I saw an ad for the upcoming season of Undercover Boss the other day and it made me think about the concept and how it impacts the business it spotlights.

You know the show – the one where the boss wears a disguise and goes “undercover” to learn about his employee’s personal lives and hear their ideas about how the company can be more efficient and cost effective. The boss is usually surprised at how hard his employees work, how frustrating the job can be, and how loyal his team is despite all that. And a few employees receive rewards and promotions for their insights.

There are hidden cameras, fake beards and sloppy wigs. That seems like a lot of work to stay in touch with the people who work for you. The employees on the show yell, cry, shake their heads and storm off in frustration. And sometimes the boss does the same thing. That seems like a lot of angst to uncover whether your company is running as efficiently and effectively as it can. And it certainly doesn’t do much to elevate employee morale.

It may not seem obvious as you get caught up in the story, but the boss only hears from a few employees. Imagine if she could hear from each and every employee. And imagine if she could make lasting, impactful changes for the entire organization rather than just a few individuals.

You can learn a lot if you hear from every employee in your organization, regardless its size. And when you do, you’ll learn about strengths and gaps that you may not be aware of. There are likely strengths within your team that will help you move your company forward – unheralded leaders, suggestions for process improvements, or insights into customer behaviors that can predict new products or services (and income). And there are probably gaps in your team’s ability to deliver on your brand which may be as simple as upgrading software or improving internal communications.

But you won’t know about these strengths and gaps unless you ask.

And fair warning, don’t think you can just have your Human Resources team send out a Satisfaction Survey annually to get the insights you need to improve your employee’s lives, your company’s efficiency and your customer loyalty. In order to uncover the true strengths and gaps in your brand, you’ll need an outside, objective and trustworthy organization to ask the questions, evaluate the responses and provide the insights and strategies. MBM can help.