The Stevie Awards Blog

Changing Workplace Behaviors, One Story at a Time

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Wed, Feb 05, 2020 @ 01:18 PM

Workplace cultures and behaviors play a big part in determining employee motivation and performance. Media Partners is a production company committed to helping clients build strong, productive work environments through their engaging training films on challenging topics.

No one likes working with uncivil or downright toxic people, but even the best and happiest organizations have their share of them. Toxic workplace behavior lowers overall productivity and performance, affects loyalty and motivation, and opens up the organization to lawsuits and public defamation. To actually change employee behavior for the better, companies should consider investing in training people skills.

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A recent Harvard Business School study of more than 60,000 employees clearly demonstrated this need for workplace behavior training. It revealed that uncivil behavior in work environments can cost companies millions. Nearly half the employees subjected to incivility “decreased their work effort” and deliberately spent less time at work. Another 38 percent “intentionally decreased” the quality of their work, a quarter admitted to taking their frustrations out on customers, and over 10 percent resigned from jobs due to uncivil treatment.

Unfortunately, most corporate behavior training programs are too dry and fail to address or to engage employees in a meaningful way.

“Most corporate training is truly bad,” says Karen Edwards, vice-president of marketing for Stevie-winner Media Partners, a learning and development organization based in Bellevue, Washington, United States.

Media Partners_logoMedia Partners produces story-based, cinematic-quality, engaging training films to address challenging topics, such as sexual harassment, bullying, and workplace violence.

“Most people are surprised to know there really is good, engaging training on some of the toughest topics. With our programs, employees don’t yawn, roll their eyes, or fall asleep,” says Edwards.

Media Partners is one of a handful of learning organizations that are leveraging the power of storytelling to create more high-performing, respectful workplaces.

Why Use Storytelling?

Neuroscientist Paul Zak and his team work extensively on the physiological and behavioral effects of storytelling. Through a recent experiment, they concluded that the more a story resonates with a person, the more likely it is to modify behavior.

While the power of storytelling is only being scientifically proven now, it has been used traditionally and culturally as a behavioral modification tool for centuries. Most people grow up on a healthy diet of stories, which consciously or subconsciously shapes the way they interact with others.

“Nature shaped us to be ultra-social, and hence to be sharply attentive to character and plot. We are adapted to physiologically interact with stories,” writes Jay Bhalla in a Scientific American article titled “It Is in Our Nature to Need Stories.”

It makes perfect sense, therefore, that organizations should utilize storytelling to create positive behavioral changes in employees.

Show, Don’t Tell

Learning and development organizations typically deliver training programs either textually or orally. This means employees either have to read through tomes of textual material or to sit through presentations and lectures, many of which they’d rather not attend.

It’s not too difficult, therefore, to see why companies like Media Partners are veering toward video as the training medium of choice. Videos are one of the most compelling ways to engage people, and they are being consumed on a massive scale. Mobile video consumption is rising 100 percent every year, over 50 percent of people watch videos online every day, and almost 60 percent of senior executives say that, if there are both text and video options about a topic on one page, they prefer to watch the video (Forbes).

Media Partners has leveraged video-based storytelling to deliver over 150 original, high-quality training videos that creatively address workplace behavioral issues.

Their unique approach to workplace training led to a Silver Stevie win in the Training Video category at the 17th Annual American Business Awards®, 2019, for their training video titled “Once & for All: Stopping Sexual Harassment at Work.”

Interested in entering The American Business Awards this year? The entry deadline is February 12, 2020. 

Request the entry kit here.

Tags: The American Business Awards, video awards

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