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SES members less positive on pay and benefits

The number of Senior Executive Service members who believe that pay and benefits attract top executive talent to their ranks seems to be on the wane, according to the results of a survey of SES members released last week.


The number of Senior Executive Service members who believe that pay and benefits attract top executive talent to their ranks seems to be on the wane, according to the results of a survey of SES members released last week by the Office of Personnel Management. OPM conducted the survey in 2011.

In response to the statement “SES pay and benefits are helpful in attracting high quality senior executives,” only 39 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed, compared to 50 percent in 2008. And only 37 percent agreed or strongly agreed that pay and benefits were helpful in retaining such executives.

According to the 2011 survey, most executives —more than 90 percent — indicated they take pride in being members of the SES and feel a great deal of personal accomplishment. But the study also revealed a decline in satisfaction with pay and recognition compared with results of the last SES survey OPM conducted in 2008.

OPM said the percentage of positive responses to questions regarding executive pay, awards, and recognition were “significantly lower” in 2011 than in 2008, which the agency called “unsurprising” in light of the federal pay freeze.

According to the survey results, fewer executives in 2011 said they are satisfied with their pay, and fewer are satisfied with the recognition they receive for doing a good job. The survey results also indicated that fewer SES members understand how their most recent salary increase was determined.

The full survey results are available here.

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