What happens when the workplace is cast under a TV spotlight each week? Well this is what is happening with the currently “in vogue” Undercover Boss and for that matter Celebrity Apprentice.
While amongst some audience members, clearly this is presenting good TV, unfortunately this is not necessarily presenting what is indeed good for you!
The shows labelled as “Reality TV” convey the message that they are depicting not only the workplace, but as well, how often difficult workplace situations should be dealt with. Concluding with the famous line “You’re Fired!”, may make for a dramatic ending but is off the mark in terms of representing what goes on behind the scenes in what is required of an HR Professional in terms of preparation, any due process or for that matter satisfying legal requirements.
Additionally, while drawing out sympathetic feelings from viewers witnessing the difficult struggles confronted by employees outside of the working world may make for interesting TV. On the other hand it raises real internal equity issues for HR Total Rewards practitioners when it comes to some of the monetary rewards and relief that the Undercover Boss dispenses in more of a Game Show fashion than what might happen in any actual workplace.
While these shows at times serve up some sentimental stories and perhaps entertaining conflict, they must be taken with a significant grain of or better still “chunk” of salt as HR Professionals will profess at the end of the day, the so called reality in reality TV, is far from the truth!