Posted on Feb 20, 2012 @[email protected]

Can You Learn a Lesson in Management From Your Television?

Do you ever find yourself wondering whether the people highest up in your company really now what it feels like to actually work for their company.  The new reality show, Undercover Boss, offers CEO’s the opportunity to really experience the everyday trials and tribulations of their employees.  So what can you as a manager take advantage of the lessons this show has to offer.

One the show the owner of a company or a high level executive go undercover, posing as an entry level employee at their own company.  They take on an alias as an entirely different person with a different background and altered appearance.  They say that the film crew is working to create a documentary about entry level employees and usually work for a week within their company being trained by a new employee each day.  At the end of the week they go back to behaving as their normal self and meet with each employee individually typically handing out promotions, financial rewards or better working conditions.

The old saying you’ll never know a man until you walk a day in his shoes rings especially true in the business world.  Instead of having your employees shadow you, try shadowing them.  It’s important you let them know that the purpose of this exercise isn’t to critique or evaluate them but to ensure that they have the best work experience possible.  A good way to do this is to shadow a star employee, typically you’re best employees will have a greater feeling of job security and will be able to best be honest with you about what could use improving.  They’ll appreciate the opportunity to give you their feedback and will also be thankful that you’re taking the time to learn about what it is they do everyday.  If you are thoroughly impressed by their abilities and work ethic consider giving them a raise or a bonus, or at the very least taking them out to lunch.  It is important that you use this time to see how you can improve productivity and the work place environment.  If you notice that the office is largely anti-social do what you can to put a little fun into the work day.  If you discover that certain tasks are taking too long consider delegating some of the work to another employee.

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