Culture means different things to different people; it can mean history, arts, social institutions, or even the fermented yeast foundation of sourdough. It’s also a buzzword in business, and company culture can have a lot in common with those sourdough cultures – it takes time and care to cultivate, but when done right eventually leads to growth and expansion.
At a time when employees may feel isolated working from home, away from their peers and friends, one major differentiator that helps workers and companies thrive is the company culture that has been established.
We all know that many big companies offer bizarre perks, from haircuts to in-house gyms, and even access to a fully functioning music studio (we’re looking at you, Dropbox), to keep their staff happy. But while you don’t have to be Google to keep your team engaged, you do have to know how they feel about working for you.
In this, the first of a series of blogs on creating and maintaining your company’s culture, we look at a quick, simple, yet highly effective way of tracking how happy and motivated your employees are: eNPS.
What is eNPS?
eNPS stands for ‘Employee Net Promoter Score,’ and is the internal version of the customer-facing NPS, which asks customers how satisfied they are with your company. eNPS essentially asks the same of your workforce: it is the physical manifestation of the easily ignored business jargon catchphrase: “Our people are our most important resource.” If they really are, you should regularly ask them how they are doing, and collect feedback on how things could be going better: eNPS does this in a single question.
It’s a simple number from -100 to 100 (learn how it is calculated here), derived from the answer to a single question, traditionally: “How likely are you to recommend working for our organization to your family or friends?” The simplicity means it can be answered in seconds, and if you ask the question consistently you have an idea of employee satisfaction.
Timing is Everything
Traditional annual performance reviews are on the way out at many companies, being replaced by continuous performance management. Who waits until the end of the year to be unhappy, anyway? By setting up a regular eNPS schedule (Apple asks their staff quarterly; at Align, we get eNPS feedback monthly), you can see in real-time the mood of your organization as a living, breathing whole.
Why Does eNPS Matter?
According to Gallup, 85% of workers worldwide are either not engaged or, worse, actively disengaged at work. The benefits of having better-engaged workers are obvious, but startling to see laid out in their entirety: lower staff turnover, less absenteeism, fewer accidents, even less theft, all of which leads to higher customer loyalty, sales, and profit!
Why Does eNPS Work?
Being anonymous, employees find it easier to offer a gut-check answer to the question of how they enjoy working at your organization, and tracking the aggregate score over time allows you to see trends in employee satisfaction. Nobody is going to be offended by receiving an anonymous score, so results will be more honest than asking for feedback in meetings (which can be important too). It’s also quick and painless: there’s no survey list of questions and rankings that eat into your valuable time, just a single question with a simple answer.
Who Should Participate?
The more employees you are getting feedback from, the better you will understand the mood of your company. Doug Walner, CEO of Align, says he checks eNPS all the time and that “a monthly pulse is valuable, but only if you are hearing from everyone.” Focusing on any one group (management, or individual departments) will only give you an insight into a subsection of your business.
Now More Than Ever
If you are one of the many companies whose employees are working from home (or the beach, the cafe, a shed…), it can be easy to miss the body language and facial expressions that indicate support or coaching may be required. Connecting with your team regularly has never been more important (or easier).
Get the Whole Team Involved!
Anyone who has read John Doerr’s classic ‘Measure What Matters’ knows that you have to be able to measure something before you can improve it. Once you have your eNPS number and can see how it’s trending, it’s time to take action!
Firstly, the comments that go with the scores allow you to see what you are doing well (to continue to do so), and what needs to change (ditto). Timely action is crucial to ensure your team feels they are being heard and supported. You may also want to follow up a particularly good or bad batch of eNPS results by sending out an anonymous survey, to see what to start/stop/keep doing.
If you need any encouragement to get your eNPS moving in the right direction, set a target value to reach. Doug at Align often sets an eNPS target as one of the company’s Critical Numbers, meaning the entire team knows how important it is and it gets discussed regularly. You can then create a working group to establish Priorities and Huddle regularly, to ensure you are taking action to meet your eNPS target.
In this way, you’ll be able to move detractors into passive voters, and over time passive workers into promoters, (the three levels of eNPS scores).
Companies are nothing without clients, goods, and services, but employee satisfaction has never been more critical to so many businesses. eNPS offers a quick, effective, and consistent way to track your workers’ sentiment, enabling you to react quickly to problems or do more of what is working.
Are you a current Align user looking to start measuring engagement? Learn more about adding Survey Users to your Align account.
Not yet an Align user? Check out our eNPS surveys with a 24-hour trial sandbox.