Perception is Reality
We’ve all heard the old adage that “perception is reality” (whether that perception is accurate or not). In order for your organization to have its greatest impact and success, you must fully understand your relationships from the perspective of the other side (your clients, partners, employees and other stakeholders). A clear and accurate picture of how these stakeholders perceive your value – in time, talent, service, and reputation—is critical for your organization’s longevity.
Perception Studies: The Ultimate Game-Changer
Perception studies are third-party audits, done in a qualitative and/or quantitative manner, that assess what people really think about your organization. Perception studies incorporate the opinions of key stakeholders including leaders, employees, vendors, customers, competition and key representatives from your community. Among other things, perception studies gather information related to:
the reputation and impact of your organization
how internal processes and the work environment are contributing to productivity and quality
the effectiveness and reliability of your products and services
the consistency and helpfulness of your customer relations
recommendations for improvements and expanded products/services
The positive feedback resulting from a perception study is always affirming and helpful—but the gold mine is in the negative. This information that can be tough to swallow, even when we remember that the information is perception and may not actually be true. Still, the existence of negative perceptions, whether true or not, can be damaging to your company. Armed with this valuable information, an organization can more effectively plan its future. Feedback gathered from perception studies can and should be considered in risk analyses, strategic planning, public relations strategies, quality control policies, product/ service development, human resource practices, social and environmental responsibility initiatives, etc.
Understanding how your stakeholders feel about your organization will put you in a position to be far more effective, competitive and sustainable. For more information on perception studies and how they can help your organization, please contact us.