The TV reality programme Undercover Boss has been broadcast since 2009.
The same plot is repeated week in, week out -
- Gung ho senior executive dons new identity in order to work for a week alongside unsuspecting employees far away from headquarters. Invariably they are surprised to find hard working and dedicated people putting their lives on hold for the company's success. Sure there are the odd exceptions and a rogue or two are exposed, but the overwhelming message is how poorly informed the executives are and how extravagantly they respond to alleviate their consciences for their past omissions.
I often wonder how the other equally hard working employees of those companies, who don't appear on the TV show feel ,and whether they are also benefactors of the largesse?
Given the size of the payouts on offer my cynical suspicion is that the generosity on display is done strictly for the TV audience and the obvious commercial PR benefits for the company.
The one consolation of the TV shows continual repeating of the same theme is that it may eventually dawn on the wider management audience that the executives inflated lifestyles are only made possible by the sacrifices of others.
Differentials between the highest and lowest paid may erode as there is an increasing awareness that the janitor at the warehouse depot can have as much influence on morale and performance as those sitting in the isolated boxes of the ivory towers?