What if you were a fly on the wall in the break room? What if you were invisible and followed your subordinates around all day? What if you were in disguise and worked side by side with your employees all day long? Would you learn startling new revelations? Would you like what you heard? Would you be happy…frustrated…or sad?
There actually is a television show that sets up these scenarios in “Undercover Boss” on CBS. I have only seen a handful of episodes as it is not one of my regular shows that I watch. Anyway, I saw an episode last week about the C.E.O. of Rally’s/Checker’s fast food restaurants that went undercover as a new trainee at three different restaurants. He was very adamant about having the best customer service and fastest fast food culture possible. He felt that his company was doing well…until he got a dose of the real world of his restaurants.
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Through his undercover work, he discovered that there really was unsatisfactory training procedures—both for managers and regular workers; insufficient incentive plans; outdated equipment; and underachieving stores. He even shut one restaurant down for a whole day so that they could get trained properly because he didn’t want them going through the motions anymore. Because of this overall experience, he saw many things that needed to be changed. He also gave away about $75,000 to employees. Even though he thought his company was doing the right things, he realized that he was out of touch with what was really going on.
I don’t eat at these stores and I am a die-hard Chick-Fil-A guy, but I was quite impressed with this C.E.O.’s sincerity and passion to improve his product and service even though it might be painful and costly.
Do we have all the answers? Do we know exactly the best way to run our office…our company…our institution…in all situations? Would we be willing to change right away if we saw something that needed to be changed or would we wait until the next fiscal year…the next semester…the next billing cycle? If we truly want to provide the best service possible, isn’t constant evaluation and change necessary?