UNDERCOVER BOSS

I have no idea why I continue to watch this show. It drives me crazy! The whole point of the show is for bosses to find out what they can do to help their businesses. Sometimes that is upgrading computers, sometimes it is changing a policy to help your employees. However, gradually the focus has shifted; someone realized that those types of changes were not as interesting to watch as people receiving gifts. So now the point is to go undercover to find hard working employees and give them personal gifts to make their lives better in the short term. They also occasionally find an employee who they have to take action to get back on track. Even these less-than-stellar employees sometimes get gifts.

I do believe that everyone who oversees others should do the front line jobs at some point, and periodically throughout their career, just to remind them of how hard these people work. I also believe that every organization should have some sort of suggestion system, and maybe even someone whose entire job is to follow people and get their suggestions and find out what they need to help make their lives easier. Any of these methods need to result in changes to the company, not just individual gifts. In the first season a woman was struggling to pay for day care, so the boss set up a company day care program. In subsequent episodes, the same problem is solved with a monetary gift to pay for a service for a year or so. This will not help anyone but the recipient even though there are probably many other employees facing the same difficulties.This solution will only help for a limited time anyway. This is really a gift that is not a gift.

On the show I find that every boss is surprised by the same things. a) They have employees who struggle to make ends meet. b) Employees have lives that remind them of their own. c) Employees work very hard. d) People feel unappreciated. e) Some employees do not care. f) Some employees are very passionate. g) Some great employees feel like they have to leave.

My conclusion is that *shock* employees are people too. Companies need to provide benefits, programs, and higher wages to help their employees. No-one should have to choose between health care and food. Some people do, and the people who have the power to change this do not realize that they have it so good, and others struggle so much.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime – Proverb

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