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Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): What You Need to Know

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): What You Need to Know

Want to know how enthusiastic your employees are about your company? Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) can help. It goes beyond simple satisfaction and measures the likelihood your employees would recommend your organization as a great place to work.

A storied descendant of the customer-directed Net Promoter Score (NPS) measure, eNPS has been at the heart of HR and employee experience metrics for decades. Just as the original NPS helps inform a company’s unique value proposition and brand positioning to build customer connections, eNPS can help organizations shape their employee value proposition and improve their employer brand. 

Research shows that employee advocacy and related measures of employee engagement are linked to organizational outcomes such as employee attrition, productivity, and shareholder return. Organizations that use both NPS and eNPS usually see a positive correlation between the two measures, validating Apple’s insight that employees who are promoters are more likely to influence customers to become promoters as well. This synergistic relationship between eNPS and NPS also supports the service-profit chain model: a positive employee experience helps generate a positive customer experience.

Understanding Employee Net Promoter Score Methodology

What’s unique about both NPS and eNPS is the finer grain of the measure, which is a product of the methodology. Unlike the standard five-point scale of “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree,” NPS and eNPS measure responses on an 11-point scale, where zero equals “would not consider recommending” and 10 equals “would absolutely recommend.” Responses are then converted through the process detailed below to yield a score on a 201-point scale.

eNPS is a summary measure. It can help organizational leaders quickly gauge the overall level of advocacy expressed by employees. It sorts individuals into three groups:

  • Promoters: These are the most engaged and enthusiastic employees.  They recommend the organization as a great place to work — hands down, no (or at least very few!) questions asked. More than that, they’re happy to share their opinions with anyone interested in listening. 

  • Passives: These employees are generally satisfied, too. Like Promoters, they would recommend the organization as a good place to work. However, their enthusiasm is somewhat diminished.

  • Detractors: These employees are generally disengaged. This group is composed of individuals who hold the least favorable perceptions of an organization. Unlike the Passives, they are more likely to become actively disengaged and negatively influence those with whom they interact.

What Is eNPS?

How to Calculate eNPS

eNPS measures responses to the question, “How likely is it that you would recommend [your organization] as a place to work?” on an 11-point scale from zero to ten. A zero equals “would not consider recommending” and a ten equals “would absolutely recommend.” 

The employees who respond with nines and tens are Promoters, those who respond with sevens and eights are Passives,  and individuals responding with zeroes to sixes are Detractors.

To compute the eNPS score, just subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. 

eNPS = % of Promoters - % Detractors

eNPS ranges from -100 (all Detractors)  to 100 ( all Promoters). An equal distribution of Promoters and Detractors would yield a score of zero. 

What Is a "Good" Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)?

There seems to be general agreement on what makes a good eNPS. An eNPS in the range from 10 to 30 is generally considered good. A score above 50 is excellent. Above 70? Stratospheric!

The Perceptyx benchmark database, which collects Employee Experience (EX) data from more than 20 million employees in global organizations, reports that the global eNPS benchmark rose to 21 in 2022 — up from 13.8 in 2021 (a 52% increase) and then remained steady at 21.1 in 2023. 

Such a number may strike some readers as low. However, it’s important to remember that any positive number is good news. A zero indicates an even split between enthusiastic and dissatisfied employees. 

The eNPS score is the difference between the proportion of Promoters and Detractors. Every organization, especially large ones, are bound to have plenty of both. These numbers indicate that a healthy majority of Perceptyx customers’ employee responses are Promoters. 

eNPS scores can and do vary widely across industries and over time, as seen in the table below. For example, the Manufacturing industry saw a substantial increase in eNPS from 21 in 2022 to 32 in 2023. In contrast, the Information sector experienced a notable decline, with eNPS dropping from 46 in 2022 to 23 in 2023. Other industries such as Wholesale Trade and Finance and Insurance remained stable, with smaller changes in their scores. The Retail Trade sector saw a modest rise from 15 to 21, while Health Care and Social Assistance maintained relatively low but consistent scores.
eNPS by industry

Variation is also apparent when comparing country-level eNPS scores or those representing different job classifications. For instance, employees in leadership roles may report higher eNPS scores compared to those in front-line positions. Similarly, cultural factors can cause significant differences in eNPS between countries. However, this variation is most notable within organizations at the division or function level, where specific teams or departments may experience unique challenges and successes, leading to diverse outcomes even within the same company. Factors such as leadership style, team dynamics, and the nature of the work being performed can contribute to these intra-organizational differences in eNPS.

One last point to consider is that eNPS scores tend to be more favorable than customer-oriented NPS scores. There are many potential reasons for this. Although customers may return to certain organizations for goods and services, employees return every day. This may result in greater investment in the organization on the part of employees, which could lead to more favorable scores.

Employee Net Promoter Score: Pros and Cons

There are several benefits of measuring eNPS:

  • Relationship to Employee Experience (EX): Perhaps the primary advantage one gains from using eNPS is the fact that it is a valid, single-item proxy for employee engagement, which can provide insight into the broader employee experience.
  • Speed to results: Because eNPS data can be collected and analyzed quickly, discussion and action can begin sooner. This allows for faster identification of potential problems among employee populations.
  • Familiarity: Many executives and managers are familiar with the customer-oriented NPS. This can make eNPS easier to introduce and incorporate into existing scorecards.
  • Simplicity: As a single item, it is easy to track over time. Additionally, an organization can collect meaningful data with only a small investment of time by potential respondents

Simplicity is a strength — until it’s not. There are a few noteworthy drawbacks to using eNPS. These include:

  • Incomplete methodology: A common criticism of eNPS methodology is that it leaves out what it considers “Passive” employees. “Passives” typically represent a large portion of overall headcount. Plus, most “passive” employees tend to rate elements of their EX quite positively. In this way, eNPS might present an overly stark rendering of employee perceptions as a whole.
  • Performs better in large groups: Group size is relevant to most statistics. However, eNPS is a summary measure. Important differences, which would have otherwise been detected between groups using more robust measures of employee engagement or EX can easily be overlooked given the eNPS calculation.
  • Limited actionability: eNPS focuses on measurement at the expense of action. It can indicate how an organization is performing with respect to employee advocacy, but it doesn’t help to address the reasons why or provide insight into what to do next. For this, more questions must be asked as follow-ups. 

Now That You Know Your eNPS — What’s Next?

Knowing your eNPS is an important first step toward improving employee satisfaction and engagement. Here's how you can proceed once you have that information:

Engage Detractors, but Focus on Promoters

    • Focus on Promoters: While engaging Detractors, don't lose focus on your Promoters. They are your biggest assets and can influence the work culture positively. Encourage them to take on leadership roles and mentor other employees. They can share their positive experiences and inspire others to contribute effectively.

    • Collect feedback from Detractors: Collect qualitative feedback to better understand their concerns and pain points. When feasible, utilize methods such as one-on-one meetings, anonymous suggestions, and follow-up listening events for comprehensive insights to address their concerns. 

    • Monitor changes: Keep track of the changes in eNPS score among Detractors — especially after implementing the remedial actions. But remember, the best way to improve and maintain a high eNPS is to gain more Promoters. Focus on what works.
Maintain a Regular Cadence of Feedback and Action

    • Plan regular surveys: Plan for no less than two administrations in sequence to track the effectiveness of your actions. This will help maintain consistency in measuring eNPS.

    • Communicate results and actions: Regularly communicate the results of your listening events and the actions you're taking to address any concerns. This open communication builds trust and shows your commitment to improvement.

    • Evaluate trends over time: Monitor changes in eNPS over time. This will help identify long-term trends, indicating the effectiveness of your strategies.
Make eNPS a Part of Your Ongoing Employee Listening Strategy

    • Include eNPS in overall strategy:  Incorporate eNPS into your holistic employee listening strategy. This ensures the feedback is used in driving various initiatives, not just gauging overall satisfaction.

    • Cross-Reference with other metrics: Use eNPS in conjunction with other metrics like employee turnover rate, productivity, customer satisfaction, and indicators drawn from other employee-listening efforts. This will provide a more complete view of organizational health.

    • Act on employee feedback: Use the information gathered from your listening strategy to inform change management initiatives. The feedback received can guide the creation of new policies and practices that enhance employee satisfaction and engagement.

By using eNPS effectively, you can help foster a positive work environment where employees feel valued and heard. Employee voice is a leading indicator of many change management initiatives and also informs the success of such endeavors. All measurements should become a part of a mature, holistic listening strategy.

Want to Know More About Your Company's eNPS?

The Perceptyx People Insights Platform is optimized to collect, report on, and help you action employee listening data from multiple channels. Our consultants can incorporate eNPS data into an overall listening strategy supported by our advanced analytics engine that allows you to quickly analyze the results, identify risks as well as opportunities, and recommend the appropriate actions, supported by AI, in alignment with your unique business and talent priorities. Get in touch to learn more.

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