Executive confidence may be returning, according to consultancy Watson Wyatt Worldwide, because a growing number of employers are considering reversing pay freezes and cuts, among other things.
A recent study of 175 U.S.-based companies suggests that a growing number of them are planning to reverse HR cut-backs over the next six months, including the following actions taken during the worst of the downturn:
- salary reductions (44 percent)
- salary freezes (33 percent)
- cuts to 401(k) matching contributions (24 percent)
Apparently the economic toll has been coming out among employees in quieter ways. For example, a third of respondents said that they've seen an increase in hardship withdrawals from 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Otherwise, executive outlooks seemed to stay fairly stable, as the graph below suggests.