Just watched Undercover Boss. It’s a formula show – basically the same results each week with a different CEO, but it always gets me thinking.
If you haven’t watched, a CEO or some other high level corporate associate assumes a new identity to work on floor level to get the heartbeat of her/his own company.
Usually the CEO is trained by a fellow associate or a first level supervisor. It has more entertainment value to have her/him work on the grunge level, but since management expertise is the true barometer of efficiency and good practice, it would be more credible for those of us well versed in business practice to see him get hired to work directly under managers. I suppose it would not be as entertaining to see suits try out as a new-hire.
I suggest any of you CEO’s or franchise absentee owners watch the show and consider hiring a retail consultant to work undercover for 3 days to assess management effectiveness and reveal the heartbeat of your business… You can’t ever have the real pulse of your business based on your visits since personnel will be on their best behavior in your presence.
By hiring an uncover retail or business related consultant, you can get an outsider’s professional and objective report on
- why your profits are sagging
- your repeat / referral business is down
- your turnover is higher than normal
- training is ineffective, etc…
And how objective and observant are you really – even if you are working on floor level? You have a myriad of business details running through your mind and don’t have the luxury of evaluating the real effect of management / associate relationships – even when they are right under your nose. You are also simply too close to it to be objective.
Watch the show at least once and you’ll start getting ideas… for the better.