Bosses not motivated by money

However, the survey of 1,000 managers and company executives also discovered that money was not the biggest motivating factor in their job – that honour went to job satisfaction.

The study also found that a quarter of bosses have been in their current position for more than a decade and half feel valued by their staff, and believe their employees actually love working for them.

However, the survey revealed that one in six is actively seeking a new job, and out of these people, the same number again have been searching for 12 months or more. What’s more, a third of those surveyed insist they are simply ‘making do’ in an unsatisfying job because their options are limited because of the current state of the economy.

Wickland Westcott MD, Colin Mercer, said: “It is extremely interesting to hear the thoughts of bosses themselves rather than academics or industry observers. While financial remuneration is of obvious importance to them, it is not their main motivating factor. Job satisfaction came out top – this is what the majority of us hope for in our working life, and bosses are no different.

“For those who are not happy in their current role there are clearly challenges involved in finding the perfect new post, especially considering the economic climate.

“It appears that a significant number of bosses are sitting tight, making do with a role that does not meet their aspirations entirely, but at least provides a port in a storm. Organisations recruiting at senior level may think they are in a buyer’s market where they can pick and choose, but the best candidates undertake rigorous due diligence on potential new employers, to establish if it is worth taking the risk of leaving behind the installed base of contacts and credibility they have built in their current organisation.”

The report also discovered that bosses in the public sector are most loyal, with more than one in ten staying in their post for 20 years or more. While those in PR, marketing and advertising are the most transient, with managers and company executives staying in position for an average of just five years.

Leaders in the legal profession are the highest paid, with one in six earning over £400,000 a year in basic salary.