Using Employee Feedback to Shape Company Culture 

By Greencastle Consulting

Workplace culture is a commonly touted benefit companies will use to describe themselves to prospective applicants. You might hear cultures referred to as “fun” or “rewarding”, but these are subjective terms that lack a quantifiable metric to measure an organization against. The Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is one innovative tool designed to solve that problem.

What is Employee Net Promoter Score?

Net Promoter Score (NPS)1 is a quick one-question survey you’ve probably used to measure customer loyalty.

“How likely would you recommend this company as a place to work?”

Similarly, Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) measures employee satisfaction and loyalty within an organization – used by companies like Apple and Bain & Company. Employees are anonymously surveyed to rate the company on a scale of 1 to 10 on how likely they are to recommend their employer as a place to work. Employees are placed in one of three categories based on their responses. Promoters are scores 9 and 10. Neutrals are scores 7 and 8. A score at 6 or below are considered detractors. The system then calculates a score from -100 to +1001. The higher the score, the more promoters and the more satisfied employees are overall.  According to Perceptyx, scores above 50 indicate a great company.

Leveraging eNPS Feedback

The eNPS score is a great starting point for gauging employee satisfaction but without additional details, it can be difficult for leadership to understand exactly what to sustain or change. Greencastle’s eNPS vendor includes an optional open-ended question. Employees are encouraged to highlight something great about the company or vocalize an issue that they don’t feel comfortable publicly sharing.

What happens next can only be described as radical transparency. Anonymous employee feedback is grouped by topic, analyzed for long-term trends, and presented to the entire company. The good, the bad, the ugly — every single point is publicly addressed by our senior leadership team while preserving the anonymity of employees. Sometimes it is explaining the context around a controversial policy or decision. In others, it means outlining a plan to review and remedy an issue.

This practice, painful as it may be sometimes, is truly a win-win for both Greencastle and our employees. Our team has an anonymous means of having their concerns recognized and addressed. At the same time, leadership can get an unfiltered perspective on employees’ feelings about the company.

Feedback Informs Change

Promoting a positive workplace culture is often easier said than done. Employee feedback plays a major role in identifying necessary changes and developing solutions that have the support of team members across the organization.

Using employee feedback to drive changes to culture requires two key elements.

First, employees must feel secure in sharing their unfiltered opinions and experiences. Anonymous surveys, like eNPS, are excellent opportunities to share without fear of reprisal. ‘Gaming’ the survey to identify who said what must be avoided to preserve employee anonymity.

Second, leadership must be open and receptive to the feedback being provided without ego. Attempting to invalidate feedback only discourages employees from wanting to share in the future. Rather than viewing feedback as positive or negative, it’s better to view it as an opportunity to sustain a good practice or investigate a potentially flawed one.

It’s not about chasing a specific eNPS score – a potential pitfall for leadership. Employee feedback is a way for companies to understand issues that are impacting employee satisfaction. Anonymous feedback through the eNPS helps craft a better employee experience and better culture.   

1-Scores are calculated by taking the percentage of promotors and subtracting the percentage of detractors.