The 7 manager capabilities that make new hires stay

Employees see the organisation as they see their manager – if they feel supported by their boss, they feel supported by their company.

Given that 31% of people quit in the first 6 months of a new role (BambooHR), the manager needs to be even more focused on engagement and retention in those early days.

From research, we know that there is a strong link between perceived manager support and employee retention and that there are seven capabilities that commonly crop up:

  • Trust and autonomy – create an environment of respect and transparency and let me do my best work.
  • Flexibility and inclusivity – recognise and understand different people’s needs and views.
  • Communication – be clear so I know what’s expected.
  • Motivation – understand what motivates me and tap into it.
  • Building esteem – help me be aware of the strengths I bring and celebrate my successes.
  • Developing and coaching – facilitate my growth and support the development of my own style.
  • Workload and stress management – keep an eye on my workload and stress, help me prioritise and let me vent.


Think of a great manager you had.

How did they make you feel?

What made them great?

Which of these capabilities did they demonstrate?

First impressions matter

Consciously showing these key capabilities early on in a new relationship can have a big impact. Putting the time and effort into a tailored onboarding plan and incorporating things like coaching (internal and external), feedback and clear expectations backs up the manager behaviours.

Great onboarding makes new hires 82% more likely to stay and 70% more productive (Brandon Hall Group).

It’s a busy time when you’ve a new direct report but if you invest in them quickly upfront and demonstrate the leadership you want to, then they will get up to speed quicker and stay, so you can focus on leading the strategy and team rather than hiring on top of your day job!