back to article Microsoft staffers restive as annual employee poll lands – without questions about compensation

If you need to talk to someone at Microsoft in a hurry over the next day or three, they may be a little slow to reply as the Windows giant has rolled out its annual internal poll for employees. Known within Microsoft as “MSPoll”, the survey asks Redmondians to share their views on what it is like to work for the company, how …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    The Register understands that this year’s effort omits questions about Microsoft salaries

    These polls are not for talking about things that irritate, they are just here for self-congratulation.

    I'm amazed to see how these big companies love to say how they are cool and fantastic and how it's great to live in the world of Care Bears

    Maybe repeating a lie often enough can make it sounds true.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: Maybe repeating a lie often enough can make it sounds true.

      "We won the Election."

      "There were big ballot drops"

      "Voter fraud was everywhere"

      "give me 11,780 votes because I won the election"

      Sounds familiar?

      1. not.known@this.address

        Re: re: Maybe repeating a lie often enough can make it sounds true.

        Amazing how many people believed the Democrats when they said "Trump only won because the Russians and Facebook interfered in the election!" and also believe the Democrats when they say "Of course we won, NOBODY can possibly interfere in the election!"

        I am not suggesting that the outrageous claims by the ex-President are true, just pointing out the discrepancy between their stories when the opposition wins and when they win... if anyone can explain how both their statements can be true then I look forward to hearing from you... (unless your name is Schroedinger).

        1. shocking

          Re: re: Maybe repeating a lie often enough can make it sounds true.

          Simple - people are capable of learning. And they apply the lessons. So we had Trump's own election guy say they were OK and his own AG, Barr, said that there wasn't enough fraud to alter the results.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "These polls are not for talking about things that irritate, they are just here for self-congratulation."

      Our senior management kinda hate our staff survey. It's the only internal information they have that says anyone is unhappy or that things aren't peachy-rosy-great.

      1. Dave 15 Silver badge

        You read

        I guess you read the crock of shit that stinks becoming policy?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same everywhere

    We have an annual survey too, with similar attitudes from many staff, including me.

    However, it's the one piece of internal information our senior management have that shows them the whole operation is a shit show.

    Everything else they're fed says "super-smashing-great".

    <Double-checks is posting as AC>

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the many many years of being asked to fill in such surveys I've never seen one of them with a question about pay, that's far too clear and obvious. Instead the closest we get is a question about "recognition". Which means management can implement something as simple as Praise in Teams and which allows them to show their brilliant response to the staff's concerns but it costs them nothing. They then appear hurt & confused when staff give them grief about pay...

  4. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "... feelings the poll may be a futile exercise"

    Not futile at all - just intended to serve a different purpose.

    The same is detectable in most surveys - they typically reinforce the preconceptions of the setters of the survey rather than reflecting the real views of the respondents, the purpose being to convince the powers that be that everything is fine, rather then to drive change.

    This is called "human nature".

  5. Ironclad


    Not my joke but very fitting:

    Management: We are keen to understand your wants and needs and help you handle the stresses of the job more effectively.

    Staff: How about a salary raise so we can pay our bills/mortgages, hiring more staff so there are enough people to do the job and not setting ridiculous deadlines?

    Management: No, not like that, we mean try Yoga or something.

    1. pop_corn

      Re: Mgmt

      > "Staff: How about a salary raise so we can pay our bills/mortgages, hiring more staff so there are enough people to do the job and not setting ridiculous deadlines?"

      Most companies that did that would go out of business.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: TFTFY

        Most companies that did that would go out of business see a reduction in profits, hurting executive bonuses and annoying some (but not all) shareholders.

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Mgmt

        They shouldn't be in business if they can't afford to pay livable wages and instead expect government welfare to make up the difference (i.e. subsidize their business).

        1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: Mgmt

          Does anyone pay wages that are not “liveable” to IT stuff?

          Alternatively the talk about “liveable” wages on the context of Register simply shows how meaningless all those “living wage” tirades are, as apparently it does not matter how much you pay, it still won’t be a “living wage”.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Mgmt

            You've had the downvotes, but no one has taken you up on your points.

            A "liveable" wage has no defined meaning as far as I'm aware.

            But then you launch into "living wage". And that has.

            It's an income from employment that allows an individual to meet their needs in terms of housing, food, clothing, travel etc ( Internet access is a recent addition, but COVID has highlighted it) and a reasonable opportunity to take part in society through leisure and cultural activities- e.g. a TV, school trips for the kids, even the odd meal out.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Double checking post-anonymous, too. Employee surveys are a regular feature in our place. Certain results affect managerial pay deals, so it's regarded with some importance.

    Unfortunately, certain (senior) managers are also have lucrative bonus arrangements on the basis of running their department "successfully" below theoretical headcount, and this element is worth more than the survey upside that is applicable to all managerial grades.

    Consequently the same problems the survey has highlighted for the past 20 years continue, unresolved and un-invested. Surviving on spreadsheets and human glue, rather than doing things properly. Sooner or later something will break as a result... But as long as they get away with it it's regarded as successful. Ironically the auditors did (finally) pick up on the staff complaints over the spreadsheet dependency, BUT little to no meaningful action taken about it.

    I'd jump ship but it's otherwise too kushy a gig to turn my nose up at the paycheque.

    I'm less certain the stock market agrees with the approach, given the price is down roughly 15 percent in the last 6 weeks following certain dangerously-close-to-catastrophic events happening back to back.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Employee Engagement Survey

    Oh yes, the only thing guaranteed as an outcome of those at my employer is just how long they will spend trying to find some positives in the results.

    They even gave up trying to use "participation" as a positive after nobody bothered to fill them in because it was revealed managers were getting bonuses for achieving high response rates from their staff.

    They definitely stopped publishing word clouds from the comments.... took too long to remove words they didn't want to hear.

    I'd tell you where this was but then El Reg would probably delete the comment as my employer likes to set its lawyers on El Reg.

    Maybe that tells you something without me even using the three letters ;-)

  8. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Location, location, location

    >"their senior colleagues’ pay packets are so fat, they’ve driven the cost of living sky-high in tech-centric spots around Seattle and San Francisco"

    Covid is taking us down this road with the complimentary work-from-home trial the past year. Just wait until no more openings are available in SEA or SFO. All new headcount will be remote employees in Sheboyganville with the prevailing cost of living adjusted accordingly. Worried about productivity?? They can get 2x or 3x the headcount for the same price, so who cares if they are slackers at home. We'll weed them out eventually in any case.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You've ranked management performance low, but we'll help you improve

    At a previous employer, the annual poll went out.

    A little later, the results came in - there was no confidence in senior management, and pay was below industry average, resulting in difficulty hiring new staff.

    Senior management called a staff meeting. We were told that we should not feel bad about our poor scoring in the survey; but we (the staff) should work to improve our trust in management. They were introducing a monthly $50 voucher prize to help encourage this. Of course, nothing to address the actual reasons why everyone thought the senior management team were a pack of overpaid monkeys...

  10. Dave 15 Silver badge

    Several things

    First justify pay at any of Google Microsoft etc. If i was turning out the crap they do requiring days to boot, regular updates, crashes, burns, slow response and loss of customers data on regular basis i would expect the sack not pay. Android 10 latest update rendered my phone unusable (except as a door wedge or paper weight) due to its frequent stops while i am typing, the less said about the dire behaviour of the windows laptop supplied by my company the better. However by far the worst thing about all companies is the obscene amounts the board pay themselves for expense paid drinks at the golf course compared to the money paid to those who make or engineer the products. The lack of investment in basics is also woeful, one company was refusing to pay 2k for a tool to save weeks of work while the CEO was taking more than that for a trip to see his mate

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