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Satisfaction surveys are integral to a company’s growth. In customer satisfaction surveys, the Net Promoter Score (NPS) has been widely utilised since it was invented, and for good reason.
Despite how old it is and its limitations, NPS is a great tool to foresee company success with customers. Based on the NPS is another related metric that helps companies measure their internal work culture and employee experience. This metric is known as the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS).
The eNPS questionnaire is similar to the NPS survey, and its calculations are just as straightforward. However, the eNPS survey is the primary tool to rely upon for companies to track their internal environment. But what does employee NPS mean? What is a good eNPS score? And how does this metric help improve employee engagement and satisfaction?
Read ahead to find out how you can implement employee NPS in your company and start to reap its benefits.
Employee NPS is a concept that builds on the NPS methodology. It is measured and calculated using an eNPS survey. It measures how likely the company’s employees are to recommend the company to others as a great place to work.
What is Employee NPS (eNPS)?
As mentioned previously, employee NPS is a derivative of the age-old NPS metric. Although the two have different applications, people often use the terms interchangeably and wonder, what is the difference between NPS and employee NPS ?
Both eNPS and the NPS tools measure loyalty and experience. However, the audience for both of them is vastly different. NPS measures customer loyalty, whereas eNPS helps companies measure employee loyalty, employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and employee experience.
The tool is simple to administer and analyse as there are no long eNPS survey questions. Instead, the survey asks one question, and company officials aggregate and analyse the answers using simple tools.
After employees answer the question, the eNPS survey divides the respondents into the three following groups based on their answers:
● The Promoters
● The Passives
● The Detractors (or Demotivators)
eNPS Calculation (source)
Promoters are employees who have answered with either 9 or 10 in the eNPS survey. Promoters indicate high levels of loyalty towards your company as they have greater employee satisfaction. Having a high eNPS score also translates into employees having higher levels of engagement in their work, which ultimately translates into high profitability rates. Therefore, employees that are Promoters are likely to promote your company positively in more than one way.
Passives are employees that have scored between 7-8. These employees are considered neutral. Although passive employees are generally satisfied with their work environment, employer, and position in the company, they are still receptive to new job offers. Although passive employees do not actively promote your company as much as a promoter employee would, they are also less likely to leave a negative impression of their workplace with others.
Detractors are employees that have an eNPS score between 0-6. These employees are least likely to recommend the company to someone else as an excellent place to work. Unlike promoters and passive employees, detractors have grievances against the company, their role in their workplace, company rules, or their employer. Therefore, detractors are less likely to paint a positive picture of the company. In fact, such employees are more likely to harm the company’s reputation.
The eNPS metric considers all three categories of respondents and measures their density in the workplace, drawing up simple conclusions about their work environment. The eNPS metric can be used on its own or paired with some Human Resources tools for further study and analysis.
With company reviewing websites such as Glassdoor on the rise, it has become more crucial than ever to improve your company’s employee experience. Employee engagement can have a lasting effect on the company long after an employee leaves. High employee attrition due to disgruntled employees often prompts a sense of unease in the rest of the company.
Therefore, measuring employee engagement is essential for a business to improve institutional integrity and become more efficient. The eNPS metric is one way of doing so.
The benefits of eNPS
The Employee NPS relies on a single question to gauge employee engagement. Many people wonder what benefits eNPS can incur compared to a more detailed questionnaire with comprehensive variables. However, the metric’s greatest strength lies in its simplicity. Following are some undeniable benefits of using the eNPS.
- Easy to administer: One of the simplest questionnaires to exist, administrators of this questionnaire have little room for error. There is only one question and one score to be relied upon.
- Fast: Compared to detailed HR tools utilised annually or biannually to gain deep insights into employee mindset, the eNPS is an excellent short pulse survey. Pulse surveys are a terrific tool for employers to judge employee engagement levels multiple times during the year without causing significant disruptions to the workflow.
- High Familiarity: Owing to the large sensationalisation of satisfaction surveys, most people have used them at some point in their lives. Therefore, it is easier for employees to answer the eNPS question accurately and quickly.
- Little To No Survey Fatigue: Despite how beneficial surveys are at gaining institutional insights, their frequent administration can lead to survey fatigue. This is especially true in cases where surveys administered are lengthy and complex. However, given the brief and straightforward nature of eNPS, it is less likely to cause survey fatigue even when administered numerous times.
- Cost-effective: the eNPS does not require any extensive research or environmental limitations. It can be administered at any time and any place. The quickest and most effective way to disseminate an eNPS survey is through the company’s frequently used communication method.
- Similar to NPS: If a business commonly uses NPS to measure customer loyalty and experience, then it can be worthwhile to have a similar employee experience metric. These metrics can serve as a baseline for measuring experience levels both externally and internally within a company.
- Easy Benchmarking: Due to the quantitative nature of the eNPS, it is easy to use the metric for benchmarking. You can measure your company’s performance over time using simple numerical values that teams can grasp readily.
The limitations of eNPS
As with most survey tools, the eNPS is not free from limitations. What some consider its greatest strength can readily be taken as its weakness. There is no denying that employee NPS falls short when it comes to conducting a comprehensive analysis of employee engagement.
Furthermore, the NPS tool that it is derived from is used to measure customer loyalty. Business owners often disregard the fact that customer mindsets, goals, investments, and outlooks are vastly different from those of employees. Employees have far greater expectations from an organisation that they have invested time, effort, and energy in. Therefore, you cannot gauge the two sets of respondents accurately on the same metric.
Following is a detailed look into some of the limitations of employee NPS:
- Lacks comprehensive depth: The eNPS survey is a single question, single score metric. Other than the immediate feelings of the respondent, there is very little you can decipher from the survey. Although it can measure your current level of employee satisfaction, the survey lacks any comprehensive depth that examines the whys and hows. In combination with other tools, the eNPS is a great metric. However, it carries minimal analytical capabilities on its own.
- Takes the focus away from employees: eNPS asks employees about whether they’d recommend their workplace to others, but not about their experience or feelings about working in your company.
- Lacks direction: The eNPS questionnaire is akin to a snapshot of the current levels of employee satisfaction. However, it does very little to explain how you got here or how you can move forward.
- An inaccurate measure of employee engagement: Employee engagement is seemingly a simple variable to measure. However, some of the factors that affect employee engagement are not considered in eNPS. For example, some employees may not like to work and score high on the eNPS because they find it easy to slack off in their workplace. So even though such employees are satisfied and loyal, they are neither engaged in work nor productive.
- Reduces personal accounts to a single numerical value: The emotions, aspirations, experiences, failures, successes, and investments are far too complex to be measured by a single score single-question survey.
- Disregards passive employees: In the calculations for eNPS, passive employees are disregarded from the equation. Although this makes calculations easier, it leaves a void for employers actively trying to gain insight into employee satisfaction. By learning more about why passive employees are not passionate about their job, you can convert a large chunk of employees from passives into promoters.
Alternatives to eNPS
There are numerous alternatives to employee Net Promoter Score. However, the choice of which metric to use will be dictated by a few factors. These include what variables you would like to measure, how comprehensive you would like the survey to be, and how many questions you would like on it. For single-question surveys, a great alternative to the eNPS is the employee satisfaction survey.
This Employee Satisfaction Survey is based on one clear question and has a Likert scale, similar to eNPS. The survey question for Employee Satisfaction Survey is as follows:
“How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with your job?”
The categories for answers are:
- Extremely dissatisfied
- Somewhat dissatisfied
- Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
- Somewhat satisfied
- Extremely satisfied
The Employee Satisfaction Survey can also be customised according to various situations to gauge employee response. You can then analyse the answers within the given context.
We’ve written previously about customer satisfaction survey questions. Many of these tips are applicable to employee satisfaction surveys, too.
If you prefer a more comprehensive metric with more variables, an integrated program that measures employee experience (EX) and incorporates the eNPS would be most suitable. In addition, an integrated program continuously gathers and monitors feedback so that you can remain up-to-date on company insights at all times.
Furthermore, such programs provide a holistic approach to gauging employee behaviour and experience at the workplace. This helps management identify and curb issues before they escalate and affect employees or the company.
Formula, Calculation, and Examples
Since there is only one scale that is used and a single score, the formula and calculations for the eNPS are rather simple. As a result, the metric does not require any complex software or deep analysis for interpretation.
How do you calculate eNPS?
As mentioned previously, there are three categories of respondents in the eNPS survey: the promoters, the passives, and the detractors. Since passives do not affect the company’s growth, productivity, or employee satisfaction, they are not considered in the calculations. The final eNPS score is measured by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters:
%Promoters - %Detractors= eNPS
Another variation of the formula commonly used is as follows:
(Number of Promoter employees - Number of Detractor employees)/Total number of respondents x 100
Both formulae can be used interchangeably and lead to the same eNPS score. This score can vary between 100 to -100 depending on which proportion of the respondent category is the largest in your company.
A company with 100 employees uses the eNPS survey to measure employee experience. The results are:
- 75 Promoter employees (those who voted 9-10)
- 10 Passive employees (those who voted 7-8)
- 15 Detractor employees (those who voted between 0-6)
This would translate into 75% promoters, 10% passives, and 15% detractors. The calculations for eNPS are as follows:
75% - 15% = 60%
The Employee Net Promoter Score for the company is 60%
eNPS can be measured through the eNPS survey. It can be administered on its own or as part of a more comprehensive HR tool.
Employee NPS can easily be administered through the company’s preferred method of communication periodically without fear of survey fatigue. Since the questionnaire is relatively small, employee participation remains high. By using this metric often, you can keep track of employee experience at various intervals throughout the year.
However, eNPS can also be used as part of a larger survey for a deeper understanding of the overall employee experience, employee engagement, employee satisfaction, and internal institutional dynamics. However, if eNPS is part of a larger, more comprehensive survey, then its frequency of administration must be reduced.
This is because complex surveys that are difficult to complete often cause disruptions in the workflow and often yield the same results unless significant time has passed between the administration of the surveys.
eNPS survey question
The original eNPS survey relies on one basic question and has one simple Likert scale for measuring responses in the range of 0-10. The eNPS survey question is as follows:
“On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend [company name] as a place to work?”
However, this question alone often does not give enough information about employee mindset. Therefore, most companies add at least one or two more meaningful eNPS survey questions so that the score can be understood and explained better. The questions added must be simple and comprehensible so as to not engage the employees for too long and get meaningful results.
Commonly added follow-up questions:
“What is the reason for the above score”
“What do you like about the company?”
“What do you dislike about the company?”
“How do you think we can improve?”
Combining short, free-form questions with the eNPS can help you measure employee experience through an efficient questionnaire, as well as gain valuable and detailed responses explaining said score. This practice can help you get the most out of your eNPS survey and explain the predominant drivers behind your score, as well as highlight areas for improvement.
Another advantage of adding explanatory questions to the survey is the fact that passive employees will no longer be disregarded. Although they may not have an active effect on the eNPS, they still make up a large percentage of the company’s workforce that is essentially eliminated from the survey. By taking their answers into account, you can implement policies in your company that will help mobilise passive employees into the promoter category.
Benchmarks and Tips
Once you’ve conducted the eNPS survey and have gathered the relevant scores, it is time to analyse the results and use them to improve the company’s standing with its employees. To do so, you must understand the precipitating factors behind the scores, what the scores mean, how you can use the eNPS for benchmarking, and how you can improve your score.
What companies use eNPS?
Both large and small companies frequently employ the eNPS survey to gain crucial employee information. Since the questionnaire can be administered frequently, with ease, and with little to no additional costs, it is utilised by companies of all sizes.
However, industry, culture, and geographic location may have some impact on the eNPS. For example, European industries tend to have more neutral eNPS scores as employees in such countries are reserved when it comes to scoring. American companies, however, tend to score quite high. Similarly, when taking the type of industry into consideration, the debt collection and property management industries tend to score poorly.
Cultural and geographical impact on eNPS (Source)
Some of the most well-known companies that administer the eNPS survey include:
Although mammoth companies such as the ones listed above frequently use this tool, this does not mean smaller businesses cannot benefit from it. Numerous small businesses can benefit from using the eNPS to improve their company’s dynamics and create a better work environment with an engaged and productive workforce.
eNPS benchmarks and scores
Understanding the eNPS results is the key to company progress and benchmarking. As mentioned previously, scores can vary between 100 to -100. The higher the percentage of promoters present in the company, the higher will be the eNPS score. A score of 100 means that all the employees in the company are promoters, and the company is doing great regarding its workforce satisfaction.
However, a higher percentage of Detractors can result in your company fairing low in the eNPS survey. With -100 being the lowest possible score, meaning all employees are detractors. A company that scores -100 is likely to have a turbulent work environment with highly disgruntled employees that are waiting for an opportunity to leave.
A net score of 0 means that the percentage of Promoters and Detractors is equal, and the company is in net equilibrium. However, any changes in the current working environment can easily tip the score towards the negative side.
Overall, any score above 0 is considered acceptable for a company. This means that there are sufficient promoters in the company to ensure its survival. Scores that lie between 10 to 30 are good, whereas anything above 30 is excellent.
The best measure of benchmarking for your business is your company’s own performance. There are no set criteria for what you should aim towards. However, achieving a positive and high eNPS score should be on your agenda at all times. By frequently administering the eNPS score, you can gain insight into employee satisfaction levels and set benchmarks accordingly. Then, by implementing specific strategies, you can help your company improve its score.
Ways to improve your employee Net Promoter Score
The final part of utilising the eNPS lies in ways to improve your eNPS scores. A big mistake the numerous companies make is not implementing concrete strategies that help to improve their eNPS score and instead only using this tool to monitor their current standing. The eNPS should ideally prompt immediate discussions that lead to deeper investigations and analysis of the score and methods to improve it. These can include:
Finding out the effect each respondent category has on the company
- Promoters: Having a larger percentage of employees that are promoters translates into a productive and efficient work environment. With low levels of stress and general workplace dissatisfaction, this energy can then be utilised for growth and higher work yield. Promoter employees are also less likely to leave their workplace for another job offer, improving your company’s employee turnover ratio.
- Passives: Despite not being an obvious threat to the company, passive employees can hinder company growth. A high percentage of passive employees is likely to render a company stagnant as there may be high employee turnover and instability in the work environment. Passive employees are easier to convert into promoters and, with the right company policies, can turn into highly engaged and profitable employees.
- Detractors: Detractors are unhappy employees with the least employee satisfaction and loyalty. They are likely to be less productive than other employees and could thereby affect the company’s profitability negatively. Having a large percentage of detractors is an alarming sign for any business as it indicates high levels of employee dissatisfaction and employee attrition as well. With instability and hostility rampant at a company, productivity ratios automatically fall.
Making note of the various factors that affect your company eNPS
Company policies and dynamics are always evolving, and with them, so is the company’s work culture and employee satisfaction. To be able to gauge which policies and changes work well for the company, it is important to take note of the eNPS scores before the change is implemented and a short while after.
Letting your employees know that their input matters
By being transparent about your results and actively listening to your employees, you can improve their level of trust in your company. This can also help you interpret the results better and consider new methods of improvement. This in itself is likely to have a positive impact on employee engagement.
Keep the responses anonymous
To ensure accuracy of responses, ensure that all replies are anonymous and that employees know that there are no repercussions for being honest. This will generate responses that are more precise and will result in employees being able to give honest feedback without fear of reprisal. Employers looking for positive reviews from their team may intimidate employees into giving a false response. However, the anonymity of responses ensures that this issue is prevented.
eNPS is a metric that has been used for many years to measure employee satisfaction, employee engagement, employee loyalty, and employee experience levels. The metric has its roots in the commonly used customer satisfaction tool NPS.
Although eNPS is a simple tool to use, it can be used to discover valuable information regarding institutional acuities. The metric can be dispensed at any time, and the results can be analysed with ease using simple software.
However, it is not enough to simply gauge current levels of employee experience using eNPS. By adding follow-up questions to the survey, you can gain a further understanding of why you have a certain score and how you can improve it. Utilising this cost-effective and efficient survey, you can bring about large improvements in your company despite its size or the industry it belongs to.
Tom is the co-founder of TRACX, a no-code marketing platform that allows local business owners to collect customer feedback and create engaging marketing campaigns. With over 17 years of experience in entrepreneurship, product development, and marketing for businesses large and small, Tom is currently responsible for developing product and marketing strategies for TRACX.