By Chuck Martin\n\nEven if we don\u2019t make resolutions for a new year, we usually have some thoughts about what we wish would happen in the coming 12 months. The overall desires of both senior executives and managers are for improvements in efficiency, communication and compensation, based on a global survey by NFI Research.However, the top 10 areas of desired improvement are different for the two management levels.Senior executives, with titles such as chief executive officer, president and chief financial officer, see the top 10 areas in which they would want improvements as (in order): \n\n\n\nefficiency\n\ncommunication\n\nwork-life balance\n\nresources\n\nbudget\n\ncompensation\n\nmeetings (number, length) \n\noffice politics\n\ntechnology they use\n\ne-mail \n\nManagers, with titles such as director, assistant vice president, director and manager, view the top 10 areas they wish would be improved as: \n\n\n\ncompensation\n\ncommunication\n\nefficiency\n\nwork-life balance\n\nbudget\n\noffice politics\n\nresources\n\nnumber of hours worked\n\ntechnology they use\n\ninterruptionsSo, while the top area in which senior executives wish for improvement for the next year is efficiency, the leading wish for managers is improved compensation.\n\nBoth management levels see eye-to-eye on wishing for better communication and work-life balance. \u201cMy wish, which is partially under my control, is to continue to push for more balance between work, family and personal needs,\u201d said one survey respondent. There are some other interesting differences between what executives would like to see improved versus managers. For example, only five percent of senior executives wish for improvements in internal demands as opposed to almost a quarter of managers.While office setting improvements are sought by only three percent of senior executives, more than 10 percent of managers wish for them.And compensation improvements over the next year are wished for by 28 percent of executives but by 59 percent of managers. While 22 percent of executives wish for improvements in the number of hours worked, 32 percent of managers do. More managers than executives would like improvements in interruptions while more executives than managers would like improvements in e-mail.No matter the job position, it is obvious that many are working hard and attempting to do more with less. \u201cMy job is to lead global improvement projects,\u201d said one survey respondent. \u201cEveryone is willing and eager to participate, but they are running so lean that no one has time for such projects.\u201dSaid another: \u201cManaging an information technology department provides a unique view of an organization. We are a resource every department utilizes, yet each department only sees its requests and ignores the opportunity cost. The lack of concern over inappropriate use of a limited resource by [not] qualifying the importance of a request adds a significant resource load on our department.\u201dNo matter which wish for improvement is sought for the next year, if each executive and manager makes a contribution to just one, some of those wishes could turn to reality.Chuck Martin is the author of best-selling business books, including Tough Management, Coffee at Luna\u2019s and the just-published SMARTS (Are We Hardwired for Success?) (AMACOM\/American Management Association). He lectures around the world and can be reached at email@example.com.