A Quick Guide to the Employee Net Promoter Score

Find out how the employee net promoter score can boost employee engagement rates and the steps you need to take to use it in your business.

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It all started with the Net Promoter Score (NPS), an easy way to measure customer loyalty first introduced by Bain & Company management consulting company in 2003.

To calculate your NPS, you ask customers one question: “How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?”

Customers answer using a scale of 1-10 and are then grouped into Promoters (score 9-10), Passives (score 7-8), and Detractors (score 1-6).

The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is an offshoot of the net promoter survey. It uses the same simple technique and similar questions to measure your worker’s engagement and loyalty.


Overview: What is the employee net promoter score?

eNPS, like NPS, uses one question to measure loyalty:

“On a scale of zero to ten, how likely is it you would recommend this company as a place to work?”

However, some companies go one step further and ask a second question to help provide more accurate results. This question is a variant of: “How likely would you be to recommend this company’s products or services to a friend or colleague?”

Employees also answer the second question on a scale of 1-10. Then, just like customers, they are sorted into Promoters (score 9-10), Passives (score 7-8), and Detractors (score 1-6).

A screenshot of the scale employers use to calculate employee net promoter score.

eNPS consists of one or two questions employees answer on a scale of 1-10. Source: bain.com.


How to calculate the employee net promoter score

To calculate your eNPS score, use the following equation:

  • The percentage of employees who are Promoters (those who scored 9 or 10) minus the percentage who are Detractors (those who scored 0 to 6)

The Passives are not counted when calculating this score.


3 benefits of the employee net promoter score

While some HR experts have criticized eNPS for being too simplistic, it can be highly beneficial for your business if used in the right way.

1. Simple to use

One barrier to creating an effective program to measure employee engagement and loyalty is the time it takes to set this up. If you use the employee net promoter score, you already have two questions to survey your staff.

You can choose to tailor these questions further to suit your needs, but the basic structure is already in place.

2. Easy to measure

Measuring employee loyalty changes over time is an important part of any workforce analytics program. If you ask open-ended questions, it’s difficult to track improvements in a meaningful way. You need concrete HR metrics to measure performance.

Since the eNPS score calculation is based on numerical values, you can easily collect and analyze this data and track how well your employee satisfaction program is performing.

3. Minimal effort for employees

Employees have only to answer one or two questions. They don’t have to write their answers, merely provide a score. While it may take some thought, it takes little effort on their part and doesn’t disrupt their schedules.

This increases the likelihood of getting responses from a higher number of your employees.


How to use the employee net promoter score efficiently in your business

It’s important to make the employee net promoter score part of an overall employee engagement process, rather than sending out a survey and seeing the results as good or bad.

1. Explain why you’re sending the survey

Communication is key. Don’t send out surveys without explaining their purpose. Let employees know why you’re collecting the data and how you’ll use it.

Outline how the program will work, including:

  • When you’ll be sending the survey
  • How often you’ll send it
  • When they need to complete it
  • When you’ll be holding follow-up meetings

2. Ask the question regularly

The days of once-a-year performance reviews are gone. Instead, companies are increasingly favoring regular feedback sessions to measure employee satisfaction and boost morale within the workplace.

As the employee net promoter score only consists of one or two quick questions that take a minute to answer, you can ask employees these questions regularly without disrupting their schedule.

While there is no right or wrong frequency, sending out a survey once a month means you can collect enough data to accurately track how employees are feeling and you can act before it’s too late.

3. Publish the results to the entire company

It’s important that any employee satisfaction survey, whether it’s eNPS or another method, stays anonymous. If you ask your staff to add their name to their responses, they are less likely to fill it out or give honest feedback.

While you need to keep individual surveys anonymous, you can publish the results as a whole. In the interests of openness and transparency, it’s important to be honest about how employees are feeling, rather than trying to hide the results, which you may be tempted to do if they aren’t great.

But bad results don’t have to mean doom and gloom. Knowing how employees feel, you can address the issues. It’s best to get this feedback before people leave rather than in their exit interviews.

4. Use HR software to manage the process

Asking the questions is only the first step. You need to analyze the data to get meaningful insight. The easiest way to do this is to use HR software.

Employees can fill in the survey within the employee portal area of your HR solution, and the software can analyze the data for you and produce a report automatically. Rather than manually collating responses and poring over a report, your software generates it for you.

BambooHR human resources solution has employee net promoter score functionality built into its employee satisfaction module. From its human resources dashboard, you can program the system to quickly send out the question at any interval you choose and customize the survey to add additional questions.

BambooHR’s employee net promoter screen with fields for how likely you are to recommend your place of work.

You can quickly and easily create and send employee net promoter score surveys using BambooHR. Source: BambooHR software.

5. Hold follow-up meetings

If you’ve spent time creating a survey, sending it out, collecting data, and then analyzing it, don’t let that effort go to waste.

Arrange follow-up meetings with employees to discuss the results. Allow them to talk about what they like, what you could be doing better, and how they feel about the results. Try to discover why people may be eNPS detractors and what you can do to increase their score.

Plug this information into your employee satisfaction program and see how the changes you make affect your employee satisfaction score after you send the next survey.


Rethink recruitment

If your employee engagement score is low, the issue might be the people you’re recruiting. If they aren’t a good cultural fit, then they’re unlikely to be happy at the company. Take into consideration different factors when analyzing your data. You might need to set up more comprehensive surveys to understand what’s going on with your workforce.

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The Motley Fool has a Disclosure Policy. The Author and/or The Motley Fool may have an interest in companies mentioned.