“Perception is reality.” No one argues that. The challenge is in discerning what people perceive about your enterprise and its products or services. Misperception can be stunningly incorrect and disruptive to morale and to success.
Managers influence compensation and promotions, so they may not get unvarnished truth from those they manage. Similarly, customers don’t always voice criticisms; they simply take their business elsewhere.
Managers need various mechanisms to gather employee and customer perceptions and confidentiality is the key. Employee committees, customer focus groups and anonymous surveys may prove effective.
If managers don’t know the perceptions, they can’t communicate the reality.