You Can Only Manage What You Measure
Measuring the employee experience (EX) at your organization is critical. A strategy without metrics is like flying blind without fundamental indicators such as altitude, speed, and gas levels. You can use several metrics to measure EX in your organization, many of which relate to employee engagement, retention, and turnover. This article offers three must-have metrics to consider: the Net Promoter Score (NPS), the employee rating websites, and internal promotions. While most metrics are lagging indicators that reveal data about challenges that have happened, the metrics offered here serve as current pulse checks, which allow you to course-correct and iterate faster.
What Is Employee Experience?
While there are many definitions of the employee experience, I like how Gartner and Harvard Business Review define it as “how employees internalize and interpret the interactions they have with and within their organization and the contexts that those interactions.” The customer experience tracks the journey of touchpoints the customer may have with products and services. Similarly, the employee experience includes all the touchpoints the employee has with the organization throughout their journey, including recruitment, interviewing, onboarding, engagement, development, growth, and departure.
1. Employee Net Promoter Score
Just like the customer Net Promoter Score, which measures whether customers would recommend your organization to their friends and colleagues, the employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) asks one question: the employee would recommend your organization to others as an excellent place to work. If they rate your organization with a nine or ten, it means that they are excited to work here. They are proud of the products and services your organization offers. The key elements here are the promoters and the detractors. This question is a great predictor of employee retention. The higher the score, the happier your employees, the longer they stay at your organization. Bain & Company, who originated the Net Promoter Score, found that a second question that asks employees to rate their level of agreement with the statement “my job inspires me” offers even more insight into the employee experience. While many metrics are lagging indicators, the eNPS acts like a pulse check on your employee experience in the present moment. Hence, it is a good check for the health of your organizational culture. How often should you take the pulse? Monthly or quarterly is ideal, recommends Bain & Company.
2. Employee Rating Websites
Several employee websites such as Glassdoor and PayScale serve as an additional pulse check on how your employees talk and rate your organization, outside your organization. Current and past employees can post how happy or disgruntled they are with the organization, provide the pros and cons of working there, rate the CEO anonymously, and discuss why the organization is or is not a great place to work. It is important to review such sites closely to receive candid insights and sound bites on what some of your current and past employees think about the organization. You can use this data as qualitative data, and you can compare it with data from other metrics to better inform your measurement and analysis of the employee experience. Keeping a close tab on such feedback is crucial, so a weekly or monthly check is essential.
3. Internal Promotions
This metric is a good indicator of the growth your organization offers employees, and of how many employees stay and seek new ways to contribute to organizational growth. You can calculate the rate of internal promotions by dividing the number of internal employees by the total number of open positions within the organization. High potentials who aspire to grow will seek new paths, more responsibility, and more authority in the organization and will also likely apply for other roles opening internally. While hiring externally to bring new ideas and enhance the overall culture is crucial, tracking internal promotions is an excellent way to inform employee retention metrics further. This metric is critical and needs to be scrutinized as it may reveal stagnation or employee index. Filling all new job openings with internal employees can be a sign of stagnation and a lack of fresh blood. Conversely, if internal employees do not apply for new roles within the organization, this may be a sign of indifference and low morale.
Create A Dashboard And Report The Data Frequently
Creating an analytics dashboard to include these and other human resources metrics can help your management efforts. Collecting quantitative and qualitative data on the employee experience can help inform how well your EX strategy is going and uncover challenges requiring attention and course correction. As your effort matures, you can add additional metrics to the dashboard that provide more details and help piece together a complete picture of what employees feel, see, and do within your organization. With the dashboard ready, it is good to periodically review the data with leadership and business unit managers. I recommend quarterly updates. A set frequency for reviewing and reporting on the data helps engage business unit managers and supervisors who are closest to the employees and builds an additional level of accountability into the success of the employee experience strategy.
Establishing an employee experience strategy is critical for the health and success of your organization. Setting the metrics to measure and manage it is equally important. While there are several metrics you can use, many of which are traditional and measure employee retention, turnover, and cost of recruitment, this article offers three primary metrics: the employee Net Promoter Score, the feedback employees write on third-party employee rating websites , and the rate of internal promotions. The first and third metrics offer quantitative data, whereas the second metric provides qualitative data. Analyzing quantitative and qualitative data can help you piece together and communicate a complete story around the employee experience at your organization. Creating a dashboard and quarterly reviews and updates for the organization helps you engage your senior and business unit leaders, and strengthens accountability around the success of the employee experience strategy, beyond the Learning and Development function, to the broader organization.