by Donna M. Airoldi | July 28, 2010
Incentive, recognition, training, and other related workforce programs at U.S. and international companies held steady or were increased the past 12 months, according to the latest Accenture High-Performance Workforce Study 2010, released last week.

In the United States, 39 percent of respondents made no changes to their recognition programs, while 28 percent increased them. For incentive compensation, the figures were 45 percent and 23 percent, respectively. About 74 percent maintained or increased training programs. On average, about 24 percent of respondents cut those programs.

International companies showed even more support for retaining or growing recognition, incentive, and training programs, with just 15 percent and 19 percent cutting recognition and incentive compensation programs, while about 75 percent maintained or grew them.

Workforce planning and performance management practices saw the biggest boosts, with about 45 percent of respondents increasing each.

One year ago, 41 percent of companies were focused on cost controls. Today that figure is 27 percent, and moving into the teens for 12 months from now. More than half of U.S. companies said they plan to rebuild their workforces to pre-recession levels within two years.

The downside, however, is that two-thirds of respondents worldwide reduced their workforce the past 12 months and do not plan to grow jobs during the next year, and most do not feel prepared to handle any more economic volatility in the marketplace.

The Accenture High Performance Workforce Study examines how the workforce affects the journey to high performance and what steps companies can take to improve the contribution the workforce makes to the larger organization’s performance. Between January and May 2010, Accenture polled more than 600 senior executives including CEOs, COOs, CFOs, or CIOs as well as senior HR and learning executives in 24 countries around the world.

For a full copy of the results, click here.