According to a Watson Wyatt survey of 248 companies conducted in mid-October 2008, 10 percent have already eliminated or reduced training in general, and 18 percent expect to take these kinds of actions regarding all training in the next 12 months.

As the impact of the global economic crisis takes hold, one-quarter of U.S. employers expect to make layoffs in the next 12 months, according to the survey. But most companies are focusing on increased employee communication and smaller cost-saving measures, according to Watson Wyatt, a global consulting firm.

“Changes are clearly in the wind,” said Paul Platten, global practice director of Watson Wyatt’s human capital group, in a press release.

More than one-third of surveyed firms are planning to increase their communication around pay (37 percent) and benefits (35 percent). And roughly one of four is planning layoffs (26 percent), hiring freezes (25 percent) or raising employee contributions to health care plans (25 percent).

While some companies also plan other changes, including travel restrictions, restructuring and reductions in training, relatively few expect to freeze salaries, reduce 401(k) matches or freeze or close their pension plan.