “a full half of all Americans ages 12 and older have listened to an audiobook, up from 44% last year”- Forbes

“There is value in a story that is, designed to drive the simulation and to elicit the [employee’s] best performance”- Society for Human Resource Management

“When it comes to digital storytelling for branding, there is, a more positive attitude towards the company when the employer branding message is using digital storytelling”- Management Dynamic in the Knowledge Economy Journal

“Storytelling is essential to successful branding, since your brand is the sum of all your corporate behaviors and communications that inform your customers’ experiences with your product or company”- The Journal of Business Strategy

“[onboarding] can also aid employees in identifying values congruence which is critical to career contentment and commitment which can significantly impact retention to both the field and the institution long-term” - Journal of Research, Assessment, and Practice in Higher Education

“Stories are a device… [that] provide managers with a form of social and intersubjective interaction that reflects belief systems, role expectations, interpersonal norms and conditions for work behavior”- International Journal of Management

“A focus on social responsibility is particularly important to attract, retain, and increase the commitment and engagement of Millennial employees and talented women”- Center for Creative Leadership

“83% of Millennials would be more loyal to a company that allows them to contribute to social and environmental issues”- Cone Communications

“Employees have a deeper affiliation with the message through organizational storytelling due to aligning stories with their own experiences and understanding”- International Journal of Business and Social Science

“The storytelling process yields positive impacts on internal and external stakeholder outcomes including increasing employees’ thriving and meaningful work, as well as the attitudes and trust of multiple external stakeholders”- Journal of Strategic Marketing

“The most recent era in audio entertainment… users are asserting power over the medium to select particular content at particular times”- Mass Communication and Society Journal

“[the way employees are on-boarded] sets the tone for the culture of a place, the people, and the values of a new institution and can have a significant impact on employees’ sense of belonging”- Journal of Research, Assessment, and Practice in Higher Education

“Brands can bring their CSR (corporate social responsibility) efforts to life through authentic storytelling [and] Millennials want to know what companies are doing to make the world a better place”- Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University

“Corporate storytelling is suggested to help demonstrate the importance of the corporate brand to internal and external stakeholders… as well as help a firm to bond with its employees”- Product & Brand Management

“As technology evolves, people have more options available to them, which may explain why [reports] found younger adults to be more likely to opt for audiobooks and the multi-tasking they enable”- Forbes

“The corporate world cannot ignore the demands and expectations of Millennials, who are devout in their desire to associate with companies aligned with their values”- Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University

“Online audio (podcasts, radio shows, music and audiobooks) has become more popular than ever before”- Publishing Research Quarterly

“116% growth in spoken word listeners 13-34 years old in the past even years, with 18% growth in the last year”- National Public Radio Organization

“Audio platform superiority was about the desire to use an audio platform that is perceived to be superior to other audio alternatives, including on-demand convenience (time and place) and content (vari- ety and uniqueness)”- New Media and Society Journal

“Should produce positive effects on key audiences, such as increasingly positive attitudes toward the company and eventually behavioral intentions to support this company”- Public Relations Review

“Story-telling is an important element… involving the sharing of experiences and creation of mental-maps of the environment in which people are motivated to perform to their full potential”- Leadership and Organization Development Journal

“Storytelling that starts with the persona allows us to tap into these deeper recesses, where the influence of attitudes and emotions is greater… loyalty and trust are found there”- Journal of Business Strategy

Millennials are more technologically advanced than any previous generation [and] survey data has shown a correlation between age and reading preferences [where] younger people listen to more audiobooks than older Americans”- State University of New York

“Three uses for storytelling in organizations: (1) to motivate employees, (2) for education and (3) to consolidate corporate culture”- Journal of Marketing

“Storytelling that integrates a moral and spiritual component can transform an organizational culture so members of the organization begin to feel connected to a larger community and a higher purpose”- Journal of Business Ethics

“A poor cultural fit is frequently cited as one of the main reasons [an employee] decides to leave an organization… defining the organization's culture through storytelling should start with branding of the organization and continue through the interview and onboarding process”- Physician Executive Communication Journal

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Increase Engagement and Reduce Turnover Using Business Audio Theatre


Business Audio Theatre September 14, 2020 20

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When the cement is wet, you can move it with a trowel, but when the cement is hard, you’ll need a jackhammer! No illustration could be more apropos than what happens during the orientation or on-boarding process. When you hire that candidate, their first few days on the job, what they are told, what they learn, and the culture they experience will be way more influential in their future performance, understanding and attitude than anything that is conveyed at a later date.

1st Impressions Last Forever

Why? Because that’s when they are the most impressionable. That’s when they form their judgements about your company, it’s purpose, and the expectations you have about their behavior. That’s when they get the answers to all their questions, spoken or internalized. And that’s when they make assumptions to answer those unasked questions. And those assumptions can be wrong!

They can harbor an inaccurate view of what you think may be obvious. You may not find out for years until suddenly they do something that reveals their misconceptions. Ouch! Suddenly they make a decision that is counterproductive and hurts sales, relationships, or your budget.

Or suddenly, after you just get them up to speed and they finally solidify important relationships with key players, they quit!

The Missing Link

Why didn’t they identify with your company? Why did they leave? We think something was missing in the onboarding process. Sure, they got the manual, went to the training sessions, know where the forms are and who their go-to person is. But something was missing – something important!

What did you give them when “the cement was wet” that gave them a compelling reason to identify with your company? What did you give them that gave them the level of appreciation they need to be loyal, excited, and engaged?

And, remember, people can’t identify unless they can see themselves, their aspirations and their beliefs in what is being presented.

Founders Can’t Be There Forever

Having built a company ourselves from the ground up and having virtually no turnover for the last 7 years, we know from experience that employees have to understand and appreciate what it took to build the company. They need to hear what the founder’s goals were, the challenged they faced, and the ways they overcame them. Employees have to believe that the company they work for is making a difference in the world beyond the mercantile goods and services they provide.

Sure, there are books written about leadership and culture (we even wrote one). There are volumes on team building filled with real gems. But what happens to the company after the founders leave?  What happens after the divisions of labor begin to degenerate into turf wars? What happens when there is no longer anything special about your company and your employees could be happy working anywhere? The answer, unfortunately, is disengagement and turnover.

The Power of Story

During the on-boarding process, new hires are expected to read a ton of stuff. Some of that stuff may even be the company history starting with the founders in a garage. This is all great stuff. …if they will actually read it, retain it and act on it.

One way that will actually get through to your new employees is an onboarding tool that we have made available to founders and their companies to build this identification with your company. We call it Business Audio Theatre. When folks are hired, they are given an MP3 audiobook that chronicles the founder’s goals, challenges and successes. It is presented in a compelling theatrical drama with actors voicing roles in action-packed scenes that recall historical events with outcomes that educate as they entertain. It’s an immersive experience complete with sound effects, interviews, and an original musical score.

The founders are portrayed as people not unlike themselves who have aspirations and setbacks, but who persevere and ultimately create the company and job now enjoyed by so many. Unlike all that written and video material new hires typically receive, this Business Audio Theatre format does not tether them to a screen or a book. They are free to multi-task while they are in their homes or while jogging and commuting. As the critics are saying: “The story comes alive! It’s 3-D audio!”

When They Identify, They Engage

Now your new employee can easily identify with the goals and values of the founders. They feel like they are part of the movement. They want to participate because they identify and appreciate the company! You have just brought the story to life for them in a convenient, compelling and memorable way! Increase engagement and reduce turn-over using Business Audio Theatre! We have done it, and we can help you do it, too!

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