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 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.