Poll: Managers Would Rather be Satisfied than More Powerful

January 20, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Most global executives just want to have fun.

At least three-fourths (76%) of the executives participating in a recent survey would much rather be professionally satisfied than get a fatter paycheck (18%) or more personal power (6%).

According to the poll by recruiter Korn/Ferry International, two-thirds of the executives believed their senior management is either competent (34%) or fairly competent (35%) for their business. Only 6% believe their senior management had run off the track. Just over half (51%) said their boss knows what he’s doing while 22% gave their leader a fair or mediocre grade.

The executives’ opinions on corporate advancement culture were close. Almost half the executives (48%) said their firm had an equitable advancement policy based on merit. However, 41% still believed favoritism and posturing were most important to getting ahead in their company.

“Despite the recent high-profile corporate scandals and egregious behaviors of a few individuals, most executives believe in and hold their managers in high regard,” said Paul Reilly, chairman and CEO of Korn/Ferry International, in a statement. “Over the coming years as the world economy recovers and the baby-boomers begin to retire, the key to retention will be employee satisfaction, not compensation.”

The poll is based on a global survey of executives registered with ekornferry.com. Respondents, covering nearly every industry, from 60 countries participated in the Executive Quiz over a seven-week period from November 12, 2003 to December 31, 2003.