What if there was a single number that could reveal how happy and loyal a group people are to an organization? And what if it didn’t take months to conduct and an hour to complete like a traditional survey?
eNPS or Employee Net Promoter® Score is an adaptation of the popular Net Promoter® Score (NPS) type survey, which is used as a standardized way to measure advocacy towards brands or products.
To best understand the value of this method and how it works, we can look to consumer-facing organizations, who have used NPS since the early 2000s.
How is it used externally?
External, consumer brands have long relied on conducting NPS-style surveys regularly to understand how loyal their customers are. Based on how very widespread this type of survey is, it’s likely you’ve completed one before.
Here’s how this type of survey looks for customers of Airbnb:
The standard, single question is:
“How likely are you to recommend [product/service or brand] to friends or family?”
Responses are collected on a 10 point scale, ranging from “not at all likely” to “extremely likely”. Often, anonymous comments are encouraged and recorded as well.
Because this type of survey uses direct language and only has one required question, completion rates are much higher than for longer surveys.
NPS came about as a much needed alternative to lengthy customer satisfaction surveys. NPS-style data gives marketers an ongoing, standard metric indicating overall satisfaction and loyalty, without requiring customers to complete complicated surveys.
Sound like it could be useful for Internal Communicators? We couldn’t agree more.
How is it used by Internal Communicators?
We first learned about applying NPS to internal comms from forward-thinking Communicators at very large B2C organizations. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the organisations using it internally right now are also the ones who have been using this method for surveying their end customers for years.
While we’re still some time away from seeing benchmark data for what constitutes a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ score, what we do know is that a high eNPS is a strong indication of an employee-centric company. It is a sign that employees generally speak about the organization positively, and are more likely to refer their contacts to apply for open positions.
How to calculate a standardized employee advocacy score
To calculate an advocacy score we use a simple formula that takes into account only those who have a strong opinion (indicated by responses of 9 or 10, or a responses lower than 7).
The term promoter can be used to describe anyone who selected 9 or 10, and similarly, the term detractor refers to anyone who selected a score of 1-6. The term passives is used to refer to responses of 7 and 8.
The range of responses that identify a detractor is quite wide (from 0 to 6). Detractors are the portion of your audience that are more likely to criticize than praise the organization, and that’s okay -- detractors exist everywhere.
Passives (7 and 8)
As any keen reader might have noticed, responses of 7 or 8 aren’t considered when calculating the score. The reason for ignoring passive responses is that this model only considers those who indicate a strong opinion.
Promoters (9 and 10)
Promoters (those who select 9 or 10) are likely to be your organization’s most engaged employees. These employees are happier, more loyal, and more vocal about it.
Here’s how the calculation works:
Employee NPS = % of promoters - % of detractor
For example, if your survey results showed 60% of respondants were promoters, 10% were passive, and 30% were detractors, your eNPS is 30 (calculated by subtracting 30 from 60).
Note that although the formula uses percentages, the result is not a percentage, rather a positive or negative number.
Interpreting eNPS results
The result of any NPS-style survey is an absolute number (between -100 and 100). Referencing consumer facing scores, a positive result (any score greater than 0) is generally considered good.
A score of 50 is considered excellent, as this means there are twice as many promoters than there are detractors. On the flip side, a negative score indicates room for improvement (a score of -50 or greater is uncommon and should raise concern).
Allowing for comments
In both Bananatag’s survey tools and the other options mentioned below, you can choose to enable a comment field to collect written feedback once a score is selected. The preferred way to do this is to ask, ‘What was the main reason for your score?’
Collecting comments can provide additional insight on the most important issues in your organizations that are affecting employees.
How to survey with eNPS and find employee advocacy score
With Bananatag’s Internal Email Designer
Using Bananatag’s upcoming Email Designer and survey blocks, it’s easy to create a directly clickable, visual eNPS survey:
This block can be used to send a standalone eNPS or to add the survey to any other email created in the Email Designer.
Once sent, responses will be collected in your Bananatag account, including comments (if desired).
By enabling comments on the survey block, employees also are given the option to submit comments after providing their feedback on a simple landing page which the survey links to:
In this example employees can choose to submit their feedback anonymously (or not).
How to calculate NPS manually using Google Forms
If you’re not using Bananatag, but would like to try a standalone eNPS-style advocacy score, you can set this up manually using a tool like Google Forms (or Survey Monkey, or Typeform).
Here's how this looks, using the Google Forms template avaiable at the link below:
Although response rate almost certainly will be lower for this type of survey when it’s hosted on an external survey platform, you can still get useful insights and set a baseline for your organization.
How often to ask for feedback with eNPS?
Externally in consumer-facing organizations, NPS type surveys can be used on a transactional basis (sent a set number of days after a purchase), or as a relationship survey (sent on a regular, ongoing basis).
Similarly, Internal Communicators can benefit from surveying employees after a key event in the organization, or throughout the year. Although eNPS can be sent with relative ease, it’s important not to ask too often for all of the same reasons other surveys fail.
How often to ask will ultimately depend on your goals and employee population, but starting with a quarterly eNPS is common.
Email as a two-way channel