Nudge has news… We’re joining forces with Axonify! 🎉 Click here to learn more

Close ticker
The frontline leader’s guide to making data-driven decisions

The frontline leader’s guide to making data-driven decisions

The frontline leader’s guide to making data-driven decisions

Learn how to collect data and turn it into valuable insights in Nudge's step-by-step guide.

What does every organization want? Better business outcomes. That means higher profits, lower turnover, and better productivity and efficiency. And the key to shifting the needle on these crucial metrics is simple: your workforce.

To set up your organization to thrive, you need to harness the power of your workforce. In order to do that, you need to be making data-driven decisions based on the needs and demands of your workers.

Wondering where to start? This guide will help you understand what data-driven decisions are and why they’re important. We’ll identify what data to collect, how to harvest the metrics, and learn what to do with data.

Data alone doesn’t tell a story. You need to process and analyze those numbers to find trends and correlations. You need to find the story. As Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard put it, “The goal is to turn data into information and information into insight.”

So, let’s start turning data into insights.

Why do I need to make data-driven decisions?

How engaged is your workforce? How reachable are your teams in uncertain times? 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.

Making data-driven decisions is deeply rooted in workforce analytics. That’s the process of tracking and analyzing key employee metrics to make fact-based, data-driven decisions to improve performance, engagement, and more. This crucial data can help drive better business outcomes across organizations, everything from sales and CX to operational efficiency and productivity.

Why does workforce analytics matter?

Workforce analytics provide organizations with the data and insights to stay agile and responsive, and set up its employees for success. Here are six reasons workforce analytics matter for your frontline or deskless organizations:

1. It drives performance and productivity

Workforce analytics allow you to answer the questions that can inform crucial decisions around performance and productivity. How consistent are locations in implementing SOPs and protocols? What locations are consistently lagging in performance, and why? How confident are my teams in executing a program or promotion?

Using data from feedback forums, confidence checks, and other sources to answer these questions provides the insights you need to tweak policies, implement new processes, and identify worrisome locations or regions quickly and easily – in short, better support your frontline at scale.

2. It identifies key knowledge gaps

Knowledge gaps cause money loss and safety issues, particularly among frontline and deskless employees, who are at greater risk due to less robust training, poor employee communication, and inconsistent processes (fun fact: ineffective on-the-job training can cost businesses up to $13.5 million per 1,000 employees per year).

But with knowledge testing quizzes and pulse surveys, companies can get far more strategic with their training. Through execution metrics, surveys, knowledge quizzes, and other data, analytics can identify knowledge gaps, protocol confusion, and other red flags. From there, organizations can triage their training to address the most urgent needs, then fill out the rest of the program as more resources become available.

3. It mitigates disengagement and turnover

Do you know whether or not your employees are engaged? How can you be sure?

Only 16% of companies use technology to measure and track employee progress and engagement. Those who don’t rely on a combination of observation, anecdotal evidence, gut feeling, and wishful thinking. This means that you don’t know for sure whether or not your frontline and deskless employees – the ones who are in the most stressful positions – are burnt-out or not. And seeing as burnout is responsible for up to half of workforce turnover, this is definitely an area that organizations can’t ignore.

Data from mental health surveys, feedback forums, and other communication channels can help you establish your workforce’s level of burnout and disengagement. Performance and engagement analytics can further inform the potential business impacts of your situation. With these tools in place, you’ll have an early warning system and be able to act accordingly with disengagement strikes.

4. It highlights the trends that lead to better business outcomes

Workforce analytics have the potential to identify trends that could transform your organization.

Here’s an example: Data analysis might discover that one branch of a retail franchise has consistently better sales, higher employee engagement scores, and lower turnover. You might then discover that this branch’s manager has initiated a few new policies that have completely transformed the location. The organization scales these policies company-wide, and numbers across all branches show significant improvement. You would never have detected that outlier branch without looking at the data.

This may seem like a somewhat extreme example, but it’s not that far-fetched. That’s the power of best practice sharing, and people analytics is the channel to capture these valuable ideas at scale.

5. It identifies star performers

The secret sauce to driving key business initiatives – and ensuring continued growth and success on the frontline – comes down to your top-performing employees. But here’s where it gets tricky. You may have thousands, hundreds of thousands, or (why not?) millions of employees across the country, or even the world. How do you identify your top performers? How do you find the fabled needle in the haystack?

Luckily, there are several proven data points that will allow you to gain a better understanding of both potential and active high performers within your workforce, no matter how large that workforce may be.

6. It improves operational execution

You’ve spent 6 months planning a product launch. You’ve executed on the signage, the PR, the inventory. But… are your associates ready? Here’s another area where workforce analytics can have a major impact on business outcomes. Using a customized concoction of data from surveys, check-ins, and skill-testing quizzes, you can create a crystal ball that will tell you how successful your launch will go before it even begins.

Data-driven decisions guide worker | Nudge

Workforce analytics for frontline and deskless teams: a unique challenge

While reviewing workforce analytics is crucial for any company, it becomes especially valuable for deskless organizations with massive employee bases spread across the country – or the world. Collecting and analyzing workforce data allows you to make informed data-driven decisions so that you can boost the efficiency and operational agility of your teams, no matter the size.

What data to collect

The first step of harvesting data for making data-driven decisions is knowing what metrics to collect. Here’s an in-depth list of the employee metrics that all deskless organizations should track on a regular basis. Depending on the communication and feedback tools you have in place, some of these metrics will be easier to capture than others. We’ll get into collecting your data later, but for now, here’s a metrics wish list:

Communication metrics

These metrics will help you gauge how reachable your workforce is and how effective your communication strategies are.

Adoption and reachability

This is a crucial metric for any communication strategy, answering the question, “Who can I reach?” Ideally, the answer would be 100% of your workforce. Depending on the tools you use to communicate with your workforce, your reachability rate can be difficult to nail down. For example, if you communicate by email, you might be able to calculate  how many email addresses you have on file, but you don’t know how many are recent, let alone how often they’re checked. At Nudge, we consider employees reachable if they’ve used our app recently, and we’re confident that your messages will reach them.

Knowledge rates

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

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.

Communication engagement

This metric tracks the level of engagement linked to a specific communication campaign, whether it’s an employee experience initiative, like a wellness month, or a new customer promotion or product feature. Ideally, you can quantify this data even more with a campaign engagement rate, calculated by the number of employees who interacted with the campaign compared to the number of employees who received it.

Feedback metrics

These metrics will help you monitor your feedback channels and capture great ideas, no matter how big your organization.

Feedback participation metrics

To get an at-a-glance understanding of whether you’re fostering a culture of feedback across the organization, look at who is regularly engaging with your feedback channels. Depending on the tools you have in place, you can see who is providing feedback through surveys, forums, or other channels. You may also be able to segment these findings by region or location to identify top-participating groups, as well as those that are quieter.

Feedback sentiment

When you’re collecting feedback from hundreds of thousands of employees, it’s important to have ways to quantify their sentiments at scale. This might be done through sentiment analysis, crowdsourcing/upvoting ideas, and numbers-focused feedback (like multiple-choice surveys). Capturing ideas in these formats lets you turn qualitative feedback into quantitative insights to make more data-driven decisions.

Performance metrics

These metrics will help you successfully execute on key events, like promos and product launches, by understanding how prepared and knowledgeable your employees are.

Execution 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 frequently assigned tasks and their completion rates will indicate the effectiveness and consistency

of your execution.

Campaign success

Closely tied to execution and confidence are metrics related to a specific campaign or key event, like a product launch or a major organizational change. This could be a combination of metrics around reach, knowledge retention, task execution, sales and revenue, and feedback as an indicator of overall campaign success.

Employee confidence

Employees’ confidence is directly related to their ability to fulfill their job requirements, whether that be speaking confidently to customers about a product or service or executing on a specific task. Capturing data around employee confidence through a survey, knowledge quiz, or forum is a critical metric needed to predict the success rate of key events, like promos or launches.

Engagement metrics

These metrics will help you keep a pulse on employee morale and identify red flags around disengagement and turnover.

Employee engagement metrics

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.

Voluntary turnover rate

Voluntary turnover tracks the number of people who have left your organization on their own volition against the average number of employees overall. A high turnover rate means that an above-average number of employees are quitting. One important note: What constitutes a “high turnover rate” will vary according to a number of factors, such as location, industry, and your own historical benchmarks.

Employee advocacy rates

Employee NPS? Yes, it’s a thing. It’s essentially asking whether your employees would recommend your company as a good place to work and/or whether they would recommend your company’s products or services to a friend. Tracking employee advocacy is a good way of tracking overall employee engagement.An engaged employee is more likely to be an advocate of your brand. Conversely, if your advocacy levels are low, there are likely engagement issues within the organization that may be negatively impacting productivity or customer service.

How to collect your data

Now that you know which metrics you want to be capturing, how do you capture them? There are a few different ways to collect workforce data depending on the communication tools you have in place. Here are a few methods to consider:

Download the full guide to learn more!

The Retailer’s Guide to Forgetting the Labor Crisis

The Retailer’s Guide to Forgetting the Labor Crisis

The Retailer’s Guide to Forgetting the Labor Crisis

Everything you need to forget about the labor crisis – and start focusing on something far more important.

Retailer's guide to forgetting the labor crisis | Nudge

Now more than ever, retailers need workers in place to keep operations running smoothly and effectively, but the labor crisis is making it difficult for businesses to boost their numbers. You’re doing everything you can to stay staffed – but it’s an uphill battle. The solution? Focus on supporting (and retaining!) your existing staff. Learn why – and how! – in our latest guide. 


Download the guide to learn:

  • Eye-opening stats on why you can’t afford to ignore your staff
  • How to let go of legacy processes and identify your support gaps
  • How to update your tech stack and build out a new strategy 
  • Plus: get free worksheets, charts, and other tools to help you get started

Navigating the Labor Crisis

Navigating the Labor Crisis

Navigating the Labor Crisis

 A 3-step plan for deskless organizations looking to overcome the talent and labor shortage.

Nudge Labor Shortage Guide

As the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic lifts, organizations across the country have reopened. But a new normal has emerged that brings with it a new challenge: the labor shortage. Now more than ever, organizations need workers in place to keep operations running smoothly and effectively, but the labor crisis is making it difficult for businesses to boost their numbers. Worried? We’re here to help! This guide will provide a 3-step strategy to finding, developing, and retaining labor during a shortage. 


Download the guide to learn:

  • How to become an employer of choice to attract candidates
  • Leveraging onboarding to get the most out of your hires
  • Developing your existing workforce at scale
  • 4 ways to mitigate unnecessary employee turnover

Playbook: Building agile teams

Playbook: Building agile teams

Building agile teams:

3-step playbook

Support your deskless workforce through uncertain times

Building Agile Teams Playbook

With new safety protocols, sudden closures, unprecedented consumer behavior, and countless more challenges, it has never been more crucial for organizations to stay agile and adaptive to the changing world. Your workforce is a critical part of that process. But to lift your organization up through times of uncertainty, your workforce needs leadership – and, unfortunately, they might not be getting it. This three-phase plan gives you everything you need to support your deskless workforce through uncertain times.


Download the playbook to get:

  • 6 foolproof ways to cultivate employee engagement
  • Understanding preparedness, and what prioritizing preparedness looks like
  • 3 workforce success metrics every organization should be tracking

Build store teams that are ready for what’s next

Build store teams that are ready for what’s next

A retailer’s guide to building engaged store teams

Support your frontline across three key phases of engagement

Ebook - Nudge - Build store teams for what's next

Frontline teams play a more critical role than ever before and will be the driving force for retailers to preserve beyond the pandemic. Yet, only 48% of employees strongly agree their immediate supervisor keeps them informed about what is going on in the organization. In the race to capture market share, your staff will need the tools to stay engaged and aligned with your brand. In this ebook, we share best practices we’ve developed to support retail brands, and in turn, their store associates.


Download the 15-page ebook to learn:

  • How to engage your frontline to boost morale and develop deep brand loyalty
  • Training that increases operational knowledge and reinforces best practices
  • Three key metrics to help you evaluate frontline success