Editor's note: The following is a guest blog by Amanda Koehler, our colleague over at ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Technologists.
CBS recently starting airing its new series called Undercover Boss. Based on a similar British series, it features company executives getting "down and dirty" in lower level positions of their corporation. For example, Larry O'Donnell, president and CEO of Waste Management, picks up trash and has to clean portable toilets. Joseph DePinto, president and CEO of 7-Eleven, has to make sure coffee pots are filled and works in a bakery.
The purpose of this show is for the higher ups in the world to learn how hard their employees work and to appreciate them more. The managers learn some surprising facts about their companies. Coby Brooks, president and CEO of Hooters Inc., is surprised to learn his restaurant chain isn't viewed as being family friendly (uh, what rock has he been living under?).
In the end, the CEOs make some necessary changes. Brooks invites two Hooters waitresses to work with the marketing department on improving the image of Hooters Girls. O'Donnell has been working on how to make conditions at his company better for female employees. And DePinto, inspired by a friendly, upbeat 7-Eleven worker who gets kidney dialysis, established a company-wide organ donation program in the employee's name and made a monetary donation on her behalf.
What if you--or those even higher up than you--were doing the low-man's work in your department? What do you think you would discover that you might not already know, either about the work your staff does or their image of management and the facility?