The TEC Index, a quarterly survey of chief executives by TEC International, a CEO organization for small and mid-sized companies, found that 71% of respondents haven’t instituted any new programs or policies since the Enron scandal first broke last year.
Meanwhile, a quarter of respondents reported they had increased 401(k) related communications to participants, while 3% conducted more audits and 2% added 401(k) program safeguards.
The survey also revealed that CEOs are generally optimistic about the economy,
- 26% say it is already rebounding,
- half expect a rebound sometime this year,
- 13% expect the business cycle to turn up only in 2003, and
- only 1% think it will remain in the doldrums until 2004
The CEOs were most optimistic about the future for the manufacturing sector with a third naming it as the area of the economy expected to grow the fastest. Otherwise:
- 26% cited information technology
- 21% said biotechnology
- 17% cited retail
- 7% named telecommunications
But, until the economy picks up:
- 38% said they would cut capital spending,
- 43% changed their business strategy,
- more than half said they were repositioning their company to accelerate growth,
- while only 5% said they were pursuing either a merger or outright sale
On personnel plans, TEC also found that, over the next 12 months,
- 32% of CEOs plan to increase their total staffing by between 1% and 5%,
- 30% plan to make no plans to their workforce,
- 25% will increase their number of employees by more than 5%,
- 10% will trim their payrolls by 5%, and
- only 4% will decrease total staffing by more than 5%
The sample comprised 1,196 respondents.