Flip the Switch

How to Curb the Great Resignation in Your Organization

The Great Resignation is affecting every industry and every organization.  In collaboration with our partners at Penn State, the EngageMint team recently led a management retreat to discuss the trends and solutions to turn the “Great Attrition” into the “Great Attraction”. 

A more unorthodox episode, David Millay and Katie Rudy host a round table discussion with Christina Gatehouse, Assistant AD for Human Resources at Penn State to share key takeaways from the retreat. 

We break down the most surprising data trends in our research, the impressionable action steps from the retreat and how you could conduct a similar session in your organization.

Additional EngageMint Podcast Episodes referenced

Leadership Lessons from a Disney Legend w/ Lee Cockerell

Resources for Learning More
McKinsey: How companies can turn the Great Attrition into the Great Attraction
EngageMint: Understanding the Great Resignation and What You Can Do About It

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Flip the Switch

How to Sell Experiences Over Tickets w/ Kathy Burrows

In this episode, Kathy Burrows, president and owner of Sold Out Seating, joins David to discuss strategies and tactics to shift from selling tickets to selling experiences.  Selling an experience doesn’t mean selling the pomp and circumstance and atmosphere around the game, but delivering a game day experience that fits each customer.  To implement that shift, Kathy and David dive into new benchmarks, how to develop and mentor sales staff and how to personalize an event experience for different segments.  

Show Notes

2:40     From Nursing to Founding Sold Out Seating

6:19     Applying Care Plans to Sales Strategies

7:46     Throwing Out the ‘100 Calls a Day’ Metric

12:52    Coaching Leaders to Coach Sales Staff

16:33    Holding Effective 1-on-1 Meetings

19:40   Shifting Mindsets from Service Staff to Sales Staff

24:28    Handling Customer Complaints

25:18   Offering Different Experiences for Different Customer Segments

30:02   Combating Staff Limitations 

34:20   Embracing Tech to Drive Business and Customer Experience

41:00    Building a Part-Time Sales Team

46:46   Kathy’s Favorite Sales Tactics


Want more from Kathy?  Check out her blog or books:
Potato Chip Ticket Sales
Potato Chip Leadership Skills

Connect with Kathy on LinkedIn and Twitter


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Flip the Switch

How to Never Lose a Customer Again w/ Joey Coleman

Chief Experience Composer and Best-Selling Author Joey Coleman joins David to talk about how to “Never Lose a Customer Again.”  In this episode, Joey breaks down the 8 phases of the customer and employee experience from his book: Assess, Admit, Affirm, Activate, Acclimate, Accomplish, Adopt and Advocate.  Organizations often focus on a couple, but paying attention to all eight sequentially leads to retention, additional sales and referrals.

Show Notes

4:01    Get Straight As from Your Customers – the 8 Phases

11:50   Applying the 8 Phases to Different Customer Journeys

14:23   Fostering the Experience for the First Time Customer

18:41   Use Your CRM Tools to Tailor Your Communication

22:53   Investigate, Observe and Ask 

27:30   Peel Back the Curtain and Share Survey Data

33:11   Ignite Relationships with Current Customers

38:23   Get Straight As from Your Employees

48:32   Joey’s Savannah Bananas Experience


For more insights from Joey, check out:

Never Lose a Customer Again

Listen to Joey’s podcast with fellow FTS guest Dan Gingiss – Experience This!

Connect with Joey on LinkedIn | Twitter 

Bonus: Notre Dame and National Signing Day 2021

Learn more about the Savannah Bananas’ experience from owner Jesse Cole:

Ep. 14 – Fans First 

Ep. 44 – A Culture of Experimentation and Innovation 

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Lessons from Leaders – Dr. Paul White

In this “Great Resignation” movement, employees are seeking roles where they feel valued and appreciated.  This week, we sat down with Dr. Paul White to learn more effective tactics for showing employees appreciation.  Dr. White co-wrote “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” with Dr. Gary Coleman, who authored the relationship book, “The 5 Love Languages”.  

The 5 Languages are the same – Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Tangible Gifts and Physical Touch – but the application is different. What’s important is understanding that not everyone wants to be recognized or shown appreciation in the same way.  Do you have teammates that don’t like public attention?  Maybe there are minimalists on your team that don’t want “tokens of appreciation.”

To show genuine appreciation for your staff, here are three steps to get started:

Appreciate the Person, Not Just Their Work – (3:23)

Typically, when organizations implement recognition programs they are centered around performance – meeting or exceeding sales goals, going above and beyond on a specific project, etc.  However, recognition and appreciation are not the same thing.  Employees “want to be valued as a person, not just for what they get done.”  While completing the work is important, demonstrating appreciation for your staff starts with letting them know that who they are and what they bring to your team matters more.

Learn Your Team’s Desired Language of Appreciation – (9:09)

Showing someone you appreciate them in a way that’s personal to them isn’t rocket science and it doesn’t have to be expensive either.  It just takes that extra step to let people know you are thinking of them.  It’s not just about saying “good job,” but letting them know specifically what they did that was great and why it was important to the team, the company or the client.  If you are ordering food, know what their go-to donut or Chick-fil-A order is and get it without even asking.  

Encourage Your Staff to Show Appreciation to Each Other – (26:03)

Gestures of appreciation don’t have to just emanate from leaders.  People largely don’t just work for managers.  Most of the time they are part of a team and they want to know that they are valued on the team too.  It starts from the top down, but it’s just as important for teammates to communicate that their daily life would be tougher without each other serving the roles they do.  

It just takes one handwritten note or one intentional thank you to get started. To learn more about appreciation, check out Dr. Paul White’s book.  You can also email him at yesdrpaul@gmail.com with the subject “Flip the Switch” to receive a free copy of his expanded Motivating By Appreciation report ($25 value) and a discount code to purchase the Appreciation evaluation.

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Flip the Switch

Uncovering The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace w/ Dr. Paul White

The “Great Resignation” or “Great Migration” has incited a movement by employees to find roles where they feel valued and appreciated.  But not everyone wants to be recognized or shown appreciation in the same way.  In this episode, David sits down with Dr. Paul White, author of “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace”, to talk about how to show appreciation for your staff in ways that are meaningful to them.  

Show Notes

2:55     Refocusing on Employee Engagement 

5:18      The Great Resignation or the Great Migration?

6:26      Recognize the Person, Not Just Their Work

8:41      Foundation for 5 Languages of Appreciation book

10:14   Words of Affirmation

12:39   Quality Time

13:55   Acts of Service

15:28   Tangible Gifts

17:28   Physical Touch

18:58   Learning Your Team’s Desired Language of Appreciation

21:33   Appreciation is NOT the Same as Recognition

24:08   The Correlation Between Profitability and Appreciation

26:19   Encouraging Appreciation Among Colleagues

28:24   Financial Impact of Replacing Employees

32:02   Generational Preferences in Recognition

35:21   3 Priority Groups to Recognize

36:47   Recognizing Underperforming Staff

42:59   Counter Opinions in Appreciation

45:15   Creative Demonstrations of Appreciation

For more on topics covered in this episode:

5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Dr. Paul White and Dr. Gary Chapman

Appreciation @ Work  |  Blog 

The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman

True Cost of Replacing an Employee

Want more from Dr. White?

Connect via Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Dr. White LinkedIn

Email yesdrpaul@gmail.com with subject “Flip the Switch” to receive a free copy of Dr. White’s expanded Motivating By Appreciation report ($25 value) and a discount code to purchase the Appreciation evaluation.

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Lessons from Leaders – Shawn McIntosh

In our latest podcast, David sits down with Shawn McIntosh, Charlotte FC’s Chief Fan Officer.  If you’re thinking, “What is a Chief Fan Officer?” we had the exact same question and invited Shawn on to discuss the vision and purpose for this first-of-its-kind, C-suite role.  Shawn is “not a cheerleader” or a “paid fan of the club,” but an executive that provides an ear for the fans to share their goals, desires and issues with the organization and to have those interests represented in all meetings and business decisions made by the club.  

Here are three strategies to building relationships with supporters and community leaders and creating a one-of-a-kind matchday:

Look beyond your competitors for inspiration – (23:05)

As the newest MLS team, joining the league in 2022, Charlotte FC is cultivating a matchday experience that is unique and special to its city and fanbase.  To create that experience, Shawn challenged the supporters to look beyond the MLS for inspiration.  “Soccer is so unique because it is so fan-driven, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look to really great NHL and NBA teams for things that connect and land well in terms of fans.”  Shawn even attended a Vegas Golden Knights hockey game with a supporter to get real-time feedback on in-game elements. From stunt card choreography to a DJ, Shawn and the supporters are pulling best-in-class elements from leagues around the world to create an experience that will be authentic to Charlotte.

Trust supporters with behind-the-scenes conversations – (38:48)

Often, organizations are hesitant to share information with fans, due to uncertainty that ideas can be executed or concern that details will end up on message boards.  While Shawn acknowledged information is occasionally held back, forging a deep connection with groups like your supporters can be equated to marriage.  It starts with transparency and making fans know that the relationship with your organization is special. Once that mutual trust is established, you can share confidential or non-public information and solicit feedback throughout the process. More than just asking fans yay or nay, you can have true dialogue to ensure decisions benefit the organization and the fans.  

Balance fan desires with business operations – (10:12)

Keeping fans’ needs and desires top of mind when making decisions is crucial, but there may be operational challenges to meeting them.  One of the reasons Shawn was selected as Chief Fan Officer was his past experience in other fan-facing roles.  Prior to joining Charlotte FC, he was the Chief Revenue Officer for the Norfolk Admirals and Director of Ticket Sales for the Las Vegas Aces and Houston Dynamo.  To replicate the Chief Fan Officer role in your organization, consider candidates with an understanding of marketing campaigns, backend ticket operations, video production, etc. that can offer alternatives if/when roadblocks arise that might better serve your fans.

To hear more about how Shawn gathers insights from fans and infuses the fan perspective across the organization, click here for the full conversation.  

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Knowing Your Customer and Protecting Their Trust w/ Paula Courtney

This week on Flip the Switch, we are joined by Paula Courtney, CEO of the Verde Group.  Partnering with many Fortune 100 companies, the Verde Group brings unique methods to studying consumer behavior and improving the customer experience. Rather than asking “How was your experience?” Paula and her team probe for customer dissatisfaction. Their research has demonstrated that innovating off of points of friction and restoring consumer confidence have a greater financial impact on organizations.  This episode dives into the five key elements of consumer choice, knowing your customer and maintaining their loyalty.  

3:13 The “Re-Imagined Consumer” and their Revised Personal Purpose

6:43 The 5 Key Elements to Consumer Choice

11:36 Identifying Moments that Matter in the Experience

15:12 Factors that Influence Net Promoter Scores

17:28 Creating Actionable Insights > Measuring Attitudes

19:29 The Impact of Negative Experiences on the Bottom Line

24:06 Studying the “Wow” Factor

26:05 How Do You Want to Receive Customer Support?

28:22 The Only Currency That Matters

33:08 Unique Service Recovery Tools

36:21 The Customer Super Agent

40:54 Recognize, Not Reward Your Loyal Customers

44:54 Paula’s Billboard


For more info on topics covered in this episode, check out:

The Verde Group

Verde Group Studies and White Papers

Consumers Aren’t Feeling the Love, Here’s How to Change That 

Exploring the Loyalty / CX Connection

The Great Payoff of Delivering Wow!

The Reimagined Consumer  

Connect with Paula via Twitter or LinkedIn and follow the Verde Group for more insights (Twitter | LinkedIn)

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Elevating the Voice of the Fan w/ Chief Fan Officer Shawn McIntosh

In this episode, David sits down with Shawn McIntosh, Charlotte FC’s Chief Fan Officer, the first role of its kind in any professional league.  Throughout the conversation, Shawn shares his strategies and tactics for building relationships with Charlotte FC supporters and community leaders and bringing that voice to the table in internal club meetings.

Show Notes

3:06     What is a Chief Fan Officer?

4:25     Sharing the fans’ voice with Charlotte FC’s senior leaders

7:29     Shawn’s background and fit for the Chief Fan Officer role

10:12    Bridging the gap between fan desires and business operations

12:39    Charlotte FC’s interview experience

15:46    Expectations of Charlotte FC’s corporate partners

17:54    Defining success and the vision for the Chief Fan Officer role

20:31    The Charlotte FC match day experience

23:05    Seeking inspiration outside of soccer

25:21    Incorporating the Charlotte culture into match day

29:13    Embracing transient cultures

31:26    Charlotte FC’s org chart and meeting routine

34:37     Engaging with Charlotte FC supporters

38:48    Trusting supporters with behind-the-scenes conversations

42:35    Fostering supporter to supporter connections

46:45    Charlotte FC’s Year One KPIs

50:55    Transparent conversations with staff and building culture

56:25   Shawn’s parting advice


For the latest news on Charlotte FC, follow them on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Connect with Shawn via email or on Twitter

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College Leaders | Celebrating and Amplifying Your Unique Culture w/ Bryan Blair

This College Leaders segment features Bryan Blair, Deputy Athletic Director and Chief Operating Officer at Washington State University.  In the four years that Bryan and his team have been in Pullman, they’ve worked to build a culture that highlights and celebrates what is unique about Wazzou.  Bryan and David hit on hiring coaches and staff that are cultural fits, embracing your identity and taking risks to move college athletics forward.


2:31 Balancing Performance and Culture in Coaching Hires

6:21 Marrying a Coach’s Culture with the Department Culture

8:17 Defining Cultural “Fit”

11:25 Weaving Your Core Values Into Your Operation

13:56 Capturing What Works and Infusing a New Culture

15:25 Ingraining Your Purpose Statement in the Organization

16:28 Rallying Your Team Behind Your Mission

18:35 Embracing What Makes You Unique

25:41 Leaning Into NIL  

29:23 Equipping Your Team for Success

38:30 Bryan’s Billboard

For more on topics mentioned in this episode:

Washington State’s Strategic Plan

The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger

How is the Culture in Your Kingdom? – Listen to this Flip the Switch episode for more from Dan Cockerell

Connect with Bryan on LinkedIn, Twitter or via email!

Want more from EngageMint? Subscribe to our newsletter

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Lessons from Leaders – Rhett Hobart

Are you challenging your team to create new strategies and tactics to build deeper emotional connections with your fans and drive incremental revenue? Rhett Hobart and the team at Wake Forest University have been stepping outside of the box to drive wins for their university, sponsors, fans and larger community.

Rhett has seen success throughout his career, winning back-to-back “Marketing Team of the Year” awards with Mississippi State, and he’s now brought that same mentality to Wake Forest. Rhett joined us to share his approach to driving value for his athletics organization, and it starts with putting the fans first. Here are three key takeaways from the conversation:

Find new revenue streams through co-branded products

As facilities and scholarship expenses increase, athletic departments are seeking new revenue streams outside of standard broadcast rights, sponsorship guarantees and ticket sales.  Wake Forest is one of several schools launching co-branded products including beer and coffee.  Not only are partnerships like Deacon Brew more engaging for a sponsor, they create opportunities for commissions from concession sales and royalty rates from out-of-venue sales.

Create a game day experience any college sports fan would enjoy

“Welcome to Deactown” is all about connecting with the greater Winston-Salem community, particularly those who don’t consider Wake Forest their #1 team.  Rather than emphasizing the on-field product, Rhett and his team have invested in the whole event experience, including the R&D Seven Saturdays Bar and unique in-stadium student tailgating. If your team isn’t winning, or if your alumni aren’t local, market the value of coming to an event (joy, memories, etc.) rather than the product on the field. 

Keep your ticket offers simple

We’ve seen organizations create mini ticket plans to serve their fans, but as Wake Forest realized, providing fans too many options was confusing.  Instead of football mini packages, Rhett’s team created demand through tiered pricing for single games, offering four tickets and parking that increased every 30 days.  For basketball, fans can purchase full-, half- or quarter-season flex plans and redeem vouchers at the games of their choice. There’s a fine line between meeting the needs of your fans and offering too many options. Sometimes simpler is better. 

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