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What is Employee Net Promoter Score, and Why Does it Matter?

  • Human Resources
  • Article
  • 6 min. Read
  • Last Updated: 11/07/2023

an employee taking an employer net promoter score (eNPS) survey
Employee satisfaction is a key metric and businesses trying to position themselves in the labor market have turned the results of the Employee Net Promoter Score surveys.

Table of Contents

Like many business owners and HR professionals, you’re probably all-to-familiar with the challenges posed by today’s competitive labor and employment market. As an employer, it can be hard to quantify whether or not your efforts are positioning you as an employer of choice, and without this data, improving hiring and retention tactics can be a guessing game. That’s why more business owners and HR pros are measuring and tracking their Employee Net Promoter Score, also called eNPS.

The eNPS is an HR metric designed to measure employee satisfaction and loyalty. A higher eNPS indicates that employees are more satisfied and potentially more likely to stay with a given company, while a lower score shows employee dissatisfaction.

The eNPS is also a leading indicator of employee engagement, which is another critical area for today’s HR professionals. Engaged employees are happier, more productive, and more connected to their workplace – all factors that positively impact culture, work environment, and employee retention. A sign of disengaged employees can be “quiet quitting,” absenteeism, and in some cases, employee turnover.

How to Measure Employee Net Promoter Score

The eNPS is measured based on a single question to employees: How likely are you to recommend your employer to others as a place of work?

Employees respond on a numeric scale from 0 to 10, with 0 meaning “not at all likely to recommend” and 10 being “very likely to recommend.” Employees who select 9 or 10 are categorized as “promoters”, those who select 7 or 8 are called “passives” and employees who select a score of 0 through 6 are known as “detractors.”

eNPS surveys should be anonymous, so respondents feel comfortable giving honest answers and feedback. You may wish to ask classification questions at the end of the survey to analyze if there are differences between employee groups. For example, asking if an employee is full-time or part-time, capturing respondent age ranges, or office location, and then using this information as a filter on the responses, can uncover if certain employee groups are more satisfied and loyal than others. Be mindful that you are not causing employees to inadvertently “self-identify” through your classification questions.

How to Calculate eNPS

eNPS = (% of promoters) – (% of detractors)

A company’s eNPS score will be between -100 and 100; typically, a score between 10 and 30 is considered strong.

Promoters can be a key business asset; these employees tend to be highly engaged, very satisfied in their roles, and likely to stay with their current employer into the future. Detractors can have a negative effect on companies; these employees tend to be more likely to leave in the near future and may have adverse effects on company culture.

You Have Your Company’s eNPS Score; Now What?

Measuring eNPS is just one piece of the employee satisfaction and retention puzzle. For companies with a score of 10 or higher, it is a leading indicator that employees are satisfied and engaged, but it doesn’t provide context as to why. Similarly, for businesses with a low eNPS score, the metric on its own does not provide insight into what may be driving employee dissatisfaction.

That’s why it is important to put the eNPS score into context; employers should ask additional questions when conducting an eNPS survey. A common question included on many eNPS surveys is an open-ended response, asking employees to explain why they selected their rating score.

You can also use an eNPS survey to gain feedback on other facets that may be important to employees: benefit offerings such as health care and retirement, company culture, time off and leave policies, career growth and development opportunities, and employee-manager relationships. These additional questions can help companies identify what areas are going well and where there are areas for improvement. Employers can then develop an action plan to address concerns and optimize their workplace.

The eNPS should also be reviewed in the context of larger business decisions that might have occurred. Did your company make a change to its hybrid work policy or perhaps open enrollment just finished?  Macro-level changes in your organization that affect all employees and smaller-scale changes that affect just a subset of employees can cause unexpected changes in eNPS score.

Communication is Key

Whether it is your first time completing an eNPS survey or you already undertake the process regularly, it’s important to communicate to your employees why you are doing the survey, and what you hope to learn. Let employees know about the survey before it is distributed, and encourage open, honest responses. This is a great opportunity to let employees know it will be anonymous and reiterate the importance of all employees completing the survey.  

Once the survey has been completed and you have analyzed your company’s eNPS score, you need to decide what information you will communicate back to your employees. Some companies are comfortable sharing the full results and the numerical eNPS scores; others prefer to keep the score confidential but share out high-level details of the results.

Whichever approach you take, one of the most important facets is to communicate next steps and how this information will be used. Being transparent with employees as to what actions the company will take – even if that next step is to develop a plan of workplace optimizations – will ultimately help build trust with your employees.

The Value of Employee Feedback

Employee feedback is a valuable tool for HR leaders and business owners to leverage. It can identify areas where your company has strengths and also areas for opportunity. It can also help find ways to bridge the gap between employee and employer expectations, as a critical first step in this process is learning and listening from employees.




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* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.

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