Campus & Community

Managers discuss employee retention

2 min read
Martha Fields, Jackie
Martha R.A. Fields talks about her book on employee retention at a gathering of Harvard managers. Organizer of the event Jackie Benson-Jones (right) listens. (Staff photo Staff photo by Jon Chase)

More than 60 Harvard managers and human resources professionals learned how to hang on to valued employees when author Martha R.A. Fields discussed her book “Indispensable Employees: How to Hire Them. How to Keep Them” last Tuesday (Oct. 30) in the Harvard Information Center. The event, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant to the President, brought together some of the area’s top human resource managers for a lively panel discussion on employee retention. Top administrators at Fidelity Investments, Shell Oil Co., CISCO Systems, City Year, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were among the panelists who shared their organizations’ stories at the event and in Fields’ book.

“The University’s been very interested in retention,” said event organizer Jackie Benson-Jones, associate director of EEO programs/services in the Office of the Assistant to the President. “This was a wonderful opportunity to actually benchmark with other companies about what they do.” In a climate of declining company loyalty, career development and respect are incentives that will keep employees happy – and employed. Panelists and participants shared valuable information about how their organizations met the challenges of retention, but no one offered silver bullets or surprises. “When people are treated well, they tend to want to stay,” said Benson-Jones.

– Beth Potier