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“To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace,” said Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup.

Doug Conant’s view is not an isolated case for many successful managers and CEOs who understand the worth of investing in their employees.

And an investment is not just monetary, for one of the best investments is to ensure a happy, productive environment where employees are more engaged.

Employee engagement matters, and it matters a lot, be it a startup or a multinational enterprise. For more engaged the employees, the more likely they are to stick with an organization.

Also, engaged employees are more likely to voluntarily go the extra mile to ensure business goals and targets are achieved.

The more engaged your employees, the lower the churn rate and higher the employee retention ratio, ensuring success, profits, and business growth. Importantly, these are not just possibilities but have been tangibly earmarked.

For example, businesses with higher than average engaged employees result in 27% higher profits, 50% higher customer loyalty, and 50% improvement in sales.

What makes an employee engaged?

Multiple variables come into play when an enterprise chooses to improve employee engagement. Some of these variables include offering a conducive work environment, better growth opportunities, and a sense of open communication between employees and top management.

Sometimes, just a simple workplace hack like offering employees more exciting and productive roles can escalate employee engagement levels.

In fact, 1 in 3 Professionals, as per a Korn Ferry Survey, have cited boredom as a big reason to quit their jobs. An engaging work environment minimizes such eventualities.

Are employee engagement and happiness tangible?

Each company may have its own set of yardsticks or a viewpoint on what they may understand as the apt employee engagement or happiness level. For some, like AON Hewitt, it’s the level of an employee's psychological investment.

For others like Willis Towers Watson, it is the employees' willingness and ability to contribute to their success.

If employee engagement and happiness form the basic success structure for an organization that truly invests in its workforce, the next big question is how to measure it all up?

Certainly, an employee may feel happy and engaged in one quarter and feel just the opposite in another when work pressure or deadlines are just too stern.

As Peter Drucker, someone regarded as the greatest business management thinker with over 39 well-known books to his credit, says, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

How to measure employee happiness?

How to know the engagement status of your employees. As an enterprise, it is therefore paramount to have a pulse of the overall employee engagement levels.

Various enterprises use unique tracking mechanisms to understand employee engagement levels, but one widely used and accepted tool to measure this is the Employee Net Promoter Score or eNPS.

The Employee Net Promoter Score has been devised by fine-tuning the Net Promoter Score (NPS), a Bain & Company's trademarked technique, Satmetrix Systems, Inc Fred Reichheld, tracking the overall customer satisfaction levels for an enterprise.

eNPS uses a snapshot prediction technique that takes into account whether an employee is willing to advocate employment in the enterprise for others or not.

In a world of data analytics, big data, and data mining, surely there must be a tool that can measure up employee happiness or engagement?

Welcome to the world of Net Promoter Score for Employee Engagement, a unique tool devised by fine-tuning Net Promoter Score (NPS), a trademarked technique of Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems, Inc., and Fred Reichheld.

eNPS measures an employee's engagement level by tracking whether the employee is willing to advocate employment in the company for others—or even the company and its products or services itself—or not. 

Depending on the answer to this single question often posed interestingly, the tool gives out a predictive score ranging from -100 to +100.

eNPS calculations can vary depending on when and how the question is asked and the score index used by an organization. For eNPS to be a successful metric, it must be constantly used and should not be an isolated, one-time poll.

For this reason, most companies seek eNPS stats on a routine basis to get the correct pulse of employee happiness, engagement, or eNPS levels.

Understanding employee net promoter score

The Employee Net Promoter Score, or eNPS, or the employee engagement net promoter score, uses the NPS system but replaces clients with employees to measure internal popularity.

The employees are asked one question on how likely they are to recommend the company as a workplace. Depending on the answers provided, the eNPS tool categorizes employees into distinct promoters, neutrals, or detractors.

Promoters give out 9 (or better) out of 10 for the question and are considered the most engaged employees. They are the employees who are motivated, happy, and are enthusiastic about recommending others to join in.

Neutrals or passives give out scores ranging from 6 to 8 out of 10 for the eNPS query. Such employees are considered as neutrals having neither a positive nor a negative sentiment.

Any employee who answers within a range of 0 to 5 is bracketed as a detractor. Such employees are believed to be having a meager employee engagement rate and require a detailed analysis to understand their negative sentiment.

How to calculate the net promoter score for employee engagement?

eNPS uses a simple formula to come to a statistical conclusion once it has all employee answers to the above question. The passives or the neutrals are ignored when it comes to statistical calculations as they do not drive the sentiment either positively or negatively.

The percent of detractors are subtracted from the total percentage of promoters to compute the organization's final Net Promoter Score employee engagement figures.

eNPS calculations can vary depending on when and how the question is asked to employees. Companies often come up with unique ideas on how to measure Net Promoter Score, and they generally mask the question uniquely and regularly gather the information, ranging from monthly, quarterly, half-yearly, or annually to get the correct pulse of the company’s net promoter score employee engagement level.

The effective scoring rate for eNPS can range anywhere between -100 to 100. Depending on the company internals, the score may thus be inferred accordingly.

As a thumb rule, any score over 50 is considered excellent, between 10 to 30 as good, and anything below zero is a time to raise the red flag and deep dive into the reasons for such low scoring.

eNPS and its detractors

While eNPS is considered a virtual hallmark in adjudicating and calculating employee engagement levels, skeptics feel asking and drawing conclusions based on just one question may sometimes be too small a sample size.

One essential aspect is that eNPS does not work in isolation as a random test may count for nothing. Ideally, eNPS results need to be compared with previous results to understand whether the organization's overall employee engagement rate is rising or dipping and by how much.

Every quarter, having an eNPS assessment may work well for most enterprises, although the same can be tweaked per each company's own unique policy.

Benefits of employee net promoter score

eNPS works because it is based on a straightforward query, making it less complicated for employees and increasing the likelihood of giving out the correct heartfelt assessment of the situation they may find themselves in.

While eNPS may appear to be a standard protocol, organizations can leverage the power of eNPS owing to its malleable nature to work better for them than their rivals and peers.

1. Adopt customized eNPS tools

eNPS benefits from using various custom tools to filter the survey findings for each department, location, demographic, and even smaller team. This micro analysis can help organizations pinpoint the problem and help them address the solution quickly.

2. Gather follow-up employee feedback

eNPS should not be the only assessment tool, and it does not deter an organization from seeking or follow-up feedback from the employees.

In fact, having an open and transparent communication channel between employees and management can further help improve net promoter score employee engagement.

3. ‍Designating resources‍

eNPS is only a reflection of what is happening within an organization and does not offer any solutions. Employee engagement rates may not improve unless the management addresses the solution and allocates enough resources to tackle the problem.

4. Sharing the survey results‍

Sharing the survey results, no matter how high or poor the scores, offer a base for increasing transparency. This sharing of the results can help employees feel more trusted, knowing the management is listening to their problems and is chalking out a strategy to remove any roadblocks.

Such sharing can also increase participation from employees, thereby resulting in improved participation and better eNPS interaction.

The correlation between eNPS, employee commitment, and customer experience

An enterprise’s goals and objectives start and end with the customer's voice. Its employees perform the dual act of acting on that customer's voice to fulfill the customer's need and carry the voice of the customer into the organization to other teams or individuals who are not customer-facing.

So it becomes all the more important to allow employees to have a voice in the scheme of things. This will be borne out in the eNPS scores.

When employees are heard, and the communication channels are like freeways, employees feel empowered and more committed to the job. Such an engaging work culture also means employees are more likely to go that extra mile in solving customer issues.

This, in turn, allows the customer voice to be heard loud and clear in the organization since there may be different teams working in tandem to solve the customer issue at hand.

In fact, the more engaged an employee, the higher the likelihood of their taking up proactive roles to help the company attain its goals and targets. This can also be helped by redefining your work culture so that employees find it distinct and unambiguous.

Email automation company SendGrid, for example, has defined its culture by 4Hs—Happy, Hungry, Humble, and Honest.

The company also calls every employee a “Gridder.” Combined, this helps the company develop a common behavior and deeper employee bonding reflected in their eNPS (latest score: 83) and eventually in their customer experience.

Why should organizations pay attention to eNPS?

eNPS is not just the new kid on the block when it comes to metrics. It has offered time-tested and proven results. For this reason, some of the top enterprises across the globe have all adopted eNPS as part of their employee-employer interaction programs.

Many skeptics overlook the benefits of employee net promoter score and the fact that while eNPS alone may not be able to help increase engagement levels of employees, just the fact that an organization undertakes regular eNPS survey installs a positive sentiment that the management is listening and is willing to act on employee feedback.

This perception alone can sow the seeds of ensuring above-par employee engagement levels, as witnessed in various success stories.

  • For example, recently, with Covid protocols in place and increased work-from-home numbers, cloud-based video conferencing software enterprise Zoom has had a massive increase in its client base. While this may augur well for Zoom in popularity and revenue, Zoom also tops the list for more engaged employees. Comparably’s “happiest employees” list revealed how Zoom attained an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) of 94. As per the dynamics, 95% of Zoom employees felt highly engaged and encouraged friends to work for the company.
  • Salesforce, the popular Customer Relationship Management software enterprise, has been the table topper on 2017 Fortune’s annual list of “100 Best Companies to Work For”. This also correlates with a higher eNPS of 58.
  • Likewise, with an eNPS of 57, Adobe is another enterprise known for its innovative product line, thanks to its highly engaged workforce. Adobe has optimized opportunities in the digital space, churning out newer tools and an interactive digital environment by focusing on its eNPS.

Happy, engaged workers offer a definite roadmap for successful enterprises. Employee Engagement Net Promoter Score offers an easy and tangible way to ascertain employee engagement levels, helping companies maintain a highly engaging work environment benefiting both employees and management.

eNPS Software

Empuls, our powerful eNPS survey software, helps organizations of all sizes explore how their employees feel about their products and services.

The software enables you to uncover hidden drivers of employee engagement and accurately determine the eNPS by simply asking employees how likely they are to advocate your brand to their friends and family. The software lets you customize questions, survey frequencies, and participant lists.

Just as a business strategy is driven by being customer-centric, a business’ HR strategy needs to be employee-centric. This goes a long way in building employee advocacy. Online real estate company Zillow exemplifies this approach. With more than 3000 employees, the company deems its HR function to be its most important function.

Interestingly, it avoids many companies' workaholic approaches and instead invests in employee education and innovation. No wonder, then, that Zillow ended up with an eNPS of 65 in its latest survey.

eNPS is rising in popularity as organizations are today acknowledging that only a happy, engaged workforce can deliver optimum performance. Give your employees a voice by measuring their real-time engagement levels and weaving their feedback into your customer retention strategy.

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Rani Joseph

Rani Joseph LinkedIn

Rani Joseph comes with a decade-long experience across the value chain of content and brand marketing. She currently is the Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Xoxoday.