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GuidesSurveysWhat is eNPS, and how do you calculate it?

What is eNPS, and how do you calculate it?

Last updated

12 May 2023

Reviewed by

Tanya Williams

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a metric used by companies to track employee satisfaction. More specifically, it measures how likely employees are to recommend a workplace to others.

What is eNPS?

eNPS is the same basic principle as NPS but it is used specifically in workplaces. It's a simple way for an organization to discover how likely employees are to recommend it as a place to work.

Respondents are categorized into one of three groups:

  • Promoters: scores of 9–10. These employees are enthusiastic and very likely to recommend your organization to friends, family, and colleagues.

  • Neutrals or passives: scores of 7–8. Employees in this range are mostly satisfied but have certain reservations. Those who give this score are not likely to make negative statements about the workplace but are probably not enthusiastic enough to actively recommend it.

  • Detractors: scores 0–6. These employees are unlikely to recommend your company. While a score of 5–6 is actually mid-range, it still suggests certain misgivings. Employees who give scores lower than 5 are especially likely to speak negatively about an organization.

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NPS and eNPS: what’s the difference?

eNPS is a revised version of an existing metric called Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is a trademarked metric created by Satmetrix (now Nice Satmetrix) which consists of a single survey question.

Respondents are simply asked how likely they are to recommend a product, service, or organization to a friend or colleague. Historically, NPS has mainly been used to gauge how customers feel about products.

Many companies have used NPS since it was introduced in 2003. NPS surveys are effective because they are brief and simple. Respondents only have to answer a single question. Companies like to use NPS as it gives them quantifiable data about their products.

The importance of your eNPS

Today’s companies are finding it more challenging than ever to attract and hold onto quality employees. Millennials and members of Generation Z, in particular, are selective about where they want to work. They are also extremely influenced by personal recommendations.

In the social media age, what is said about an organization can have a profound impact on prospective applicants. There are also sites such as Glassdoor where current and previous employees can anonymously rate an organization.

Knowing your eNPS helps you understand how employees feel about working for you. This knowledge can help you identify areas that need improving.

Benefits of calculating employee Net Promoter Score

eNPS provides more precise, quantifiable data than other survey questions about how likely employees are to recommend your organization to others.

Many companies are facing the challenge of low employee engagement. According to Gallup.com, the ratio of engaged to disengaged workers is less than 2 to 1. Tracking employee satisfaction helps you design ways to boost engagement.

Gallup also shares some key characteristics of engaged employees. They are more likely to show up for work consistently and get more accomplished while they are working. In fact, engaged employees improve your company’s absenteeism rates by a whopping 81% and productivity by 14%.

Engaged employees are also more likely to stay with a company longer. High turnover rates are a major cost for businesses. Truelist reports that the average cost of replacing an employee amounts to 33% of their annual salary due to the costs of recruiting, hiring, and training.

How to calculate employee Net Promoter Score

To get meaningful and actionable results from eNPS, there are advised steps to follow. Let’s look at the process of calculating your eNPS score.

Send out eNPS surveys

Most organizations send out eNPS surveys via email. They can also appear as a popup on your website. Another option is to send out an internal message using your company’s communication software.

Calculate your eNPS score

Calculating an eNPS score is simple:

  1. Determine the total number of responses.

  2. Separate the scores into the three groupings of promoters, neutrals, and detractors.

  3. Subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. Passives (scores of 7–8) are not counted.

  4. The result is your eNPS score (expressed as a number, not a percentage).

For example, suppose you receive 100 responses, consisting of 50 promoters, 30 passives, and 20 detractors.

Percentage of promoters: 50/100 × 100 = 50%

Percentage of detractors: 30/100 × 100 = 20%

50 − 20 = +30. So, your eNPS would be +30.

What is a good employee NPS score?

There are varying opinions on what constitutes a good eNPS score.

The highest possible score is +100 and the lowest possible score is −100. As long as your eNPS score is above 0, you're in positive territory. Any score below the zero midpoint is a red flag.

Most organizations like to see a score of at least 20. Forbes reports that most companies consider a score over 40 to be excellent.

Should eNPS surveys be anonymous?

One potential issue with any survey concerning employee satisfaction is being assured of honesty. If employees fear backlash for giving a low score, they are likely to give artificially high scores.

This is a major difference between eNPS and traditional NPS surveys about products or services. A customer is less likely to worry about giving a "proper" response than an employee whose livelihood depends on their salary.

One way to alleviate these fears is to anonymize scores. Emphasize that the aim is to calculate the overall score, not to identify specific respondents. You can also add an assurance that you are looking for honest answers and that replies will have no impact on respondents' employment status.

Create follow-up questions to glean insights

It's customary to ask at least one follow-up question to clarify the eNPS score. If you want to gain additional insights, you might ask a series of questions, such as:

  • Why did you give this score?

  • What would enable you to give a higher score?

  • Which of the following, if any, would motivate you to give a higher score: A, B, C, or none of the above?

The last question is useful if you're considering certain changes. For example, you may want to know if offering flexible hours would raise scores.

How often should you measure eNPS?

eNPS isn't something you only do once. The idea, after all, is to improve your score over time. On the other hand, you don't want to send out surveys too often.

The frequency depends largely on how quickly you can implement changes that are likely to improve scores. Most organizations find that annually or every six months is sufficient.

The main advantage of eNPS is that it simplifies calculating employee sentiment.

Employee Net Promoter Score benchmarking

While you naturally want your eNPS score to be as high as possible, what really counts is that you move in a positive direction. Benchmarking is a simple way to compare the score with previous results.

Follow-up questions are useful for suggesting ways to improve the score. Although it takes extra time and analysis to go over the replies to such open-ended questions, you get qualitative data to help you better understand the eNPS score. Otherwise, you’re left guessing why employees gave the responses they did.

Ways to improve your employee Net Promoter Score

Your approach to increasing your eNPS will depend on your current score and how employees answer any follow-up questions.

Follow up and collect feedback regularly

eNPS is a useful tool but it shouldn't be a stand-alone measure. Use the results to come up with appropriate follow-up surveys. If you make organizational changes, you'll want to see how employees are responding.

You may only want to send out an eNPS survey once or twice per year. However, that doesn't mean you can't ask employees to answer other survey questions in between.

Keep the lines of communication open

A study by Stanford University found that lack of communication and poor-quality communication are among the top employee complaints.

Lines of communication need to move in both directions. Share relevant information with employees in a timely manner and provide multiple channels for people to submit feedback. This may include meetings, messaging apps, email, and even old-school suggestion boxes. The latter is great for allowing people to leave feedback anonymously.

While you won't be able to implement every suggestion, be sure to acknowledge that you're listening and doing your best to make the work environment as satisfying as possible.

Continuously improve

The best reason to consistently track eNPS is that it propels you to always look for ways to improve. There are quite a few business strategy models that emphasize continuous improvements, such as Kaizen, Six Sigma, Agile, and others.

Whether you use one of these models or create your own method, having a philosophy of continuous improvement gives your organization a competitive edge. Enthusiastic, engaged, and loyal employees are only one benefit of striving to constantly improve.

This approach is designed to foster improvements in every area of an organization, including:

In summary

eNPS is a simple, valuable tool that any organization can use to quantify levels of employee satisfaction. The score provides actionable data, especially when it's supplemented by open-ended follow-up questions.

Improving eNPS is a worthy goal that will yield benefits to every aspect of your organization. eNPS is even more effective when incorporated into a general policy of transparency and openness to employee feedback.

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