Human resource trends in 2008 are expected to focus on reduced salary, benefit costs and improved productivity as many companies fear a slowdown in the economy.
In a survey of more than 200 HR executives, Information Strategies, Inc. (ISI) has found a growing number of companies planning to reduce hiring while redeploying workers in anticipation of lower demands.
Many respondents (41%) said they feared that the growing cost of energy and consumer caution will negatively affect their firm's sales.
Anticipating the need to cut costs in 2008, 51% of respondents said they were also planning to reduce salary hikes, some anticipating that they would cut these raises by as much as 50%.
Continuing a long-term trend, 62% of all respondents said they were planning to shift more the healthcare benefits cost to employees in 2008 while 74% said they had done that for plans beginning January 1, 2008.
Retirement plans also are under attack as a cost, with 66% of respondents indicating they were reviewing their firm's contribution to such offerings as 401(k)s.
Surprisingly, 24% of respondents with wellness plans said they were not satisfied with the results and expected to change them in 2008.
The survey was conducted during November via telephone and online with more than 60% of the business leaders contacted responding.