Hay Group's survey also shows a parity of planned salary increases for healthcare employees in 2011 with both executives and all employees seeing a 2.6% increase.
"With executive salary budgets rising at the same level as staff this year, it's clear that boards are concerned about public perception of executive pay," Seifert said. "However, it's critical that compensation committees balance their concern of scrutiny with their need to attract and retain the best possible talent to lead their organizations."
Salary increases for physicians are still lagging at 2.3%, while nursing will see a 2.7% salary increase in 2011. High performers will see less than 1% more than all employees with 2.8% planned base salary increases for 2011. "With limited budgets, healthcare organizations are still resistant to differentiate pay for top and average performers," Seifert said. "However, if healthcare organizations want to retain high performers and high potentials, they need to treat them fairly – which does not always mean that everyone gets the same amount."
The survey uses data from more than 486 organizations in November 2010 in the general industry survey, and 90 hospitals and health systems of varying size, structure, and location in the healthcare survey. Respondents include compensation professionals in human resources departments. Hay Group's core compensation database represents compensation practices for almost 3,000 companies and more than 6 million employees.