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 April 2020...

Guest Service: First Impressions Matter

Hotels spend large amounts of money on marketing their operation and brand, but sometimes they fail to remember that guest service is the lifeblood of their business. It is outstanding guest service that allows a hotel to create an amazing and lasting impression, one that will remain with guests far beyond the duration of their stay. In pre-internet days, first impressions were formed the moment a guest walked through a hotel's front door. These days, first impressions are created long before a guest arrives at a hotel property. They begin when a customer visits a hotel's website or social media pages for the first time. When a guest connects with a property online, they immediately form an opinion of the hotel. First impressions matter and because of that, a hotel website should be mobile-friendly with blistering fast speed; it should be graphically appealing; and it should provide visual representation of the kind of experience a guest can expect. It is also vital to engage the customer; to actively solicit and respond to guest feedback. When a hotel personally engages with someone, it is demonstrating to other customers that guest opinions matter, and that management is willing to go the extra mile to provide superior guest service. Similarly, when a hotel sends out personalized emails with satisfaction surveys attached, it demonstrates that management values guest feedback, so that service can be improved at every level. Additionally, social media messages can be sent out prior to a guest's arrival to learn more about them, so their visit can be personalized. It's the small touches and details that are most remembered and appreciated. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate excellent guest service in their operations.