Understanding what employees are experiencing every day is critical to your company’s success. When employees are unhappy, unmotivated, or disengaged, it can effect their productivity and effectiveness—and lead to attrition. According to a SurveyMoney study,1 only one in three (32%) HR pros say that HR at their company has been ‘very successful’ at addressing turnover. 

Uncovering the factors that can affect employee wellbeing regularly may sound like a difficult task. But there’s good news—a proven methodology for doing this for customers already exists, and it’s a small shift to apply that same approach to employees.

eNPS®, or employee Net Promoter Score®, is a great way to measure employee engagement and gather feedback on the employee experience at your company. Once you know the current state of the employee experience, you can find effective ways to improve and increase employee satisfaction and retention. 

1SurveyMonkey study of 269 US HR professionals in September 2023

The employee Net Promoter Score is a way of measuring how your employees feel about their experience working at your company. The eNPS survey is modeled after the Net Promoter Score system, created by Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld, to measure customer loyalty and satisfaction. While NPS focuses on the customer experience, eNPS focuses on the employee experience. But both use the same methodology to measure loyalty and satisfaction. 

The employee Net Promoter Score system allows companies to measure the employee experience and employee engagement levels, which is critical. That’s because highly engaged employees are more productive, loyal, and profitable. And eNPS a simple survey that incudes one question, so it doesn’t take your employees long to provide feedback even on the busiest of days. 

The eNPS survey starts with one simple question: “On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend [company] as a place to work?” Most big companies who use the eNPS system will ask this question to gauge the health of the employee experience. 

Bain found that asking employees how likely they are to recommend your company’s products and services to their friends and colleagues is a good indicator of employee loyalty and engagement. 

Whether you use one or both of these questions, how to calculate eNPS remains the same (and it’s also calculated using the same system as your NPS score). You send out a survey to your employees, asking them to rate you on a scale from 0-10, and gather their answers. Anyone who rates their likelihood to recommend as a 9 or 10 is a promoter, those who rate you a 7 or 8 are passives, and anyone who responds with a 6 or below is a detractor. 

Next, you calculate your eNPS score by deducting your percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. For example, if you received survey responses from 1000 employees and had 200 passives, 500 detractors, and 300 promoters, your overall eNPS score would be 20. 

Scores vary widely between industries, but a good standard is that any eNPS score over 10 is acceptable. If your score is above 50, your company is creating a great employee experience. And if your score is negative, there’s work to do.

Each of the three kinds of employees—your promoters, your passives, and your detractors—have a different, yet strong impact on your company’s success. And each provides unique insight into your employee experience. 

Promoters are active advocates for your business and highly recommend your company as a place to work or purchase products and services. Your company can learn a lot from these employees:

  • They can offer details about why they enjoy working at your company so you can use it in your recruiting efforts. 
  • They can also offer examples of things working well in their team or department that can be replicated in other areas to increase engagement rates across the board. 
  • Cultivating these employees as informal recruiters or advocates for your company can attract job candidates and grow your sales.

Passives are employees who rated their likelihood to recommend your business to their networks as a 7 or 8, which might seem relatively high initially. After all, if they’re rating you an 8, they must be happy with some aspects of the company. 

But in reality, these employees might not dislike their jobs and your business, but they don’t love it either. 

  • They’re passively satisfied and mostly content with their work but not strongly committed or loyal. 
  • If something better comes, they won’t hesitate to jump ship. 
  • And while they aren’t discontent with their roles, they’re also not passionate about performing at their absolute best daily.

Detractors are your dissatisfied and unhappy employees. They’ve rated their likelihood to recommend your business to those they know as a 6 or below. And there’s a good chance they aren’t just unhappy but vocal about their unhappiness to their colleagues and friends.

It’s vital to look for patterns in your detractors.

  • Are you frequently hiring people who don’t have the skills or experience to do their jobs properly and so they become frustrated? 
  • Are you hiring many people who aren’t a cultural fit? 
  • Or is something amiss in your company culture that needs to be fixed before you lose more employees? 

Measuring eNPS is worthwhile—it makes a difference to your employees, customers, and bottom line. Companies with highly engaged workers grew their revenues 2.5 times more than companies with low levels of engagement. Additionally, your business will gain 10% higher customer loyalty and engagement levels when your employees are highly engaged. Measuring employee engagement levels and acting on the feedback you receive impacts your bottom line. 

Plus, eNPS has several unique benefits that make it a good option for businesses looking to improve their employee experience. 

Since eNPS is a single number score that is easily calculated, gathering and analyzing your data is simple compared to more elaborate surveys like Employee Opinion Surveys. You can also easily track trends over time and survey employees frequently, so you will know quickly whether your efforts at improvement are working. 

If you’re thinking about using eNPS, you’re probably also already using Net Promoter Score. That means your stakeholders and executives, and possibly your employees, already have at least some understanding of NPS and what it means. And even if they don’t, it’s a simple concept to grasp so everyone can get on board quickly. 

Adding the employee Net Promoter Score to your employee survey toolkit is not a significant investment, especially if you’re already using the NPS survey system. It is a quick survey to create, simple to send, and easy to analyze your data once your replies are in. It’s straightforward when you use a survey tool like SurveyMonkey, which provides pre-built templates on employee engagement, and AI-powered analysis to help you quickly uncover insights from your employees. 

An eNPS survey has a high response rate because it’s easy—employees can complete the survey quickly. But this same simplicity is also a limitation—eNPS doesn’t provide a complete picture of the employee experience. For example, employees might recommend your company because of it’s excellent benefits, but still lack commitment and engagement because they don’t find their work interesting or meaningful. 

That’s why an employee Net Promoter Score survey cannot be the only one means of gathering feedback. There is still room for other kinds of surveys: employee satisfaction survey and workplace benefits surveys. More detailed surveys can be combined with eNPS to give you deeper insights into the entire employee experience. 

What eNPS is and why it matters

You can also send eNPS surveys more frequently than longer employee surveys. Since it’s so short, you can pulse it once per month to keep abreast of current trends or rising issues in the employee experience. Your eNPS survey should also always include an optional second question that’s open-ended and asks employees the reason for their score so you can gain more insights if they choose to answer. 

Wondering how to use your eNPS data once your survey results are in? To improve your employee experience, you need to figure out what you’re doing right and where you’re going wrong, and develop a plan to make real and lasting improvements. 

Creating an eNPS action plan based on your results will help you improve your eNPS score and employee experience. Here are a few tips:

Organizational change usually starts at the top. Get company leaders on board with recommendations on how changes to recruiting, training, and employee development can positively impact the workplace environment. Engaging leaders in the process and getting buy-off on changes can lead to improvements, and boost the results of your next eNPS score. 

Company culture is a shared set of workplace beliefs, values, attitudes, standards, purposes, and behaviors. Your organization's culture is found in how you and your colleagues think, what you say, and what you value. 

Understanding employee expectations around culture means knowing how people feel about working long hours, inclusion and diversity, benefits like paid time off, and raises and promotions. It also includes unspoken values like showing up on time for meetings, or how executives are treated compared to employees.  

Sending out a follow-up study to uncover satisfaction or dissatisfaction with culture can positively impact your eNPS, and help you understand where employees are engaged and happy. 

One big mistake companies make is asking employees to complete surveys and deciding that the feedback they receive is inaccurate or too difficult to act on. This happens because making real changes can be challenging, and hard to change entrenched attitudes.

Employees eventually notice that their feedback isn’t being listened to or driving changes. They become discouraged and stop providing feedback, and your eNPS can go down because they don’t feel heard or acknowledged. And that’s a poor employee experience in itself. Instead, commit to actively listen to feedback and make real changes where possible. 

eNPS is a valuable metric for any company seeking to gauge the satisfaction and loyalty of its workforce. Using the employee Net Promoter Score system significantly benefits your employees, business, and customers. Learn how you can uncover insights to engage and retain your employees with SurveyMonkey. Explore our purpose-built solutions or find a plan that works for you.

Net Promoter, Net Promoter Score, and NPS are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

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