A Talent War is being waged to attract and (more importantly) hold onto the best employees, where "every day is a new battle" according to Mary Cheddie, Senior VP of Global Human Resources at Interval Leisure Group (ILG) last week.

Ms Cheddie was part of a panel discussion on Retaining Talent in Global Markets organized by the Greater Miami Society for Human Resource Management. She was joined by Frank Lopez of Ryder and Lynn White from Norwegian Cruise Lines at the July 17th event held at Keiser College's Miami campus.

Retaining Talent in Global Markets Early on the audience was reminded that people join a company for its reputation but leave because of poor working relationships, usually with their manager. This was met by approval and nods from practically everyone in the room.

To combat this, Ms Cheddie said her organization is "building work teams and environments who want to work together" while Mr Lopez said today's workforce "need a lot of feedback" and "want to feel part of something"

Ms White reiterated that "trust and team-building is a day to day activity" and stated that "managers need to get to know their people", reinforcing the fact that everyone is an individual with unique traits, needs, etc...

There was of course discussion around the important areas of benefits, training opportunities and helping employees with a career path. But, in what again emphasized the importance of culture and leadership, Mr Lopez listed a litany of benefits offered by his organization and said they still loose good people. This was backed up by Ms Cheddie who stated "People may not remember what you said. People remember how you made them feel"

In addition to the panelists, there was interaction from the floor with one gentleman behind me stating that today's workforce "love feedback and want to be involved" while Oz Rashid (from MSH Group - one of the event sponsors) encouraged organizations to "spend time on the culture"

People remember how you made them feel
Mary Cheddie, Interval International

trust and team-building is a day to day activity
Lynn White, Norwegian Cruise Line

People execute your strategy
Frank Lopez, Ryder

All three panelists were very clear that the Human Resources function is a critical part of the business. As Mr Lopez put it "People execute your strategy". This is the core of any organization and I would simply expand his words and state that - Highly Engaged People Execute your Strategy Better, Quicker and with Passion.

It was very rewarding to be at an event where the highly-regarded speakers, organizers and everyone in attendance championed the idea that culture, leadership and engagement are what really retains employees and drives productivity.

Kudos to all involved...


The organizers announced that their next event would be a wine tasting and networking event.

Memo to self...get a babysitter for that evening



After the session concluded, Mary Cheddie spoke for a few minutes about Larry Burk, SPHR who recently passed away. Mr Burk was a former SHRM board member and was very dedicated to supporting fellow HR professionals.  

A scholarship fund to support an undergraduate student studying HR is being established in his name.  To donate to this worthy cause, please call 703.535.6020 or visit shrmfoundation.org/donate to make a memorial gift.