Are middle managers really valued?

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Dear Annie: I just read your Oct. 3 column, citing a survey of human resources people who "claim to regard middle managers as critical to the success of the company." On what planet? I am a middle manager in a FORTUNE 500 company where successive rounds of layoffs have left us working much harder, often 55 to 60 hours a week, in exchange for no recognition and 2% pay raises. If our contributions are so "critical," why don't they treat us better? -- Worn Out

Dear Worn Out: You aren't the only one wondering. If you can stand to hear the results of one more survey, consider this: Consulting giant Accenture just polled middle managers themselves (not HR people) across the U.S. and found they are far less satisfied with their jobs than they were last year. Nearly half said they aren't paid fairly, have to put in too many hours, get little appreciation or credit, and see no clear career path ahead that would inspire them to stay the course. Almost three-quarters (71%) said they saw little chance for advancement with their current employers. Ominously, 68% said their companies discourage reporting bad news to higher-ups. Not surprisingly, about 60% said they're willing to change jobs, and one-third are actively looking. The study (at recommends "reinventing the role of middle managers." Maybe you could print it out, highlight relevant passages, and slide it under somebody's door.

Send questions to Annie offers advice weekly at