Well, we knew it would happen. Marketing guru Fred Reicheld is now applying the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to employee surveys now. This was bound to happen because Fred is a great marketer and this was the next logical step in the evolution of NPS. So now we have the Employee Net Promoter Score (ENPS).
The concept is similar to the customer NPS. You use the likelihood to recommend question, have a scale from 0-11 and subtract the Promoters (answering 9 or 10 on the scale) from the Detractors (answering 6-0 on the scale).
The beauty of this approach is in its simplicity. Everyone likes to have their one number they can track over time and this number is easy to understand and easy to track over time.
One of the problems is we have found almost 40% of employees who are not engaged or loyal to a company will still recommend the company as a good place to work. So only looking at recommend is not necessarily an accurate measure of employee's perceptions of their workplace.
In actuality, using the ENPS is probably a fine thing to track in and of itself. It is important that the right questions are being asked the right way and the information is being used in such a way that it is having an impact on the organization. You can't ask just one question and expect to get useable data that can help create change in an organization. To me, the question is not necessarily what is the one number, but what questions are asked and how is the information used.
If you want to read more info on NPS and ENPS, below are a sites that have more info:
-Vovici blog on ENPS
-Walker blog on NPS
-Walker article on NPS