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October 25, 2005
Middle Managers Cite Compensation Issues as Major Source of Frustration

Fewer middle managers in the United States are reporting high levels of satisfaction with their current organizations, and many find their organizations mismanaged and see few prospects for advancement, according to the findings of a survey released by Accenture.

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The survey of 225 U.S. middle managers found that fewer than half (48 percent) of respondents reported that they were extremely or very satisfied with their organizations, down from 67 percent in 2004, when the firm conducted a similar survey. This year's survey also found that one-third (33 percent) of respondents described their organizations as "mismanaged."

When asked to describe their companies' performance in a number of areas, few respondents were positive. Only 28 percent rated the way their organizations manage prospects for advancement as good or excellent, and only 31 percent said their companies were good or excellent at helping them communicate bad news. In fact, only about one-third of respondents reported that their companies were good or excellent at managing: compensation, flexible work arrangements, communications between supervisors and subordinates, and training and development (33 percent, 34 percent, 37 percent and 37 percent, respectively).

"The decline of employee loyalty, particularly at the critical middle manager level, should be a growing source of concern for senior management, and the fact that middle managers think their companies are mismanaged is particularly alarming," says Ed Jensen, a senior executive in Accenture's Human Performance practice.

When asked about the most frustrating aspects of their jobs, the greatest number of respondents--47 percent--cited compensation issues, followed by balancing work and personal time, the feeling that they do the bulk of the work and don't receive the appropriate credit, and having no clear career path (chosen by 40 percent, 38 percent and 35 percent, respectively).

At the same time, nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of the respondents said they would consider changing jobs. In addition, three in 10 (30 percent) of the respondents said they are currently looking for another job, compared with only 21 percent of respondents in last year's survey. When asked about their motivation for seeking another job, respondents most often cited better pay or benefits (selected by 29 percent of respondents), lack of prospects for advancement (22 percent) and better conditions or job prospects (21 percent).

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