Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Branham

Leigh Branham

Founder & Principal, Keeping the People, Inc.

Leigh Branham, SPHR, is Founder and Principal of Keeping the People, Inc., Overland Park, Kansas, a talent management consulting firm which helps organizations analyze root causes of turnover and employee disengagement, then develop and implement employer-of-choice strategies. His previous experience includes serving as Leader of the Talent Management practice for Right Management Consultants' Heartland region. Mr. Branham has authored three books on employee engagement and retention, including his most recent (coauthored with Mark Hirschfeld)—Re-Engage: How America's Best Places to Work Inspire Extra Effort in Extraordinary Times (McGraw-Hill, 2010). Re-Engage is based on 2.1 million employee engagement surveys from 10,000 employers and reveals six universal drivers of employee engagement that characterize best places to work regardless of industry, size, or geographic location. In cooperation with the Saratoga Institute, Mr. Branham wrote The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave: How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and Act Before It's Too Late (AMACOM Books, 2005)--about the root causes of employee disengagement and turnover, based on post-exit surveys of more than 19,700 employees in 17 industries conducted from 1998 through 2003. Released in January, 2005 this book was selected by businessbookreview.com and The Library Journal as one of the top 30 business books of the year and was released in audio summary form by Executive Soundview. His first book, Keeping the People Who Keep You in Business, was published by the American Management Association in 2001 and featured hundreds of innovative employee retention best practices. It was named by the Harvard Management Update as one of the top three books on the topic and has been published in several foreign-language versions. Mr. Branham received a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Vanderbilt University, has two Master's degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has 25 years experience in human resource consulting, and speaks frequently on the topics of employee engagement/retention, career development in organizations, employment practices, workforce trends, leadership, and management development. Mr. Branham is recognized internationally as an authority on employee engagement/retention, and has delivered presentations and management training in China, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Canada, Malaysia, and Poland. Mr. Branham has been interviewed on National Public Radio, published in The Harvard Business Review, and quoted in Business Week, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, and many others through The Associated Press, as an expert on employee retention. He publishes a quarterly e-newsletter—Keeping the People Report. Mr. Branham is also a member of the Society for Human Resource Management SHRM, and has achieved certification from SHRM as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Leigh Branham in his own words: "If there is one thing that I've learned in my business career and in my research into what works to motivate, engage, and keep the right people, is that good management, a positive culture, and caring leaders are far more important than pay and benefits. I get tremendous satisfaction from helping leaders and managers identify and implement the employee engagement practices that best align with their business objectives, talent marketplace, and current workforce." For more information, visit www.keepingthepeople.com

Mr. Branham can be contacted at 913-620-4645 or LB@keepingthepeople.com

Coming up in September 2020...

Hotel Group Meetings: Demand vs. Supply

It is a great time for hotel group meetings. It is expected that once again this sector will grow by 5-10% in 2020, partly due to the increasing value of in-person group meetings. Because people now spend so much time in front of their screens, face-to-face interactions have become a more treasured commodity in our modern world. Plus, the use of social media reinforces the value of engagement, discussion, conversation, and networking - all areas where group meetings shine. Despite this rosy outlook, there is a concern that demand for meetings far exceeds the supply of suitable venues and hotels. There are very few "big box" properties with 500-plus rooms and extensive conference facilities being built, and this shortage of inventory could pose a serious challenge for meeting planners. In addition to location concerns, the role of the meeting planner has also evolved significantly. Planners are no longer just meeting coordinators - they are de facto travel agents. Cultural interactions, local dining, experiential travel, and team-building activities are all now a part of their meeting mix. Plus, they have to cater to evolving tastes. Millennials are insisting on healthier venues and activities, and to meet their demands, hotels are making yoga breaks, fresh-pressed juices, plant-based diets, state-of-the-art gyms, and locally-sourced menus available. Millennials are also insisting that meeting venues practice Corporate Social Responsibility, which means upholding sustainable and ethical values; investment in the local community; health and well-being of employees; and general business practices that reflect being good citizens of the planet. Finally, there is a growing trend to merge meetings with other local events, such as music festivals, sporting events, and cultural attractions. The December Hotel Business Review will report on issues relevant to group meetings and will document what some hotels are doing to support this part of their operations.