How to Gain Key Employee Insights with eNPS and Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Employee satisfaction is a term used to describe how happy employees are with their job, and it has a direct effect on productivity and quality. It’s hard to really gauge how satisfied employees are without regular, consistent, and anonymous feedback, but the need to uncover these insights is pressing. According to Gallup’s 2022 State of the Global Workplace report, dissatisfaction at work is at an all-time high with 69% of people feeling emotionally detached and 19% saying they’re miserable.

How are your employees feeling? You can take a wild guess, or you can start collecting actionable data by calculating an employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) based on responses to an employee satisfaction survey you set up yourself or manage with tried-and-true HR software.

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What Is an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)?

An employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) was created by a researcher from Bain & Company who wanted to ease the time and cost burden of lengthy traditional satisfaction surveys. Not only is an eNPS survey easy for employees to complete, but the score is easy for leaders to interpret. Measuring eNPS requires your employees to answer just one question: On a scale of zero to ten, how likely are you to recommend [your company] as a place to work?

How Is eNPS Calculated?

Employees respond to an eNPS question with a number between zero and ten, zero being the least positive and ten being the most positive. Those who respond with a nine or ten are considered promoters, seven or eight are neutral, and zero through six are detractors.

To find your company’s eNPS, you subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters to get a score somewhere between -100 and 100. Anything above zero is considered positive, so 10 would be a nice result! You should feel great if your score is between 10 and 30 and fantastic if your score is above 40.

For example, if you have 100 employees and 40 are promoters, 20 neutrals, and 30 detractors, you take 40% – 30% = 10. This would mean that you have an eNPS of 10.

Based on the scores they submit, your employees will fall into one of three categories:

How Often Should You Measure eNPS?

To strike a healthy balance, try for at least twice a year or once every quarter.

You have to find the right balance for how often to poll employees. Ask too often and your employees will be fatigued, less willing to participate, and less willing to provide additional feedback. But if you ask too infrequently, you won’t get the data you need to make real improvements.

Don’t feel like you failed if you don’t get a 100% completion rate. Organizations with the highest participation rates also generally have higher eNPS scores, so low participation rates are also a data point to include in your strategizing. However, a tool like BambooHR Employee Satisfaction with eNPS automates the survey send, plus reminders, to ensure you’re getting as much data as possible.

An eNPS Score is a Great Start, But There’s More to Learn

An eNPS score is a great start to measuring employee satisfaction, and it provides a broad picture for your organization. But you may have to do some more digging to get all the information you need. Company updates, regular one-on-ones with managers, performance reviews, and adding open-ended feedback questions to an eNPS survey can help you dive into smaller-scale growth areas at your company.

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What Is an Employee Satisfaction Survey?

An employee satisfaction survey is a more freeform take on measuring how happy your employees are with their job and your organization. You get to decide how long the survey is, how it’s structured, and what you ask. While this can allow room for more specific questions, it does take more time to put together and analyze, and won’t give you the clear-cut number of an eNPS. You’ll work hard for the data, but you’ll end up with a lot of information if you do things right.

How to Write Employee Satisfaction Survey Questions

When writing an employee satisfaction survey, you want to make your survey long enough that you get the data you need, but not so long that you take employees away from their work for an extended time, or bore them so much that they quit the survey before finishing.

Keep your questions clear and easy to understand, but specific. As you are writing your questions, follow these tips from Qualtrics:

Your data will be most valuable if you can compare it from one survey to the next so try to write questions that you can ask in repeated surveys. Keeping language consistent from time-to-time and year-to-year allows you to measure and compare changes. Try focusing on some of the following topics in your surveys:

If you choose to create your own employee satisfaction survey, expect to spend quite a bit of time and resources on it. If it’s done right, you’ll get some great data that can help you propel your company forward.

» Learn More: 15 Employee Engagement Survey Questions

3 Key Benefits of Measuring Employee Satisfaction

1. Getting Employee Feedback

Feedback from your employees will reveal crucial areas for improvement. Employees generally have a lot to say. A lot more than you might realize. And they deserve the chance to give their honest feedback. A walk through the office can’t give you the kind of data a survey or report can.

2. Reduced Turnover

A ping pong table won’t be enough to keep your best employees if they don’t feel valued and content with their job. Finding out what really matters to your teams so you can remove roadblocks and create a positive working environment will help keep your employees around for the long haul.

3. Increased Productivity

Unhappy employees don’t have a great reputation for staying productive at work. Those unhappy workers cost the global market $7.8 trillion in lost productivity in 2022. Measuring employee satisfaction can give you the data you need to target initiatives for boosting your workforce productivity and for measuring the effectiveness of those initiatives over time.

Now that you know why measuring employee satisfaction will be beneficial, the bigger question is “How do I measure employee satisfaction?”

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How to Measure (and Improve) Employee Satisfaction

Once you've gathered employee satisfaction data, start with comparing data between surveys. Focus on how you are watching employee satisfaction at your organization change.

For example:

When you notice trends in results and in the feedback your employees are offering, you can create an action plan. What exactly you need to do will largely depend on what kind of responses you get back, but these are some common actionable items that can improve employee satisfaction scores.

Offer a Post-Survey Debrief

Look for Ways to Boost Productivity

Improve Performance Management

Offer New Growth Opportunities

Net Promoter, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered trademarks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld.

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