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How to Use eNPS to Improve Employee Satisfaction

Topics: Retention

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Tori Fica, a HR Copywriter at BambooHR.

You’ve likely read your fair share of ebooks, articles and infographics on how employee satisfaction and engagement can impact your organization; keeping your employees happy with their jobs and engaged in their work can indeed lead to greater productivity, higher performance, increased retention and more. But this is typically where the conversation ends, and you’re left wondering what to do next. If employee satisfaction is so important, then what can you do to improve it within your workforce? How do you measure and track something that is so subjective and abstract?

While there are multiple ways to approach this challenge, you should start with eNPS.

What is eNPS?

The term “eNPS” means Employee Net Promoter Score, a tool used to measure and quantify employees’ satisfaction in a single number. The original Net Promoter Score concept came from Fred Reichheld, a partner at Bain & Company, in 2003. The idea was to gauge how customers felt about a company with a simple rating system. eNPS surveys use that same approach to show how employees are feeling within an organization.

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The survey consists of two questions, which employees answer anonymously. The first asks how likely they are to refer your company as a place to work, on a scale of one to ten. The second dives deeper by asking either what your organization can do to become a better place to work or what they like about your organization that makes it such a great place to work.

From there, responses are grouped into three categories: promoters, neutrals and detractors. Promoters are those who rated nine or 10, neutrals are those who rated seven or eight, and detractors are those who rated zero through six. To determine the total eNPS score, neutrals are factored out and the percentage of detractors is subtracted from the percentage of promoters. The number that remains is your employee Net Promoter Score.

This method allows you to measure how satisfied your employees are with hard numbers, and by reissuing the survey periodically, you can track how those numbers change over time. In addition, you get a dose of open, honest feedback from individual employees.

Employee Satisfaction Through eNPS

It’s important to remember that while employee satisfaction surveys like this are a fantastic way to gather the information you need to start making decisions and taking action, they are not the end goal themselves. Some organizations gather the results, see a positive eNPS score and pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

You can’t stop there! Now is the time to dig into the data, figure out what it means and decide what to do about it. These are the basic steps you can follow in this process:

  • Read through every comment: Despite their at-a-glance ratings, promoters may offer criticism and detractors may offer praise. Looking at each comment can provide some much-needed context to their feedback. 
  • View tagged keywords to find trends: Examining responses from a high level will help you understand which factors are impacting the most team members, especially if the individual comments around those factors are all similar.
  • Identify if trending concerns are hygiene or motivating factors: Hygiene factors are those elements that decrease dissatisfaction; that is, compensation, humane working conditions, job stability and more. When these important factors are missing or inadequate, employees rapidly become dissatisfied. On the other hand, motivating factors are those things that increase satisfaction, such as career development opportunities or management style. You should tackle hygiene factors before trying to optimize motivating factors.
  • Filter by department to understand how each team feels: Do most of the detractors with negative feedback about rewards and recognition come from the marketing department? Or is it a more widespread dissatisfaction? Dissecting the data by department can help you understand the difference.
  • Discuss next steps with leadership team: Every person that sees the data will likely have their own opinions on what it means and what needs to happen next. It will take careful coordination to work through individual biases to come to the best possible collective strategy. Remember: the priority is that everyone feels that their issues are being understood, considered and addressed.
  • Implement changes and measure results: Communicate any changes to your workforce and explain the plan to monitor the results. Then follow through. Check in every six months with new initiatives, and keep an eye on eNPS results to determine if your efforts are successful.

Outcomes of Employee Satisfaction

While employee satisfaction is different from employee engagement, you can’t have the second without the first. Taking care of your employees, listening to their needs and improving your workplace on their behalf will increase employee satisfaction, an important first step to boosting employee engagement. And when your employees are engaged, your people and your organization succeed together.

In fact, report gains in the following areas:

  • 41 percent lower absenteeism
  • 24 percent lower turnover (high-turnover organizations)
  • 59 percent lower turnover (low-turnover organizations)
  • 28 percent less shrinkage
  • 70 percent fewer employee safety incidents
  • 40 percent fewer quality incidents (defects)
  • 10 percent higher customer metrics
  • 17 percent higher productivity
  • 20 percent higher sales
  • 21 percent higher profitability

When you focus on putting real measurement and real effort behind improving employee satisfaction, your organization will see real results. With a tool like eNPS and our recommended steps, you can get started on making a big difference for everyone in your organization.

about author

Tori Fica is an HR copywriter for BambooHR, the leading HR software solution for small and medium businesses. Through research, analysis, and writing, she creates content to help HR professionals think and plan more strategically. Her focus is providing actionable ideas based on the latest trends in HR. You can check out her articles at

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