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The Key HR Metrics during the Pandemic

Updated: May 2, 2023

Part 1 of 2

By: Alain Garcia

Alain Garcia is PVP’s Program Manager for Organizational Development and is currently finishing her master’s degree in MS Psychology major in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at De La Salle University.

The past year has been a challenging year (and still is!) for all of us due to the sudden changes brought about by the pandemic. As part of HR, we are faced with the reality that our companies have been struggling to provide support to our employees while either working from home, working at the office, or hybrid. The support given the past year might be through work resources, financial, medical, etc. All these are happening while our companies are also facing challenges related to finances, turnover, etc.

Let us give our HR Department a big applause and a pat on the back since they have been working non-stop to help our employees, keep them engaged with work, perform their jobs properly, and satisfied with the way they do at work. But the big question posed to us is that do we really know what keeps our employees going despite what is happening around us?

To fully understand the status of our employees in this difficult time, PVP created a framework on the key HR metrics as well as its drivers. Just to be on the same page, let us refresh our minds with definitions of the key HR metrics that we usually measure to track our employee’s status and performance - engagement, job satisfaction, eNPS, intention to stay and mental health.

Engagement is a state of mind that reflects dedication, energy towards work and willingness to contribute towards company goals. Engagement has 3 categories as classified by the Gallup Organization:

  • Engaged employees work with passion. Because they feel a strong connection to the organization, they work hard to innovate and improve.

  • Not engaged employees do the work expected of them, but do not put in extra effort.

  • Actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy, but are spreading their unhappiness to other staff.

Job satisfaction is a measure of an employee’s overall contentment with their job.

Employee Net Promoter Score (or eNPS as we call it), is the likelihood of whether an employee would be willing to recommend your company as a place to work. It asks the question “how likely are you going to recommend your company as a place to work for?” Based on their ratings, employees are classified as either Promoter, Passive, or Detractor. The eNPS is computed by subtracting the % of Detractors from the % of Promoters.

Intention to stay is the level of desire to continue employment with the company in the next one year.

We also added a mental health component such as stress, anxiety and depression as part of our HR metrics, especially now that a Mental Health Law is in effect and the Department of Labor and Employment released a DO on Mental Health. It is important to know and understand our employees’ mental health status since this would affect their work performance. Additionally, the mental health metrics would also help answer the question posed to us earlier “what keeps our employees going?”

So, what do we mean by mental health? In our framework, it is an assessment of psychological and physiological manifestations of the following mental health indicators: Stress, Anxiety, and Depression. According to Lovibond & Lovibond (1995):

  • Stress is difficulty relaxing, nervous arousal, and being easily upset/agitated, irritable/over-reactive and impatient.

  • Anxiety is autonomic arousal, skeletal muscle effects, situational anxiety, and subjective experience of anxious affect. It is a negative mood state characterized by bodily symptoms of physical tension.

  • Depression is hopelessness, devaluation of life, self-deprecation, lack of interest/involvement, etc.

Stress interferes with our lives and it appears to cause depression and anxiety. Stress and anxiety most often impacts workplace performance, relationship with coworkers and peers, quality of work, and relationships with superiors. Depression symptoms are related to work absences and impaired work performance. Read our article here about The Other Pandemic.

Given these key HR metrics, the next questions are “what are their drivers?” “what are the factors that could contribute to these metrics?” The framework below gives you an overview of what could possibly affect and predict performance and engagement of employees.

Employee Experience Factors

(As described in our survey)

● Employee Support - support provided by the company during this COVID pandemic

● Work Resources Support - access to right equipment and resources as well as access to information needed to perform the job

● Work from Home Conduciveness - employees’ situation at home for work conduciveness

● Work-Life Balance - ability to attend to the needs of both work and home

● Work Load - amount of work given to employees

● Supervisor Support - assistance given to employees provided by their immediate superior

● Teamwork - cooperation and collaboration within their workgroup

● Voice - active participation in decision making related to the employees’ work

● Empowerment - encouragement of employees to take responsibility regarding their work

● Recognition - enough recognition from the employees’ supervisor for a job well done

● Training - training and continuous development of staff provided by the company

● Career Development - opportunities for employees’ career in the company

Culture and Leadership Factors

● Top Management Concern - company listens to employees’ concerns

● Top Management Trust & Confidence - employees’ feelings of trust and confidence towards the company

So now, you might be wondering how these metrics and factors work? PVP conducted a survey which measures these key HR metrics, employee experience factors, culture and leadership factors, as well as Mental Health. Data was collected from May 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, from 10, 245 employees sampled from 45 client companies and 300 companies from public surveys. Data gathering was conducted through an online platform. Note that the data collection period is during the height of the pandemic where companies were figuring out how to cope with the pandemic. Disclaimer: the survey for the 45 client companies is part of the organizational assessments to measure the different metrics.

Demographic profile of the respondents

Overall framework and results of the study

As shown above, the survey measures the HR metrics (engagement, job satisfaction, employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) and intention to stay) and mental health (stress, anxiety, and depression). The survey also measures different employee experience factors which drives the key HR metrics.

So, what do these metrics and numbers mean? As you can see, the scores are color coded - green, yellow and red. Green is a strength area and score ranges from 75 and above; yellow is a flag-up area and the score ranges from 50 to 74; red is a critical area and the score is below 50.

Based on the results above, engagement is at 72. This means that 72% of the participants are engaged with their work; 22% are unengaged or not engaged; and 6% are actively disengaged.

Job satisfaction is at 79 which means that 79% of the participants are highly satisfied with their work. The remaining 16% are moderately satisfied with their work and 6% of the participants have low job satisfaction.

Employee net promoter score or eNPS is at 23. How did we arrive at this? We computed it by subtracting promoters from the detractors. Note: there is a minimal discrepancy due to rounding off issues

Intention to stay is at 37% which means 37% of the participants have high intention to stay at their company; 23% have moderate intention to stay; and 39% have low intention to stay at their company.

From the figure above, we can see that stress is at 81, anxiety is at 57 and depression is at 65. We might be thinking that these scores are a bit okay but we might also notice that there is a chunk who suffers moderate to extremely severe stress, anxiety and depression. It is important to note that the result of this test does not mean that the participants have psychological disorders. However, it is important to recognize and acknowledge the fact that this chunk with critical scores needs attention and support. We, as HR practitioners, should also make sure that we provide access to professional help to our employees.

The employee experience factors have different scores as well. The strength areas are supervisor support, teamwork, voice, and empowerment. This means that companies of the participants of the survey are doing a great job regarding these factors. However, there are also flag-up areas which could be improved and given attention to by the companies -- employee support, work resources support, WFH conduciveness, work-life balance, work load, recognition, top management trust and confidence, and top management concern. Lastly, companies should also look into the training and career development of employees since these are critical areas. We acknowledge the fact that these areas are difficult to address, especially that we are still facing the deadly pandemic. However, we can provide the training and development that they need through our best effort and the resources we currently have.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article as we release the predictive portion of the results of our survey. For inquiries, email us at

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