Undercover Boss: Getting Ideas from the Frontline

Undercover Boss: Getting Ideas from the Frontline

Engage Employees by asking them, ‘what would they do?’

This was my first time watching Undercover Boss and I really enjoyed the interaction between an executive and frontline staff. This show is a great way to catch a glimpse of a company's organizational culture.

Catherine Monson, CEO of Fast Signs, the largest provider of signage in the world, really listened to her employees and as a result came away with some great ideas. In the process, she engaged her employees and improved her organizational culture. A strong organizational culture doesn't just increase employee engagement, it leads to innovative ideas and an improved bottom line as well.

The CEO’s first task was to help a client customize their sign order. This particular job is the first interaction with the customer, and the CEO was excited to jump in at the beginning and witness the sale process from the start. She was also pleasantly surprised to work alongside an employee passionate about working for Fast Signs and making their customers happy. To me, this indicates that Fast Signs has already put a lot of work into creating a strong organizational culture and cultivating employee engagement.

In fact, this employee had some advice for the company almost immediately on how to increase sales. She felt that the marketing emails that went out to customers weren’t that well developed and came off as ‘spam’. She felt the company could be doing a better job in this department, and bring in more sales for each franchise in the process. As someone who works with clients from the very beginning, this is most likely the best person to solicit advice on marketing campaigns and client outreach.

The next job given to the CEO was with a 13 year veteran of the company. He had similar advice for the CEO, but this time on how to improve the company’s website. Although Fast Signs is the largest sign company in the world, they still don’t offer online ordering. To compete in an increasingly web-centered market, this isn’t just great advice- it’s a make or break.

Already fastsigns.com displays that Convenient Online Buying is Coming Soon .

How’s that for prompt attention to the idea of an employee? The CEO also made a commitment at the end of the show to improve the look of the company’s email and marketing campaigns. I would love to see the numbers after implementing the advice of these two employees; I feel confident that Fast Signs will only increase their sales after the CEO had this unique opportunity to improve employee engagement and build a stronger organizational culture.

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Kelli Marjolet  is the Marketing Manager and a blogger for Great Place to Work®.