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A word from the Psychologist - How to respond to a low eNPS ?
A word from the Psychologist - How to respond to a low eNPS ?
Emilie Roze avatar
Written by Emilie Roze
Updated over a week ago

Doing a survey is taking the risk that the result may not always be positive. In the case of eNPS (Employee Net Promoter Score), this risk may be more significant than for surveys covering multiple themes.

Indeed, this data alone provides an overview of employee sentiment, making it a key metric that we often emphasise. Because it is unique, it is practical and representative. However, it is also volatile, and since it stands alone, it is not mitigated by other results. So when eNPS declines, it is noticeable. Obviously, when that happens, it is annoying, unpleasant, and can put managers in a difficult position, whether it is about addressing this information or communicating it to the teams.


But should we be afraid of the result?

A survey is a way to gauge the pulse of an organisation, just like we would with an individual. It is a snapshot in time that reflects the current state of mind but not an inevitable reality. If we extend the analogy with an individual a bit further, a survey is like a moment where we take the time to look at our emotions for what they are: a great barometer of what is important and deserves our attention. However, looking at our emotions is not always pleasant—sadness and anger can destabilise us and cause harm. Yet, ignoring them would be even more detrimental.
As I write this, I inevitably think of the character Riley in Disney Pixar's "Inside Out"— a must-watch movie regardless of your age. In this film, we witness Riley's ongoing dialogue in her brain between five main emotions: joy, disgust, anger, sadness, and fear. "Sadness" is the one that the other emotions criticise and try to silence, and yet... in the end, it is because Riley feels that sadness that she will find the solution to her difficulties. In short, sadness hurts, but it is also beneficial at times. Allowing oneself to be sad is also being alive, quite simply.

A declining eNPS result is somewhat like Riley's sadness. If we pay attention to it, it motivates us to improve things, to look deeper, and find solutions. It is also proof that the company is alive, constantly evolving, and that employees are impacted and involved in what they experience there.

A declining eNPS provides an opportunity for managers to tell employees that they listen, they hear them, and that they are not afraid of less favorable results. It also allows them to reaffirm the company's resilience: even when the winds blow, it stands strong and can withstand setbacks. It is also what enables us to do better, to move forward, and to work together on solutions. Ultimately, what matters is the evolution of this eNPS. If it is declining and in negative territory, it is important to project into the future to increase it, even if returning to positive territory may take several

months. For example, an eNPS that goes from -30 to -6 would primarily be a testament to the appropriate and effective handling of difficulties, even if the eNPS remains negative for now.

There are several possibilities available to managers to address these difficulties:

  • Small group workshops to work together on finding solutions.

  • Individual interviews for teams with a small number of employees to deeply understand the

    difficulties.

  • Exploratory surveys to identify areas of distress.

Among the surveys that delve deeper, there is, of course, the "engagement audit", which targets the drivers of engagement with just 10 questions. But today, we offer an alternative with a brand new survey called the "Employee Engagement Survey", which you can discover right now on the platform.

In conclusion, as is often the case, clear and honest communication remains the best way to approach difficulties. It promotes engagement and enables progress. And remember, bad news is always preferable to a lack of information.

Laure Miché-Roche
Work Psychologist

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