Nearly half of managers expect their organisations to cut more jobs in 2012, with more than a third feeling insecure about their own employment prospects.

These are the key findings of a survey among 800 bosses in UK companies undertaken by the Chartered Management Institute. The study also revealed that more than half of those questioned feared that they would be unlikely to get another job if they were laid off.

A mere 8% of managers were optimistic about the state of the economy next year, with key concerns centring on public finances, energy prices and the instability of the euro.

Christopher Kinsella, the CMI’s chief executive, said: “It is obvious from our research that 2011 has been yet another difficult year for managers so it comes as no surprise that we are not seeing an optimistic forecast for 2012.”

Although there had been high hopes at the start of last year that the economic situation was improving and that workplaces would start to feel the effects of recovery, it had, in practice, been one of the most difficult years ever for managers, he added.

But there were areas that organisations could concentrate on developing further, Kinsella advised. “We would urge managers to particularly focus on their people capabilities and ensuring their businesses have the right people, with the right skills set to fulfil their business objectives in the New Year,” he said.

Two out of five bosses said they were keen to improve their strategic decision-making skills over the year ahead, while 36% were interested in undertaking coaching and mentoring. Just under a third also wanted to boost their project management expertise.