The Employee Net Promoter Score (or eNPS) is a highly valuable indicator of how engaged and loyal your employees are. Studies show that, the happier your employees are, the better your business will perform.
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about the employee Net Promoter Score, including its proven benefits, measurement, and use of our eNPS calculator. You will also discover several evidence-based tips on how to improve employee engagement to increase your business performance.
Table of Contents
- What is the employee Net Promoter Score?
- The benefits of measuring eNPS
- How to measure eNPS
- eNPS Calculator
- What is a good eNPS score?
- When to measure eNPS
- What are the limitations of eNPS, and how to overcome them?
- How do I increase my eNPS score?
What is the employee Net Promoter Score?
The eNPS is an employee experience metric. Its calculated score ranges between -100 and 100 to determine the group of ambassadors in your organization and how loyal your employees. The employee Net Promoter Score is adapted from the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a key metric that measures customer loyalty. Given this, it asks your employees one single question, typically worded as:
How likely are you to recommend [Organisation] as an employer to others?
The employee is offered an 11-point scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being not at all likely to 10 extremely likely.
Employee responses are grouped into three categories as follows:
- Ratings between 0 and 6 are considered detractors.
- Ratings between 7 and 8 are considered passives.
- Ratings between 9 and 10 are considered promoters
Promoters are extremely loyal employees who are more likely to spread positive word of mouth about your organization.
Passives are neutral; these employees are neither emotionally invested nor disengaged.
Detractors are more likely to spread negative word of mouth about your organization and appear disengaged and dissatisfied.
The Benefits of Measuring eNPS
The Employee Net Promoter Score is a powerful yet simple metric to gain rapid feedback from your employees. Measuring Employee Net Promoter Score offers six compelling benefits:
Its power lies in its simplicity. Its powerful question is proven to quickly and reliably gauge your overall employee loyalty. With each deployment, you will rapidly measure and track how many promoters and detractors your business employs over time.
Increases business performance. The employee experience is linked with work performance, employee productivity, and creativity. Businesses that offer a strong employee experience typically enjoy greater profits, brand equity, and innovation.
Positively impacting customer loyalty. Employees who are promoters of a company are also more likely to convert customers into promoters.
Reduces employee attrition. By regularly measuring eNPS, your organisation can understand and prevent high employee attrition rates. Employee attrition and retention are two sides of the same coin. eNPS results allow you to gauge problems before employees leave and help you understand why employees remain in loyal service.
Increases employee experience. Employee insight is highly valuable; your eNPS data provides you with the opportunity to convert detractors into promoters.
Increases employee morale. Employees want to be heard and valued. When you ask and respond to the employee voice, employee morale increases.
Given these substantial benefits, how do we measure the employee Net Promoter Score
How to measure eNPS
Based on the promoter, passive, and detractor groups, the eNPS is calculated like this:
((Number of employee promoters – Number of employee detractors) / Total responses) x 100
The formula is sometimes also written as the following, which yields the same result:
Total % of Employee Promoters – Total % of Employee Detractors
At Questback, we advise adding a free text input after the eNPS question. As powerful as the eNPS score is, this qualitative data adds rich insights to explain the why behind your measured employee loyalty. As we shall detail shortly, individual textual responses provide concrete opportunities to not only understand your score but also offer valuable opportunities to increase employee loyalty.
Using the formula above, the eNPS enables you to make insightful comparisons, for instance, across different business functions and staff positions and between offices and geographic regions.
Let’s use an example: Company X has offices across Europe. It decides to conduct employee Net Promoter Score surveys across its European operations to understand employee engagement across its four regions.
With a solution such as Questback, Company X receives responses and calculates its eNPS results. The following scores are calculated using the above eNPS formula:
eNPS for Northern Europe is: 15
eNPS for Southern Europe is: 90
eNPS for Western Europe is: 80
eNPS for Great Britain is: 38
From the above hypothetical scenario, we can see the lowest eNPS score is for Northern Europe. Using the scores for this region, Company X can take a more granular approach to understand employee loyalty in different countries, e.g., Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. This helps to understand whether differences are apparent between country, office, business function or staff levels, e.g., senior management.
Moreover, the free text data can be compared between different regions to identify why differences have emerged.
You can use the employee net promoter score calculator below to try out different combinations of detractors, passives, and promoters to see the effect on your eNPS.
It’s essential to be aware that, unlike an average score for a typical survey question, the eNPS is highly sensitive to changes in the number of employee detractors and promoters. That’s because the eNPS only deems a response of 9 and 10 as genuine promoters, and a proportionately more significant number of responses identify detractors, that is, answers from 0 to 6.
Again, let’s look at a few example eNPS surveys and their outcomes:
|7-8 (passives)||9-10 (promoters)||Total responses||
|20||33||15||68||((15-20)/68) x 100||-7|
|10||6||31||47||((31-10)/47) x 100||45|
|14||7||31||52||((31-14)/52) x 100||33|
|21||20||21||62||((21-21)/62) x 100||0|
From these example calculations, we can learn a few interesting insights.
- If you have more employee detractors than promoters, you will have a negative eNPS score. If you have more employee promoters than detractors, you will have a positive eNPS score.
- The number of passives impacts your eNPS score the least, but it does have a ‘dampening’ effect on the final score by being part of the calculation. Also, in future surveys, if their experience changes, for better or worse, former passives will affect your score positively and negatively, respectively.
- If you have an equal number of detractors and promoters, you will always receive an eNPS of 0, no matter how many passives you have in employment.
- Receiving a high eNPS score requires many employee promoters; even a few detractors can pull down your score.
What is a good eNPS score?
To recap, an eNPS score can range from -100 to +100. We often advise clients that a score between +10 to 30 is good, but higher scores are possible. In line with this, a score of +50 would be considered excellent, whereas +80 is best-in-class.
However, like most metrics, eNPS scores vary according to industry and organizational type. Therefore, it’s best to consider your eNPS score relatively, for instance, against direct competitors and your benchmark. Comparing against your own history/benchmark is best as each company has unique characteristics and culture. Moreover, you’ll want to compare against your benchmark to understand whether any changes or initiatives you make result in progress.
For example, if the first time you measure your eNPS score is +10, subsequent scores would be compared against this benchmark. Therefore, if your next score is +20, this would show good progress. Likewise, if your score remains the same or decreases, you know you need to improve the employee experience.
When to Measure eNPS
Measuring eNPS is not a one-off event. Its value lies in tracking employee trends over time. But how often should you measure eNPS?
It’s essential to get the right balance. Too frequent measurements result in survey fatigue, which may undermine its perceived importance among employees. Yet if you measure eNPS irregularly or infrequently, you risk missing out on vital insights and opportunities to improve the employee experience.
With a solution such as Questback, you have the flexibility to make your eNPS either (1) recurring, e.g., every quarter, on work anniversaries, (2) event-based, e.g., onboarding, employee reviews and exit interviews, (3) or ad-hoc, e.g., after training activities.
Also, it’s essential to get a good response rate. The higher your employee response rate, the more representative, and therefore, more meaningful, the score.
We advise promoting your eNPS to gain commitment. Promotional messages could be placed in HR email communications, bulletin boards, intranet notices, and in-house newsletters—the more recognised and valued your eNPS, the better the response rate.
What are the limitations of eNPS, and how to overcome them?
As is the case for every headline metric, the eNPS has strengths and weaknesses. By knowing its limitations, we are better placed to overcome them.
- Too much focus on a number. As calculating the eNPS yields an overall score, it’s easy to lose track of what’s behind the number and the real reasons your eNPS may rise and fall. The solution? Use and respond to the open-ended text question(s) to understand employee engagement trends.
- The detractor score range is wide. Knowing how many detractors you have focuses your attention on creating conditions to cultivate highly loyal employees. However, the number of detractors does not show the spread of detractors from 0 to 6. The solution? Look at the spread and frequency of detractor numbers. If many employees respond with 0 to 3, you know you have a more significant hill to climb than if they had responded with 4 to 6.
- The potential for employee NPS biases. If an organisation uses NPS with customers, there’s a good chance that employees understand how the scaled responses are interpreted. Some feel this risks an employee selecting a “detractor” or “promoter” score to make a statement. The solution? Consistently tell employees how much you value the employee voice and are committed to using eNPS insights to maintain/increase the employee experience.
- The eNPS is a single indicator. However valuable the eNPS is, it remains a single metric. It cannot capture all the complexity behind the employee experience. The solution? At Questback, we recommend using the eNPS in combination with more in-depth employee experience surveys, let’s say, on an annual basis or when the need arises, e.g., you decide to implement a culture change program. In other words, the employee experience deserves rich insights and actions that require more than one question.
With these valuable insights, we now turn to the critical matter of improving the employee experience and increasing your eNPS score.
How do I increase my eNPS score?
In the same way that the NPS influences an organization’s value proposition, your eNPS also shapes the employee value proposition. We now share five proven approaches to increase your employee net promoter score to ensure a thriving workplace for all your employees.
Address Detractor Concerns
No one enjoys receiving criticism. Yet listening and responding to detractor feedback makes an enormous difference to your unhappy employees and your business. Rather than view detractors as a problem, your disloyal employees are a genuine opportunity to improve. After all, as we noted above, loyal, engaged employees have a significant and positive impact on your bottom line. So, if your eNPS score is below +10, especially if it’s negative, you cannot ignore the issues that are detracting and likely damaging your brand’s reputation. Therefore, it makes perfect business sense to be proactive with detractors, actively listen to concerns, and, importantly, accept and respond to insights to improve the employee experience.
Focus on Promoters
Loyalty begets loyalty. To create a virtuous cycle, it’s essential to avoid complacency. Employee promoters deserve attention the same way as detractors but for different reasons. Ongoing acknowledgement and support encourage employee success. Reinforcing feedback also sends a strong message—you value your promoters.
Continuously Track Your Score
Actionable insight is only possible when you continuously track your eNPS. A workplace rarely stands still as internal and external changes influence how employees feel about their employment. The Covid-19 pandemic is an example of external influence. It caused a seismic shift in workplace dynamics and impacted the employee experience for better and worse, for example, the rapid shift to remote working. Internally, the employee climate is equally shaped by diverse factors, from a change in CEO to relocations. Deploying eNPS is an early signal that can tap into reactions to impending or implemented changes.
Collecting data is only part of the solution. Sharing data is also essential. Transparency builds trust and allows honest conversations to take place. With openness, employees can propose their solutions to raised issues. A collaborative, open approach to the employee experience creates greater ownership, and loyalty, over the long term.
Celebrate your employees
Whether employees are promoters or detractors, regularly demonstrating appreciation and celebrating all efforts will prove pivotal in earning loyalty. Celebration can take many forms, from offering recognition and getting to know employees better to nurturing the belonging factor with special initiatives. Each positive initiative you take will likely move the eNPS needle to a higher score.
Final Note on Employee Net Promoter Score
Loyal employees leverage better business outcomes. Yet loyalty is earned, takes time to build and deserves ongoing maintenance, support, and appreciation. This guide highlighted the significant value of measuring employee Net Promoter Score as an essential demonstration of your commitment to your employee experience.
Ready to start measuring eNPS using a free trial?