Skip to content
The eNPS isn’t Telling the Whole Story!

The eNPS Isn’t Telling the Whole Story!

Thankfully, COVID, the Great Resignation, and “Quiet Quitting” are all behind us — more or less. But who knows what’s in store for the workplace? As work continues to evolve, organizations are trying to hone their employee listening strategies. 

They need stable, valid data that summarize the employee experience so that the impact of changes can be measured and managed.  They also need insight into the employee experience to ensure employees remain engaged, productive, and committed.

eNPS: Tracking and Trending Employee Loyalty

As you may know, Net Promoter Scores indicate the degree of loyalty one has to a company. Traditionally a customer-focused metric, the NPS asks consumers to indicate how likely they would be to recommend a product or service to others on a scale of 0-10. The NPS scale divides respondents into three three groups. 

  • “Promoters” are those who responded with a 9 or 10, 
  • “Passives” respond with a 7 or 8, and 
  • “Detractors” are those who respond with a 0 through 6. 

The NPS score is calculated by subtracting the percent of Detractors from the percent of Promoters. Using this approach, the range of possible NPS scores goes from -100 (all Detractors) to +100 (all Promoters). A positive NPS score indicates there are more 9s and 10s than 0-6s. A score of zero indicates there is an even number of Promoters and Detractors.

The NPS methodology has gained popularity since it was first introduced by Bain and Company back in 2003. Companies have become more customer-centric than ever before and the one-item NPS provides a simple way to quantify and summarize the Customer Experience (CX).

It didn’t take long for organizations to realize the obvious. If NPS can provide a stable way to measure and manage the customer experience, perhaps it could be used to measure the Employee Experience (EX) as well.

Thus, eNPS was born. Now it is a commonly used metric to measure and track employee loyalty to an organization. 

Quantitatively Speaking — eNPS Sends Strong Signals, But May Provide Poor Direction

As a single-item measure, eNPS provides a simple mechanism to track changes in the employee experience. It’s easy to add it to different employee listening events which makes it ideal to gather important data quickly and relate it to customer satisfaction, employee productivity and any number of business outcomes. 

However, employee engagement comprises more than employee loyalty or their willingness to recommend their employer as a great place to work. While eNPS can summarize many of the same attributes of employee engagement, it just isn’t a sensitive measure. 

A more complex measure might enable important insight to be reached in a proportion that outweighs the loss of simplicity. 

Consider the Perceptyx four-item engagement index: 

  • I am proud to work for the company.
  • I would recommend the company as a great place to work.
  • My work gives me a feeling of personal accomplishment.
  • I intend to stay with the company for at least the next 12 months.

The example noted in this blog is from the early days of the post-pandemic workplace. A customer conducted an annual employee survey, a key component of mature organizational listening strategies. They employed Perceptyx’s standard four-item engagement measure. 

Taken as a whole — as a single composite number — the organization detected no discernible change in engagement. This would be similar to the result they would observe had they used a single eNPS measure. 

However, each individual item taken separately provided critical information that turned that result on its head. For three of the items measured, the customer saw metrics improve year over year. The greatest gain came from employees reporting that they had even greater feelings of personal accomplishment than in the past. Based on this, one would conclude that the indicators of employee loyalty are pointing in the right direction.

However, employees’ retention indicator, which is Perceptyx’s best-practice predictor of actual talent attrition, saw a decline of more than 10 points.

If it were not for the additional information provided by the four-question engagement index, leaders in the business may have concluded no meaningful change in engagement was detected. Most importantly, if such a conclusion had been reached, perhaps no action to address the underlying causes of attrition would have been highlighted as a strategic priority as early as it was.

Engagement Is Complicated — Measurement Doesn’t Have to Be

There is a time and place for both the eNPS and a more robust engagement index. We recommend that your listening strategy include both where and when appropriate. Measurement is relatively simple when compared to successfully designed actions targeted to engage employees in achieving your business objectives. 

Align actionable content to either or both th eNPS or Perceptyx’s best-practice Employee Engagement Index. These other items, developed to assess perceptions in multiple contexts of the employee experience will provide the raw material for you, your managers, and your leaders to design, measure, and track specific interventions. Positive divergence analysis will identify the items most likely to relate to better engagement metrics and therefore better business outcomes.

Elicit qualitative data. Open-ended questions on surveys allow respondents to provide rich detail on subjects important to them. They are a great way to gather information about potential actions you can take to enhance the employee experience. 

Leverage the power of employee crowdsourcing and real-time pulses to gather critical, prioritized data. Using Perceptyx's innovative Dialogue product, initiate dynamic discussions. This novel approach offers a platform for employees to engage actively and contribute to the shaping of their work experiences, thereby boosting their engagement levels.

Perceptyx Can Help You Get a Complete Picture of Your Employee Experience

At Perceptyx, our purpose is to enable people and organizations to thrive. We accomplish this by assisting leaders in making more informed decisions with greater speed and confidence. When it comes to key decisions about organizational effectiveness and employee engagement, eNPS has value as a high-level measure even though it lacks the granularity offered by the full four-question engagement index. When leaders can peel back the index and explore ideas individually like pride and commitment, they can experience greater confidence in the effectiveness of strategies developed to improve engagement.

To learn more about the measures or engagement or how we can help your organization develop a full employee listening strategy and identify drivers of engagement, contact us today. We also offer a free interactive assessment that measures your organization's level of listening maturity, providing valuable insights into your current approach.

Subscribe to our blog

Opt-in for our weekly recap and never miss a post.

People Insights Platform

Drive Change, Deliver Impact


Employee surveys to illuminate the employee experience

Learn more about Ask product


Crowdsourced insights to engage your people on the topics that matter most

Learn more about Dialogue product


Lifecycle surveys and always-on listening to keep pace with your people

Learn more about Sense product


360 feedback and Intelligent Coaching to improve manager effectiveness

Learn more about Cultivate product

Getting started is easy

Advance from data to insights to focused action