What is eNPS & How Can You Improve it?

If you’re looking for a single metric to measure your team’s employee experience, then eNPS is probably the answer! We love eNPS so much that we use it in most of our pre-built surveys. But do you know exactly what it is and how you can improve your scores? We’re going to share all the information you need right here…

eNPS meaning


Employee Net Promoter Scores (eNPS) is a method for measuring employee loyalty and satisfaction. It is the in-house alternative to Net Promoter Scores (NPS) – which is a method of measuring customer loyalty.


But what is eNPS?


eNPS is a method of measuring employee loyalty and satisfaction. In short, it's a great way of understanding employee satisfaction. It’s a recognised metric, used by organisations of all sizes nationally and around the globe. This makes it popular with recruiters, boards and senior leadership teams. We’ll talk more about the practical benefits later in this blog post…


How do you measure eNPS?


To gauge your eNPS you will ask your employees a single question – e.g. “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or acquaintance?” You can then send out an additional question for context– e.g. “Can you tell us why?”


All answers are based on a 0-10 scale and the scores are split into three groups:


  • Promoters: Engaged and happy employees who will likely stay with your company, refer others to join and become brand advocates (9-10 on the scale).

  • Passives: Satisfied employees who may recommend you, but are not highly engaged or happy (7-8 on the scale).

  • Detractors: Unhappy employees – high risk of them leaving and negatively speaking out about your business (6 or below on the scale).


To work out your eNPS score you subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. Passives are discounted, as they are considered as neutrals. For example, if you have 80% Promoters and 10% Detractors, then your NPS is 70. The score will be between -100 to +100. 


Simple right?

Well it gets better - within our employee platform this is all done for you!


Why should you measure your eNPS?


Your people are the foundation of your business. Therefore, ensuring their loyalty should be at the top of your to-do list. Understanding how your people think and feel about your organisation will allow you to create concrete action plans to improve or maintain your score.

Having a high eNPS score comes with a lot of benefits - from improving retention, productivity and loyalty, to ultimately increasing your bottom line. But you can’t improve your eNPS score without knowing what it is, or understanding why your people feel the way they do.


What are the benefits of eNPS?


We think there are a lot of great benefits to eNPS. Here are a few of the biggies:


1. Provide simplicity to your people


Sending out an eNPS survey is easy both for you and for those providing feedback.


Completing lengthy surveys can be a chore for your employees. By sending out one main question and an optional follow-up question, you are barely taking up any of your team’s precious time. However, the benefit to you is you’re still getting valuable data.


2. Benchmark your data easily


eNPS is a single figure which makes it perfect for benchmarking. We offer the possibility of benchmarking against other organisations right within our platform, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


You can also benchmark within your organisation. For example, you might benchmark against the first time you run a survey each time you gather more feedback. Another option is to benchmark different locations, functions or departments against each other. You can totally personalise your benchmarking to make it work for your organisational set up.


3. Interpret and share data straightforwardly


Anyone can measure the results. With one question and a single data point to interpret, you don’t need to be a data expert to understand the results. Not only does this make benchmarking easier, but you can also understand trends across teams, departments, and time.


One easy to interpret output also means that it's simple to share your insights with all your stakeholders. Explaining the results of surveys is easier, so you can quickly give real-time updates to your board, leadership, or team members.


4. Get feedback to help you improve business performance


The detractors within your team will offer key insight into the areas that require focus. This can range from issues related to pay, the working environment or even leadership. By actioning the (realistic) feedback and communicating the results, you will combat everyone’s concerns and likely see massive improvements to retention rates.

However, your promoters can also help. Their scores and feedback will indicate how to further strengthen your services and processes.


What are the shortcomings of eNPS?


While we love eNPS we know that it’s not a solution to every HR problem. Here are some things to bear in mind when choosing eNPS:


1. May not offer granularity


As a broad brushstroke, you may not get the detail or nuance that you’re looking for in your employee engagement feedback.

Getting only one number gives you great benefits as mentioned above, but it does mean you’re not getting specific feedback. This is why we recommend building eNPS into larger pieces of work or running alongside other surveys to help give more granular feedback.


2. May lose context


Many factors influence employee satisfaction. Getting a single piece of data can flatten this. For example, you may survey some of your people right after a particularly stressful busy period, or when there are larger external factors whether that be a run of poor weather or a difficult news cycle.

We always recommend running a clarifying question alongside your eNPS question so you can understand the context. Plus it’s important to repeat eNPS surveys at regular intervals so that you can start to understand trends.



3. Doesn’t offer deeper dive options


Once you’ve received your eNPS feedback it’s hard to understand if your actions have driven the results you had hoped for. Although you may notice a trend in comments from one survey and then not the next, it’s not clear whether this is because individuals don’t believe a change is forthcoming or because the problem has been solved.

We recommend deep dive surveys that help you to zero in on challenges or strengths to help you understand exactly what your people think and feel about areas of your organisation. For example, diving deeper into Diversity, Equality and Inclusion will help you to understand exactly which elements your organisation is succeeding with or where more work is needed.


4. Doesn’t allow you to understand employee happiness


eNPS sits within the engagement side of our neuroscience model, this means that you may not be getting a good understanding of how happy your people are. This is vital for creating a thriving workplace culture.

You should gather a range of metrics so that you can really understand how the individuals on your team think AND feel. Employee engagement is only a part of the puzzle.


7 strategies to improve your eNPS


Improving your eNPS is the process of converting as many employees as you can into promoters. It’s important to remember that improving any employee engagement metric is about the journey, not the destination. No one is satisfied all the time, and it’s impossible to satisfy everyone.


1. Focus on your own organisation


Sometimes we can spend so much time and energy worrying about how we compare to other companies, that we completely overlook what’s important - improving the employee experience to help create engaged, happy and productive employees.


Even if you’re top of the pile and get better results than the industry average, it doesn’t mean you should stop innovating your processes and offerings. If you truly want to stay ahead of your competition, then it is important to focus on your organisation and create an environment where people want to work.


We always recommend coupling eNPS with a wider listening strategy. This might include always-on listening, stand alone deep-dive surveys or regular in-depth cultural assessments. Or, even better - a mix of all three! This way you can gather valuable insights from your people to help streamline your people programme, make smarter business decisions and create a healthier bottom line.


2. Get your people on board


Improving your eNPS score means you are actively making unhappy employees happier. This directly benefits everyone. It’s important that everyone understands this and gets behind the initiative.


To generate engagement for the programme, you must make efforts to build up interest. Put up posters, send out emails, communicate the results and proposed action plans. Create case studies and distribute them to everyone and get your managers to create excitement for the feedback programme within their teams. Anything you can do to drum up interest and momentum will help ensure success.


3. Respond to everyone’s feedback


If you want people to buy into the programme then it is essential to respond to their feedback. Your employees are taking the time to fill out the surveys, so you must reciprocate this and respond. How else will they know you are reading their feedback and creating action plans off the back of it?


Share both the good and the bad feedback. Thank people for taking part and let everyone know that you will be thinking of strategies to build on successes and remedy concerns. Responding to the feedback will highlight they are central to the success of the initiative. This will boost response rates, increase loyalty and improve your scores.


As well as aggregating feedback and sharing this en-masse, one of the best things you can do is enter into conversation with individuals. Our Close the Feedback Loop tool allows you to discuss detail, get context or offer solutions without breaking anonymity.


4. Be honest


Your employees will be aware when there are problems within the business. People can be very intuitive and will lose respect for you and your organisation if they feel that issues are being sugar-coated or completely swept under the carpet. It is therefore key to be open and honest with your communications. Your employees and business partners will respect your honesty, which will generate trust and engagement in the programme.


Don’t shy away from the mistakes your business has made, or the troubles it is going through. Address everything and highlight the action plans and initiatives you have created to overcome these setbacks.


5. Communicate with your detractors


If you want to see a better eNPS, you must engage with your detractors and address their concerns. No one likes hearing criticism, but if you want to make business improvements, then you will take it on the chin. You may not agree with all the feedback, but you must accept that it is their reality, create action plans and communicate your ideas to everyone.


It is important to note that very few people complain for the sake of it… so take all criticisms and suggestions seriously. Be open-minded and take the feedback as a valuable learning experience that can create lots of happy employees, who can be transformed into promoters.


6. Give your promoters attention too


When it comes to improving your score, your first instinct may be to ignore your promoters and focus on converting your detractors. Don’t do it! Your promoters will still offer plenty of insight and failure to act and respond to their feedback will guarantee they don’t stay promoters for long.


Ask them how you can further improve the working environment for them and whether there is anything you can do differently. Everyone needs to be included in your process for the initiative to be a success.


7. Continuously track your score


You may have a high percentage of promoters, successful strategies and a great eNPS – but that doesn’t mean you should put your feet up and get complacent.


It is essential to continuously track your score and keep making improvements and adaptations to your strategy. You may have people onboard now, but that won’t last forever. Employee loyalty can be destroyed much quicker than it can be built…


Your eNPS in isolation may not be enough to improve all aspects of business – but it will help. By combining eNPS with pulse surveys and other business metrics you can generate actionable data around employee experience and combine it with other key metrics to generate a holistic view of your business.

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Recommended reading

Employee Engagement: 5 Ways to Improve Engagement in Your Workplace

Employee Happiness: 6 Ways to Improve Happiness in The Workplace

Vivobarefoot: A B-Corp Transformation Journey

About The Happiness Index


The Happiness Index helps organisations measure the key employee engagement AND happiness drivers to power their people strategy.


Our unique platform offers the products, insights and tools to shine a light on your cultural health and empower management to drive thriving cultures.


Our neuroscience-based pre-built surveys measure the full employee experience - from onboarding to exit to empower and enable organisations to understand their people and create data-led action plans.

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