How to raise your Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS)

What makes your employees happy and engaged? What makes them raring to go and excited to work? How likely are they to recommend your company as a place to work; as a place that cares for their holistic wellbeing, both inside and outside the workplace? How do HR and the leadership teams determine if their workforce is loyal, and if not, what can be changed? These (amongst many others) are everyday questions which underpin how successful a business is.

Times are fast changing, and gone are the days where (most) employees just work for their end of the month salary. Employees are yearning for something more; for greater purpose, for a sense of belonging and ultimately that they are a much-needed link in the organisational chain, so to speak. More and more focus are being shone onto the employee; whether it’s about the employee experience, the organisational culture for its employees, employee retention, employee happiness… the list is endless. One growing metric which can be used to start understanding how loyal employees actually are and what makes them tick is the Employee Net Promoter Score.

It’s valuable to remember that employee loyalty leads to employee retention. Let’s face it: recruiting is expensive with everything from interviewing, hiring, training and lost productivity. For example, for entry level employees, it costs 30%-50% of their annual salary to replace them, for mid-level employees, it can cost upwards of 150% and for high-level employees, it can be up to 400%. With this in mind, it’s crucial to consider how to best retain your employees, how to engage them as this will ultimately impact the bottom line.

So, what is Employee Net Promoter Score?
Employee Net Promoter Score (e-NPS) is defined as a concept that is built around the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure employee loyalty. It is a method of measuring how willing are employees to recommend their workplace to their family, friends or acquaintances. This score offers some insights and intelligence into the factors which are influencing the employee experience as well as cultural alignment and employee passion. This is a key predictor for gauging employee retention and loyalty, as well as a clear indicator for what is working well for employees, and what needs reviewing and adapting.

In a nutshell, the primary question for e-NPS in an employee survey asks, “On a zero-to-10 scale, how likely is it you would recommend Company X as a place to work to a friend or colleague?”, followed by “what are the most important reasons you selected that score?”.

How is e-NPS calculated?
e-NPS = share Promoters (%) – share Detractors (%)

There are three types of responses to these questions: 
 These are employees who rate a business 9-10. They are enthusiasts, loyal, passion and engaged with their job and company. They have a positive influence on employee and customer satisfaction and are very likely to recommend the company.

Passives: These are employees who rate a business 7-8. They often sit on the fence and are neither emotionally invested or disengaged. They may be satisfied with work but are unenthusiastic. These employees do not contribute to the e-NPS.

Detractors: These are employees who rate a business 0-6.  They are not particularly satisfied with the company and job, and there is therefore the danger of having a negative influence on others internally as well as with customers.

How to raise the e-NPS
1. Close the loop
After an employee survey is done to determine the e-NPS, prompt follow up with the employees can help increase the overall e-NPS. This quick holistic feedback cycle is called closing the loop. By doing so, this demonstrates to your teams you are commitment to listening and actioning necessary change. It also helps resolve specific issues in a timely fashion as well as can give deeper insights into what is bringing up or down your loyalty from your employees. This process shows a duty of care from the employer that employees’ voices are heard and needs are considered.

2. Recognise and celebrate employees
As they say, in order to win in the marketplace, you first need to win in the workplace! Employees (as well as employers) need and thrive on recognition; recognition that a job has been done well, or a simple thank you – this is a basic human need. When receiving a well-done or public acknowledgment in front of the team or in private, there is nothing more rewarding to know you’re acknowledged and thereafter, to boost morale and make one feel valued. The ramifications of this are huge, where commitment, motivation and passion can soar, in turn can raise an e-NPS. Whether an organisation decides to recognise and reward informally, or by implementing a full-scale reward and recognition programme, this is an area where time and efforts should be allocated, as it is the employees who can make or break a business. According to a survey from The Society for Human Resource management, recognition can help create a positive workplace culture and employee experience, and more than one-half said their programme positively affects retention (68%) and recruitment (56%).

3. Cross-divisional buy-in
Improving the e-NPS is not a one-man / department job. The entire organisation needs to be on board with this stream of employee dedication work. It’s imperative that each and every employee understands how they can impact the e-NPS and what they need to do to achieve this goal. A lot of this buy-in comes from initial and continual education and communication. By transparently communicating the importance of achieving a good e-NPS and how it can benefit both the employer and the employee, then it becomes a more achievable target with the correct measures in place.

4. Engage with the detractors
Detractors are critical for any organisation’s ongoing growth and change, despite them having a lower rating. These employees are those who are honest with what issues are present and are not ashamed to voice their views and opinions. They often see the loopholes and gaps in the business, in the culture, in the processes which need attention and thus, their feedback gives the leadership teams and HR the perfect openings for action and improvement. If a business is open to this constructive critique and dialogue, the hope is ultimately to convert these detractors into promoters the next time they undertake the survey. By engaging with this group of employees shows you care about them, their needs, their struggles and you, as an employer, are willing to take action for their greater good. By following up, this opens up a space for uncovering root causes of problems, especially if these are shared concerns. By fixing these pain points opens up a new realm for raising the e-NPS going forward.

5. Transparent communication

Open and honest communication across the board as well as inter-team is vital to make all members of team feel comfortable and content within the organisation. When an employee knows there is no judgment and can be honest about all issues at hand, and that they will be dealt with professionally and efficiently, then they feel comfortable to speak up. If all frustrations and stress is kept inside, employees are sure to explode at one point or another, which can lead to anxiety and even a high staff turnover, and therefore a low e-NPS. Keep the team happy but having regular feedback sessions, status meetings as well as informal get togethers.

6. Employee benefits and discounts
Showing your employees you want to go above and beyond just paying them a salary is one way to authentically motivate and engage them. By offering employee benefits and discounts that can help an individual with things such as everyday savings – for example, grocery discounts, discounted cinema and attraction tickets, lifestyle and wellbeingsavings and more, shows you, as an organisation, care far beyond just work, work, work.This is a massive motivator as it encourages employees to enjoy life outside of the workplace far more, which is turn makes individuals happier, healthier and less stressed, which ultimately will increase the e-NPS.

The e-NPS is an extremely valuable metric that can redefine your employee experience if used correctly, and this has the potential to positively impact the success of your business ten-fold. The invaluable insights which it provides can help improve employee loyalty, retention and ultimately drive performance and increase business revenue.

Xexec is an Employee Engagement specialist who understands the value of employee engagement and recognition and how this can impact an organisations e-NPS. Download our e-Book on why employee recognition is so important.