The mobile disconnect: Why your organization should be worried

The mobile disconnect: Why your organization should be worried

In today’s society, everything is connectedthe Internet of Things, social media networks, and the increasing use of smartphones. However, as we continue to increase connectivity, humans are becoming incredibly disconnected, especially in the business world. A report from Deloitte outlines a significant gap between technology and organizational habits, identifying it as one of the forces driving major change in the workplace. As technological change increases, so do business productivity, however, there is still a large gap in performance potential between the two (see figure below). The cause of this gap, Deloitte says, is how businesses organize and manage themselves and their employees.

A graph showing the increase in technology and business performance

The gap in performance potential between technology and businesses can be further broken down into smaller gaps related to four main aspects: technology, individuals, businesses and public policy (we’ll be focusing on the first three for this example). The figure below shows how technology is changing at an almost exponential rate, and individuals are not far behind in adopting new technologies. Businesses, on the other hand, are slower in adoption, creating a disconnect between the two groups.

A graph showing technology growth alongside business and individual adoption









The mobile disconnect

While there are many reasons behind the gap between individuals and businesses adopting technology, at Nudge we identified one aspect that is particularly pressingthe mobile disconnect, a gap between employees mobile usage in the workplace and the lack of businesses understanding the benefits of mobile and BYOD.


Why is it a problem?

Mobile disconnect causes two problems in an organization—lost productivity and a lack of trust. Nudge recently conducted a survey of 1,000 millennials and 1,000 Gen X employees in the UK, across a variety of industries, and found 51% of employees believe using mobile devices at work helps them do their job better. However, only 23% of those surveyed said they felt encouraged to use mobile devices when at work. In frontline roles, mobile is being used for communicating with colleagues, answering customer questions, and accessing additional product information, all of which enhances the customer experience, and in turn, helps to increase sales.

Potential productivity and revenue are lost when employees are not encouragedor worse, actively discouragedto use mobile devices at work. Employees know using their mobile devices helps them with their jobs, but 42% worry their managers think they’re using their mobile devices for personal reasons and 30% use them discreetly in order to avoid judgment. All in all, 29% believe there is a trust issue around using mobile devices at work. Considering millennials highly value open relationships with managers, a lack of trust is detrimental to an organization.


What causes the mobile disconnect?


1. Late Adoption

Organizations have been late to adopt mobile technologies and BYOD policies, especially in industries with highly distributed workforces such as retail and hospitality. Of employees working in these sectors, only 5% feel the use of personal devices is encouraged in the workplace, despite having BYOD acceptance rates of approximately 30%. With smartphone penetration rates upwards of 80% in the UK, organizations are now playing a game of catch up with their employees.

2. Broken telephone

The mobile disconnect is also occurring due to lack of communication, resulting in confusion and misunderstanding between employees and management. Employees are unsure if they’re allowed to use their mobile devices in the workplace, with 26% completely unaware of their organization’s BYOD policy.

3. Lack of trust

Two-thirds of employees (62%) identify cultural barriers to using their mobile devices at work. Even when using mobile for work purposes, employees still experience worry, fear, and a lack of trust when using their phones at work. These feelings discourage employees further from using their devices, despite their belief that they help them do their jobs better.

Employees are using their mobile devices in the workplace, while organizations and their BYOD policies are being left behind. The disconnect between companies and their employees is leading to a loss in productivity and is being exacerbated in sectors with dispersed, non-desk workforces.

To learn more about the mobile disconnect and how your business can start benefiting from using mobile technology at work, take a look at our 2017 Market Research Report. 

[Infographic] BYOD for the frontline workforce: What you need to know

[Infographic] BYOD for the frontline workforce: What you need to know

Mobile and ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) strategies are infiltrating the deskless workplace fast. In fact, 79% of retailers have either implemented or plan to implement associate-facing mobile solutions by next year. It makes sense. With millennials—who are set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025—checking their phones more than 150 times a day, leveraging personal devices for work is key.

The increasing use of mobile solutions at work is a trend you can’t ignore, and recent figures have shown that it’s here to stay. With that in mind, an effective BYOD policy that outlines how your employees can use mobile devices at work is equally as important. So, how should you go about creating a great BYOD and mobile-use strategy?

Read our infographic below to familiarize yourself with BYOD, current mobile trends, and the benefits associated with implementing a mobile-first strategy for your deskless workforce:


Nando’s staff: The key ingredient in a successful marketing strategy

Nando’s staff: The key ingredient in a successful marketing strategy

With 50 restaurants soon to be open across the country, Nando’s has gained respect and popularity amongst Canadian restaurant-goers. Globally, they have over 1,200 restaurants and an employee base of 45,000 people who are proud to be part of the Nando’s family. Nando’s was hatched in South Africa in 1987 and is changing the way the world thinks about chicken. Their restaurants can be found in cities such as London, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Cape Town, Sydney, and Toronto. In 1994, Nando’s opened its first Canadian restaurant, which is located in Richmond, BC.

We sat down with Krista McLay, Manager of Brand Communications Strategy at Nando’s Canada, to talk about marketing strategy, what makes campaigns successful, and the keys to engaging restaurant staff in activating those campaigns. We quickly discovered that their saying, “behind most things at Nando’s is an extraordinary story”, holds true – especially in terms of their approach to the employee experience and building a family-friendly culture. From the names of their restaurants (‘Casas’) and staff (‘Nandocas’) to the Nando’s guest journey, storytelling is a key component to Nando’s brand and global success.

To view the full interview, listen to the podcast below or read on!


People as a marketing strategy

If you’ve ever been to a Nando’s, you’d know PERi-PERi is at the heart and soul of their brand. However, it’s clear there is another ingredient in their secret recipe of success: their people. “We believe that the frontline – our Nandocas – are the most important people in our business. They are the ones who talk to guests as they walk in the door and determine if those guests will have a really great experience or not” said McLay.

While entertainment, design, and amenities are elements that may pull new guests into their restaurants, it’s the exceptional food and service that keep them coming back for more. Nando’s restaurant staff, from managers, to grillers and cashiers, are truly part of their brand identity. As McLay described it, “If you’ve worked at Nando’s and have been a Nandoca before, you’ll be a Nandoca for life. All of our employees are considered part of the global family.”

Of course, this type of workplace culture was designed with the guest experience in mind. When Nandocas come into work, they’re expected to treat the restaurant like their own home, hence the name ‘Casa’. As McLay explained, staff are encouraged to “make sure the food is cooked perfectly every time, like you would if you had a family member at your house”. The same goes for keeping the restaurant clean. Nandocas keep restaurants in tip-top shape like they would if they were hosting a party or get together.

There is a learning curve to creating this consistent guest experience and helping guests understand how to ‘do Nando’s’ properly. Nando’s has a unique fast-casual dining experience, which entails ordering at the counter and being served at the table. “Our first-time guests need more guidance, so we have certain steps that we train our Nandocas to walk them through”, said McLay. Every time a guest walks in the door, a staff member will ask if it’s their first time at Nando’s. If so, the guest will be guided through the Nando’s guest journey, which includes everything from how to place your order or encouraging them to eat with their hands. “Once you know how to ‘do Nando’s’, it’s an amazing experience. You don’t have to wait for a server – you can get up and leave when you’re done. You can eat as much sauce as you’d like. If you want something else, you can just get up and get it!”, adds McLay.


Successful campaigns rely on the frontline

While Nando’s has cracked the code on ensuring brand consistency, launching campaigns across their entire workforce is one activity that is a constant challenge. When it comes to a new campaign, effectively communicating with employees to ensure they’re educated and excited about the matter at hand can challenging. As McLay explained, “We’re in the people business. It’s always going to be a challenge to effectively communicate unless you are able to sit down with every single person, explain what we’re doing and what that means for them.”

Despite having a large, fragmented workforce, having face-to-face conversations with all team members is exactly what Nando’s tries to do. When rolling out new campaigns, McLay noted: “bringing everyone together and getting them excited about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it is really important. Doing this and allowing them to ask any questions before launching a campaign gives us the opportunity to succeed.” Nando’s continues this approach while campaigns are in-market, too. In discussing the importance of collecting feedback and acting on it, McLay added that “Nandocas are the ones in the field. They’re the ones seeing things in action and can share what is working well. Taking those learnings and sharing them with the entire team is important for us.”


Engaging the frontline: A continuous improvement process

While Nando’s takes a people-first approach to executing on their marketing campaigns, it’s the touchpoints between face-time and phone calls that can get lost. “Sometimes you write this beautiful training manual, send it out, and it just doesn’t get picked up. These things can end up falling to the wayside within the busy environment of a restaurant.” Regardless of whether you are about launch a new campaign or need to get out day-to-day operational information, effectively communicating to your entire employee base is hard. “[At Nando’s] we’re always learning. I don’t think we, or anyone in the industry, has the answer to the perfect way to communicate and engage with their team members,” observed McLay.

The key to the communication and performance gap facing foodservice brands may be found in leveraging technology. In discussing how to close these gaps and ensuring every team member stays updated, McLay noted that “communicating to staff in a way they wanted to be spoken to” could help improve their strategy, and ultimately execution on marketing initiatives. Implementing up-to-date technology, such as a mobile-first app or portal, is the next step for Nando’s. “It’s amazing how we embrace technology in so many ways in our personal lives – but internally, in the restaurant industry, we’ve been slow to adopt,” said McLay.

For Nando’s, leading a customer-centric organization starts and ends with engaging their frontline employees. McLay reiterated that Nando’s will always take a people-first approach, which includes designing marketing campaigns centered around staff participation and engagement with all levels of the organization. “Nobody wants to be just a transaction” she added.

Frontline staff play an integral role at Nando’s, from activating marketing campaigns to living the brand promise every day, providing valuable feedback, or simply engaging with guests in a meaningful way. As McLay summed it up, “If you have a really engaged team that believes in what you’re doing and what you’re trying to create, then you will definitely see that message flow through your organization – from headquarters to hourly staff.”

How Freshii has built a healthy brand in a high-growth environment

How Freshii has built a healthy brand in a high-growth environment

Freshii, a Canadian-based ‘health casual’ restaurant chain, was founded in 2005 with the simple mission of making it convenient for people to eat healthy food. Today, they’re bringing that mission to life across the globe, with over 300 locations in over 20 countries.

We had a chance to speak with Melissa Gallagher, their VP of Marketing, about how they have built a consistent brand and guest experience while going through explosive growth. How quickly have they grown? To put it in perspective, Freshii opened their first 200 restaurants faster than global brands like McDonald’s, Subway, and Domino’s – and they plan on continuing that momentum.

When we asked Gallagher the secret to their success, her answer was clear: “we’re executing faster than anyone. At Freshii we launch fast, we fail fast, then we iterate faster. I think that’s really important to the success of any high growth brand,” she added.

To view the full interview, listen to the podcast below or read on!


Establishing a brand full of energy

Since being founded, Freshii has grown from being a go-to spot for quick, healthy meals, to a truly wholesome health and wellness brand – extending far beyond the physical restaurant. Their brand has been built on serving fresh ingredients, offering great service, and helping guests build towards a healthier lifestyle. They’ve even taken to nutritionists, rather than chefs, to develop their menu offering around the world. “Rather than working with in-house chefs to develop menu items, our in-house nutritionist scours the globe to find health and wellness trends that we can bring to the market quickly and at an affordable price,” explained Gallagher.

In order to grow its offering and keep in line with consumer tastes and preferences, Freshii constantly works on staying on top of emerging health and wellness trends. As Gallagher put it, “We consider ourselves the Zara of the health casual restaurant industry. We’re able to take a trend and bring it to the market quite quickly, versus some of the other large players.” By offering bold, diverse, and customizable meals – from a Teriyaki Twist bowl to Spicy Lemongrass soup – they’ve been able to continuously entice and excite their customer base.

As Gallagher reflected on how they’ve built their brand, she noted that “We’re always inspired by the way in which our product resonates all over the globe.” Part of that success, she added, can be attributed to the passion of their employee base. ”We’ve got team members who started as frontline workers, who are now multi-unit owners of some of the highest volume locations in North America.”


Growing a strong franchise network

One of the keys to Freshii’s success has been building on their brand values and identity with the direct involvement of key stakeholders, such as guests, employees, and franchise partners. As they’ve grown their franchise network, they’ve made an effort to scale with like-minded individuals who are energized by their brand. As Gallagher put it, “a lot of people join the Freshii brand out of passion – for health and wellness, and for entrepreneurship.”

They’re really taking a fresh look at building franchise networksseeking out motivated entrepreneurs who will take ownership and pride of their restaurants. “We’re inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit, so being able to award citizens to help bring our mission to their regions has been something that’s driven our passion and helped us scale so quickly,” Gallagher added.

While some restaurant brands provide a lot of flexibility to their franchise partners in customizing the product and marketing strategy, Freshii is taking a more focused approach. As Gallagher explained, they focus on getting feedback from all internal stakeholders on the brand, their values, and menu items, then work hard at headquarters to produce products and campaigns that really resonate with their customer base.

By centralizing marketing and product development in-office, Freshii has been able to keep a truly consistent brand during its rapid growth. The key element they look for in franchise partners is a dedication to operational excellence and a passion for service. “We look for strong operations within our franchise partners, and then provide them with all of the resources they need to market and bring the brand to life within their region,” said Gallagher.


Working out future growth

While maintaining focus on brand consistency, building a solid franchise network and engaging employees will be critical to the future success of Freshii, Gallagher acknowledges the importance of ongoing innovation: “From my past experiences, I learned not to spend too long celebrating successes and to constantly look for ways to innovate and iterate.”

What’s next? Over the next couple of years, the company’s goal is to expand to 800 locations. Fulfilling their core brand mission also means looking at new ways to make healthy food more convenient, including making Freshii meals available on airline menus. As Gallagher concluded, “5 years ago, we were a salad chain bringing health and wellness to our guests in many different waysbut even a year ago we wouldn’t have imagined we’d be serving avocados in the air.”

Next up, avocados on the moon? Only time will tell.

Nudge rewards raises $5 million in series a funding

Nudge rewards raises $5 million in series a funding

New financing enables the company to expand its position as a market leader in providing mobile technology that improves the performance of frontline employees in retail, foodservice, and hospitality.

TORONTO – November 15, 2017 – Nudge Rewards today announced that it has raised $5 million in Series A funding. The financing will enable the company to further fuel the expansion of its business across North America. The round was led by Generation Ventures, with participation from the BDC Capital Women in Tech Fund, Brightspark VenturesStandUp Ventures, as well as new and returning angels.


Funding reinforces growing support for women in tech

This Nudge Rewards funding round is a significant milestone for both the company and women in technology. The company, led by CEO Lindsey Goodchild and CTO Dessy Daskalov, has captured one of the largest Series A investments raised by female founders in Canada to date. In addition, each of the firms that participated in this round has female partners committed to supporting exceptional founders driving the development of innovative technology.

Nudge Rewards is one of the first growth investments for BDC Capital’s Women in Tech Investment Fund. “Lindsey and Dessy are great examples of female founders that have identified a gap in growing markets, are using technology to solve an important problem, and building a business with massive potential to scale,” said Michelle Scarborough, Managing Director, Strategic Investments and Women in Tech at BDC Capital, the investment arm of BDC.


Market opportunity for mobile technology to engage non-desk employees

An estimated 80% of the global workforce is ‘non-desk’ or field employees, who typically do not have access to corporate email. Nudge Rewards helps such companies engage their employees to facilitate measurable improvements in individual and company performance.

“There is a massive opportunity for our innovative solution within markets that have large, non-desk workforces,” said Lindsey Goodchild, CEO, and co-founder of Nudge Rewards. “We’re fortunate to have built a team of industry experts and partners to propel our growth. This new financing will allow us to further serve our customer base and expand our presence in select Canadian and US markets. We are very well positioned to expand our leadership role in this space.”

Nudge Rewards has a growing customer base that includes global brands such as communications and media company, Rogers Communications; golf superstore, Golf Town; global information technology leader, Samsung; and Choice Hotels, one of the world’s largest and most successful lodging companies.

Concurrent with the funding, Alistair Mitchell, President of Generation Ventures, will join the Nudge Rewards Board of Directors. According to Mitchell, “We look for high-growth businesses, solving big problems by leveraging known technologies – in an innovative fashion. Serving large consumer-facing companies, Nudge Rewards continuously optimizes the performance of its clients’ large mobile-centric workforces. Providing timely, concise, and motivating information is more easily said than done – and Nudge Rewards is nailing it with the numbers to prove it.”

About Nudge Rewards

Nudge Rewards provides a mobile solution for retail, foodservice, and hospitality brands looking to measurably impact frontline team performance. With an employee app and content management system, brands can leverage Nudge Rewards to engage, educate, and ultimately reward frontline managers and employees to drive company performance. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, their customers include global brands such as Rogers Communications, Golf Town, Samsung, and Choice Hotels.


A checklist for keeping track of your internal communication tools

A checklist for keeping track of your internal communication tools

Do you have multiple internal communication tools? Do you have trouble keeping track of which one to use for a specific purpose? Look no further! Our Communication Tool Checklist can help you get started with keeping track of which tools are working best for your company, and find out if it’s time to bring something new to your employees. Click to download now.

The moment you walk into your office in the morning, you begin communicating with the people around you. Whether you are answering an email, sending an update through your company chat, or just having a face-to-face conversation with a coworker, you are interacting. It may be easy to keep track of your personal interactions, but what about the interactions happening throughout the rest of your organization? Do you know all of the tools currently being used to communicate with frontline managers and associates? When multiple channels are in use, it becomes increasingly difficult to understand how employees are connecting with one another (and head office), and which channels or tools are most effective for driving performance.

Today’s consumer is more knowledgeable than ever. Internal communication tools have become crucial for creating alignment between different levels of the organization and, ultimately, ensuring employees in the frontline are armed with the best and most current information about your products and brand. A study conducted by Towers Watson found that companies who are highly effective at internal communication are 2x more likely to outperform their peers. That could make a huge difference to your business. The key is to find the right mix of communication tools and channels best suited your culture, are proven to drive productivity, and help drive your performance goals forward.


The first step is to conduct an audit of your communication tools

The average employee spends an estimated 28% of the work week managing e-mail and nearly 20% looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. With all of the different forms of communication that happen between various levels of the organization, there is a lot that can get lost in translation. Time spent searching different channels for the right information is not a good use of the workday, and can leave employees feeling frustrated or misinformed.

By taking some time to audit your organization’s internal communication tools, you can better understand what is working well, what is not, and where the gaps exist.

Employees at a round table collaboration

Building out your organization’s checklist

We have created a Communication Tool Checklist to help you get started. Download a copy by clicking here, then follow the steps below:

1.  List your tools

First things first. Build out a list of all tools your organization is currently using to communicate internally. Start with channels the corporate head office is using to connect with frontline managers (for example, a learning management system (LMS), corporate e-mail and/or print memos). Next, find out what the frontline is using to connect with each other, for example, texting or messaging apps. You may be surprised about the number of ways information is cascading to the frontline.

2. Find out who is using each tool

You have your list. Now, dive deeper by figuring out who exactly is using them. Maybe everyone in the corporate office is connecting via enterprise chat, while frontline managers are receiving company updates through an LMS. By understanding who is engaging with each platform, you will start to build a bigger picture around what is effective for each level of the company.

3. How many people are using each tool? 

Once you know which areas of the organization are using each tool, the next step is to understand how many employees are engaging with it. Measuring the number of people using each tool will give insight into how widespread each channel is for communicating at work.

4. What is each tool used for? 

Next up, know the purpose of every tool on your list. How does your organization leverage the tool? Is the tool a platform used to train employees and provide product and service information? Or is there an app used for messaging and sharing ideas amongst store managers. Whatever the underlying purpose of the tool may be, make sure you take note of it.

5. Record the engagement levels 

The last, and probably one of the most important steps when completing your Communication Tool Checklist is to figure out the engagement of each tool. Find out how often the tool is used and the reasons are behind that frequency. Also, it is important to record if any feedback received from your employees on the effectiveness of the tool. If you haven’t yet received any feedback from managers or staff, then simply ask!

Using our Communications Tools Checklist will give you a quick start to forming a clear picture of which channels are effective in your company, and what needs to be improved. Once everything is organized and quantified in front of you, constructing your new and improved internal communications strategy will be a much more streamlined process.