So last night the series started for Channel 4’s Undercover Boss series. As normal in our house in the evening we tend to get drawn into doing more work or research on the internet so I have programmes like this recording on Sky so we can watch it when we are ready. It was probably about 10pm by the time we got to watch it, and the good thing about watching from record is that you can skip past the adverts (if you remember you can wizz it on)
It was a really good programme and very interesting to watch. The director Andy surprised me right at the beginning that he was the head of Marketing but had never been to a holiday resort before. How on earth can you market something if you have no idea what it is really like or the type of people you’re marketing needs to aim at. Surely in any company part of the basic induction should be spending time hands on.
Anyway he was really prepared to get his hands dirty and I’m sure the Park Resorts staff relish the image of Andy with his hand down the toilet. There were some cringe worthy moments on the show especially when the Cleaning crew manager said that she hated her job, and then the general state of the kitchen was pretty awful and makes you question how food is prepared in fast food restaurants.
After comparing 2 holiday parks, he did though realise that there are alternative ways to pay and reward people. Rather than just paying cleaners minimum wage it worked much better to reduce the number of supervisors in order to give a much better wage to the cleaners. As Andy said it was the cleanliness of the caravans that was the most important thing to get repeat business.
One thing that I don’t understand is how the staff don’t think something odd is happening when a random guy turns up with a film crew who is meant to be making a documentary about learning a new job, but he speaks quite posh, and asks questions about what they would change and how they feel about working there.
I’m sure the whole experience will make a difference to how he thinks about the whole structure of the company and the value of the staff further down the line out of head office. The other Directors who he reported back to look like they could do with a fun week away at a holiday park though!
One classic line that Andy came out with about Management is that the staff in a company are affected by the Managers shadow, which is why the Cleaning Manager who hated her job passed that negativity to the team, and the happy, motivated cleaning manager had a great team behind her. It all boils down again to the importance of staff in a company who are the ones who hold the keys to make it a success.