What is Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)?

October 25, 2022

employee net promoter score eNPS

eNPS - we hear you

Employee Net Promoter Score, often abbreviated as eNPS is based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) developed by Fred Reichheld. While the NPS was designed as a quick way to measure and gauge customer loyalty, the eNPS was designed to measure employee engagement and satisfaction.

What is the Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is a simple survey with two questions:

  1. How likely would you be to recommend (a brand, company, or service) to a friend or colleague?
  2. Why?

The NPS score gives you a quick measure of customer sentiment. It can predict business growth since customer referrals and recommendations can be an engine for growth. Additionally, in the age of Software as a Service (SaaS) businesses, where subscriptions and recurring revenue are key metrics, customer loyalty can be a strong predictor of success.

The NPS originated in 2001, and became popular via an article in the Harvard Business Review titled, “The One Number You Need To Grow.”

The NPS score of some famous brands have been widely reported, with companies like Costco and Apple consistently achieving exceptional marks.

How is the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) Different than the NPS?

Where the NPS is a survey of your customers, the Employee Net Promoter Score, or eNPS, is a survey of your employees. Usually, the question is rephrased to specifically focus on whether you would recommend the company to a friend looking for work:

  • How likely would you be to recommend this company to a friend as a place to work?

Since the eNPS is delivered to your employees instead of your customers, it serves as a predictor of your employee engagement and sentiment. Happy and engaged employees are much more likely to recommend your company as a place to work to their friends and acquaintances. It gives you a quick and simple measure that you can track over time to see how your employee engagement initiatives are performing. Additionally, because it’s just one question with an optional follow-up, it makes it easy for your employees to provide feedback.

How to Calculate NPS and eNPS?

The first question is a simple multiple choice question with options ranging from 0 to 10, with 0 being least likely and 10 being most likely. Respondents are divided into three categories:

  1. Promoters - Those that answered 9 or 10. These respondents are seen as enthusiastic supporters of your company or service, and are likely to be happy customers who help your company grow and thrive.
  2. Passives - Those that answered 7 or 8. These respondents are seen as neutral, meaning they are generally happy with you, but are not likely to be strong or proactive advocates for you.
  3. Detractors - Those that answered 6 or lower. These respondents are likely unhappy with your company or service, and may harm your reputation with negative word of mouth.

To calculate your NPS or eNPS score, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Passives do not affect the score. For example, if you surveyed 100 people, and had 60 Promoters, 30 Passives, and 10 Detractors, your score would be:

Percentage of Detractors: 10 Detractors / 100 Total Respondents × 100 = 10%. Percentage of Promoters: 60 Promoters / 100 Total Respondents × 100 = 60%.

NPS/eNPS: 60 - 10 = 50

The NPS or eNPS score can range from -100 to 100.

The second question is open ended, and thus much more open to interpretation. It’s important to take the time to read and understand this feedback, particularly to extract and understand any themes that may be a common thread through all of the responses. This is especially important because the question is optional, and your employees have taken the time to provide this additional and unstructured feedback.

A Note About Limitations of the NPS and eNPS

Critics of the NPS and eNPS argue that the score is too blunt because it classifies respondents into the three buckets. Moreover, it’s not clear that the buckets are totally reflective of human behavior in that it’s possible to be both a promoter of one specific aspect of a company, but a detractor of another. Additionally, detractors in particular, are often a focus of these surveys, but studies have shown that some people classified as detractors have actually recommended the service or been neutral.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the NPS and eNPS were designed to be quick measures. It’s not practical to give frequent, in-depth surveys to your customers or employees because response rates would plummet. Instead, you’re trading off absolute precision for an estimate and general trends. You can then use this to monitor overall health over time, and probe further into specific areas as needed.

How to Use the eNPS at Your Organization

As we discussed, the eNPS score provides a quick and easy measure of your employee engagement and sentiment. This score can and should be shared with your employees so your entire team can see that you’re taking the time to measure, and being honest about the results. Moreover, you should keep track of this score over time, and strive to consistently improve where possible. It’s important to measure your eNPS frequently (we recommend monthly), so you can understand the trend, as opposed to getting a point-in-time measure.

Additionally, you should keep track of the keywords and themes that arise from the open-ended follow-up question. This can help you track down some of the causes for the eNPS score changes, and allow you to reinforce the things that are driving promoters, and address the issues that are driving detractors.

Swell’s platform can help you get started measuring eNPS and gathering valuable data, while minimizing the impact on your team. Add Swell to Slack or Teams to see how we can help you track your eNPS.

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