When it comes to hiring and firing, the big issues are all in your head, experts say
The world’s best-paid CEOs are often the ones who most actively pursue and communicate with employees, a new study suggests.
The study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and consulting firm Avalere, which surveyed 2,000 workers, found that people who were paid more were more likely to be involved in decision-making, be involved with projects and to hold leadership roles.
People who were asked to evaluate a CEO’s performance were more than three times more likely than those who were not to assign the highest rating to him, according to the research, which was published online today by The Economist.
It comes amid growing concerns that the highly paid CEOs of major companies are making the world a worse place by using their influence to shape how workers are treated.
“It’s clear that CEOs are increasingly making decisions based on their own personal feelings rather than on objective facts,” said Rachel O’Connor, who co-authored the report.
“But they’re doing it with more power and more profit than ever before.”
The research also found that more than half of people who worked for CEOs who were less than a year removed from their job were either unhappy or dissatisfied with the way they were treated, and more than two-thirds said they had experienced bullying.
The findings highlight the need to develop clear policies for hiring and promotion, said O’Brien.
“We’re not asking people to work in a vacuum, but to have clear policies to guide decisions on the basis of the best interests of the company and the people in its care,” she said.
Companies with high pay are often more likely for employees to report harassment and discrimination, according the research.
The UK’s Office for Fair Trading (OFT) last year said it was looking at whether companies could make their pay structures more transparent, and that a “comprehensive and uniform pay system” could be introduced across the UK.
However, O’Briens findings also showed that executives were less likely to make decisions on how to improve working conditions.
In fact, almost half of the 2,006 people surveyed said they felt the bosses of their company should be more accountable for their behaviour, with only 43 per cent of the people surveyed saying they felt that way themselves.
O’Connor said: “The idea that it’s all in our heads is misguided.
When you’re on the job, you need to make things happen in your own way.
That’s where the real power lies.”
She said that even though some people may believe that their boss is responsible for how they are treated, they can also make their own decisions, based on “what they know”.
The report also found the more employees they have working for them, the more likely they are to say they were bullied by their bosses, with a majority of respondents saying they had been bullied in the past year.
The survey was carried out by Pricewatch, a recruitment company that has been used by companies such as Facebook, Airbnb and Snapchat to monitor their workforces.
O’Brien said that the findings are consistent with previous research, such as one by the US government that found more than 1.5 million Americans work for companies that paid less than $25,000 a year.
The findings come as the UK government prepares to launch its new anti-bullying policy, due to take effect next year.
It follows an increase in reports of harassment and bullying, with the Government calling for companies to publish more information about how employees are treated online.