3 Key Drivers of Employee Net Promoter Score & How Listening Can Help
Understanding and improving the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) can play a pivotal role in your organization's success. This critical measure can contribute to successful recruitment, retention, cost management, and even help tackle labor shortages.
Unlike traditional five-point scales, the eNPS uses an 11-point measure, making it more granular and nuanced. Employees are categorized into promoters (highly engaged), passives (satisfied but less enthusiastic), and detractors (less satisfied and potentially disengaged). The eNPS score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from promoters, providing a score between -100 (all detractors) to +100 (all promoters).
The Importance of eNPS
Put simply, eNPS gauges the willingness of your employees to recommend your organization as a workplace. A high percentage of promoters — those enthusiastic employees advocating your company — can significantly boost recruitment and express a strong commitment to stay. This commitment is a valuable predictor of reduced turnover, aiding cost management and safeguarding against labor shortages.
eNPS Scores in Perspective
While the score can vary across industries and regions, any positive number is good news, indicating more promoters than detractors. Scores range from 10 to 30 are considered good, over 50 as excellent, and anything above 70 is extremely high. The Perceptyx benchmark database, which collects Employee Experience (EX) data from more than 15 million employees in global organizations, reports that the global eNPS benchmark rose to 14.9 in 2022 — up from 13.8 in 2021. This aligns with other reports that place the average eNPS at 14 across all companies collecting employee data that measure eNPS.
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A Comprehensive Approach to Improving eNPS
The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) provides valuable insight into your employees' perspective on the organization. By understanding the unique factors that influence eNPS, you can develop targeted strategies to improve it. Here, I want to discuss three key focus areas — holistic wellbeing, fostering a sense of belonging and feeling valued, and managerial effectiveness — and provide examples of organizations that have successfully boosted their eNPS scores.
Promoting Holistic Well-being
Well-being in the workplace isn't just a nice-to-have; it's a must-have for the health of both your employees and your organization. It goes beyond simple measures like offering comprehensive healthcare or maintaining a safe work environment. It's about fostering an environment where employees can thrive — physically, mentally, and emotionally.
One of the primary differentiators between promoters and detractors in an organization is their perceived stress level at work. Those organizations that demonstrate a strong commitment to employee wellbeing tend to have a higher percentage of promoters. The benefits aren't just abstract; they manifest in practical ways like lower absenteeism, higher productivity, and less turnover.
For example, The Ken Blanchard Companies — a global leader in management training, consulting, and coaching — understood the importance of addressing stress and burnout in their workforce. Recognizing that their employees needed more time to unplug, they added four wellness days to their calendar in 2022. These holidays served to re-energize the workforce, resulted in no loss of productivity, and significantly increased employee goodwill. Such a proactive approach to employee wellbeing demonstrates a deep commitment to creating a healthy, balanced work environment that benefits both the individual and the organization as a whole.
Organon, a leading pharmaceutical company, emphasizes the broader concept of “flourishing,” which is a tripartite model measuring well-being, belonging, and engagement. It’s important to note that initiatives aimed at the individual level — such as resilience and mindfulness — can only go so far and end up placing the onus of well-being on the individual. Focusing on system-level barriers to well-being, such as job conditions — workload, autonomy, community, fairness, etc. — represents a more robust approach.
Creating a Sense of Belonging and Feeling Valued
A crucial aspect of improving eNPS involves cultivating a sense of belonging and making employees feel valued. When employees believe that they are an integral part of the organization and their contributions are appreciated, they are likely to become advocates for the company.
More than that, feeling valued is a significant factor influencing eNPS. One effective way organizations can convey this is by including employees in decision-making processes. Closing the feedback loop on suggestions and survey results, along with providing authentic and meaningful recognition, serves as powerful demonstrations that employees are indeed valued. Contrary to popular belief, the primary source of an employee's feeling of value does not usually stem from pay. In fact, research from Perceptyx shows that compensation rarely tops the list of elements that contribute to an employee's feeling of value or their overall engagement.
This is where products like those provided by Perceptyx come into play. A product like Dialogue from Perceptyx can facilitate this process by allowing all employees to participate in decision-making and giving them a platform to voice their opinions. By utilizing this highly transparent method of listening, employers can identify areas of support in the work environment that promote mental health and well-being, contributing to a psychologically safe culture.
BJC Healthcare, for example, improved its safety culture by incorporating employee feedback into its strategic initiatives. They introduced a crowdsourcing method to identify safety concerns in the workplace. This approach created an open channel for employees to voice their ideas and offer solutions to safety issues. By including employees in the decision-making process, the organization not only resolved safety concerns but also reinforced a culture of inclusion and respect.
Enhancing Managerial Effectiveness
Another key driver of eNPS relates to how effectively managers engage with their team members. A manager’s ability to cultivate a supportive relationship with their employees, provide clear performance feedback, and encourage professional development all can significantly influence eNPS.
Leadership development tools, such as Cultivate Intelligent Coaching, can play a pivotal role in this regard. Cultivate provides hyper-personalized and scalable solutions to transform managers into effective leaders. It uses digital signals from various workplace communication platforms, including Slack and Teams, to assess manager behaviors and suggest better approaches, thereby improving their relationship with and responsiveness to their teams.
In one notable Cultivate Intelligent Coaching success story, a software company partnered with Perceptyx to improve manager behavior. Using this product, managers' digital communications were analyzed over several months. The data showed that higher-performing managers initiated 86% more conversations with their direct reports and had a 42% higher response density than lower-performing managers. Over five months, participating managers improved their response time and response density by 26% over baseline, significantly enhancing their interaction with their teams and improving overall performance ratings.
A significant factor influencing eNPS pertains directly to the role of managers. The dynamics of their relationship with employees, which encompasses both caring about employees as individuals and task-related aspects such as performance management and professional development, are critical elements of this role. While it's commonly suggested that "people leave bosses, not companies," research — including recent research on manager effectiveness from Perceptyx — doesn't entirely support this cliché, highlighting the importance of viewing managerial roles more holistically.
Improving managerial effectiveness can be addressed strategically through leadership development. A product like Cultivate can enhance leadership development — at scale and with greatly reduced overall costs — through personalized nudges and insights related to managers' behaviors. The goal should be to set up new leaders for success and positively reinforce more experienced leaders through these insights. This approach not only strengthens the leadership fabric of the organization but also boosts the eNPS by creating a more engaged and satisfied workforce.
Perceptyx Can Help You Improve eNPS Through Continuous Employee Listening and Action
A targeted approach to enhancing eNPS can yield successful results. Creating a workplace environment that promotes wellbeing, fosters a sense of belonging and feeling valued, and improves managerial effectiveness is not an easy task. It requires constant feedback, analysis, and action. However, as the examples mentioned above illustrate, organizations that invest in these areas can drive significant improvements in their eNPS.
In conclusion, boosting eNPS is not a one-time effort but an ongoing journey. Continuous feedback and engagement, combined with strategic actions, are the keys to success. Products like Perceptyx’s Dialogue and Cultivate Intelligent Coaching, along with our entire People Insights Platform, are available to facilitate this journey. By investing in these areas, organizations can utilize data-driven employee listening insights to improve employee satisfaction, engagement, and their eNPS score.
The rewards of a high eNPS go beyond numbers — the score represents a workforce that feels valued and engaged, ready to act as powerful promoters of their organization. This outcome leads to higher productivity, reduced turnover, and a healthier, more dynamic company culture that is ready to face future challenges and opportunities. Schedule a meeting with a member of our team to learn more.