A Guide to Employee Net Promoter Score

September 4th, 2020

NPS® (Net Promoter Score) is a technique that is commonly used for measuring customer satisfaction but it is also a very effective way of measuring employee satisfaction too. Having happy employees doesn’t just mean that the employer is genuinely interested in the wellbeing of their employees, it is also good for business. Research shows that employees that are more engaged in work are more productive, along with many other benefits.

By developing a strong relationship between the organisation and employees, people will want to work harder for the company and are more likely to continue working for them, rather than looking for external job opportunities. Happy employees also provide better customer experiences, so for customer facing roles, that is a big benefit of having highly engaged staff. Recruitment to replace existing staff comes with significant costs, so it makes a lot of sense to try to keep employees happy, which requires some form of monitoring and getting feedback.

Another key benefit of having employees that enjoy their experience of working for their employer, is that they are more likely to recommend that company to friends and family and will be an advocate for the business, helping to strengthen the reputation. For large companies, having high levels of employee satisfaction can be very powerful as a marketing tool. Highly engaged employees will be the brand’s biggest promoters. It is this concept that eNPS is built around, measuring the volume of employees that are advocates for a company.

Methods for measuring employee engagement

There are numerous ways that companies measure their employee satisfaction levels. One of the more traditional methods is the annual employee survey, typically involving a large number of questions that have a mixture of multiple choice and open-ended questions. While this type of employee feedback has many benefits, there are also some negatives.

For example, it only gives you employee feedback and engagement information once a year, so it doesn’t allow you to monitor engagement all year round. This means that if an issue results in a downturn in engagement, this might not come to the attention of the HR team for another 11 months. So, some companies use the annual survey in conjunction with smaller surveys conducted at points throughout the year, sometimes referred to as a ‘pulse’ survey.

As well as not taking place regularly enough to get a constant measurement of engagement levels, the problem with doing a survey that is quite long, is it takes employees a lot of time to complete it. This can lead to low volumes of responses, or full teams that are very busy not answering it at all. So, this won’t give an overall picture of engagement across the whole business.

One of the other big drawbacks to this type of measurement is that it can take a lot of resources to analyse the information and to take the necessary actions to try and improve areas that are negatively affecting engagement levels. Some companies set up an employee engagement team, or there may be HR personnel who work on the survey results when they are collated, with team managers then responsible for looking at how to use the localised results to make improvements.

Companies who invest a lot of effort into using the survey results to drive positive change will usually draw up action plans across the different areas of the business to try and improve topics that have been highlighted in the survey. This work again, can take up a lot of resources, so if you are thinking of doing a long survey, you also have to factor in how you are going to use the data you collect and what resources you have to optimise the output.

What is eNPS?

The eNPS score offers a very different approach to measuring engagement. Similar to the way that the NPS measures how likely it is that a customer would recommend the company to others, the eNPS is formed around the same type of question – “How likely is it you would recommend this company as a place to work?”

This is the question that large brands such as Apple use to help them to monitor their employee engagement levels. If employees are prepared to recommend their company as a place to work, that means that they enjoy their time there, they probably trust in the management and feel that they are working for a better employer than alternatives they may have experience of.

The pros and cons of using eNPS

While the annual survey is typically long winded and time consuming, eNPS is not. Companies use the main question regarding whether the employee would recommend the company as a place to work and they may also ask a few additional questions to get a further level of detail related to the first answer. This gives a snapshot of how employees are feeling about working for the company, with data that can be quickly analysed.

eNPS is also very easy to use and companies can use software to send the survey out and then to automatically calculate the eNPS scores, so there is little work required to pull the data together for analysis.

For the employees answering the questions, it takes no time at all to complete, so they are more likely to find the time to complete the survey. The main negative of using eNPS is that it shows you a very high-level picture of employee engagement but not much more detail. So, you might find out that people on a particular team are less engaged than others, but you have no further data to explain why they are less engaged.

It doesn’t tend to give you the answers regarding what actions you need to take in order to improve the employee experience, it just gives you an indication of the levels of engagement at that point. Therefore, more work would need to be done to collate the next level of detail that will give more insight into the reasons behind the scores.

A lot of the companies who use eNPS will use other methods of monitoring employee engagement in conjunction, so that they get the snapshot of information, along with the more detailed data that can be used to make improvements to the relevant aspects of the business.

Different types of ways they might collate further information could be through a short survey sent to a proportion of employees. Another way to get more insight into employee is to hold group forums with a range of different employees to gather verbal feedback, asking specific questions related to engagement. This method can also be beneficial if there is a possibility that employees are not answering surveys because they think any negative information will be passed back to their managers.

Feedback terminals

While eNPS will usually generate more responses than the long annual surveys, another way of capturing employee engagement and getting high response rates is by installing feedback terminals in the workplace. Ombea provides ExpressPods and ExpressTabs that offer a very visual reminder for employees to provide feedback, and when positioned in an area where all employees walk through, such as the building entrance, high volumes of responses are possible.

The terminals have a smiley face display dashboard showing five different responses from happy face to sad face and employers can change the question that they are asking employees, to allow them to capture feedback related to specific areas they are interested in. They also have touchless buttons, so they are a very hygienic way to collate the information. Employers have been able to target particular aspects of working for the company to gather valuable insights and make quick improvements that result in increased engagement levels.

Because the feedback is available in real-time, HR and other relevant personnel are able to continually analyse the data and look for any indications that engagement is dipping, so that swift actions can be made. This type of employee engagement monitoring is therefore ideal for using in conjunction with an annual survey, as it gives the employer a constant idea of engagement levels and allows them to delve deeper into specific questions.

Benefits of higher levels of employee engagement

There are so many benefits for businesses to achieve high levels of employee engagement but this can only be achieved if there is an effective method, or combination of methods, in place to monitor and analyse engagement. A company that gets this right can save on recruitment costs and increase productivity of employees to drive the business’ continual success.

Which methods that a company uses will depend on factors such as the size of the company, the resources they can dedicate to the process of collating and analysing feedback and the budget they have to spend on this. HR managers may need to evidence the importance of monitoring employee engagement to help get the buy-in from budget owners, as well as showing the different ways that the business will get ROI when investing in employee engagement measurement tools.

It is useful to use evidence from studies that will add to the weight of the argument. Headline stats include that highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability. They also benefit from a 41% reduction in absenteeism and 59% less turnover. So, these are really powerful statistics that you can use in discussions with budget owners to show the impact of having the right employee engagement measurement tools and processes in place.


When executed correctly, the collection of employee engagement data and analysis, followed up with engagement improving actions, has the power to bring about huge benefits to all types of businesses. If you would like to find out more about the Ombea feedback terminals, visit our website and discover the difference it could make for your business.

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