What if there was a single number that could reveal how happy and loyal a group of people are to an organization?  

And what if you could discover this number easily — not through a traditional, time-consuming survey?

Download our Quickstart Guide to Pulse Surveys here.

Let us introduce you to Employee Net Promoter® Score, or eNPS.

Employee Net Promoter® Score is an adaptation of the popular Net Promoter® Score (NPS) type survey, which is used as a standardized way to measure advocacy towards brands or products.

To best understand the value of this method and how it works, we can look to consumer-facing organizations that have used NPS since the early 2000s.

How are Net Promoter Score pulse surveys used externally?

External consumer brands have long relied on conducting NPS-style surveys regularly to understand how loyal their customers are. 

Here’s how this survey type looks for customers of Airbnb:


The standard single question is:

“How likely are you to recommend [product/service or brand] to friends or family?”

Responses are collected on a 10-point scale, ranging from “not at all likely” to “extremely likely.” Often, anonymous comments are encouraged and recorded as well.

Since this type of survey uses direct language and only has one required question, completion rates are much higher than those for longer surveys.

NPS came about as a much-needed alternative to lengthy customer satisfaction surveys. NPS-style data gives marketers an ongoing, standard metric indicating overall satisfaction and loyalty — without requiring customers to complete complicated surveys.

But NPS-style surveys aren’t just for marketers. They’re also incredibly useful for internal communicators.

How are Employee Net Promoter Score style pulse surveys used by internal communicators?

We first learned about applying NPS to internal comms from forward-thinking communicators at very large B2C organizations. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the organizations using it internally are also the ones who have been using this method for surveying their customers for years.

While NPS typically measures results from customers or members, eNPS measures results and company ratings from employees.

While we’re still some time away from seeing benchmark data for what constitutes a “good” or “bad” score, what we do know is that a high eNPS score is a strong indication of an employee-centric company. It is a sign that employees generally speak about the organization positively, and are more likely to refer their contacts to apply for open positions.

How to calculate a standardized employee advocacy score

To calculate an advocacy score, we use a simple formula that takes into account only those who have a strong opinion (indicated by responses of 9 or 10, or responses lower than 7).

The term “promoter” can be used to describe anyone who selected 9 or 10. Similarly, the term “detractor” refers to anyone who selected a score of 1–6. The term “passives” is used to refer to responses of 7 and 8.


Detractors (0-6)

The range of responses that identify a detractor is quite wide (from 0 to 6). Detractors are the portion of your audience that are more likely to criticize than praise the organization, and that’s okay — detractors exist everywhere.

Passives (7 and 8)

This model only considers those who indicate a strong opinion, so passive responses aren’t considered when calculating the score.

Promoters (9 and 10)

Promoters are likely to be your organization’s most engaged employees. These employees are happier, more loyal, and more vocal about it.

Here’s how the calculation works:

Employee NPS = % of promoters – % of detractor

For example, if your survey results showed 60% of respondents were promoters, 10% were passive, and 30% were detractors, your eNPS would be 30 (calculated by subtracting 30 from 60).

Note that although the formula uses percentages, the result is a positive or negative number — not a percentage.

Interpreting eNPS results

The result of any NPS-style survey is an absolute number (between -100 and 100). Referencing consumer-facing scores, a positive result (any score greater than 0) is generally considered good.

A score of 50 is considered excellent, as this means there are twice as many promoters than there are detractors. On the flip side, a negative score indicates room for improvement (a score of -50 or greater is uncommon and should raise concern).

Allowing for comments

With Staffbase’s employee pulse surveys, you can enable a comment field to collect written feedback once an employee has selected a score. The preferred way to do this is to ask: “What was the main reason for your score?” When you collect comments, you can get additional insight into the most important organizational issues affecting your employees.

How should you distribute your eNPS survey and collect data?

Try Staffbase Email with embedded pulse surveys

It’s simple to create an easy-to-use, visual eNPS survey in Staffbase’s employee email newsletter designer

A scale to measure eNPS with an example: "On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend this organization as a place to work?"

This block can be used to send a standalone eNPS or to add the survey to any other email created in the email designer.

Once sent, responses will be collected in your Staffbase account, including comments (if desired).

After employees respond to your survey, they are given the option to submit comments (if you choose to enable a comment block) on a simple landing page. They can include their name or select “anonymous.”


Using Google Forms

If you’re not yet a Staffbase customer, but would like to try a standalone eNPS-style advocacy score, you can set this up manually using a tool like Google Forms (or Survey Monkey, or Typeform).


Although the response rate will almost certainly be lower for this type of survey when it’s hosted on an external survey platform, you can still get useful insights and set a baseline for your organization.

How often should you ask for feedback with eNPS?

In consumer-facing organizations, NPS-style surveys can be used on a transactional basis (sent a set number of days after a purchase), or as a relationship survey (sent on a regular, ongoing basis).

Similarly, internal communicators can benefit from surveying employees after a key event in the organization or throughout the year. Although eNPS surveys can be sent with relative ease, it’s important not to ask too often for all of the same reasons other surveys fail.

How often to ask will ultimately depend on your goals and your employee population, but starting with a quarterly eNPS is common.

Read more about employee surveys: