How the Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI) works and how you use it to get happier employees.

The benefit of using the Employer Satisfaction Index (ESI) is to get easily measured feedback on how satisfied employees are with their situation. The ESI is a number between 1 – 100 that you should measure over time. Often it is chosen to combine the method with additional questions in more comprehensive employee surveys, allowing them to get more information. They can still pinpoint the specific ESI questions to get an index to compare with.

What is the difference between ESI and eNPS?

Just like the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), the main goal of using the ESI is to get a number for comparison over time and between companies. The difference between eNPS and ESI is in short that the eNPS measures loyalty and centers around one question. Whereas ESI centers around three questions. In contrast to the eNPS, you use the ESI more often in a more full-scale survey including more in-depth questions.

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Which three questions cover the Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI)?

These are the three questions which the Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI) is based on:

1. How satisfied are you with your current workplace?
2. How well does your current workplace meet your expectations?
3. How close is your current workplace to the ideal one?

Together they establish a company’s ESI. The employees answer the questions on a scale from 1 to 10. Where 1 is the lowest and worst rating and while 10 is the highest and best value.

Thereafter, you calculate the ESI-value according to this formula:

ESI= [((question mean value ÷ 3) – 1) ÷9]*100

The results of the company’s ESI may vary from 0-100 where a higher number, or index, indicates more satisfied employees. Furthermore, you can use this index for comparison with earlier results or to compare with other company’s ESI.

How and when do I use the ESI?

Since the ESI is built on just three questions, companies and organizations usually practice more extended surveys with substantially more questions to get a wider understanding of the results. Often the ESI is part of a larger employee survey. By including the three questions in a bigger survey it is easy to break down the results afterward and calculate the ESI value.

We recommend that you use the ESI as an integrated part in larger employee surveys that shall be repeated in intervals.

Read about our reflections on how often you should do employee surveys.