Recently I started watching a show called “Undercover Boss.” If you’re not familiar with it, company CEOs decide to do some surprise field visits incognito, posing as candidates for a job on a reality show.
If you’ve seen the show, you know it follows a pattern. The formerly disengaged CEO gets a chance to go “into the trenches” with service employees. They stumble and bumble their way through manual labor tasks and through interviews with their mentors, find out some personal things about them. At the end of the show, the three or four mentors the CEO had turn up to corporate headquarters and the big secret is revealed.
In most cases, the CEO will recognize them for their good performance, but also will reference some kind of personal challenge and then provides them some kind of financial support or gift. It’s a big feel-good moment and everyone is happy.
Now I know it’s a TV show and that it’s probably largely staged, but the big question is: If you were featured on “Undercover Boss,” would you be rewarded or reprimanded?
Maybe a better way to ask the question is: Do you do your best work when the boss isn’t looking?
I get asked all the time about how to build in job security in uncertain times. The only way to do it is to constantly add value and do your best work. If you’re looking for some ways to do this, ask yourself the following:
Ultimately, our job security is in our own hands. We can’t do anything to prevent a bad economy or industry changes, but we certainly can make the best use of our job and our time at work.
Take some time this week to ask yourself: “Am I doing my best work when the boss isn’t looking?”