You have probably watched the ABS reality television show, Undercover Boss where the owner or senior executive of a company goes to work as a line employee with the goal of getting a more honest assessment of how that company is doing and how the leadership team is perceived. It is the wrong approach.
You have probably watched the ABS reality television show, Undercover Boss where the owner or senior executive of a company goes to work as a line employee with the goal of getting a more honest assessment of how that company is doing and how the leadership team is perceived.
The Wrong Approach
At first glance it sounds like a great way to understand your business better, but in truth it is a terrible way to manage people and your community or company. Here is why:
1. It is ultimately a “gotcha” strategy – It breeds distrust in management. If I as an employee know that you the boss are sneaking around, trying to uncover secrets I will expend a lot of effort creating a defensive work strategy. This means, I will do the bare minimum, I won’t take risks and I will always be watching my back. I will not be at my best ever.
2. You should know what’s going on – If you don’t already know what’s going on in your organization, your senior community you are a bad boss. It means you are spending too much time in your office and not enough time on the floor of your community. If you are a regional or corporate leader, you are not spending enough time out talking to employees, residents, families and vendors.
If you are spending the time and still don’t know what’s going on then it means you are not willing to listen to what is being said. This takes two forms, either you are not taking to heart what you’re being told or people are so afraid of you, that they are not telling you the truth or the whole truth.
3. Being an Undercover Boss is not Leading – If you are the boss it’s your job to set the direction of your region, your senior community, your department or your company. This means casting a vision, then gathering feedback about how that vision is being received and implemented and making adjustments so that your vision is an effective tool. Being an undercover boss means that in effect you are allowing someone else to do the leading, which usually means some subordinate with an agenda some family member or resident is determining how your community is being run. This is not a good thing.
Finally, you need to be a visible boss not an invisible boss. Your team, your families your residents need to see you, they need to know you. It is hard to list all the benefits of being visible: You will know what’s going on. You will be more engaged. You need that personal relationship with . . . everyone. I would argue that you need to be friends with your employees, residents and their families. You will be more effective and as an added benefit, you will be a lot less likely to be sued if something does go really really wrong.
Read more about what’s wrong with being an underground boss in the article that inspired this post titled Why You Should NEVER be on Undercover Boss.
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Finally: If you know anyone who is looking at emergency call systems I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with them about Vigil Health Solutions.