How to Talk About Your Staff, Without Sounding Full of It

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“I usually don’t talk about staff on social. It feels like bragging and that’s not why we do what we do…”

We hear this all the time. Somehow over the years, talking about the rockstars who consistently answer customer phone calls with unbelievable patience, or exchange your Visa for a warm Peppermint Mocha (winter’s got me craving) with ultra politeness, or unswervingly crank out that report two hours after everyone else decided their Friday night Netflix binge was more important than their Monday morning promotion board... somehow talking about these people is now frowned upon. Huh?

Why do businesses think talking about their people is braggadocious?

For one, I usually find that those who aren’t confident in what they do, and sure of what value they bring to the table, are often less likely to celebrate the success of others. Especially if you’re a leader in your particular sphere of influence. This comes from personal experience and experiences of many leaders I know, but also data and behavior science (GiANT Leadership anyone, just Google it) confirm this reality. When we’re not confident that we genuinely contribute to the bottom line, we’re certainly not going to easily serve up others as though they’re making a big difference.

That’s one reason. So check yourself that it’s not personal first and/or coming from a lack of confidence. You’ve gotta celebrate your people.

The other – and more pervasive scenario – is the problem of inauthenticity. Overcoming the self-serving nature of bragging as opposed to the consumer-serving dedication you want to be known for. Okay. That’s understandable. Because inauthenticity actually is a huge problem with consumers.

Too many exaggerated and sensational ads, posts, statements, and promises, have made it nearly impossible to talk about your team’s successes without it feeling like a long-winded, word selfie. But there’s a way to overcome this juxtaposition.

Tell a story.

Yep. Instead of talking about your staff’s accomplishments, talk about your staff’s reason for being at the company. Or their favorite aspect of a particular product and how it can help others like them. Or a family tradition that shaped them into the employee they’ve become.

People enjoy hearing stories. And it doesn’t always have to come from the CEO or a customer. Grab a staff member, sit down over lunch, and get to know them a little bit. Ask questions to feel out some of their stories. It’s worth the time to stop and genuinely show you care about who they are as “humans” (and not just supremely gifted keyboard ninjas).

Dig up these stories and tell your audience something that connects the “people” behind the business to the “people” paying the bills. The machine starts and ends with “people”; and the shortest distance between two people is a well told story.

Of course, filming said employee story (watch Chick-Fil-A) is undeniably effective for engaging people and building trust on all your favorite socials (which makes converting leads that much easier), but either way, we highly recommend telling stories as a tried and true method for showcasing all the hard-working people that fuel the company machine.