6 employee metrics every deskless organization should be tracking

6 employee metrics every deskless organization should be tracking

Tracking employee metrics helps organizations to make fact-based, data-driven decisions to improve performance, engagement, and more. Whether you have a formal employee communication strategy in place or not, these are the numbers you want to keep an eye on. 

Why? Workforce analytics allow organizations to tap into workforce insights, i.e., the stories your data tells. How engaged is your workforce? How reachable are your teams? How confident are your employees in executing current or future programs and strategies? These aren’t questions to answer with your gut. These are questions that can – and should – be answered with data. 

Here are 6 employee metrics every deskless organization should be tracking: 

1. Adoption and reachability 

This is a crucial metric for any communication strategy. It answers the question, “Who can I reach?” Ideally, the answer would be 100% of your workforce. At Nudge, we consider employees reachable if they’ve used our app in the past 90 days, but this metric might differ depending on your platform or communication tool. 

2. Open/read rates

Again, this will depend on your communication tools and channels, but ideally you have a metric to track how your workforce is consuming content. What percentage of your staff opened your latest announcement? How many read to the end? How many clicked the CTA at the bottom? How often are SOPs accessed and read? These numbers, where available, will help you see whether your content is actually being read by your employees. 

3. Feedback metrics

We’ve already touched on the importance of a channel for two-way feedback. Employee metrics are a great way to get an at-a-glance understanding of whether you’re fostering a culture of feedback across the organization. These might be participation metrics or even word clouds highlighting what key sentiments are coming from your teams. 

4. Execution/employee performance metrics

Depending on your industry and organization, you might be leveraging standardized task lists within your internal communication strategy to reiterate standard protocols and processes. Employee performance metrics on your most frequently assigned tasks and their completion rates will indicate the effectiveness and consistency of your execution.

5. Knowledge rates 

Generated through knowledge testing and quizzes, knowledge rates will show whether the information that has been shared has been properly retained. This will ensure you’re identifying knowledge gaps as quickly as possible. 

6. Employee engagement metrics

The final step in measuring success in your teams is to see whether all the above employee metrics have done their job in fostering engaged, empowered teams. Employee engagement metrics can be measured in a variety of ways. They can be an aggregate metric based on how your employees engage with your communication and feedback channels, or it can be based on dedicated surveys and pulse checks.  

Reviewing workforce insights provides a comprehensive overview of your workforce’s engagement, confidence, and satisfaction – all of which lead to better business outcomes. These employee metrics can also be used to identify warning signs, like disengagement, that can be addressed before they lead to productivity issues or turnover. 

Not sure how to harvest these metrics? Depending on what types of communication technology and tools you already have set up, these numbers can come from multiple areas, like email/newsletter readership, test results, survey completion rates, and more. But this is really where a digital employee communication platform becomes especially useful. Built-in workforce analytics make it easy to measure (and analyze!) all the crucial numbers you should be tracking. 

Streamlining deskless employee onboarding with Nudge

Streamlining deskless employee onboarding with Nudge

The first 30, 60, and 90 days are crucial to a new hire. It’s the organization’s first and most impactful chance to create a real connection with the employee and set them up to be highly productive ambassadors of your brand. An effective employee onboarding program means better CX, higher sales, more efficient processes and protocols. And, perhaps most importantly, it mitigates turnover, a huge issue right now as labor shortages are leaving organizations under-staffed and overworked. 

How onboarding reduces turnover

We’ve talked before about the cost of turnover. At the best of times, high turnover rates is a huge financial burden. But in a labor crisis, losing the talent you do attract can decimate an organization. 

Enter employee onboarding. 20% of employee turnover takes place in the first 45 days, and that number is even higher among Millennials and younger employees. “They define success differently than other generations. If a job isn’t meaningful to them, they aren’t afraid to leave,” explains Michelle Smith, VP of Marketing at O.C. Tanner. In other words: you need to engage new hires with your brand purpose the minute they get their foot in the door. In fact, research by Glassdoor found that a strong onboarding process boosts new hire retention by a staggering 82% (it also increased productivity by over 70%, by the way).

The challenges of onboarding frontline and deskless employees

There’s no arguing the importance of a quality employee onboarding program – but implementing a program in frontline and deskless organizations presents a unique set of challenges. 

For one thing, there’s the scale and speed of new hires. The high turnover rate of deskless industries means there’s a constant stream of new employees needing onboarding. And with some organizations employing tens or even hundreds of thousands of workers, onboarding at scale becomes a problem. 

There’s also the distributed nature of deskless workforces. In retail, foodservice, and hospitality organizations, employees are in small teams spread out in locations across the country or globe, making communication fractured. And in supply chain and logistics organizations, employees might be even more distributed and isolated, with even less connection to coworkers or teams. 

The final challenge of onboarding deskless and frontline workers is the technology. Traditionally, organizations leaned on the same communication tools used for deskbound employees – email, or an intranet site employees don’t even have access to at work. Or, employees receive communication through posters and bulletin boards, and verbally through floor managers. All of these communication channels don’t lend themselves to a robust onboarding program at scale. 

Nudge trigger-based onboarding makes the most of those first 90 days

As a digital communication platform for deskless and frontline workers, Nudge is all about giving employees the tools, knowledge, and support to do great work. And that starts with onboarding. 

Nudge Employee OnboardingBuilt on proven behavioral science and information retention best practices, Nudge makes it easy for organizations to implement a consistent onboarding program at scale. Our in-app triggers automatically send content on key milestones, such as start date, 30-, 60-, and 90-day check-ins, and other important dates. 

Using bite-sized, gamified content, organizations can use Nudge trigger-based onboarding to send the right information, at the right time. Educate new hires on brand values and mission. Ramp them up with product knowledge and best-practices. Test them on safety protocols, policies, and SOPs through knowledge quizzes – all sent right to their phone. 

Plus, Nudge Analytics makes it easy to track new hires through the onboarding process – and identify red flags for disengagement long before they become a serious problem.

Additional Nudge features to build connections

Nudge engagement pointsLeverage other features in Nudge’s two-way communication platform to build trust and engagement with new hires. Show them that feedback is a core value by inviting them to join Spark sessions and engage in employee surveys. Encourage community-building in Chat discussions. And showcase peer recognition right out of the gate with Cheers pins. 

Weaving these communication features into your onboarding program is a great way to engage new hires right from day one, and foster a connection that will keep them loyal for the long term. 

Interested in learning more about how Nudge makes employee onboarding easy and effective? Set up a demo today.

Required reading: resources to help you support your frontline during COVID-19

Required reading: resources to help you support your frontline during COVID-19

There’s a lot of noise out there right now with growing uncertainties around COVID-19 and what it means for business. These factors outside of our control have created many unknowns for individuals and businesses, especially the frontline workforce. To help you stay up-to-date, we’ve gathered best practices and tangible advice from industry leaders and publications on supporting your most valuable asset—your people.

1. To stay informed

Required reading: Leadership is most important in times of concern or crisis

It’s important to stay up-to-date and in-the-know during an ever-changing situation. That being said, it’s also important to prioritize useful and factual information. Be selective with the type and amount of information you read, and focus on reliable sources (like the World Health Organization and CDC). Having foundational knowledge allows for a more clear understanding of potential implications for the business and how they will impact your people.

2. To provide reliable communication

Required reading: Demonstrating care in times of crisis

Your frontline workforce relies on clear direction and consistent communication for inspiration in times of uncertainty. It’s critical that you communicate regularly and in ‘real-time’. Having an avenue that allows for instant communication (i.e. mobile messaging) is crucial in situations that are constantly changing.

During periods of rapid change, issue regular updates each step of the way outlining your organization’s response. Frontline associates will be empowered through information sharing and clear messaging. Remain available for any associate feedback or questions, and encourage it. Signaling to your frontline that leadership is there for them adds a level of trust and camaraderie.

3. To be decisive

Required reading: Leading through COVID-19: Making smart decisions amid uncertainty

With a constantly changing situation, it can be daunting to make big organizational decisions without a clear picture of how it will impact the business. Although indecision feels safe short-term, in times of uncertainty, employees look to leadership for reassurance and security. Make the best decisions that you can right now and address important policies and procedures.

In times of crisis, certainty in decision-making magnifies employee trust, which in turn, dials down anxieties. The more pressure you’re under as an organization, the more intentional you must be to stay strong in turbulent times.

4. To show appreciation

Required reading: Coronavirus response: People first, economics second

Your people bring your brand to life, so let them know you appreciate and support them! Show your frontline that you value them by prioritizing their personal well-being in all circumstances. Developing the attitude of “we’re all in this together” builds a sense of shared purpose, community, and belonging. Rewarding and recognizing on-going contributions by employees is an important way to deepen connections in the organization.

Take time to prioritize and care for your people in this unpredictable situation. The ability to keep the frontline workforce engaged, empowered, and connected will ultimately impact the outcomes of this crisis. We will get through this together.

Practicing empathy: 3 ways to connect with your frontline workers

Practicing empathy: 3 ways to connect with your frontline workers

Modern business leaders would agree that empathy—the ability to understand and share the feelings of another—is a key ingredient to effective employee communications. However, in times of crisis, demonstrating empathetic leadership can be challenging, with external pressures and internal stressors getting in the way of supporting those who need it most—your frontline employees.

During times of unexpected change, marked by looming uncertainties for the future, frontline employees will likely experience new and intense feelings in their everyday lives—while at work and beyond. Practicing empathy can go a long way to establish trust and loyalty with your staff, ensuring they feel connected to the organization and reassured while employed (or while waiting to come back to work).

As a business leader, there are a variety of ways that you can foster empathy across the business and empower your frontline teams during times of uncertainty. Below we have outlined the three types of empathy, which business leaders should practice in times of crisis:

1. Cognitive empathy (Think)

Cognitive empathy is the ability to understand how a person feels and what they might be thinking. This type of empathy is also referred to as “perspective-taking”, which is simply the practice of putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes. As your organization chooses how to adapt to internal or external pressures, it is important to understand how the people on the frontlines of your business are impacted and imagine what it might feel like to be in their situation. Using a “perspective-taking” approach to empathy, business leaders will be able to improve decision making and create people-first strategies in times of need.

2. Emotional empathy (Listen)

Emotional empathy, which is also known as affective empathy, is the ability to share the feelings of another person. This type of empathy helps people build emotional connections and provides an opportunity to understand how someone feels. When navigating periods of change, your frontline staff will need an outlet for expressing their feelings and look to leadership for validation that what they are going through is difficult. Business leaders that can genuinely display emotional empathy, by actively listening and ensuring frontline employees feel heard, will be able to develop deeper levels of openness, trust, and, ultimately, loyalty across their workforce.

3. Compassionate empathy (Act)

The third type of empathy takes things a step further, going beyond understanding others and sharing feelings. Compassionate empathy, also known as empathic concern, is all about action and taking the necessary steps to help people however we can. That being said, there is no one “right way” to demonstrate compassionate empathy towards your frontline employees. Depending on the situation, individuals, and emotions, certain types of compassionate empathy may be more or less appropriate. When demonstrating empathic concern, the two most important considerations should be (1) what your frontline employees want and need, and (2) whether any action you take will benefit them directly.

Overall, while demonstrating empathy is an important skill for any modern business leader, it is most important in times of crisis. When your organization is being impacted by factors that are outside of your control, remember you can control how you respond to your frontline teams. Take interest in what your frontline employees are thinking, feeling, and experiencing, and your organization will be able to develop a reputation for being caring, trustworthy, and supportive—in good times and bad.

3 reasons to invest in your frontline workers during market instability

3 reasons to invest in your frontline workers during market instability

Don’t neglect your frontline associates – especially now. 

Unforeseen market factors are a potential risk to any business, but for experience-driven, multi-unit brands, an engaged frontline can be a powerful stabilizing force through times of uncertainty. Positive economic outlooks can shift in the blink of an eye, and it’s during these periods of volatility that you need your frontline associates to be even more aware of and aligned with company directives while feeling engaged enough to deliver on customer experience as a differentiator.

At Nudge, we advocate for the people who bring the brand to life every day and represent the “human factor” that customers are increasingly seeking. As global markets undergo extreme unpredictability, it’s more important than ever to invest in your frontline. Here’s why.

1. You’ll connect and empower your frontline workers

Frontline workers are often at an inherent disadvantage compared to desk workers when it comes to timely access to information and continuity of communication. These factors are amplified when head office is delivering important updates and policies to address uncertainties. The frontline workforce is one that is unable to take advantage of working remotely when health concerns arise, and frequently experiences lags in critical company communication when they need it most.

One of the most effective ways to reach and alleviate the concerns of your frontline is through engaging micro-communications, delivered through a mobile channel that users love. When you need all employees to be aligned on brand message, you can’t rely on email bulletins or second-hand updates to reach the associates who interact with customers face to face. If your frontline staff are going days without hearing important updates directly from head office, they’re likely feeling isolated and looking to leadership for inspiration and reassurance.

2. You’ll mitigate the risk of employee turnover

We’re already seeing the most competitive job market in decades, with hourly worker turnover at an all-time high. These are the realities multi-unit brands face even when markets are stable, but can rapidly escalate into risk mitigation during instability, exposing staffing issues that the organization wasn’t prepared for.

The experience-driven brands who endure the highs and lows in market and consumer confidence are investing in their frontline associates with a long-term view of sustained communication and engagement. They align their company goals with frontline communication and seek real-time feedback from the people in the field. Research from Nudge supports this investment, showing higher retention rates of staff at Nudge-enabled locations, with over 80% of users reporting that Nudge helps them do their job better.

3. You’ll capture higher sales

When foot traffic declines, it’s more important than ever for associates to make the most of each and every customer interaction. How can your frontline more effectively drive positive revenue impact at critical points of conversion in the customer journey?

We’ve seen leading brands deliver impressive lifts in promotional sales and offers, even during dips in consumer confidence. The ones driving the most effective initiatives are tying sales goals to their frontline communication strategy and delivering high-impact programs with the added benefit of increased employee engagement. For example, in February of this year, a global office supplies retailer using Nudge saw a 200+% lift of in-store sales in a key category, through a targeted mobile employee program. Arming your frontline with the tools they need to excel at their job will help drive consistency in results and customer experience through fluctuations in market conditions.

Nudge is the best way to keep our regions informed. It’s very difficult for our hourly associates to see the emails and other forms of communication that the team leaders see. Giving everyone the same opportunity to know what is going on in the business is crucial to our success as a team and overall company.

User review, App Store

Three steps to optimizing your frontline workforce

Three steps to optimizing your frontline workforce

As the competition for talent in a tight job market intensifies, we’re hearing more and more about long-term strategies designed for optimal employee engagement and performance. At Nudge, we advocate for thinking differently about the frontline segment of your employee base, as they face unique challenges, yet hold great opportunities for employers.

Lessons from behavior science tell us that some of the most effective ways to make a meaningful connection with the frontline involve simple, positive ways of thinking about motivation, delivered through the right vehicle. In a recent webinar, we sat down with acclaimed practitioner Tim Houlihan to learn more about engaging, recognizing, and ultimately optimizing the workforce who brings your brand to life, every day.

To close the discussion, we summarized an approach for optimizing your frontline in three steps:

  1. Empower staff and drive results with effective communication
  2. Support clear and consistent communications by delivering the right information to your teams at the right time, increasing knowledge, engagement, and team morale.

  3. Build highly motivated teams by balancing intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
  4. Align performance and promote the right behaviors by recognizing and rewarding employees for their contribution to business goals.

  5. Improve customer experiences with knowledge sharing
  6. Tap into staff knowledge and insights to increase social cohesion and create empowered, knowledgeable teams ready to execute on brand promise.

      A framework built on these three objectives is a thoughtful approach to engaging with your frontline, with the added benefits of increased employee satisfaction and retention. To learn more about each component, be sure to check out the slide deck and webinar recording.