Since 2009, the Undercover Boss program has been broadcasted in various countries. The format is simple: the CEO goes disguised on the shop floor and returns to the office with various improvements of which he / she did not know the existence. Also, the employees who have worked with the disguised boss are well pampered with trips and money for studies. More information about the program can be found on Wikipedia. The program has won an Emmy Award.
Iceberg or Ignorance and the role of employees involved
The fact that the program still shows that the CEO does not know enough about what is going on in the workplace has already been studied extensively. A study by Sidney Yoshida appeared in 1989, in which he showed that top management is aware of only 4% of the problems in the company. This research has become known as “the iceberg of ignorance”. Yoshida also indicated that this costs 40% of a company’s profitability!
The fact that the research is from 1989 and that there are now far better systems to inform each other would suggest that the problem is reduced, but the program Undercover Boss shows that there is still much to improve.
The question is whether all problems should be known at the highest level. Theorem: if management has a complete overview of all problems in the entire organization, the greater the chance that management allocates time and space to solve these problems.
Continuous improvement (Kaizen)
Using the knowledge and skills of all employees is a very powerful way to continually improve the company’s performance and to ensure satisfied customers. The central recording of all improvement suggestions creates transparency at all levels.
The COIMBEE Toolbox contributes to the creation and maintenance of a culture of continuous improvement (Kaizen), via the dashboard and functions such as News, Like and Follow. And it supports improvement teams in the successful realization of improvements. It contributes to an agile organization, ensures committed employees and better company presentations.
Below you can view an episode of Undercover Boss