Last Updated Oct 21, 2008 5:43 PM EDT
- The Find: The credit crisis has been brewing for at least a year now, which makes the fact that only 68% of US businesses had contingency plans for an economic downturn in place this summer all the more surprising.
- The Source: Consultancy Watson Wyatt's 2008 Global Strategic Reward survey.
American businesses look even more remiss when compared with their foreign competitors. While 68 percent of US companies had planned ahead, the percentages among European companies were significantly higher:
- France - 100 percent
- Germany - 87 percent
- Ireland - 85 percent
- Italy - 82 percent
- UK - 79 percent
What actions were companies with contingency plans in place considering? Organizational restructuring, a hiring freeze, layoffs and slowing salary increases were all mentioned. But, again, regional differences cropped up. American firms were more likely to consider layoffs (77 percent reported looking into the option) than Europe (55 percent on average).
The Question: Why did so many US businesses have their heads in the sand?