The One Number Businesses Need to Know

AUSTIN – There is one number that matters more than anything else to businesses striving to make positive advances in corporate culture—and the key to finding it may lie in an emoji. 

“In 2003, the Harvard Business Review published an article about the Net Promoter Score, describing it as the one number you need to grow,” said Tina Schweiger, chief executive officer of Mindful Appy, an Austin-based tech firm. “We created the Net Emotional Index, which we believe is the one number you need to know.”

The groundbreaking Net Promoter Score (NPS) is based on a simple concept: a number—or score—indicating the percentage of customers enthusiastic enough about a company to refer it to a friend or colleague. The higher the score, the more directly correlated with growth rates among competitors. Schweiger believes the NPS is limited, however.

“Complex humans have feelings and contradictory opinions,” she said. “I may promote or recommend a product to my grandmother but not to my kid. So at the same time, I can be a promoter and a detractor. That’s where the Net Emotional Index comes in.”

The Net Emotional Index (NEI) is a new business metric—think real-time emotional KPI—based on emotional data that enables businesses to manage employee turnover and corporate culture in the age of Covid and work from home. A single number between -100 and +100 tells a company how happy – or unhappy – their employees genuinely are.

The benefits of rooting out toxic elements of company culture are real. According to research highlighted by the Harvard Business Review, toxic workplace cultures have driven 20 percent of U.S. employees out of their jobs in the past five years — at a turnover cost greater than $223 billion.

Why wouldn’t a company want to learn more about toxic workplace issues?” she said. “We provide a truly anonymous platform that cannot be traced back to a single person. That empowers employees to express how they are feeling throughout the workday.”

With Mindful Appy, companies can review emotional states by team, department, group, or region. There is no additional software or mobile apps required. Staff simply respond to a text message with a single emoji.

“The potential to increase diversity and inclusion, combat bullying in the workplace, and cut the costs of employee turnover are tremendous,” said Michelle Stinson Ross, director of marketing for Mindful Appy.

Schweiger believes that NEI is a way to improve the ability to understand how people feel about products and services and the place where they work.

Though it has relevance for products and services, the workplace is where Mindful Appy is first launching the NEI. Using simple, anonymous technology, companies can use NEI to quantify employees’ positive or negative emotional state about the workplace. With Mindful Appy, employees use the SMS application already on their phones, along with the emoji keyboard that is also pre-installed on their phones, to anonymously gauge their mood and stress levels.

“No one has ever created a consistent, easily deployable, and measurable way to quantify the overall positive or negative emotional state of a group of people,” she said. “Measuring a person’s feelings at any one time, that’s their data point, which we anonymize and aggregate. People are more likely to just quickly give the finger over text if they’re really unhappy, or the clasped hands if they’re grateful. Using whatever emojis they prefer to express themselves, they can quickly report their emotions, and the benefit is a real thing.”

“Because it’s anonymous, It preserves the psychological safety of individual employees while empowering them to express their feelings.”

Schweiger added that running a net promoter score parallel with the net emotional index would add a new level of emotional and informational dimension to the net promoter score. It could resolve criticism surrounding the NPS’s accuracy promoter score. 

The Mindful Appy team is now working with companies in the non-profit, public transit, tech, and marketing sectors, and the results are promising. They also produce a live weekly podcast, hosted by Schweiger and Stinson Ross, called #FeelingsMatter! that demystifies everything about emotions.

 “Overall, feelings matter,” Schweiger said. “I believe companies suffer from excessive attrition and toxic workplaces that drive out the best of the best. It is time for businesses to recognize that people’s feelings are complex and that they matter and should be safely monitored. It’s the one number you need to know.”

Pricing is set by the size of the organization, from small teams to enterprise levels. To learn more, including to schedule a demo, visit