What Your CEO Should Know: 3 Gaps That Separate Leaders From Employees


It’s a hot-button topic on the agenda of most Executive-Paycompanies, from mid-market businesses to Fortune 500s: What is the cause for the growing gap between executives and individual contributors?

Recent research by the lovely folks here at Quantum Workplace identified three significant disparities between the C-suite and front-line employees, contributing to the overall rift between the two groups.

Those disparities are:

Executive Pay
Employee Engagement
Employee Engagement Drivers

While these areas of disparity are large and complicated, ask your CEO to consider these three simple statements.

Executive Pay

In 2016, CEOs, on average, were paid 340 times more than their front-line employees.

While executive pay has shrunk from its peak in 2005, the gap between monthly paychecks for these two groups is still fairly large. Interestingly, employees’ relative buying power (due to stagnant wages plus increased prices of goods and services from inflation) has drastically reduced over recent years.

Employee Engagement

Executives are almost 30% more engaged than individual contributors.

Leadership is almost always more engaged than their individual contributors; in fact, executives were more favorable on every single survey item in the study. Engaged employees are more productive at work, more profitable, and more customer-focused. They are also less likely to voluntarily turnover, which can save organizations thousands of dollars in employee investment.

Employee Engagement Drivers

Individual contributors are looking to provide unique value to their organizations.

When taking a deeper dive into employee engagement, research finds that not only is engagement drastically different between individual contributors and executives, but also that there is great incongruity in the items that drive that engagement. Two of the top drivers for employee engagement of front-line employees are “My opinions seem to count at work,” and “If I contribute to the organization’s success, I know I will be recognized.”

What does your CEO think? After you’ve got your CEO evaluating the disparity problem on their hands, send them the research that can help them fix the problem.


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