Poll Finds HR Types Gloomy About Pay, Respect

October 10, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - On the whole, HR executives aren't very happy campers, according to a new survey.

The Discovery Group’s Survey of HR Professionals for HR Professionals found that most of those polled were sour both about their the fairness of their pay compared to peers in other companies as well as to managers in their own organization. In both instances, fewer than half felt warm and fuzzy about their compensation.

Not only that, but the HR execs’ malaise extends to a pay-for-performance level. According to the survey, only 44% believe they get paid more for a superior performance. Discovery said that represented a slight improvement over 1995 and ranks 10% above Discovery’s norm based on polls of employees in all fields.

They also aren’t high on benefits they’ve received from performance review, the survey found. Some 39% felt they got something out of being reviewed – 4% lower than 1995 and 5% lower than the Discovery norm. Ironically, the HR executives have the primary responsibility for managing most firms’ performance review system.

Further, only 48% feel that they get respect from their senior managers, a whopping 15% drop from 1995. Only 57% feel employees respect HR, an 8% drop since 1995, the survey found.

In a related issue, only 41% of HR execs feel they played a major role in developing their company’s strategic plan – a major 39% drop since 1995.

Many in HR feel their hands are often tied by bureaucracy. Only 54% feel they have enough authority to do the best job – a 17% decline from 1995.

Feeling Positive

The HR professionals weren’t gloomy about everything, according to the survey.

Nearly eight in ten say their corporate benefits meet their needs – 15% higher than the Discovery norm. Not surprisingly, the same HR execs administer most firms’ benefits.

Three quarters of respondents said they felt a strong sense of accomplishment from their work – 10% higher than the Discovery norm, but a 9% decline since 1995.

Also, about six in ten say their workload is reasonable – similar to the 1995 results. Nearly six in ten said they can effectively balance their work and home lives – up 11% from 1995.

The study was conducted from February through mid-April 2002 and involved 425 HR professionals – managers, directors, or generalists.