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 June 2020...

Sales & Marketing: Technology Rules

It is impossible for any hotel to develop an effective sales and marketing plan that doesn't include a wide-ranging digital strategy. Online platforms have impacted virtually every aspect of their business, due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their hotel visits. As a result, a successful plan includes generating traffic through the use of a hotel website, social media, email and a myriad of other digital marketing technologies. One such strategy uses data collection and automation technology to create personalized content to individual customers. The goal of personalization marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals - to establish a more personal relationship - as a way of encouraging them to visit a property. Video marketing is also extremely important. Showing someone authentic video from a specific location is immersive and engaging, and video is still the preferred way for customers to interact with a hotel brand. Voice and Visual Search are increasingly in demand, as consumers are moving away from typing queries into a search engine. Instead, they can simply speak their request into their phone, and find and book a hotel without ever typing a word. Similarly, other platforms allow consumers to search visually for almost any image, and find out pricing information, shopping comparisons and how-to-buy - all from the app. The adoption of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming popular. The ability of chatbots to answer simple questions or fulfill requests 24/7 is undeniably appealing. In addition, A.I. seems best positioned to qualify leads that can be later nurtured and closed by a human sales expert - all at a fraction of the cost of a traditional support team. The June Hotel Business Review will examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating these innovative technologies into their operations.