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What Is eNPS And What Is It Good For? 

October 25, 2021, 5-min. read

Many companies keep up with a parameter called eNPS in relation to their people. What’s it all about and why is it good to keep an eye on it?

What is an eNPS? 

NPS is a methodology that has been used in the past decades to measure a company’s reputation and customer loyalty. The letter "e" is an abbreviation for "Employee" and "NPS" stands for "Net Promoter Score".

Unlike other methodologies Employee Net Promoter Score does not ask about satisfaction, but instead about the willingness to recommend. While satisfaction is only our internal feeling, plus it’s conditioned by personal standards, experience and other factors, willingness to recommend creates a commitment to the external world. If we recommend something to someone, especially to a loved one or someone close, we put ourselves and our mutual relationship at stake. With recommendations we expose ourselves to some personal risk and are therefore much more careful in how we formulate them.

While satisfaction is only our internal feeling, plus it’s conditioned by personal standards, experience and other factors, willingness to recommend creates a commitment to the external world.

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Apart from the willingness to recommend the company's products and services, employers are now discovering the value of asking various alterations of the original question, such as the willingness to recommend the company as a good employer or a good and stable partner. Each option is aimed at a different goal, yet they all essentially have one purpose, and that is to monitor the attitudes of employees towards the company where they work.

The magic of eNSP is comprised in the fact that it’s a single number, one understandable parameter that can be measured easily and repeatedly, and in this way track developments over time. Even overloaded managers with a demanding agenda are able to work quickly with a given number without having to get acquainted with the complex outputs of more complex employee surveys. One number also allows for quick comparison and an internal (within one company) and external benchmark.

Measuring eNPS

On the other hand, simplicity is also the biggest drawback of eNPS. You can follow developments quickly and easily, however, they won't tell you what's behind the decline or growth, nor what specific steps to take if you want to increase your value. Therefore, smart continuous listening strategies combine eNPS with other indicators, allowing to track correlations, and to precisely target improvement initiatives. Also, pure benchmarking can sometimes be misleading because eNPS is very culturally sensitive. For example, people in the US usually choose higher values ​​than Europeans.

How does eNPS work?

The eNPS calculation works with three groups of respondents according to their answers on a scale of 0 to 10 - promoters, passives, and detractors. 

Promoters (fans): choose 9 or 10

These are the most enthusiastic devotees who would willingly and without hesitation recommend the company / team / products / employment in the company. It can even be assumed that these types recommend them spontaneously and without prompting. So they themselves spread the good name of the company, and actively do so.

Passives: choose 7 or 8

These respondents are more or less satisfied, they have a positive attitude towards the company, however, if they were going to recommend the company they would probably mention some "buts". 

Detractors (critics): choose answers between 0-6

These respondents would probably not recommend the company (team, work in the company, products ...) and are perceived as critics, often actively spreading a bad name of the company. 

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When calculating the eNPS value, critics are subtracted from the fans and the resulting number shows the ratio of remaining fans to all respondents.

Therefore, if all respondents fell into the category of critics, then the resulting value of eNPS is -100. If, conversely, everyone chose 9 or 10, then they were all fans and the eNPS value would be 100.

Positive numbers simply mean that there are more fans than critics. However, be aware that one critic can do so much damage an army of fans would not be able to offset. 

Also, it’s good to be elaborate on how sensitive and strict this scale is. Even if the average response is between 7 and 8 (on a scale of 0 to 10), you can already be getting into negative eNPS values.

There’s a reason for stringency. As mentioned, when people are dissatisfied with something, they usually have a greater need to spread their dissatisfaction and disappointment and "warn" others. Conversely, satisfaction is actually considered a normal, expected state and doesn’t usually lead to spontaneous sharing or only does if it’s extreme. And so, the scale reflects this precisely.

What is eNPS related to?

They say eNPS is linked to contentment or employee engagement. Is that the reality?

Current data support this theory, and actually show that eNPS is strongly related to a number of other factors, most notably Climate. That is, whether or not people feel good at work and to what degree. If they currently feel good, their willingness to recommend the company as an employer, supplier or partner increases significantly. The reverse is also true. The close connection between eNPS and Climate is logical, but it’s not much help in planning specific steps to increase the willingness to recommend the company.

The foundation of willingness to recommend anything lies deep in our minds, and usually consists of multiple factors coming from past experiences, our perceptions, or even current circumstances. This can include team efficiency, motivation, manager, perception of top management, efficiency, flexibility of internal processes, strategy, values, integrity and transparency, and much more. 

How to influence eNPS?

Apart from the above-mentioned drivers, it is understood that one's willingness to recommend is largely impacted by the specifics of the company's culture as well. Successful strategies, therefore, include continuous mapping of the company culture, engagement, and other crucial indicators. 

Continuous listening solutions by LutherOne offer an easy way to map & stay on top of all these crucial elements, including various types of eNPS. Thanks to smart questions distribution algorithms, employees need to respond to only a few questions a week or monthly, while companies get unmatched insights from a variety of areas from the very first survey run. Precise predictions and targeted recommendations then empower every single manager to address challenges and build on their team’s strengths with personalized guidance.

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