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The way people perceive activities while working in an organization greatly influences the resultant behavior that they adapt. For example, people who perceive that they are valued are likely to behave in a manner beneficial for the whole organization. In the same manner, employees who have a perception of discrimination or unfair treatment are likely to hinder the progress and development of an organization. Robbins and Judge (2014) observe that perception is simply a process through which workers within a corporate setting are able to organize and interpret the sensory impressions and give meaning to their environment. However, the authors warn that sometimes perceptions can be very misleading especially where objective reality is needed. An example can be an organization where some employees perceive the working environment to be interesting with good pay, better benefits, interesting job assignments, and understanding and responsible management. In reality, the image might not be the factual case as no organization is perfect. At the same time, enterprises continue to evolve and adapt better systems. The purpose of the current paper is to review scholarly research work that deals with the aspect of employee perception and define its impacts on the organizational behavior.
Employee perception is an important characteristic that organizations can use to enhance the productivity and performance. According to Edwards and Peccei (2010), employee perception influences the ultimate behaviors that workers adopt in an organization. The analysis presented by the two authors shows that perception can be understood in terms of the perceiver, the target, and the situation. Each of the elements work together to transform and shape the perceptions that workers have concerning the working environment in and the duties they are expected to complete. The authors note that situation or context, as well as employees are influenced by location, light, heat, or any prevailing factors in their work environment. The impact of the factors on the workers perception can influence how they finally behave in their work. The authors observe that perceived organizational support and psychological empowerment have a great role to play in the behaviors of employees. Even though the assumption is true in many instances, Edwards and Peccei (2010) acknowledge that perceived organizational support did not influence the job performance as well as job engagement of workers to a great extent. However, they noted that perceptions only act as partial mediators between job performance and assumed organizational support. Coupled with psychological empowerment, perceptions can influence the ability of employees to support the vision and objectives of an organization (Wefald & Downey, 2008). Employee’s view can be addressed through a number of theories including the attribution theory. They may help an organization to develop strategies of attaining positive perception among its employees.
The authors further indicate that perceptions vary from one organization to the other and also among individuals. It is difficult to have employees, who hold the same perceptions regarding an organization or the department in which they are working. There are factors that determine how management should view perceptions of their employees in order to ensure that they have the correct strategies to improve their performance. One of the influences is the distinctiveness of the perception. Distinctiveness refers to the tendency of an employee to demonstrate certain behaviors, which become associated with the employee.
As noted by Edwards and Peccei (2010), distinctiveness simply means that the perceptions, as demonstrated through behaviors, are compared with the rest of the employees in the same department. The second factor is the consensus among the employees, who are working in the same environment and are exposed to the identical conditions. Thus, the internal perception can form the development of a certain organizational behavior. The result may range from improved performance to high commitment to the work. Finally, the management can identify a trend in perception and ultimate behavior formation by observing the consistency of actions of some employees in the departments. Consistency in the way things are done is a demonstration of their perception and eventual behavior change in their place of work (Edwards & Peccei, 2010). The authors conclude that organizational support and perception have an important impact on the ways workers commit themselves to the company.
The article by Chiang and Hsieh (2012) examines the relationships between perceived organizational support and the ability to make right decisions by employees. The authors noted that personnel are normally faced with situations where they are presented with two or more options from which they must make choices. Therefore, decision-making is an important skill for employees because it helps them to perform their duties without necessarily consulting their managers. However, the kind of decisions that they make can easily be influenced by the perceptions they harbor about their organization and the perceived support they are given (Wefald & Downey, 2008).
One of the important elements of the decision-making skills is the ability to determine the goals and objectives of the organization as well as the products and services offered. In the case where the employees have a positive perception, the organization is likely to benefit from the improved performance and fewer resources required in managing them. Organizational support becomes crucial in achieving the improved performance because the employees have positive perception and attitude. The support enshrined in the perceptions of the management that can empower non-managerial staff with the authority to make decisions which would traditionally require the permission of their bosses (Chiang & Hsieh, 2012). Individuals who hold positive perception about their management and the entire organization are likely to engage in wise decision-making. As noted by the authors in their analysis, psychological empowerment of the employees can contribute to development of a positive perception concerning the ability of the organization to support the human resources.
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The effects of employee perception on the performance and productivity of an organization can be revealed in the level of their engagement. Based on the above discussions, it can be summarized that positive employee perception is a state of commitment to the activities of the organization with the freedom to participate in decision-making and support to the organization (Chiang & Hsieh, 2012). However, the support should be reciprocated by the company management who must empower the workers and provide the necessary incentives. Employee perception can also be viewed in terms of the psychological and emotional engagement that workers have towards their employer. It is, therefore, part of emotional attachment that the employees have to their work (Wefald & Downey, 2008).
The way employees perceive their work environment and the management is important in ensuring that they give their total commitment to the vision and goals of the employer organization. The two authors reveal in their article that employees who are actively engaged with their organizational management develop emotional connection with the company. Thus, they internalize the values shared by the organization. The observation made by the two authors is in support of the claim by Robbins and Judge (2014) in their text. Specifically, the employees believe to have a positive contribution to the quality of the product that the company delivers. Also, they believe to positively influence customer opinions about brand quality. Thus, they can contribute to an organization’s cost reduction strategies (Chiang & Hsieh, 2012). Thus, emotionally attached personnel are likely to recommend the company to their colleagues.
The current paper has used the concept of employee perception to determine the impact it has on the formation of certain organizational behaviors. The paper analyzed scholarly and peer reviewed journal articles to explain the concept of employee perception and organizational behavior formation. The outstanding elements that influence the kind of employee perceptions include the consensus about certain activities and the distinctiveness of the action. There is also the consistency of some actions, which point out to the nature of the perception that workers have towards the organization. As a result, it can be easier for the management to empower the workers through skill development and rewards to translate into the development of positive perceptions. The empowerment will lead to higher organizational performance, commitment, and job engagement. Employee perception can result in the majority of the workers to be highly involved in the organizational processes and activities.
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Finally, it is evident from the reviewed articles that positive perception by the employees is likely to promote the performance and job engagement that the workers give to the employers. Ultimately, the strategy will reduce the number of accidents, wastes, and non-performance. It will also decrease the operation costs and lateness. Positive perception also means that the need for strict supervision is reduced.