The Employee Net Promoter Score: The What, the Why, the How

What the Employee Net Promoter Score Is

The Net Promoter® Score (NPS®) is a concept pioneered and trademarked by Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld. It is designed as a way to measure customer loyalty by organizing customers into promoters, passives, and detractors with the question “How likely are you to recommend this company to a friend or relative?”

The employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a concept that builds off the NPS system, allowing employers to measure and get a snapshot of employees’ willingness to be ambassadors for the company by advocating employment there. By asking a variation of the question “On a scale of zero to ten, how likely is it that you would recommend this company as a place to work?” you are able to segment employees into promoters, passives, and detractors.

Promoters (those that answered 9-10) are the most loyal segment who will enthusiastically recommend employment at a company. Passives (those that answered 6-8) are those that are not necessarily negative, but are also not entirely loyal. Detractors (those that answered 0-5) are those that are not likely to recommend employment at the company, and it’s important to get to the bottom of why.

Employee Net Promoter


How It’s Measured and Calculated

The employee Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters. The passives have no effect on the eNPS score.

In order to optimize the employee Net Promoter process, the question should be asked on a regular frequency: monthly, quarterly, or annually. Further, responses must be anonymous to gather the most honest feedback.

The employee Net Promoter question should be combined with additional surveys throughout the year to fully understand what factors contribute to the score itself and what steps you can take to strengthen employee sentiment. This is part of a larger process that we call culture management.

What It Means

The employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is by no means a comprehensive way to measure employee engagement. Instead, it simply serves as a useful and simple metric to track at a regular frequency over time. If an organization is looking to track engagement more holistically, they should consider an engagement index that includes intrinsic aspects, such as pride, energy and optimism. Scores on these facets relate to different outcomes such as intention to stay, level of discretionary effort, and contribution to organizational change.

There are many studies that draw a connection between employee engagement and customer engagement and organizational performance. One example is CEB’s “Rethinking the Workforce Survey”, which showed that companies with top quartile engagement levels had twice the shareholder value and nearly three times the profitability of companies with bottom quartile engagement. Likewise, analytic projects with our clients have found engagement and other job attitudes and perceptions predict customer satisfaction, turnover, and sales growth.

Finally, like with all surveys, sending the survey is only the first step. What happens after (the communication, the follow-up questions, the action steps taken) is what has the power to improve your eNPS, employee engagement, agility, and alignment going forward.

Learn how CultureIQ helps you improve your organization’s engagement, agility, and alignment. Schedule a discovery call today.