The most critical initiative facing retailers: Digitally enabling employees - Retail Council of Canada
Human Resources | Digital Retail & Technology | Store Operations

The most critical initiative facing retailers: Digitally enabling employees

November 10, 2022

The past two-plus years have been an incredibly challenging time for retailers operating in just about every category and vertical throughout the entire industry. Uncertainty has been the prevailing theme with disruptions of all sorts, from supply chain upheaval to concerns over the economy, impeding the success and growth of retailers everywhere and their ability to meet the ever-rising expectations of today’s consumer. Despite the many challenges faced by retailers, however, perhaps the most significant one with respect to the continued health of brands everywhere is their need to enhance the experience of their frontline employees and enable them for success.

Enhancing the employee experience

In fact, the need to do so is becoming increasingly more critical if retailers have any designs on optimizing the performance of their staff and meeting the expectations of a consumer that is increasingly seeking out experiences from the brands they shop with. According to the recently-launched Deskless Report, 54% of retail frontline managers are feeling burned out daily. Further, 40% of retail workers want to quit their jobs – a number that’s up from 37% in 2021.

This poses obvious problems for retailers. But it also presents them with the opportunity to provide frontline managers and their teams with the support necessary to relieve the burden they feel and equip them with the tools that will engage and empower them like you never thought possible.


Among so many other things, the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic has accelerated a digitization of the world around us. It’s created a more seamless, convenient and enjoyable retail shopping experience for the customer. So, why not do the same for your retail employees? By leveraging technologies to digitally enable frontline staff, brands can enhance the effectiveness of their communication with them, keeping them informed and engaged, resulting in increased collaboration, innovation and performance, as well as elevated levels of satisfaction among staff. In fact, 84% of corporate leaders, 78% of frontline managers, and 69% of workers polled for the Deskless Report believe investing in new technologies for frontline workers will improve the success of their organization.

Empowered teams

As we continue to slowly approach a post-pandemic era, a period of time when consumers everywhere are becoming more comfortable venturing out and shopping with their favourite brands, those that differentiate themselves will do so largely through the service they provide and experiences they offer. And to do so – to meet and exceed the expectations of today’s consumer – retailers have got to enable and empower their teams, setting everyone up for success.

About Deskless

Deskless is a frontline research hub powered by Axonify + Nudge. Read groundbreaking research, access additional resources, and much more at