Regardless of your opinion of Undercover Boss (mostly in the realm of hate it/love it, with little in-between), it’s generating fascinating discussion in the workplace. (For example, check out Paul Hebert’s review.)
That discussion is also resulting in important lessons learned for current and prospective managers. I want to highlight a few of them here.
From Sharon Lauby, aka HR Bartender:
- “Management by walking around [MBWA] still works.”
- “Speak up when something is wrong.”
- “Training is not optional.”
From Jane Vanderhorst’s The Inside Voice:
- “Start the conversation … Are you talking to your employees to understand what they love about their jobs, and what frustrates them?”
- “Make people part of the solution … How can you engage employees in solutions for challenges that touch them?”
- Announce the changes … After you get feedback from employees, are you communicating the results back to them?”
I also like Paul’s advice (at the end of his review) on how executives can benefit from the show – tell staff you’re going undercover and then monitor the downstream communication.
What’s your takeaway from the show? Are people in your organization capitalizing on what they’ve learned from watching it?