How a Human Resources Director used Rapid Action - an innovative small team improvement process with a unique action learning toolkit - to solve company problems and develop new leaders.
If you have spent time in an executive boardroom, a human resources department or a networking event in the past year or two you have probably heard the term eNPS floating around. Chances are good that someone has said something like "Let's start measuring our eNPS," "our eNPS needs work," or "how can we get a better handle on our eNPS?" But what is eNPS and how can it help?
Before we dive in, I want to provide the briefest of overviews on what eNPS actually is. eNPS stands for "Employee Net Promoter Score." Net Promoter Score was pioneered and trademarked by Bain & Company, Satmetrix Systems and Fred Reichheld as a way to measure customer loyalty to your brand and/or products. eNPS refers to employee Net Promoter Score and takes that concept and applies it to employees by asking the simple question: "On a scale of zero to ten, how likely is it that you would recommend this company as a place to work?" In short, people talk about their jobs - to friends, family, coworkers and social media. Is that conversation putting your company in a positive or negative light? eNPS is designed to answer that question. Much more info on eNPS can be found here.
eNPS helps organizations put a number behind their goals to improve their culture, loyalty and employee engagement. For many departments, especially Human Resources, being able to quantify their leadership development and engagement efforts has become a critical advantage for adding resources and building out more programs. It also helps provide a benchmark against the competition and as a way to show concrete improvement.
eNPS is a great way to simply and effectively measure employee engagement and overall satisfaction. However, despite its popularity, many organizations spend too much time and energy on measuring eNPS and not enough time acting on the results. Implementing the right software, developing survey content, deciding on frequency, analyzing results and so on can become full-force projects on their own, which too-often leaves little time for proper follow up. Would you be better off just assuming you need improvement and starting with the action phase? Probably! There is value in knowing your baseline, but finding balance is the key. But there is a simple reason most organizations fail when it comes time to act - they don't know what to do!
Our experience with eNPS is that motivation for action starts high but fades as time passes because there is no real plan for achieving results. The standard methods usually involve some mix of town-hall style open feedback sessions where employees can "be heard," additional training, coaching and other "soft skill" leadership development action plans, and directly engaging with promoters and other survey takers for "more feedback." The trouble, though, is that these programs usually commit to few real bottom-line results and participants are often left feeling just as ignored as before. Worse, expectations were raised, and results fall short so eNPS actually suffers.
If you decide to start measuring eNPS, you need a clear plan for taking action on the results. You want to listen to feedback and solve problems by focusing on experimentation and results at the individual, team, function and enterprise level. But how?
The key to acting on survey results like eNPS is speed. Employees want to see real change and if things take too long, it might be too late to keep the best employees around. In our experience, employees want to remove barriers to their success and are willing to take on more responsibility, but managers and leaders want a process or system in place they can trust to deliver results. Rapid Action is that process. By keeping things simple, working in teams and solving problems on the frontlines, employees are given a way to make more impact, expand their roles and become true leaders within the organization. As a result, eNPS can improve dramatically.
Rapid Action has been used for more than 25 years as a way for organizations to build the capability to change faster. With the growing ability to accurately measure eNPS and tie results directly back to both that score and the bottom line, the time is now to start thinking about how Rapid Action can go to work for you.