Undercover Boss – Where are Your Managers?
What are They Doing?
I like watching Undercover Boss on tv. Despite the fact that I know it’s somewhat contrived, the show demonstrates two important facts:
- how out of touch CEOs are with their employees and
- managers and executives are simply not managing.
We wonder why there are so many unhappy employees in today’s marketplace – watch this show and you’ve got the answer.
Why Don’t They Know What’s Going On?
Every week the same question comes up: What the heck are your managers and executives doing since they don’t seem to know what is going on and problems and issues go unresolved for years?
In one company, the CEO discovered that one of the employees had to urinate in a can on their route! Come on – this is ridiculous! How humiliating to be put in such a position! It’s obvious management doesn’t really care as long as they have their washroom!
Another CEO discovered that one person in the office was performing multiple differing duties – alone – no relief – no backup and no help. How could a manager who regular talks to employees and observes the work wouldn’t know this and find solutions?
Last night, an employee of 20 years felt unappreciated and invisible to the company management – no one to pat this guy on the back for 20 years! He was right: he was invisible to a management team so disconnected, it took 20 years for someone to see the issue.
Today, management seems to be so disconnected from everyone in the company – each other and all the other employees.
I know why. Too many managers today have obtained degrees and few, if any, have started from the bottom up of a company. Everyone wants to come out of university and earn big bucks. The companies accommodate.
In university, one learns a lot about theories and analysis. The tragedy: no one teaches people with degrees how to apply and challenge the theories and the analysis. We have way too many “academic managers” and not enough hands-on management. Good management needs both.
My advice: Get out of your heads. Get out of meetings. Get talking to your people. You’ll be amazed how much less stressed you are and how much more is accomplished which is productive, innovative and constructive. Undercover Boss will show you how much you can learn “walking, talking and connecting”!