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How to Use Surveys to Assess eNPS and Reduce Absenteeism

Nov 18, 2022| Reading time: 11min

BY Ben Pollack

Group Manager of Growth Marketing

Amari begrudgingly logs into his computer to start the work day. He sits silently in collaborative meetings, doesn’t respond to Slack messages, and takes an unusual amount of sick days. What’s going on?

Unfortunately, Amari has become disengaged from his organization. And while his constant absence from work is an indicator that something is amiss, it slides under the radar of his fully remote company. 

It’s not shocking that increased absenteeism is common when employees are burned out. And while taking PTO and sick days is normal – the average absence rate is 2.8% (one day) per month – higher absences suggest disengagement. Not only does perpetual absenteeism affect all employees (ones who are calling off and their teammates who carry the workload), it also affects your company. A high absence rate eventually leads to poor company culture and high turnover.

So how can you help prioritize your employee experience to prevent chronic absenteeism? Employer net promoter score, or eNPS, surveys are an excellent place to start.

Did you know that modern people analytics platforms have functionalities that improve the employee experience?

Watch the video

What is eNPS?

eNPS is a popular feedback metric that organizations use to measure and improve their employee experience. It’s based on the same net promoter score surveying tool that brands use to track customer loyalty.

Most companies gauge eNPS scores through a simple survey that asks employees how likely they are to recommend their organization as a place to work. Responses are recorded on a 0-10 scale, which are then divided into the following categories:

  • 9-10: Promoters. These employees are highly engaged, fulfilled at work, and loyal to the organization.
  • 7-8: Passives. These employees are neutral, meaning they’re engaged but not necessarily fully committed to staying at the organization.
  • 0-6: Detractors. These employees aren’t engaged or satisfied with working at the organization.

Some companies take their eNPS survey a step further and ask employees to explain their score (although, if you go this route, be aware that fill-in-the-bank options are often a deterrent for people). 

Either way, the results from surveys drive insights into just how satisfied employees are with their roles, career paths, and workplace as a whole.

employee net promoter score survey

Easily create, distribute, and analyze results of your eNPS surveys within a modern people analytics platform.

How to Use Surveys to Assess eNPS and Reduce Absenteeism

We all know that prioritizing employee engagement is a must if you’re looking to boost morale, drive innovation, and increase revenue. But did you know it also affects your absence rate? In fact, Gallup notes that 81% of organizations that have low employee engagement also experience high levels of absenteeism.

It’s therefore an essential practice to survey your employees regularly to get a pulse on their thoughts, feelings, and overall employee experience. And while there’s many types of surveys to send – including ones that assess burnout and DEIB efforts – you can also deploy simple eNPS surveys to help identify any issues. 

Below are five steps to successfully use eNPS surveys, and as a result, reduce employees’ absence from work.

1. Set an eNPS Benchmark

In order to make the most of your surveying efforts, you must establish an eNPS benchmark. To start, calculate your current eNPS rate. Use scores from previous surveys in the formula below:

eNPS equation

While a single digit score isn’t enough to fully understand the ins-and-outs of engagement within your organization, it can provide a baseline to know what you’re measuring and help you move forward. 

However, quantifying your current engagement levels is only half of your benchmark. You should also use feedback from open-ended responses to guide your efforts. For example, if a number of employees noted their frustration with “lack of career pathing,” your team may choose to prioritize career development, training, and other opportunities for growth.

Don’t worry if you haven’t deployed eNPS surveys in the past. Sending one out now, and then next quarter, will help you determine a benchmark moving forward.

2. Send Out Surveys Regularly

Like other surveys, eNPS surveys aren’t a one-and-done deal. It’s therefore important to establish a steady cadence so you can see the results of your efforts, all while providing ample opportunities to pivot and re-evaluate engagement strategies. 

This doesn’t mean bombarding your employees with weekly polls; instead, use a quarterly or bi-annual survey for a pulse check that’s not too intrusive.

Other preferred practices for sending out surveys are:

  • Carve out time for employees to provide feedback. Whether you take 20 minutes during your All Hands meeting or block out time on everyone’s calendar, make sure you’re giving your people space to answer. What’s more, this practice also signals to employees that you value their time and feedback as you plan for the future.
  • Explain your timeline and how you’ll use the information. Employees are more likely to complete the survey in a timely manner and provide honest feedback when they know your timeline and how you’ll use results to drive action.
  • Walk employees through feedback expectations. Are you hoping they’ll elaborate in their short answers? Are you including voluntary questions? Let them know and they’ll most likely abide by your requests. 

3. Gather Additional Data

As mentioned before, basic eNPS surveys ask employees to answer how likely they are to recommend their organization as a place to work on a 0-10 scale. However, most modern eNPS surveys go beyond this question to evaluate engagement more thoroughly. Robust surveys also provide space for employees to expand on their answers. Other strategies include asking employees to rank statements around brand and mission, company culture, leadership, and professional development.

Consider asking the following, also on a 0-10 scale:

Brand and Mission

  • I feel aligned with the company’s mission.
  • I understand the company’s goals.

Company Culture

  • I feel connected and supported by my teammates.
  • I’m proud of the company culture this organization fosters.

Leadership

  • Management encourages feedback and suggestions.
  • I feel valued by my manager.

Professional Development

  • I have enough training and professional development resources to accomplish my goals.
  • I have a clear understanding of my role and career path.

To reiterate, scores alone don’t necessarily provide the granular insights needed to enact change and prevent absenteeism. However, when you pair your eNPS score with qualitative people data, like the questions above or other solicited feedback, you’re one step closer to creating a stronger employee experience. 

Are you a ChartHop customer interested in using employee engagement surveys? Check out our bundle, which allows teams to use both eNPS scores and open-ended questionnaires for more comprehensive insights.

Read more here

4. Use Metrics to Analyze Results 

You’ve set a benchmark. You’ve collected feedback. Now it’s time to analyze your results. 

And while you can always use spreadsheets and complicated equations to determine areas of strength and opportunity, it’s more efficient to use a people analytics platform to visualize your data. 

employee net promoter score

With ChartHop, you can quickly visualize your survey answers to better understand what’s happening within your organization.

Seeing your eNPS survey results come to life on-screen in dynamic charts enables you to: 

  • Create data-driven initiatives to tackle low employee engagement and high absence rate risks.
  • Track eNPS scores through various filters (such as department, manager, or age) to determine any themes and help you course-correct as needed.
  • Understand and iterate on past employee engagement initiatives from any point in time.
  • Create and share custom reports using data on absence rates, eNPS rates, demographics, departments, and more.

5. Implement Change

Whether you’re using spreadsheets or optimizing your people data through a platform, you need to create, communicate, and implement a plan moving forward. This step may be the most important, as you’re acknowledging feedback and ideally changing your workplace environment for the better.

While initiatives look different at every organization, a company-wide rollout helps generate buy-in and signal to your people that their experiences and feedback matter. You’ll then want to revisit your efforts by sending out additional surveys and analyzing your new absence rate, well after changes are underway, to see if you’re moving in the right direction.

Use Your eNPS Score to Help Reduce Your Absence Rate

Absenteeism is a normal and healthy part of any workplace environment, especially if employees are taking time off to return rejuvenated. But when absences from work become persistent, your overall absence rate may indicate a need for additional efforts to optimize your employee experience.

Luckily, tools like eNPS surveys help prioritize the employee experience. When combined with a people analytics platform, eNPS survey results allow you to create a data-driven strategy that addresses absenteeism issues, elevates employee engagement, and ultimately, drives a better bottom line.

Surveying your people helps identify any underlying issues. But how do you boost employee engagement, especially in a remote and hybrid workplace? Watch our webinar featuring Owl Labs and Bravely to help get it done. 

Watch it here

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