Resignations amongst executives increased in the year to January 2004 as increases in salaries and bonuses slowed, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Remuneration Economics.
The 2004 National Management Salary Survey of almost 22,000 managers reveals that despite a growth in the number of bonus payments, the average total bonus fell by almost £500, from £3,955 in 2003 to £3,509.
Combined earnings for managers rose by 4.8 per cent, from £41,369 to £42,050 a fall on the 5.2 per cent rise reported in the 2003 survey.
Managers in London currently top the earnings league table on £49,043 with those in East Anglia earning the least (£36,096).
Over the year, the number of executives handing in their notice increased. Almost five per cent of directors and managers resigned their posts, compared to four per cent in the year to January 2003.
Resignations are highest amongst professionals in business service functions (8.6 per cent) and human resources (6.2 per cent), but in the manufacturing sector only 1.5 per cent of labour turnover is accounted for by voluntary resignation.
The most loyal executives are in the West Midlands, where only two per cent resigned in the last year.
Surprisingly the survey found that senior managers are increasingly likely to move jobs despite the belief that 'seniority equals stability.' More than one in ten chief executives (12.9 per cent) changed employer in the last year, a significant increase on the 2002 figure of 4.8 per cent.
Almost six out of ten businesses also cited competition from other organisations as a reason for losing staff.
Petra Cook, head of policy at the Chartered Management Institute, said that if left unchecked, the increase in resignations will impact upon the future strategic development of UK organisations.
"There is also a growing need to develop benefits packages to suit a range of lifestyles as employees are clearly focusing on the value of their remuneration package as a whole before deciding whether to change jobs," she added.