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UK - Managers' optimism for 2012 remains low

16 December 2011

Nearly half of UK managers (43%) are expecting further redundancies in 2012, and over a third of managers (38%) feel insecure in their jobs, according to the annual end-of-year research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).  

Over half of the managers surveyed felt that they would be unlikely to get another job if they were to be made redundant. 

The Future Forecast report reveals that optimism about the UK's economic performance remains low for 2012 at just 8%. Restructuring of public finances, the price of energy and the instability of the Euro are the top factors, which managers expect to have a damaging impact on their organisations next year. 

Alongside that, managers are nervous about their organisations' people capabilities with 43% feeling that their place of work did not have the right staff to fulfil business objectives in 2012. A shortage of the key skills was highlighted as the primary issue preventing organisations from meeting their business objectives with poor leadership, insufficient experience and a lack of enough employees also contributing. 

Looking back on 2011, CMI's report highlights experiences from another unsurprisingly difficult year, with 6% more managers in 2011 (compared with 2010's report) reporting a decline in organisational performance. 

On a more positive note, the retail sector and the Olympic Development Authority were highly rated by the professional management community when asked for examples of organisations that they felt were best managed this year. John Lewis came out as the most admired with supermarkets Sainsbury's and Tesco's also coming out favourably. Lord Alan Sugar and Sir Richard Branson were chosen as the senior business leaders that the majority of managers would like to shadow for the day. 

Reacting to the findings, Christopher Kinsella, CMI chief executive, commented "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. We started 2011 with high hopes that the economic situation was improving and workplaces would start to feel the effects of recovery. Sadly, it's evident that this year has been one of the most difficult UK managers have ever had to face." 

"There are areas where organisations can continue to develop and 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." 

"The quality of staff and managers will be vital to building success in 2012 and will be crucial if organisations are to survive the tough times and succeed next year. Business leaders have highlighted they will need to be actively looking for alternative ways to continue to develop the skills of their staff, despite restricted budgets and we would look to help them with developing their skills through the services we offer." 

In terms of their own performance, 40% of managers are looking to develop their strategic decision making skills in 2012, with around a third looking to develop their project management skills (32%) and coaching and mentoring (36%).

To read the report, please click here.

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