Hong Kong employees are generally a disgruntled lot. That is the conclusion of a new survey into workers' attitudes by consultants Watson Wyatt, which, by the same token, puts many of the bosses into the 'could do better' bracket. The detailed questionnaire completed by staff at 36 local firms, ranging from pharmaceuticals company Pfizer Corp to Centaline Wealth Management and Godiva Chocolatier, found that only 20 per cent of respondents were satisfied with their pay and benefits, compared with the regional average of 30 per cent. About 97 per cent of respondents were locals, mostly on fixed salaries. Paradoxically in job-hopping Hong Kong, despite their dissatisfaction with compensation, 69 per cent said they were committed to staying in their current job for at least another year, compared with the Asia-Pacific norm of 73 per cent. Other surprising findings were that while 22 per cent would take a pay cut to help their company through hard times, 44 per cent did not regard the sacrifice favourably. Employers came off little better: 40 per cent of respondents said their bosses did not do a good job of motivating people. As to whether their company communicated its promotion criteria well, 37 per cent thought it did not, as opposed to 20 per cent who responded positively. Just one in four thinks poor performance is dealt with effectively. Only 59 per cent said they were proud to work for their company, and only 47 per cent would recommend their firm to others as a good place to work. The key messages were that Hong Kong employees were generally less satisfied than the Asian average in all 10 question categories, said Gabriela Domicelj, principal consultant at Watson Wyatt. Local companies scored poorly, with nine in 10 categories rating less than 50 per cent, meaning fewer than half of Hong Kong employees answered favourably, she added. In particular, overall, employees rated leadership and management effectiveness, employee development and training, and performance and management and supervision as the lowest categories after compensation and benefits. 'There's a theme running through about failure to manage careers well and career advancement,' she added. Neither Ms Domicelj, nor Pfizer country manager Stephen Leung Kwok-keung, whose company scored highly in the survey, was surprised that only 21 per cent of employees were satisfied with pay and benefits. 'There's always a tendency to answer negatively about pay,' Ms Domicelj said. 'To be honest, they are not earning less,' Mr Leung said. 'Otherwise they would have moved.'