NPS (34) – Employee development opportunities – 34th article in a series on the Net Promoter System®

Welcome to the 34th article in my series on the Net Promoter Score and System.

You can read all of the prior articles in the NPS series on our blog page here.

Many companies have employee training and development processes. Here is how the Net Promoter System should be included in three common types of company training program. And I have added the latest information about recognized NPS professional certification.

Graduate development programs

Most large companies have formal programs to hire and develop graduates from targeted business schools. Company representatives have stands at university recruitment days. They also proactively contact students in particular classes, trying to position the company as an attractive place to work. Once of the common graduate benefits is a formal training program for new hires, along with guaranteed minimum salary increases for the first year or two. One the one hand, these new hires may rise quickly in the organization. On the other hand, they are relatively unlikely to stay for more than a couple of years.

The customer experience leader needs to contact the leader of the graduate program and supply the NPS training content without being asked. If there is a welcome pack or website for new people, your customer listening and improvement process needs to be part of it. Be open about what customers want the company to improve. I don’t see a reason to directly involve new hires in the improvement work. They simply need to understand what the overall process looks like.

Top Talent programs, Fast Track programs

HR evaluation processes are used to identify ‘top talent’ in many companies. These are the people who have high formal performance ratings and who have been subjectively identified as having strong growth potential. (If you think you work for a company that has abandoned formal performance reviews, you are kidding yourself. They still exist, and have simply been given a different name. There is always some fact-based process for distributing money from the annual salary increase and bonus pools.)

I have been involved in several such programs, and it has always surprised me how difficult the organizers find it to develop the curriculum, when it is done internally. This is a great opportunity. I have found them receptive to proposals to deliver customer-centric content myself. The most common proposal I have made in recent years is to start by explaining the Net Promoter System and the latest competitive benchmark results. The participants are then invited to brainstorm and develop improvement initiatives that they then manage while they participate in the program. The last time I did this at HP, I was given a full day of the three-day opening session.

Individual development plans

Most medium and large companies require managers to agree job plans and development plans with each of their employees. It may be counterproductive to require all managers to include a customer-centric objective, as most will be meaningless. A better approach is to write to managers who are about to start working on the development plans. Provide them with a list of the improvements customers and partners are requesting and suggest which ones might be appropriate for a specific manager’s people. Offer to support the formal documentation and implementation of relevant projects.

NPS professional certification

There are not many sources of professional certification for the Net Promoter System. Bain provides customized training for individual clients, though no recognized certification. Satmetrix has been acquired by NICE and is the only official source of certification for your NPS professionals. Official means recognized as such by the co-inventors, Fred Reichheld, Bain and NICE-Satmetrix. The current certification format is called the Net Promoter Masterclass. The development and implementation of the platform has been managed by former Satmetrix CEO Richard Owen and others from his Owen CX team. Their main certification offer costs $3,000 and includes the online certification test, 12 months access to a large library of material, and access to a forum moderated by Owen CX consultants.

Medallia and some other companies also provide non-official NPS training. Medallia’s it concentrates on aspects that support the use of Medallia software. Not quite ideal.


Inclusion of the Net Promoter System in company hiring and development programs will not happen spontaneously. The customer experience leader needs to find out what development programs exist and get involved at the appropriate time. Some of the timing is predictable, such as when graduates are likely to join, and when HR requires all development plans to be submitted in Workday, or whatever management tool your company uses. Be proactive.


Next time

The next article will be the first in a set of three about securing and sustaining leadership commitment for your work.


As is often the case, the above is a slightly-edited version of a chapter in one of our books; in this case Net Promoter – Implement the System All of our books are available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon stores worldwide, and from your better book retailers.