What is Employee Perception and Why Does it Matter?

employees standing in a line

Understanding employee perception is essential for companies who want to create a strong work culture and improve employee engagement and productivity.

It is a critical aspect of the organization as a whole because it affects employee behavior, attitudes, and performance.

Employee perception can be influenced by various factors, such as past experiences, personal values, and expectations. It can also be affected by the company's communication strategies, feedback mechanisms, and recognition programs.

Since employee perception is such a core piece of a company’s productivity, we’ll go over some things you can do to improve, understand, and measure it in your business.

Understanding Employee Perception

Employee perception refers to how employees interpret information and experiences in the workplace. Perception is subjective, meaning that each employee may have a different interpretation of the same work situation.

Understanding how your employees differ is essential for employers to create a positive work environment and improve job satisfaction and employee engagement across the board.

Several factors can influence employee perception, including:

  • Personal characteristics: Each employee has their own unique set of experiences, values, and beliefs that shape their perception of the world.
  • Organizational culture: The values, norms, and practices of an organization can shape how employees perceive their work environment.
  • Communication: The way that information is communicated to employees can influence their perception of the message.
  • Feedback: How employees receive feedback can impact their perception of their performance and the organization.

Most importantly, employee perception can have such an impact on how an employee performs at their job, that’s why it's critical to know how employees might see your company from their point of view.

A lack of work culture or even a positive environment can have employees not believing in the company mission which doesn't just affect productivity, it’s bad for the organization as a whole. 

Recommended Reading: How to Improve Workplace Culture for Better Long-Term Employment

Implications of Employee Perception

Job Satisfaction

Employee perception plays a critical role in job satisfaction.

Employees who perceive that their work is meaningful and that their contributions are valued by their employer are more likely to feel satisfied with their jobs.

Based on an employee report, positive employee perception can mean increased motivation and engagement, which can result in higher levels of productivity and job performance.

On the other hand, in some cases, employees who perceive that their work is meaningless or that their contributions are not valued may experience feelings of dissatisfaction and disengagement.

This can lead to decreased motivation and productivity, potentially safety issues, and may ultimately result in employee attrition.

Employee Engagement

Employees who perceive that their employer is invested in their success and well-being are more likely to feel engaged in their work. 

When employees are engaged with their work, they’re more likely to feel satisfied with their job, motivated to work, and feel committed to their company. 

Conversely, employees who perceive that their employer is not invested in their success or well-being may feel disengaged from their work. In worst cases, this might cause them to feel less motivated, productive, and satisfied with their job.


Employee productivity may be the most impacted by company perception from employees. It can be attached to both the company (through profits) and the employee (from perception).

Productivity is where employee perception may be the most measured or obvious to a company. For example, if employees feel that their work environment is negative or unsupportive may feel demotivated and disengaged.

This can cause a drop in profits, directly impacting the company/organization and making it obvious that employees might not be feeling motivated. Not only is it critical to pay attention to employee perception, but measuring it can help prevent issues in the workplace.

Measuring Employee Perception

There are several methods that organizations can use to measure employee perception, including surveys, interviews, and focus groups. All of which have their own collection methods, processes, and data analysis attached to them.

Here are the methods we recommend for collecting feedback.


Employee surveys are a common method and can be conducted in various formats, including online surveys, paper surveys, or phone surveys. Surveys can be designed to gather information on a wide range of topics, including employee satisfaction, engagement, morale, and organizational culture.

When designing and writing a survey, it is important to ensure that the questions are clear, concise, engaging, and relevant to the topic being measured. Survey questions should be designed to elicit honest and accurate responses from employees (while also not being boring!).

It is also important to ensure that the survey is anonymous to encourage employees to provide honest feedback. For this reason, we recommend using a third party for employee surveys.

If you’re looking for help with your online surveys, contact our online survey agency or check out our employee perception company services.


Interviews are another method used to measure employee perception. They are typically conducted in person or over the phone.

It’s also possible to use structured or unstructured and can be used to gather more information related to employee perception like employee satisfaction, engagement, and organizational culture.

When conducting in-depth interviews, using a trained interviewer is critical. The interviewer should be able to ask open-ended questions that encourage employees to provide detailed and honest feedback.

That’s one way to take your data from good to amazing. It is also important to ensure that the interview is conducted in a private and confidential setting to encourage honest feedback.

Focus Groups

Focus groups are a method that involves bringing together a small group of employees to discuss a specific topic or issue or related info like employee satisfaction, engagement, and organizational culture.

One important thing to note for focus groups is to keep a diverse group that is representative of the organization as a whole in order to get realistic and accurate feedback.

The moderator of the group should also be skilled in facilitating group discussions and be able to encourage all participants to provide feedback. We’ve found it’s also best practice to have the focus group be conducted in a private and confidential setting to encourage honest feedback.

Improving Employee Perception

Improving employee perception is crucial for any organization that wants to succeed and grow. Based on our work with Voice of Employee research, here are some common best practices we recommend to organizations that have a positive effect on employee perception.

Transparent Communication

One of the most important ways to improve employee perception is through transparent communication.

Employees want to feel informed and involved in the decision-making process. When employees feel that their voices are heard and their opinions matter, they are more likely to have a positive perception of the workplace.

Organizations can improve transparency by:

  • Holding regular meetings or updates to share new things and answer questions
  • Providing a company-wide email or newsletter
  • Encouraging open-door policies where employees can speak with management
  • Creating channels for anonymous feedback to encourage honest communication

Recognition, Feedback, and Reward Systems

Recognition, feedback, and reward systems are other ways to improve employee perception.

Employees want to feel valued and appreciated for their hard work. When employees feel that their efforts are recognized and rewarded, they are more likely to have a positive perception of the workplace.

It’s also a great idea to make it easy and anonymous to leave feedback if appropriate. That way employees can voice honest opinions with good intentions for the company. While it seems odd, some great feedback can be missed out on if these avenues aren’t available. 

Organizations can improve recognition, feedback, and reward systems by:

  • Implementing a formal recognition program that rewards employees for their achievements
  • Including a way for employees to leave feedback (both anonymous and not)
  • Offering bonuses or promotions for exceptional performance
  • Providing opportunities for professional development and growth
  • Celebrating milestones and achievements as a team

Training and Development

Investing in employee training and development is another way to improve employee perception.

Employees notice when a company invests in them as they learn and grow in their roles. It’s a great way to provide an additional incentive for employees while creating an overall investment for the company at the same time.

Organizations can improve training and development by:

  • Providing regular training sessions to improve skills and knowledge
  • Offering mentorship programs to provide guidance and support
  • Encouraging employees to attend conferences and workshops to learn new skills
  • Providing opportunities for cross-functional training to broaden knowledge and experience

Frequently Asked Questions About Employee Perception

What are some examples of employee perceptions in the workplace?

For example, employees may do less work than expected or have turnover from poor perception of their work culture/environment. Some employees may feel less valued than coworkers with similar skills depending on their avenues for feedback and communication.

How does employee perception impact the employee?

Employee perception can have a significant impact on the employee's job satisfaction, motivation, and productivity. If an employee perceives their job as meaningful and fulfilling, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their work. On the other hand, if they perceive their job as boring or unfulfilling, they may become disengaged and less productive.

What is the importance of employee perception?

Employee perception can affect the overall success of a company. If employees perceive their work environment as positive and supportive, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated, which generally leads to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Conversely, negative perceptions of the workplace can mean employees may become disengaged and less productive, leading to decreased job satisfaction and higher turnover rates (which can be a headache for companies).

How can you improve employee perception?

To improve employee perception, employers can provide clear communication, offer opportunities for professional development, recognize and reward good performance, and foster a positive work culture. Employers that gather feedback from employees through surveys or focus groups can get a better understanding of their employees' perceptions and address any concerns or issues.

Contact Drive Research to Measure & Improve Employee Perception

Drive Research is a full-service market research company specializing in employee surveys and Voice of Employee research. Our team has a combined 80+ years of experience working with organizations to measure, improve, and track key performance indicators such as satisfaction, engagement, and perception.

With these insights, organizations are able to create a better workplace culture that fosters long-term employment and higher customer satisfaction.

To learn more about our services, contact Drive Research today.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

austin author bio

Austin Parker

Austin has an extensive background in SEO as he's been blogging since 16 years old back when the internet was in its infancy. As fitting, he holds a Bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing.

Learn more about Austin, here.

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