A recent survey was done for our entire company on employee
satisfaction and engagement. My organization scored pretty low (about
30th percentile for the firm). The biggest complaint was that salaries
are too low.
What is the best way to help improve employee morale in an
organization complaining about low pay, when I have no power to
If the company collected the information in a survey then they have to have a plan for using the results of the survey. Collecting the data, and publishing the results, without using them to address issues sets the company up for failure. (Collecting the data without publishing the results is also bad).
Several different levels of management need to workout a plan to address the problems. Some problems will be localized, and others widespread throughout the company.
Assuming that pay is the real problem, and that improving salaries is the only way forward. You said that there is no money for raises, but you also said there are no defined plans relating profits to raises. That may be the clue. Make a plan. Publicize the plan. And then keep to the plan. Making sure that managements number one goal is getting the performance the plan expects.
It is also possible that local management is not doing enough to fight for their employees.
Either way the next part of the survey process is to make solid plans for improvement for all parts of the company. This may involve more surveys, focus groups, outside organizations...Ask the company what is the next step, and then ask to be part of the team working on that step.