Employee net promoter score (eNPS)

Measuring employee satisfaction is a challenge because there’s no single determinant for HR leaders to rely on. To facilitate the process, a universal metric that factors the impact of most things people find important in a workplace was developed – employee net promoter score (eNPS). 

Let’s take a deeper look at what eNPS means and how HR teams can use it to reliably gauge employee engagement. 

What is employee net promoter score? 

An employer net promoter score applies the idea of an NPS (also net promoter score) used to collect customer feedback. eNPS determines how strongly employees advocate for the organization by learning how eager they are to tell their networks about it. 

Some sources describe eNPS as a survey with a single question: “On a scale from one to ten, How likely are you to recommend the organization as a good workplace?” Other experts recommend adding an extra open-ended question that lets respondents elaborate on their choices. 

Tip: following a number-based evaluation with an open-ended question will give HR teams extra data and prevent leaders from misinterpreting the results. 

How to calculate employer net promoter score? 

Based on the value they chose to answer the question, employees will fall into three categories: 

  • Promoters (9-10): highly engaged employees and passionate brand advocates
  • Passives (7-8): neutral employees: they don’t have a ride-or-die commitment to the organization but are not frustrated by work either. 
  • Detravtors (0-6): employees who work at the company because they don’t have other options. Deep down, they are unhappy and would consider leaving as soon as a better opportunity is on the horizon. 

After you collected and labeled the data, it’s time to shrink it into eNPS. The process is relatively straightforward: 

  • Determine each category’s share out of the total workforce
  • Subtract the percentage of promoters from that of detractors. The result is your final eNPS. 

Note: passives are not taken into account when calculating employee net promoter score. 

What is a good eNPS?

The eNPS score ranges from -100 to + 100. To assess your organization’s eNPS against a benchmark, use the following point of reference provided by SurveyMonkey as the result of surveying around 150,000 organizations: 

  • Average eNPS score: +32 
  • Normal score: +10-+30
  • Good score: +40-+60
  • Excellent eNPS score: +70+

Why employer net promoter score is important? 

eNPS helps quickly and efficiently assess your company’s employee brand and employee experience. If most employees are unwilling to recommend the company to their network, it’s a red flag for employer brand and retention. 

Similarly, high eNPS seems to have a link to productivity and high performance. Motivated and engaged employees turn out to be better problem-solvers, creative thinkers, and excellent communicators with end customers. 

By regularly measuring and iterating upon eNPS results, HR leaders and C-suite stay accountable for employee experience and are at lower risk of prioritizing short-term business objectives over long-term people-centered goals. 

Common eNPS criticisms

As is the case for most straightforward methods, eNPS gets backlash for the very things that made its name. The most common points against the employer net promoter score method are: 

  • It’s too simplistic and reductionist
  • The analysis method is not rigorous enough
  • It’s unclear how the metric of recommending the organization is a direct measure of employee experience or satisfaction
  • High-level data gathered from eNPS results can be misleading

Tip: if you want to make the most out of an employer net promoter score survey, make sure it is anonymous. This way, you will put employees at ease and won’t pressure them to give the answers that managers or HRs “want to hear”. 
eNPS is not the only way to measure employee engagement. We covered other methods to assess employee experience and shared a few templates managers can use to get a three-dimensional view of the organization.

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