The power of using follow up questions to improve the effectiveness of your Net Promoter Score and to achieve greater Employee Engagement
Tweaking your Net Promoter Score can help augment the often ineffective traditional annual employee engagement survey. Leaders need to understand the factors that impact employee engagement levels, and how to improve them. Very few organisations can achieve (or sustain) high customer loyalty and growth without the support of passionate, engaged employees. Engaged employees bring their zeal and ideas to work, helping the organisation deliver on strategic goals.
The enthusiasm of Engaged Employees is contagious; it rubs off on everyone they meet. Employee promoters energise organisational performance as they create a better experience for customers. These happy customers then become promoters of your business and brand. Promoters also are more likely to come up with creative and innovative ideas for product, process and service improvements. Engaged employees play a vital role in engaging and retaining enthusiastic customers.
How to calculate a Net Promoter Score:
Traditionally one key question is used to determine a Net Promoter score: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to recommend this organisation as a place to work?” or a variation of “On a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to recommend this organisation to a friend or colleague?”
Identifying Promoters, Passives and Detractors:
- Calculate the total number of responses.
- Calculate how many gave you either a 9 or 10 (promoters)
- Calculate those that gave you any score between 0-6 (detractors)
- Scores of 7 or 8 could go either way so are excluded (neutrals)
- Subtract the percentage of detractors from promoters
The worst possible score is -100 (if everyone gives you a 0) and the best is +100 (if everyone gives you a 10). Any score above 0 is good; any score above 50 is great; and any score above 70 is fantastic.
Getting the most out of your promoter score
A big mistake that many organisations make is not following up after the promoter question. It is great that you know your score, but why did they give you that score? Often the more important question is what we could do to raise the score? Though the willingness to recommend an organisation is an important component of employee engagement, it’s not the same thing as employee engagement. The real value from the survey can often come from the qualitative feedback written by employees. An open-ended question like “What’s the reason for your score?” prevents us leaving a lot of valuable information on the table.
1 Ask what is working. In the survey if an employee gives you a 9 or 10, ask them a follow up question about what they enjoy the most about working in the organisation.
2 Ask what could be improved. In the survey if an employee gives you any score between 0-6, ask them a follow up question about what you could do to make things better.
Key elements of an extended net Promoter survey:
- Designed to help teams and leadership recognise and prioritise issues
- Needs to be confidential to encourage honest feedback (ensure their answer is 100% anonymous)
- Include all follow up questions (no follow up email – this will reduce confidence in privacy of answers)
- They can be part of an ongoing support system (i.e. more frequent vs annually)
- Results can feed into a coaching and mentoring process (correcting issues and augmenting bright spots)
- May be included in on-boarding (send a survey to new hires every 90 days to assess effectiveness)
- The short survey enables sharing (disguised) feedback quickly with supervisors/leaders.
- Provides rapid feedback on what’s working and what’s not working.
NB: Net promoter scores from employees can be lower than customer scores as employees often hold us to a higher standard than our customers do. Before starting the employee survey process, be aware that you may have to deal with some tough feedback; and understand the need to respond with appropriate action. If we ask for employee engagement feedback from employees and ignore it disengagement will rise!
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