“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 increase 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 interesting 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.
Knowing 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.
Understanding Employee Net Promoter Score
The Employee Net Promoter Score, or eNPS, 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 are those who give out 9 (or better) out of 10 for the question and are considered to be 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 Measure Net Promoter Score 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 eNPS figures.
eNPS calculations can vary depending on when and how the question is asked to employees. Companies often 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 eNPS 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 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 to note is that eNPS does not work in isolation as a random test may count for nothing. Ideally, eNPS results need to be compared with their previous results to understand whether the organization's overall employee engagement rate is rising or dipping and by how much. Having an eNPS assessment every quarter may work well for most enterprises, although the same can be tweaked as per each company's own unique policy.
Benefits of Employee Net Promoter Score
eNPS works because it is based on one simple query, which makes it less complicated for employees and increases the likelihood of their giving out the correct heartfelt assessment of the situation they may find themselves to be 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.
Adopt customized eNPS tools
eNPS gives the benefit of using various custom tools that can filter the survey findings for each department, location, demographic, and even smaller teams. This micro analysis can help organizations pinpoint the problem and help them address the solution quickly.
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 eNPS scores.
eNPS is only a reflection of what is happening within an organization and does not offer any solutions. Unless the management addresses the solution and allocates enough resources to tackle the problem, employee engagement rates may not improve.
Sharing the survey results
Sharing the survey results no matter how high or poor the scores are 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.
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 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 has been 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. A “happiest employees” list done by Comparably revealed how Zoom attained an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) of 94. As per the dynamics, 95% of Zoom employees felt highly engaged and were happy to encourage 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, Adobe with an eNPS of 57 is another enterprise known for its innovative product line thanks to its highly engaged workforce. Adobe has been able to optimize 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 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.
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