May 09, 2016

What is employee Net Promoter Score® Anyway? And Why You Should Care

Dr. Tracy Brower, PhD, MM, MCRGlobal VP of Workplace Vitality™MARS DRINKS

NPS is receiving a lot of press right now. Introduced by business strategies Fred Erichheld in 2003, the Net Promoter Score, or NPS has become a much-used metric for gauging customer loyalty. The score is calculated based on responses to a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? It’s considered an important barometer because it asks respondents to put their personal credibility on the line.

For the Mars Drinks study in which we partnered with LinkedIn, The Workforce Voice powered by LinkedIn, researchers adapted the score to employee satisfaction by asking the question this way: How likely is it you would recommend your company as a place to work? “Promoters” are those who answer with a 9 or 10. A 7 or an 8 is a “passive” and a 6 or below is a “detractor.” Many companies recognize the value of NPS and monitor it regularly for how they are performing with customers – and regularly check in on what they can to do improve their rating. Many C-suite executives have also seen the close connection between their NPS score and bottom-line performance.


In our study, we found that Workplace Vitality™ was connected to how people at work feel about their employer. First, both promoters and detractors – between 97% and 81% of them – thought that the pillars of Workplace Vitality, engagement, collaboration, well-being, and productivity were very important.

But we found a stark differences in the perceptions of promoters and detractor regarding how well their companies were performing on those pillars. While between 79% and 76% of promoters felt their companies were performing on the pillars, in contrast, only 15% to 25% of detractors felt their companies were performing well in these areas.


What’s the implication? If you want a company where people in your workplace feel positively about and promote with others, pay attention to Workplace Vitality, and the intersection of engagement, collaboration, well-being, and productivity.  

  • Ensure that people feel engaged and emotionally committed to what they’re doing and have a sense of their impact. Host town halls over coffee in order to point out the bigger picture, and ensure leaders regularly recognize great effort with their teams.
  • Focus on a common goal and the alignment of work so that people can collaborate effectively. Regularly pull teams together over an afternoon cup of tea in order to exchange updates on their work and ensure they’re aligning with others to solve common problems.
  • Attend to well-being by taking a holistic approach to health, happiness, and work-life fulfillment. Supplying great beverages for fueling and hydrating is a good start.
  • Provide people with the tools they need in order to be productive, and give them a sense of pride in what they do.

Overall, our research on Workplace Vitality points to the importance of all of these pillars – engagement, collaboration, well-being, and productivity. And eNPS is a metric that points the way toward a workplace where people and organizations thrive – a place where people want to stay and also contribute their discretionary effort. Giving people a sense of Workplace Vitality – and the engagement, collaboration, well-being, and productivity that make it up – is an important place to start.



® Net Promoter Score is a registered trademark of Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix.

Tags:Workplace VitalityWorkforce Voice