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Employee perception is a factor that can make a huge difference in the quality of the workplace. When employees view the employer, their work, and their relationships within that workplace as being positive, there is a good chance the employee will be productive and remain with the employer for a long time. Negative perceptions of the company and the working environment can cause qualified employees to seek opportunities elsewhere. Some of the factors that can impact employee perception include how well the employer communicates with employees, the nature of the working conditions, the policies and procedures of the business in general, and how much trust and respect is present between managers, employees, and coworkers. In addition, the benefits paid and how they relate to the work assigned can also have a huge impact on the perception of an employee.
For many people, clear and concise communication within a working environment is essential. When employers choose to not create channels of communication with employees that allow each party to share information with the other, chances are that employee perception of the company will be less than ideal. Lack of communication can go a long way toward setting up an us/them mentality that breeds negativity in the workplace, opens the door for rumors to develop, and can undermine the morale of even the most devoted of employees.
Honesty in communication will also have a significant impact on employee perception. Employees who are confident that employers are being truthful and forthcoming in what they say are more likely to support the company and its officers, even during periods when sales are down and production is temporarily curtailed. When management develops a reputation for making statements that are later proven to be untrue, employees lose confidence in the leadership and are more likely to begin looking for an employer they can trust.
Setting reasonable policies and procedures in place, and applying them to all employees will also make a difference in employee perception. When employees know what is expected and can trust that anyone who is not contributing adequately to the operation will be addressed according to those company policies are much more likely to be as productive as possible. At the same time, if company policy is applied haphazardly, this is often noticed and will likely prompt qualified employees to turn their attention to more ethical employers.
Since most people work in order to earn a living, the matter of wages or salaries and benefits is also important to employee perception. As long as the employee feels properly rewarded for his or her efforts, there is a good chance the company will be perceived as being worth the effort. Substandard pay and lack of benefits will normally create the perception that the company does nor care about employees, or is not likely to be around for a long time. Either perception is often enough to prompt qualified employees to continue with the company only long enough to secure an employment position elsewhere.
Good communications from companies is quite rare. Often, workers won't have any idea what their employers are up to due to the fact that corporations tend to mark even the most minor strategies as "classified." Workers who know their bosses are up to something but can't find out what do tend to worry and become more than a bit paranoid about what the "higher ups" are doing. An employee already suspicious of his employer will perceive such secrecy negatively and may start worrying about their jobs and the future of the company.
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