Why the Employee Net Promoter Score should be employers’ go-to metric

Brian Burns / November 12,2022
  • Hiring Net Promoter Score (eNPS) employee
  • What Makes a “Good Score”
  • Using eNPS at your company
    Founder and CEO of Insightful and a lifelong tech with a passion for all things startup.

    The Net Promoter Score (NPS) has been an important benchmark for executives for more than 20 years. Its effectiveness lies in its simplicity: a simple 1-to-10 scale of a customer’s likelihood to recommend, which allows companies to see customer sentiment and rank them as promoters, passives, or detractors.

    Businesses have a lot of metrics to look at, so many leaders appreciate the at-a-glance clarity that can be gleaned from this number; that is estimated two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies use some version of NPS. Tracking the rise and fall of this single number can tell you so much about your customer base.

    Extending NPS to an internal metric brings similar benefits. Just as a happy customer is likely to recommend your company, so is a happy employee. Conversely, a customer you may not have served well will feel negatively about your brand, as will a former employee who did not have a positive experience with one or more aspects of his or her job.

    Given the current job market, you are sure to know how in demand your team members are. They are skilled at what they do, and on top of that, there are many competitors. Just as a customer can leave you for another provider, your best employees can be picked up by a competitor. We all need to be an A+ workplace to retain our talented teams.

    Hiring Net Promoter Score (eNPS) employee

    The process is not complicated; to measure eNPS, all you need is a survey tool to create recurring surveys asking, “How likely are you to recommend your company as a great place to work?” The most common response option is a scale of zero to 10, with zero being the least likely to recommend your business and ten being the most likely.

    You have to decide how often and where to ask this question, but the beauty of eNPS is its simplicity, increasing the likelihood that your employees will participate.

    What Makes a “Good Score”

    An eNPS score is measured the same way as NPS: you take the percentage of total respondents who are promoters and subtract the percentage of total respondents who are detractors to get your number.

    An eNPS in the negative range (e.g. -10 or -20) indicates that there may be bigger issues driving negative sentiment that you want to address. However, most companies see an eNPS range of zero to 30, with any score above 40 being excellent. Scores also vary by company size and industry, but what’s ultimately important is responding to consistent points of employee feedback and exploring ways to improve your score over time.

    Using eNPS at your company

    Based on my experience, surveying employees once a year is a good place to start. Once you have the results, it’s helpful to look holistically at how you rank as a company and then rate your leaders by team so they can gauge sentiment on a more micro level. You might also consider sharing your eNPS number at company-wide meetings, then any measures you took based on how employees scored in a particular area.

    Let’s use an example: the score to your question, “How likely are you to recommend your company as a great place to work?” has risen steadily since 2019. While this is positive momentum, after each survey you need to have both positive conclusions and work to do so that you can maintain that momentum.

    Finally, after each eNPS survey, your management team can take the scores from different departments and use them to plan new initiatives for the year ahead to address feedback and hopefully further improve your score.

    Fast data points and fast action: that’s why eNPS works so well. It empowers your leadership team to truly feel the pulse of your organization, laser focus on solutions to problems before they can fester and grow, and fosters an ongoing level of insight