Compuware leverages urban gardening, art for talent retention

Talent retention means more than just offering a challenging job on a good team in a cool place for Compuware. The downtown-based software firm expands that definition to include things like art, community involvement and urban gardening.

Megan Heeres is Compuware's art and community program manager, a relatively new position focused on helping make the corporation's staff more engaged with the company and the surrounding community. That means offering opportunities for employees to engage with local institutions, like the Detroit Institute of Arts, and start a new urban gardening program downtown.

The idea is that these extracurricular activities stimulate the workforce, increasing their productivity and making Compuware more attractive to top talent.

"It makes the workday more enjoyable," Heeres says. "It makes you want to come back to work the next day."

The latest example is Compuware's urban gardening project. The company plans to create an urban garden this spring at the vacant lot on Michigan Avenue where the Lafayette Building once stood, across the street from the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel. The space will feature gardening plots on just under a half acre. Produce harvested from the space will go toward local non-profits, such as Gleaners. So far 150 people have signed up.

"There are a lot of master gardeners and people who have doing it a long time," Heeres says. "There is a need for more green space downtown. Our CEO, Peter Karmanos, is a master gardner and thought this would be a great opportunity."

Source: Megan Heeres, art & community garden program manager for Compuware
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.