The growth of chief executives' pay and rewards in the UK's largest organisations has reached a crisis point and needs to be tackled, according to the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development.
The CIPD said its research shows that the rising levels of pay and bonuses do not clearly correlate to personal performance or business outcomes and this is having a significant on the motivation levels of the wider workforce.
The survey of employee attitudes on CEO pay found that 71% of workers believe the money paid to CEOs in the UK is either 'too' or 'far too' high. And six in ten (59%) said CEO pay demotivates them at work.
More than half (55%) of workers said it is bad for the company's reputation. When focusing on their own CEO, 45% said the pay is too high, 30% saying they don't know and just 4% believing it is too line.
Charles Cotton, CIPD reward adviser, said: "The growing disparity between pay at the high and lower ends of the pay scale for today's workforce is leading to a real sense of unfairness which is impacting on employees' motivation at work. The message from employees to CEOs is clear: 'The more you take, the less we'll give'. At a time when the average employee has seen their salary increase by just a few percentage points over the last several years, we need to take a serious look at the issue of top executive reward.
"It's crucial that chief executive reward packages are simpler and more clearly aligned to both financial and non-financial performance measures. These should include how their leadership impacts on critical outcomes such as employee wellbeing and engagement, accountability for culture and behaviour, and workforce development, all of which are vital underpinnings of the long-term health of both people and business."