“Undercover Boss” Right on Target

I watched a new show last night called “Undercover Boss”. It was a fascinating look on how big companies work. Last night’s episode focused on the company, Waste Management, and its president, Larry O’Donnell. Larry went undercover to do some of the entry-level jobs in the company, from picking up waste at a landfill to cleaning out portable toilets. He met with everyday workers that only saw Larry as a new recruit –not the president of the company. What Larry uncovered was more than the tons of waste that WM deals with on a daily basis. Larry discovered how important these front line workers really are to the success of the company. It was a perfect case study into the complexity of how the big corporations work in America today. It clearly showed how the success of the executives and the company as a whole rested squarely on the shoulders of the thousands of workers across the WM landscape. Without the average worker giving 100% effort every day, the system would ultimately break.

By the end of the segment, Larry had learned this very important lesson and then went ahead and acted on his new knowledge. The lesson learned here for the broader audience, especially job seekers, is that no matter what level of your career you are working on, you matter to the overall success of your employer. It also showed that if you do work hard, it is very likely that your hard work will not go unnoticed. A good example from the episode was a woman who covered multiple jobs and worked very hard for the company. However, despite this fact, she was still in jeopardy of losing her home. Once the president noticed this situation, he acted fast to make sure that this particular worker stayed with the company by rewarding her with a promotion and a raise. Even though it took a very unusual circumstance like the president of the company going undercover to discover this situation, it still proves that when you do go above and beyond what is required of you by your company, you will be rewarded.

Take a look at your current job situation and make sure that you are doing everything you can to go above and beyond for your employer. Though it is very much becoming the norm in these current economic times to work harder and to wear multiple hats, it should end up paying off if you are with the right company.

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