“Is my team happy at work?”: Measuring Remote Employee Engagement with eNPS
“Our people are our most important resource.”
For a phrase so often mentioned, why do so many organizations still suffer from disengaged workers and high turnover? How can leaders ingore their greatest asset?
Simply put, while leaders know the importance of engaged employees, evaluating employee motivation can be a lot more challenging than measuring other more tangible assets. Yet as Verne Harnish, author of Scaling up says, “Measuring their happiness is a a way of making them tangible.” When done correctly, this measurement can be one of the best leading indicator of a company’s overall health and value.
In this post we’ll break down a tried and true measurement of employee engagement and happiness: the eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score).
Rather than ask employees about their overall satisfaction with their company, eNPS focuses on cultivating employee advocacy with one simple question: “On a scale from 0-10 how likely are you to recommend working for our organization to your family or friends?”
By turning engagement into a tangible metric, eNPS provides a method for quantifying engagement over time, helping leaders identify where efforts need to be made to improve team culture. Implementing a consistent eNPS survey can not only unveil areas for progress, but also develop a culture of feedback in an organization where people feel comfortable expressing themselves freely.
eNPS is a spin-off of the widely used NPS (Net Promoter Score), first introduced by Fred Reichheld and Bain in their 2003 HBR Article “The One Number You Need to Grow”. The power of NPS, they said, lay in it’s ability to capture customer likelihood of marketing and promoting a product or brand to their friends in a single number.
In the product world, NPS has emerged as the dominant metric for measuring customer experience because it simplifies customer experience surveys into a single actionable question. Long surveys from market research firms about
eNPS serves an identical function. While companies may still look for more comprehensive employee experience surveys, the monthly eNPS survey gives consistent insight into trends in employee engagement. One number, tracked overtime, with clear actionable insights for leaders.
While eNPS asks for a 1-10 score, the calculation of eNPS score goes beyond a simple average to give insight into overall satisfaction.
As the graphic from Hubspot above shows, the eNPS weighs scores to give an overall picture of the satisfaction of your employees. While all sorts of factors may determine where employees rank themselves numerically, the categories are extremely helpful for leaders assessing the overall health of their people.
Promoters are highly engaged employees, likely willing to go above and beyond to move the company forward. Passives may be satisfied in their jobs, but may not be extend themselves beyond what is expected. Finally, detractors may be disingaged or willfully shirking responsibility due to lack of motivation.
Taken together, eNPS represents percentage promoters minus percentage detractors (a true Net Promoter Score). This leads to two main ways to improve eNPS metrics over time: move detractors to passives and move passives to promoters.
Turning Detractors into Passives
Before detractors can become promoters, they usually need to pass through the passive stage. For eNPS, addressing detractors is critically important. While an NPS detractor for a product or service may simply bring their business elsewhere, eNPS detractors may not feel motivated to perform
Turning Passives into Promoters
Leaders who value a culture where employees go above and beyond will want to focus efforts on turning passives into promoters. Investing in transparency, accountability, and better communication to improve team culture is a start. Initiating team-building activities and incentive based rewards may also help. But cultivating truly intrinsic motivation in employees requires a personal touch and an active engagement with employees more than anything.
Why Use eNPS
The beauty of eNPS is in its simplicity and its consistency: the same question on a regular basis. Employees understand what is being asked and can set their own reference point. This enables comparisons and trend indentifiction over time. By setting a baseline, leadership can better understand their impact in promoting engagement.
Critical in implementing eNPS effectively is ensuring that management carves out bandwidth to act on feedback quickly. Demonstrating a commitment to respond to employee suggestions and make changes to improve eNPS closes the essential feedback loop.
Managers should designate time in regular management meetings to discuss eNPS feedback and discuss intiatives to improve it. Companies with sagging eNPS scores may take actions like creating a cross-functional team focused on improving eNPS or create a company Priority related to eNPS.
eNPS should be considered as important, if not more so, than other critical leading indicators for your business. Every other metric will suffer if your employees are disengaged. Making efforts to monitor and improve eNPS can unlock the hidden potential of the people in your organization.
Measuring Remote Team Engagement
In an era where employees may be permanently working from home, leaders must increase emphasis on process to assess employee engagement. The cues leaders may have used to evaluate employee motivation in the past, like body language, won’t translate to a remote team. The impromptu support we might give to a coworker sighing heavily or looking distressed in the office can only be recreated intentionally.
We live in a time of heightened anxiety. As our homes become our offices, the stress of our work, our families, and the world at large becomes hopelessly entangled. Leaders of organizations have a duty to support their employees during this time and protect their most valuable assets.
eNPS serves as a temperature check for leaders looking to understand how changes like working from home are effecting employee engagement. Beyond driving profits and business objectives, eNPS measures how leaders are doing in their most important job function: providing purpose and rewarding, meaningful work for their employees.