Unleashing the Power of Net Promoter Score (NPS) in Training Programs

Written by Karen Cozzie, Principal Consultant, Explorance.

Employees analyzing charts

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a powerful metric that can transform how organizations approach their training programs. By effectively utilizing NPS, businesses can drive change, enhance learner experience, and foster continuous improvement.

In this blog, we will explore the importance of NPS in learning and development (L&D) initiatives, highlighting its ability to measure learner satisfaction, assess learning effectiveness, enable continuous improvement, support benchmarking, and promote a learner-centric approach.

In L&D, measuring the effectiveness and impact of training programs is essential. As organizations strive to optimize their learning initiatives, they need reliable metrics that provide valuable insights. This is why Net Promoter Score (NPS) is such an effective measure. Initially developed for customer satisfaction, it now finds its place as a crucial indicator for learning programs.

Let’s explore why NPS is essential for learning programs and how it can revolutionize your approach to employee development and other critical business outcomes.

What is NPS?

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer loyalty metric that gauges the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s product or services to others. It helps organizations assess customer satisfaction and loyalty. NPS scores are measured with a single question and reported with a number ranging from -100 to +100; a higher score is desirable.

NPS in training programs refers to measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of learning and development initiatives via this methodology. It involves using the NPS framework to collect feedback from learners regarding their training experiences and their likelihood to recommend the program to others.

How likely are you to recommend this learning experience?

The response is given on a scale, from 0 to 10, and respondents are categorized into three groups: Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8), and Detractors (0-6). The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. The following image breaks down how the metric is measured and calculated for corporate training.

Net Promoter Score

One of the most substantial benefits of NPS is that it is calculated the same way every time. Regardless of its function, it is a standardized score that can be used across different training areas and easily understood by various stakeholders. This also means the metric is easily benchmarked across multiple industries, regions, learning modalities, and course types for further analysis.

As a standalone metric, NPS is a starting point for ad-hoc analysis into what learners deem ‘worthwhile.’ Suppose an employee is a Detractor for a recent training session. In that case, the rest of their feedback is critical to understand where else the training lagged (i.e., instructor performance, course materials, training environment, etc.).

On the other hand, a Promoter’s feedback could be used to understand what went right. That same Promoter feedback can be leveraged to improve other underperforming training programs.

Why NPS Matters for Learning Programs

NPS was originally created by companies to evaluate their success with their current customers. This valuable insight is what allowed them to develop their product further and fix issues that might keep customers from using their services to the fullest.

The same logic applies when it comes to L&D programs:

Learner Satisfaction

NPS serves as a valuable indicator of learner satisfaction. By asking participants to rate their likelihood of recommending a training program, organizations gain insights into how engaged and satisfied learners are with the content, delivery, and overall experience. Higher NPS scores reflect satisfied learners who are more likely to actively engage in learning, leading to better knowledge retention and application.

Learning Effectiveness

NPS can provide a window into the effectiveness of learning programs. When learners become promoters and express a strong willingness to recommend a training program, it indicates that the program has successfully delivered valuable content, practical skills, or transformative experiences. Conversely, if learners express dissatisfaction (as Detractors), it highlights areas for improvement, such as content relevance, instructional methods, or learning environment.

Continuous Improvement

NPS empowers organizations to foster a culture of continuous improvement in L&D. By analyzing feedback from Promoters and Detractors, L&D professionals can identify patterns and trends, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses, and make data-driven decisions to enhance learning experiences. Valuable insights gained from NPS can inform the design, delivery, and evaluation of future training initiatives.

Benchmarking and Comparison

NPS provides a standardized measure that allows organizations to benchmark and compare learning programs. By utilizing NPS across different courses, departments, or regions, organizations can identify top-performing programs and uncover best practices that can be replicated elsewhere. Benchmarking NPS scores against industry or internal averages helps organizations set realistic goals and track progress.

Learner-Centric Approach

Adopting NPS demonstrates a learner-centric approach to training. By seeking feedback from learners and valuing their perspectives, organizations foster a culture of engagement and empower individuals to actively contribute to developing and improving their learning experiences. NPS provides a platform for learners to share their opinions, concerns, and suggestions, ensuring that training programs align with their needs and expectations.

Using NPS To Improve Your L&D Program

Net Promoter Score (NPS) has emerged as a valuable metric for assessing the effectiveness and impact of learning programs. By measuring learner satisfaction, and learning effectiveness, NPS enables organizations to enhance their training initiatives, boost employee engagement, and drive positive business outcomes. Incorporating NPS into your learning evaluation strategy empowers you to create a learner-centric culture that values feedback and fuels ongoing development.

The true measurement value for L&D is amplified when NPS is leveraged alongside additional vital metrics, such as Scrap Learning or Estimated Performance Improvement (EPI). All three of these metrics tell a strong story on their own, but when aggregated, they can identify gaps and shorten the time to make impactful improvements.

For instance, a Training Director responsible for Field Technicians may see low EPI for a given training session but a high NPS. This would indicate that although the employees do not foresee a notable benefit back to their own performance due to the training, there were apparent aspects that they learned from, making it a worthwhile experience.

While the low EPI metric highlights a need to improve the class to make the material more salient and applicable, the high NPS alerts the Training Director that there were aspects of the training that were deemed successful and satisfying.

Parsing out the elements that contribute to low EPI vs. those that contribute to high NPS is an excellent way for the Training Director to truly understand what is happening in this course.

Training NPS Score Revolution

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a powerful tool that can revolutionize how organizations approach their training programs. By measuring learner satisfaction, assessing learning effectiveness, promoting continuous improvement, enabling benchmarking, and adopting a learner-centric approach, NPS empowers organizations to enhance their training initiatives, boost learner engagement, and drive positive business outcomes. Embrace the power of NPS to unleash the full potential of your training programs and drive lasting success in learning and development.

So, if you’re ready to revolutionize your approach to learning programs, consider harnessing the power of NPS. Embrace the “ultimate question” and unlock a world of insights that will drive your L&D initiatives to new heights.


Learn more MTM by Explorance | Learning and Development Effectiveness Platform


About Karen Cozzie – Principal Consultant at Explorance 

Karen Cozzie

Karen Cozzie is a Principal Consultant at Explorance. ​Karen is passionate about the employee experience and supports clients in the employee feedback journey. She brings over 20 years of leadership experience focused on employee engagement and leadership development programs that drive global organizations’ HR strategy and decision-making. Karen is a certified professional coach and works with clients to improve their leadership capabilities.​ 

Before joining Explorance, Karen worked for the largest nonprofit healthcare system in NYC, responsible for shaping all facets of employee relations and engagement and leadership development.  


Learning and developmentLearning effectivenessLearning measurementMTMNet Promoter ScoreScrap Learning

Measure the effectiveness of your L&D programs.

Stay connected
with the latest products, services, and industry news.