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What will you do if the economy doesn’t rebound this year?

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in Employee Benefits Program,Hiring,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

If the unsteady economy doesn’t improve during the next six months, one in four HR professionals say their organizations are “very likely” to respond with wage freezes, according to a new poll conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Attrition ranks a close second to wage freezes—23% of those polled said they would let vacant positions go unfilled to save costs.

Other corporate coping strategies: organizationwide budget cuts, cutting employee bonuses and implementing hiring freezes. Twenty percent of respondents said their companies would consider such moves.

The SHRM poll, Financial Challenges to the U.S. and Global Economy and Their Impact on Organizations, examines what business survival tactics employers implemented during the past six months and are likely to during the next six. The poll was released in late June.

Eighteen percent of HR managers said their organizations reduced employee benefits offerings during the past six months. Looking closer at organizations that cut benefits, 75% reduced employee health care coverage and 70% cut health coverage for spouses and dependents.

While 67% of HR managers said their companies had made budget cuts across the entire organization to survive the past six months, 65% used attrition to control costs, followed by 52% that had frozen employee wages.

“Although better economic conditions may be on the horizon, many organizations clearly have tough decisions to continue to make in the short-term,” said Mark Schmit, director of research at SHRM.

Employers hope to keep layoffs at bay.

Only 13% said they’re likely to hand out pink slips in the coming months compared with 46% that laid off workers during the past six months. If staff have to go, contract, temporary and contingent workers are more likely to lose their jobs.

To read the poll, visit: www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Pages.

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