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Using eNPS to measure and improve employee recognition

Feb 01, 2022

Written by: John O'Brien, Vice President, Employee Performance Group, BI WORLDWIDE
(View Author Bio)

No matter which aspects of your employee value proposition you're measuring with eNPS, showing you're listening and acting on employee feedback will increase engagement. Here are four key aspects of employee recognition to consider.

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As employers, we rely on many different aspects of work to engage and retain our current employees, as well as build a culture that will be attractive to prospective candidates. We refer to this as our employee value proposition, or what we offer to employees in exchange for their time, talent and commitment.

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In addition to the day-to-day work experience, or how much an employee feels they belong with their role and team, we often use things like paid time off, health benefits, career advancement opportunities, commission or bonuses and recognition to make employees feel valued and appreciated for the work they do. (Read more about the top incentive compensation drivers here.)

Many of these come at a cost to the organization so it’s important to understand which are most effective in impacting employee performance and commitment. In other words, what do you offer that is most valuable to your employees?

One way of measuring this is eNPS, or employee net promoter score. Pioneered by Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld to measure customer experience, NPS has been used primarily to determine how likely a customer is to stay and offer referrals. This same measure can be adapted to gauge employee sentiments around a specific program, initiative or work experience as a whole. While it won’t provide a complete picture of how your employees feel, it can be paired with other metrics to provide a holistic view of the value proposition you’re offering.

eNPS is a fairly simple measure, based on one question: “How likely are you to recommend this company (or this program, or initiative) to others?”

Though simplistic in nature, it is the first step in understanding if you’re providing the right employee experience, one they value and find motivating. One global technology company is using eNPS to measure employee attitudes about their corporate recognition program. Knowing employee recognition outperformed other areas of their EVP, they used eNPS to identify strengths of their existing program and gaps they needed to address. Understanding employee perceptions about the program has helped the company make changes that have led to a 100% increase in eNPS over 4 years.

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Here are just some of the areas of recognition they looked at, along with what to consider:

1. Evaluate recognition spend.

Is it competitive? Does it address tenure levels or is it one-size-fits-all? Have you changed your recognition spend in the last two years to address changes in the job market and employee expectations?

2. Improve awareness.

Are you regularly communicating with employees about the program? Do you have nudges for managers on which employees to recognize and when? Is it easy to access the program website no matter where employees are working?

3. Recognize in a variety of ways.

Do all employees have a chance to earn recognition with points? Do your managers understand the impact of written recognition, even when they do not have points to give? Is your program inclusive of service awards and, if so, which tenure levels are included?

4. Find more moments to recognize.

What other special occasions can you prompt managers and employees to recognize? Have you considered recognition for onboarding or career advancements? Do your employees value recognition and acknowledgement of personal milestones like marriage, pet adoption or growing their family?

No matter which aspects of your EVP you’re measuring with eNPS, showing you’re listening and acting on employee feedback will increase engagement. When employees feel their voice is heard and valued, it helps them feel included and respected – especially when they see the organization will work to close experience gaps they’ve identified.

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John O'Brien

John O'Brien

Vice President
Employee Performance Group

As Vice President of BI WORLDWIDE’s Employee Performance Group, John O’Brien’s primary focus is to develop employee engagement strategies and solutions that change the behaviors of employees to align with customers’ business objectives. An expert in Employee Recognition Strategy, he educates HR professionals around the world on how to best engage their employees through employee engagement strategies, solutions and best practices.