Smart Idea: The Employee Perception Survey

Philip Cleave
May 29, 2024
Picture depicting a workforce each with their own perceptions about their employer

When it comes to staff satisfaction and organizational success, there’s a lot to be said for regularly engaging and collecting feedback from your employees.  

Subsequently, a staff perception survey is a strategic tool you can use to gather feedback on various aspects of your employees’ work environment, including company culture, leadership effectiveness, job satisfaction and overall organizational climate.  

By finding out more about your employees’ perceptions, attitudes and opinions, surveys such as these can help you to better identify strengths, any areas that need improving, and inform your strategies for enhancing employee engagement and satisfaction.  

In this blog we’ll look at the employee perception survey in more detail, how employee perception can impact an organization and why that’s important, how an employee perception survey can help you and how to get this survey up and running.

What is employee perception?

However, before we do anything else, it’s useful to outline what we mean by employee perception.

Essentially, staff perception refers to how employees interpret information and experiences in the workplace. Yet, because it’s subjective, each employee may have a different interpretation of the same work situation. Consequently, getting a firmer idea about what all your employees are thinking and how their views differ is crucial if you’re going to change things for the better.

Why is employee perception important?

As we’ve just outlined, your employees’ perception serves as a lens by which they view your workplace.

Therefore, the more positive you can make this, the higher your levels of employee experience, engagement and productivity are likely to be. In addition, staff who perceive their organization favorably are also more likely to align with its goals, values and contribute to a positive work culture.  

How does employee perception impact the company?

You may, therefore, not be too surprised to hear how significantly employee perception can shape organizational culture, both positively and negatively.  

While a positive perception fosters trust, transparency and inclusivity, leading to a supportive work environment where employees feel valued and empowered, a negative perception breeds scepticism, resentment and disengagement, which can erode trust and undermine morale.  

Worse still, if staff feel unrecognised and undervalued for their contributions, this can quickly lead to feelings of demotivation. This dissatisfaction can spread quickly, creating a toxic culture characterized by low morale, absenteeism and a high turnover.  

However, those organizations which can prioritize employee recognition and appreciation, will be able to cultivate a culture of appreciation, loyalty and dedication.

How can an employee perception survey help you?

From interviews to focus groups. There are lots of methods you could use to measure employee perception. But one of the most effective, particularly if you make it anonymous is the employee perception survey.  

From assessing the climate and culture of your organization to identifying areas where you are strong and where you need to improve. There’s lots you can find out with an employee perception survey.

However, here’s a more detailed breakdown of what you can evaluate through your survey questions.

  • Job satisfaction: here you can assess your employees' satisfaction with their roles, responsibilities, workload and the opportunities you provide for growth and advancement
  • Effectiveness of leaders: you’ll want to evaluate perceptions of leadership effectiveness, communication, decision-making and alignment with organizational values
  • Mechanisms for communication and feedback: it’s prudent to gather feedback on the effectiveness of communication channels, transparency and the opportunities you provide for employee input and feedback
  • Work environment and culture: you’ll want to explore perceptions of workplace culture, inclusivity, diversity and your physical work environment too
  • Organizational values and mission alignment: it’s important to assess your employees’ alignment with your organization’s values, mission, purpose, and their sense of belonging and commitment to it
  • Opportunities for growth and development: you’ll want to find out about your employees’ perceptions of career development opportunities, training programs, and support for professional growth too
  • Recognition and rewards: it’s a good idea to evaluate the effectiveness of any staff recognition and rewards programs you’re running to acknowledge employee contributions
  • Work-life balance: finally, you’ll want to assess employee perceptions of their workload, and the support you make available for achieving a healthy work-life balance

How to implement an effective employee perception survey

Having seen the many areas, you can measure with an employee perception survey, we’re sure many of you will be keen to progress your own survey.  

Well, once you’ve defined your survey’s objectives, designed your survey, finalized your survey questions and pilot tested it, you’ll be almost ready to issue it to your employees.  

However, before you do that, here’s some useful advice to ensure your implementation is a smooth and successful one.

Communicate your survey’s purpose and importance to your staff

To help engage your employees, you must clearly communicate the purpose and importance of your survey, emphasizing its role in driving positive change and improvements within your organization.

Offer clear instructions for participation

Look to provide clear instructions and guidance on participation, including deadlines, access details and support.

Ensure accessibility and ease of participation

If you’re to maximize your response rate, you’ll need to ensure your survey is accessible to all your staff, regardless of their location or role, and that their participation is convenient and user-friendly.

Address concerns about confidentiality and anonymity

You must address any concerns about confidentiality and anonymity upfront, offering staff reassurance and transparency about the way you’ll handle and use their data.

Follow up on survey results

Finally, you must commit to following up on survey results with timely communication, action planning and the implementation of initiatives based on the feedback you’ve received.

Concluding thoughts

We hope you found this blog interesting and informative, and if you’re not already regularly reaching out to your staff for feedback, you now feel compelled to do so.

The most important thing to remember is that the success of your organization relies on having a workforce that feels good about you and is fully engaged and committed to performing to the best of their abilities. And the best way to achieve that is through an employee perception survey.  

You need to be using the right survey tools too

From survey creation and distribution to data analysis and reporting. While it’s important to use the right survey, if you’re to make a positive change to employee perceptions within your organization, it’s equally vital to be using the right survey software to support this.  

Find out more

You need to be using the right survey tools too

From survey creation and distribution to data analysis and reporting. While it’s important to use the right survey, if you’re to make a positive change to employee perceptions within your organization, it’s equally vital to be using the right survey software to support this.

Find out more