Perceived Organizational Support: Definition, Types and Importance

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 25, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Ensuring that employees understand that they're valued is an important part of an effective business. Perceived organizational support is an employee's perception that they receive encouragement and assistance as a member of their company. Learning more about perceived organizational support can help you better understand how managers may use this concept to improve hiring rates or employee satisfaction. In this article, we review what perceived organizational support is, list its benefits and explain what steps managers can take to improve its perception in the workplace.

What is perceived organizational support?

Perceived organizational support is an employee's understanding of the affirmation and assistance services offered by their organization. These supports can be offered in many ways, such as freedom of creativity in their work or an ample amount of vacation days for health or leisure. Perceived organizational support relies on both how the business treats each employee and how the employee perceives the support.

If the company handles and speaks with the employee well, the perceived organizational support may be favorable. The better a perceived organizational support within an employee base, the happier employees are with their workplace, managers and CEO. This can encourage them to recommend their workplace and business or help the business more passionately during their work.

Related: 8 Reasons Why Organizational Culture is Important

The importance of perceived organizational support

Perceived organizational support is important because employees are more effective during work when they receive appreciation. The more an employee receives praise or recognition for what they do, the more likely they may react well to management changes and company needs. If your employee feels positive about how they're treated in a company, or how fairly they're compensated for their work, they may be more willing to support the company during management changes, marketing challenges and shifts in the system. Loyalty within a company can help a business persist through challenging circumstances.

An effective employee support system can also help employees feel heard and know their opinions matter to the company. Adding and maintaining these supports can help you get more feedback from your employees, which can help you evaluate business systems and make improvements to the company.

Related: 13 Needs of Employees and How To Meet Them

Types of perceived organizational support

There are three different ways that an employee can perceive organizational support within a system. Employees perceive organizational support through:

Fairness

An important part of perceived organizational support is your employees' impression of how much your company values fairness. By advocating this value and creating systems for fairness, everyone in the company feels equal in compensation and workload. Managers handle the assignments within their departments so everyone can feel supported in their equal workloads. Fairness can encourage employees who feel stressed by work, as they know everyone is doing their job and can help. Fairness also helps assure employees they're being compensated fairly for their work, given equal access to assistance tools or funds and encouraged in their development.

Manager support

A company can also design specific management support systems for employees. Managers, or anyone who views or reviews work can give employees both motivation and reassurance that their work is both meaningful and effective for their positions and the business. These employees can then work more effectively because they understand what their strengths are. Managers can also provide support by offering tools or suggestions, adding flexibility to methods or deadlines, organizing meetings and recording monthly progress. This support can help team members become more productive and feel more secure in the organization.

Related: 20 Qualities of a Great Leader (With Tips)

Job rewards

Providing proper rewards for extra employee effort can help employees feel supported in the workplace. For example, if you give compensation, like a bonus, to an employee for turning in work beyond their KPI level, that employee feels supported and is more likely to repeat that process in the future. Supporting employees through a reward system can help business managers maintain high productivity levels and quality efforts from employees.

Job rewards can also help employees understand the value of their work and feel more reliably supported. If a manager gives the employee something valuable for their extra time, the employee understands that the company values not only the work they've completed, but the time it took to accomplish that achievement as well.

How to implement perceived organizational support in the workplace

There are many ways that managers implement perceived organizational support systems within their workplaces, whether in individual departments or the entire business. Consider these steps as you develop this concept within your own company:

1. Listen to employee feedback

One way you can work on improving employees' perception of organizational support is to express your interest in feedback. If there are no current ways for employees to leave feedback easily, create a variety of new methods, so you can gather opinions quickly. Asking direct questions about whether employees feel supported can help you gather an assessment right away for action plans. After you collect the feedback and make changes, continue to request opinions and information so you can keep improving your support systems.

Related: How To Be a Leader

2. Create management surveys

Another way you can improve your perceived organizational support is by creating surveys focused on management. Surveys and feedback specifically concerning managers can help you improve both your methods of leadership and the quality of work you produce. Try to ask direct questions about your management leadership, the types of support you've offered and what has helped your staff feel supported. Changing management directly can help solve organizational support issues more quickly than seeking to change the entire business at once.

3. Provide employee incentives

Employees feel appreciated when they're given incentives for superior work or additional time spent doing their job. When you provide incentives to your employees for all their supplemental work, like extra assignments, feedback and surveys, this can help them understand how much the organization values their time and input. A generous incentive may also help improve the work they produce for the business. When each of your employees improves productivity and quality, it helps you and your company reach goals.

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