Recently, when I was watching this show – Undercover Boss, I got to think, what would I have done, if I had an opportunity to be an Undercover Boss on the show. For those folks, who are not familiar with this show, please look at this link here. In a nutshell, this show is about how company’s CEOs and executives work undercover in their organization, and how they find opportunities of improvements through their experiences while working as a normal employee. If I were given an opportunity like this, then I would focus my questions on the following areas…
The whole picture: When you are in the field or working as a line employee, you want to find out two most important things about your employees and work culture, if you want to improve any kind of efficiency in your business. First, try to understand the depth of the knowledge people have about your organization as a whole. Second, try understand what kind of major misnomers are floating around the company regarding company’s perception and internal processes. By asking questions related to these area, you will get a rough idea on how educated is your workforce regarding your company’s functions, and what are some of the wrong assumptions that are made in their day-to-day work life.
The money flow: Not all employees need to understand all the details in the 10K (annual report) of your company. I don’t expect an IT Engineer to understand each and every financial detail about the company, but at the same time they should have some rough idea on how the business functions at its core. At least in the IT field, most people have never been taught how their business works, and hence, they fail to see importance of some critical decisions that we need to take to keep the business running. Thus, it is very crucial to ask your employees about company’s financials, and gauge their understanding on company’s core businesses, and how the company makes money.
Value of their work: As an executive/CEO, you should always make sure that your employees understand the value of their work. Then it maybe the IT Engineer, Janitor, or the field engineer; they should understand that they play a crucial part in your organization’s success. Thus, asking questions like.. “How is this job related to company’s overall success?” or “How is your job making a difference in this organization?” would be very helpful in understanding employees behavior towards their job, and how they perceive their work in the bigger picture.
What would you do here? I mean…. what would you ask, if you were given this opportunity? I would love to hear your perspective on this. So, keep on posting. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi.