Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS): What it is? [Full Guide]

Tim Jordan Tim Jordan · 9 min read

Employee Net Promoter Score: why you should care about it?

Employee engagement has become a key metric for high-performing businesses to track since it was introduced over three decades ago.


Year after year, statistics have shown a clear link between highly engaged employees and better business outcomes. Gallup’s tenth employee engagement meta-analysis report found the following results of high employee engagement:

  • An 81% reduction in absenteeism
  • 18% less turnover in high-turnover organizations
  • A whopping 43% less turnover in low-turnover organizations
  • 41% fewer product defects
  • A 10% increase in customer loyalty and engagement
  • An 18% increase in sales productivity
  • A 23% increase in profitability

Clearly, employee engagement is something you want to track. Thankfully, tracking employee engagement has evolved over the years with different tools and methods. 

And one of the best metrics to track is eNPS.

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What is Employee Net Promoter Score?

eNPS stands for Employee Net Promoter Score. Like its customer-facing counterpart, it measures loyalty and satisfaction—only this time with your employees. 

eNPS helps you assess employee engagement and the likelihood of your employees recommending your company as a place to work.

eNPS is usually part of a larger employee engagement survey that allows a company to identify areas of improvement based on engagement levels. Tracking changes in your eNPS score, combined with analyzing the feedback you receive from employees, will keep you on the right track to increasing employee engagement and fostering a positive work environment.

How to calculate employee net promoter score?

eNPS is typically measured by asking one simple question: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this company as a place to work?”

Just like the regular Net Promoter Score question, there are three groups employees will be categorized into based on their responses. Those groups are Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

  • Promoters are employees who scored a 9 or 10. These employees are highly satisfied and engaged. They are likely to speak positively about their experience working with your company and would recommend it as a workplace to others.
  • Passives are employees who score a 7 or 8. These employees are moderately satisfied but are most likely not actively promoting the company.
  • Detractors are employees who score 0 to 6. These employees are dissatisfied and most likely disengaged. They may speak negatively about the company and may be at a higher risk of leaving.

To calculate your eNPS, subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of employees identifying as promoters. Scores can range from -100 (all detractors) to +100 (all promoters).

(% of Promoters) – (% of Detractors) = eNPS

For example, if 100 employees responded to an eNPS survey with 50 Promoters, 20 Detractors, and 30 Passives, the Net Promoter Score would be 30 (because 50 – 20 = 30). 

The goal is to continually improve and increase your score.

6 reasons you should measure eNPS

eNPS should be considered a crucial metric for employee-centric companies, and here are six reasons you should be tracking it.

1. It’s a simple metric

eNPS provides a quantitative measure of employee engagement within your company, and one of its strengths is its simplicity. You ask the question, track your employees’ answers, and calculate your score. It’s easy to ask and easy to track because it’s just one question. 

And using a tool like Nicereply makes it even easier. 

eNPS provides a quick way to track the overall health of your workforce. By understanding overall engagement levels, you can identify areas of strength and opportunity.

2. Increased employee satisfaction and retention

Measuring eNPS helps you assess employee satisfaction levels, which in turn affects employee retention because it helps you spot employee engagement trends that may lead to employee turnover.

Engaged employees are more likely to be satisfied with their work and your organization as a whole, which means they’re more likely to stick around. The reduction in turnover indicated by Gallup’s research leads directly to fewer costs for an organization. 

Since employees are less likely to seek opportunities elsewhere, the associated costs with employee turnover are reduced. 

And just how much can an organization save by retaining employees?

Work Institute research shows that replacing an employee can cost an organization about 33% of that employee’s base pay

So losing an employee making $50,000 will end up costing your company over $16,000 in addition to their salary. And replacing a $100,000 salaried employee costs a massive $33,000 just to find someone new.

Retaining employees also leads to less risk of losing institutional knowledge and helps drive the long-term success of the business.

3. Insights into the company culture

eNPS offers insights into how well your company fosters a positive work environment and overall employee well-being. By monitoring eNPS over time, you can track the impact of your actions to improve company culture and identify areas that are and aren’t working.

For example, if you launch a big culture initiative at the beginning of Q1, you can take an eNPS survey at the beginning of Q3 to see what effect it’s having on your employees. If eNPS scores have improved, you know the initiative is working. If they haven’t, you may need to tweak the initiative a bit or go back to the drawing board entirely, possibly using employee feedback as a guide. 

Either way, by tracking eNPS, you can lean into what is working and discard what isn’t. The beauty of eNPS is that you’ll know directly from your employees if something is working or not.

4. Tracking where company profitability may be heading

Since Gallup found a link to employee engagement and the bottom line, you can use eNPS to track the potential impact on your company’s profitability. If you’ve had a consistent decline in eNPS scores, you can assume two things based on those results. 

First, employee performance may decrease. This can affect general productivity, mistakes being made by employees, and how satisfied your customers are. 

Recognizing this allows you to pivot and invest in employee engagement where necessary. 

Second, since it can take some time to course correct, you can lean into other areas temporarily that may help level off the potential decline in profit, like an increase in your sales force or a decrease in customer discounts. 

While the connection isn’t always a direct one, your historical eNPS numbers can inform your decisions about where your business profitability may be heading.

5. Gauge where you are compared to other companies

Tracking eNPS allows you to benchmark your company’s performance against industry standards or competitors. 

Comparing your scores against others helps you set realistic goals so you can make continuous improvements in employee engagement. 

You’ll also gain some perspective into areas where you may be excelling or falling behind others in your industry.

6. Higher levels of trust and rapport

Focusing on eNPS shows your employees you value their opinions. By actively seeking feedback and taking steps to improve engagement, you show that you prioritize their well-being, satisfaction, and overall engagement. This promotes the development of trust and loyalty among your employees.

Taking it one step further, encourage transparency by keeping your eNPS survey anonymous so your employees don’t feel the need to sugarcoat their responses. This also protects employees from any backlash from higher levels of management and forces leadership to focus on the results rather than on particular employees. 

Challenges with using eNPS

While eNPS should be an essential metric, you definitely have to watch out for how you use it. 

Many of the drawbacks associated with eNPS are the same drawbacks that come with the customer-facing NPS. For example, the eNPS score itself can be a little ambiguous. 

You might have an eNPS score of 20 based on 100 employees taking the survey. But the actual breakdown of that score can look quite different.

  • You could have 60 Promoters and 40 detractors, leading to a score of 20
  • You could have 20 Promoters, 0 Detractors, and 80 Passives

You may think having 0 Detractors is the better outcome, but you also have a lot fewer Promoters in your workforce. 

Solely focusing on your eNPS won’t give any context into why your employees gave the score they did, either. If you have an eNPS of 15 with some detractors and have no other context, how will you know what to improve in order to increase employee engagement and satisfaction?

To avoid these pitfalls, always use your eNPS score in conjunction with at least one open-ended feedback question to determine what is driving your score. This way, you can take targeted actions to address concerns, hone in on the things working well, and align engagement initiatives with employee needs.

eNPS Follow Up Questions

eNPS is a great way to measure employee satisfaction but it’s best used in context of the open ended questions. Your employees are more likely to complete surveys than customers so asking one ore more follow up questions to dig deeper is a great way to complement the standard eNPS scale. Here are a few examples of questions you can ask:

Why did you give the score you did?

Why do your employees feel the way they do about the company? Get the reason behind the employee NPS score and keeping it open ended. Employees will be encouraged to share what’s important to them if given the opportunity.

How can we improve?

Your employees will have great ideas on how you can improve their work environment—if they’re asked. They know themselves better than anyone so ask what you can do to improve. Then, hone in on the common themes and take action to make it happen.

Start, Stop, Continue

This three-part questions is great for drawing out specific suggestions from your employees. Ask employees what the company should start doing, stop doing, and continue doing. It’s essentially asking your employees what is going well (continue), what’s not working (stop), and what they think you should be doing instead (start).

  • “What should we start doing.” This question is perfect for finding ideas for new initiatives direct from the people who matter most.
  • “What should we stop doing? This question identifies processes that aren’t going over well—and may be completely unnecessary—with your employees.

“What should we continue doing?” Highlights things that are going well and that are real culture drivers.

Do you want us to follow up with you?

Employee surveys are generally anonymous, and that encourages more open communication, especially if you’re working on a lack of trust. However, your employees will sometimes reveal something that requires follow up. This isn’t always a negative situation either. 

For example, an employee may reveal they’re not getting along well with their manager, which is something that should be addressed and followed up on. But an employee may also give you a killer idea for a new intitiave. You may want pull them in to help build it or at least get more info. Both these examples would benefit from talking to the employee involved.

Give your employees the option to leave their name and get a response from senior leadership so you can continue the conversation started in the survey. If they don’t feel comfortable bringing it up in other arenas, this is a great way to address it.

Other eNPS Considerations

If you’re looking to tip the eNPS scales, you may be wondering how often you should survey your employees, how to improve response rates, and how to improve your overall eNPS score.

How often should you survey your employees?

Since e​mployee happiness isn’t a one time initiative, Nicereply recommends quarterly surveys. Depending on your company initiatives and overall size, every six months may also be a good cadence. That leaves you enough time to make changes while also being infrequent enough that employees aren’t tired of being asked. A regular cadence also helps you easily spot trends throughout the year and keep focusing on improvements.

How do you improve response rates?

It’s no secret that employee NPS works best with high response rates. The higher the number of employee responses, the more meaningful the data.

There are two key things that drive eNPS response rates: how leadership talks about the survey before it’s given and what leadership does with the results. When the survey is released, leadership should stress the value of receiving employee feedback. They should also make sure the team is given enough time to complete the survey during work hours. 

It’s also crucial that survey responses lead to real improvements. If your employees don’t see any changes, they’ll disregard surveys because they’ll feel their feedback isn’t taken seriously.

How do you improve your employee NPS?

Most survey software will calculate the score for you automatically which leaves your most important job to find the why behind the score.  To do this, read through the responses and look for themes.

Is one department’s eNPS score significantly lower than the rest? Ask your that team’s leadership to identify what isn’t working. Is one team significantly outperforming other team’s with eNPS? Dive into what’s making them tick!

See what commonalities you see in the data. What concerns come up often?  Focusing on—and then improving—these common themes is the most effective way to improve your eNPS scores.

eNPS is even more powerful combined with other engagement tools

eNPS is an essential metric for businesses, but it’s even more powerful when used in conjunction with other engagement tools like employee engagement surveys and eSAT (employee satisfaction) scores to give you a complete view of your employee culture.
To get started with eNPS, check out a free trial of Nicereply. There’s no easier way to measure your employee Net Promoter Score and uncover ways to improve your employee experience.

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Tim Jordan Tim Jordan

Tim is a Manager of Customer Support at Cars.com and a writer for Supported Content. When he’s not busy leading his team, you’ll find him spending time with his wife and two daughters, usually on some Disney-related activity. He also blogs about personal finance at Atypical Finance.

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