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Best employee stories of 2020: Stories Inc. Stories of the Year

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Here are the best employee stories of 2020. These stories reveal culture and teach us something new about talent brand. Enjoy!

This year we were reminded how differently each of us experiences life (and work). 

With the global pandemic and racial unrest in America, 2020 has shown us that so much depends on the jobs we choose, where we live, what we look like, and so much more. 

Additionally, it’s shown us who companies really are. Organizations needed to think through how to best care for the physical safety, emotional wellbeing, and financial health of their employees.  Then, they had to think about what they stood for when faced with racial injustice. 

And, how they acted either reinvented or reaffirmed their culture. 

Candidates want to know how your company reacted when people were hurting, and they could help. Candidates want to know how your company dealt with uncertainty. From the stories you tell, people will make their own conclusions about who you are and what the employee experience is like. 

From a culture communication angle, this year we saw a renewed importance in weaving varied perspectives together. When you offer multiple viewpoints, you better to deliver cohesive (and true) company culture messages. We also saw the importance of giving space for one person to share their truth, and visually honoring that story. 

That’s our inspiration for selecting the 2020 Stories of the Year. And now, the stories!

A bold commitment to inclusion 

Lots of companies made bold commitments this year. And a lot of calls for proof followed

We picked this story of the year because Dell Technologies made a bold promise, then proves their progress with employee stories. Dell Technologies pledged that by 2030, 50% of their global workforce and 40% of global people leaders will be women.

To accomplish this hiring goal, they needed to show women their environment is ready to support them. Enter the proof: tons of stories from women all over the world, sharing their experiences in mentorship, flexibility, and empowerment at work. This video features the stories of women of many tenures, races, and backgrounds. Weaved together, the message is stronger: support for women is a pervasive part of culture.

When personal lives change, companies and coworkers respond 

As personal circumstances changed this year, companies and coworkers flexed to help. This Story of the Year shows how company benefits and supportive coworkers are essential in times of personal change.

Ethan Gelber and his husband were adopting their second child, using Capital One’s Adoption and Surrogacy Reimbursement Program. Ethan’s colleagues supported him through the heartbreak of an adoption falling through, and then the joy of when he brought home his son.

Read the full story on the Capital One careers blog. 

Celebrating a team member … virtually 

In lieu of cake in the break room, we all got creative when celebrating major coworker milestones this year. We hosted virtual baby showers and birthday parties. We gifted from small businesses and home delivery services. We embraced virtual cocktail and cooking classes, and anything else that would make our colleagues feel celebrated.

This year we honored Christian Jarboe and his four year anniversary at Stories Inc. by uncovering his favorite work stories, captured virtually in his home office. Then we added photos and graphics to bring his memories to life in this Story of the Year. 

A day in the life of a consultant in 2020

Our work changed dramatically this year. Did your job descriptions? Did your culture content? 

The workplace experience of a Deloitte consultant is brought to life in this Story of the Year. Filmed virtually, she is clear about the day-to-day changes to her job once the pandemic hit the US. And, she tells a specific story about how her company has supported her emotional wellbeing. and personal interests. during the pandemic.

With both on-the-job and company culture realities clear, candidates can get a better picture of what it’s like to be a consultant right now.

When natural disaster strikes

Team members will remember how you truly cared for their well being during the worst of times. 

Our next story of the year shows how Philips took action to help Erika Santiago and her family during a natural disaster.

“(Philips) cared for me so much that they went to all that trouble to be able to relocate not only myself but my complete family and make sure we were OK. To me that’s just remarkable.”

A story of global, local and universal culture 

This story answers the question, “How do you capture a global culture, with over 150,000 employees across 180 offices?” Dell Technologies sought insight from team members all over the world, across departments, jobs, ages, races, genders, and more.

Culture of support for a working mother in the pandemic 

Working mothers this year attempted the impossible. This story of the year is from Stories Inc. team member Jessica, filmed with via VIrtual Story Session. It’s a snapshot of an employee  managing work, parenting, and distance learning, all at once. While many working mothers in this situation found themselves stretched to breaking, this story shows how even small companies can stretch to support mothers with understanding and levity.

The founder’s story (animated!)

This year, our company founders and leaders had to make decisions that impacted us all. Sometimes this creates distance between leadership and employees. The answer is to humanize our leaders.

Often seen as inaccessible figures, early stories from cofounders and leaders are equalizers. They remind candidates, employees and customers that company cofounders and leaders are people too. This story of the year humanizes (and animates!) Steven Freidkin, the founder of Ntiva. And, it tells the story of how he built a people-centric business.

Work-life flow story 

Whether you call it work-life balance, integration or flow, the best employee stories incorporate both personal and professional experiences to give candidates the whole picture. This Story of the Year is from a Princeton University team member. In it, he tells several stories that seamlessly intertwine work, family, and interests. His work-life flow is in full view here.

Swift innovation at Stories Inc.

Lots of businesses had to figure out how to adapt this year when COVID-19 hit and changed everything. Companies had to make changes to best protect and engage employees, serve customers and pivot their business models.

Stories Inc. had to find a way to do what we do best: uncover stories that really show culture right now and visually engage viewers. Except, now we had to do this without stepping foot into a physical office.

And we did it!! After testing on ourselves for weeks, we launched Virtual Story Sessions with our most innovative and adaptable clients.

The results were awesome. Our new offering….

  • Expanded storyteller perspectives, to include more voices
  • Told more global stories, without geographic limitations
  • Uncovered even more compelling stories than we thought. From their homes during a pandemic, employees had lots of stories to share about how their employers stepped up this year for them
  • Launched to our existing and prospective customers as soon as it was ready

Our hardworking, brilliant team members make us our own favorite Story of the Year!

Feeling inspired by our Stories of the Year? Then plan your own stories for 2021 — get our content planning worksheet and guide!