Undercover Boss: Quality Reality Television

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Undercover Boss is an enjoyable, family friendly reality show that airs on the CBS network. The show is educational, both for viewers and for participants. Plus, it has positive outcomes for company featured on the show, the company executives and the company employees.

First of all, being on Undercover Boss is a fantastic PR move for any company. It portrays the company in a positive light. This is especially evident in the Undercover Boss episode about 1-800-Flowers. In this episode, Chris McCann visits several company locations and addresses issues that the company faces: the employee payment structure, attracting customers and modernizing the product line. This show addresses the company’s shortcomings, figures out ways to fix them, and cleans them up neatly, all in a one-hour episode.

While the show may come off as contrived, it does make you feel good. During the episodes, you see muti-tasking, underappreciated workers find their way to success when the executive recognizes their work. This was especially evident in the Waste Management episode of Undercover Boss, where the visiting executive learned just how much one of his employees does in her everyday role.

Undercover Boss greatly benefits the organizations featured because it attracts new customers. In the 1-800-Flowers episode, the boss had a very pointed discussion with an employee about gaining new customers through an advertising campaign. While I don’t doubt a campaign was launched, I think the airing of the television show also aims to increase the quantity of customers entering various 1-800-Flowers locations.

This show is also great for employee morale, because at the end of the episodes, positive changes are made in the workplace. This also boosts employee morale because employees know that the executive visiting company locations actually has a clue what people are doing. It’s easy to envision a CEO as just a guy at a desk, and to be fair, in many cases, that’s true. How many bosses really understand what the people on the floor are doing? Having CEOs become involved with various aspects of their corporations is a positive for both senior leadership and the ‘lower level’ employees.

Undercover Boss is enjoyable to watch. You have the opportunity to laugh at the funny parts, and you feel positive when the boss makes company employees happy. It’s also fun to see one of the company ‘suits’ act like a trainee who doesn’t know what he’s doing. The truth is, it’s nice to see the high-level, untouchable guys live a day in the life of the little guy. Most of us are low on the corporate totem poles ourselves, so it’s fun to imagine our own executives doing what these guys are doing!


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