Front-line workers, also referred to as deskless workers, are the “face” of an organization. They are the ones working directly with the people a company serves. From grocery and restaurant employees to truck drivers, manufacturing workers and health care professionals, front-line workers make up a whopping 80% of the global workforce. However, J.D. Dillon, chief learning architect at Axonify, a learning and communications solution for front-line employees, says that the front-line employee population has long been underserved.

Recent Microsoft research found that one-third of all front-line workers say they do not have the right technological tools to do their jobs effectively, and that number rises to 41% for employees in non-management roles.

Fortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic showed just how vital front-line workers are to not only sustaining a business but also to supporting society at large. As a result, more training providers are launching innovative solutions to support the front-line workforce, and more companies are adopting them.

“The future is super bright” in terms of technology solutions for front-line workers, Dillon says. The problem? A lot of that technology is scattered, with users having to jump back and forth between different applications for different processes. This can quickly frustrate users and decrease productivity. Axonify’s recent acquisition of Nudge, an employee communications and execution platform, is working to change that.

Let’s consider how Axonify+Nudge is positioned to improve the front-line employee experience through an integrated, easy-to-use solution.

Why Nudge?

Nudge has been helping companies improve the way they communicate with their front-line employees for the past 10 years. But it’s only within the past two years that more companies have truly prioritized front-line employee communication, says Jordan Ekers, chief operating officer at Nudge.

“With all the change that’s been going on in the world, it really exposed [companies’] inability to effectively get critical information to the front-line.” In other words, the “old way” of communicating (i.e., pushing out information, crossing your fingers and hoping that people can execute) wasn’t cutting it.

On the surface, employee communications and training might seem like two unrelated functions. But fundamentally, they’re both trying to achieve the same thing: Making sure that people have what they need to do their jobs well, Dillon says.

With Nudge’s task management and mobile-friendly two-way communications capabilities, Axonify+Nudge tackles multiple customer pain points.

One of the biggest challenges it addresses is connecting leaders and executives to front-line workers (who are often siloed from the rest of the organization) by giving them the ability to deliver real-time feedback to users. This allows companies to be more agile as business priorities shift. It also improves the employee experience by ensuring that every employee has the information and feedback they need, when they need it.

Technology, Simplified

Most companies realize the need to equip front-line employees with the tools they need to be successful. After all, access — or lack thereof — to technology can make or break the employee experience, which is a key factor in retaining front-line workers (a notorious challenge).

That said, companies don’t want to be responsible for administering and managing a complex tech stack. As Dillon puts it, people want “the power of multiple technologies” without the hassle.

Bringing together training, reinforcement, coaching, feedback and communications, Axonify+Nudge fuses learning and development into the front-line employee experience. In doing so, its business value is that it gives employees the information and knowledge they need to be confident and successful in their roles, Ekers says. To prove this impact, the platform uses machine learning to connect training data to the business’ key performance indicators. This makes it easy for learning leaders to showcase the impact of learning initiatives delivered through the platform.

In the end, even the most innovative companies will suffer if their front-line workforce isn’t supported with the tools they need to execute its vision on the ground, every day. Learning solutions like these will be the fuel they need to propel forward and into the future.