Undercover Boss Analysis of Jose Mas: CEO of MasTec
Name: Jose Mas
Title: CEO of MasTec
Headquarters: Miami, FL
Product or Service: telecom and infrastructure
In this week’s episode of “Undercover Boss”, Jose Mas, CEO of MasTec, goes undercover as “Manny Medino” to see the company from the employees’ perspective.
Position 1: Electrician
Overview: Brothers Alex and Kelvin show Jose how they setup a neighborhood with power, by hooking up power lines.
Result: Alex and Kelvin poke fun at Jose’s slow pace. Jose learns that Alex and Kelvin’s mother brought them over as children from South America, and they’ve struggled to make ends meet ever since.
Alex and Kelvin mention that the company unfortunately does not provide common tools they use at their day to day jobs, and they barely have enough to pay for these, let alone pay for their lineman certification courses to get to the next level of their careers.
How he made amends: MasTec will be providing all the tools necessary for the job, so the employees do not have to purchase their own. Jose notes that he will also pay for both Alex and Kelvin to attend school for their lineman certifications. Additionally, he will setup a new scholarship program for needy children in their communities.
What he should have done: MastTec should obviously be providing the tools and equipment for on-the-job needs – and Jose agrees. Paying for Alex and Kelvins lineman courses was generous, but it won’t do much to help less fortunate employees. Jose should have looked for ways to drive the price of these down – or perhaps offered scholarships to performing employees as incentive.
Position 2: Heavy Equipment Operator
Overview: Wendy and Jose use a bulldozer and steam roller to even out the ground new a new wind farm, to keep the land looking good for the owner.
Result: Jose struggles to drive the bulldozer, and ends up creating just as many dirt mounds as he demolished. Wendy notes that many people in the community take issue to her and her crew setting up the wind farms, and at one point asked her not to come back to a restaurant in town.
Wendy is has an illness that will require her to replace her teeth to correct her smile, but unfortunately she neither has the money nor the PTO days to take care of it. Wendy also states that she in debt, and only wishes she could go home one day and not owe anybody anything.
How he made amends: Jose promises to host a community event everywhere they install wind farms, to teach the community about the benefits of this source of clean energy. Jose also tells Wendy that he will pay for her dental work, and awards her $30k additionally, to help pay off her bills.
What he should have done: Reaching out the inform and educate the community is the right play here. Big energy corporations don’t have the best reputation as of late, and anything Jose can do to move community perspectives in the right direction will smart.
Position 3: Gas Line Maintenance
Overview: Rick shows Jose how to replace underground gas lines for preventative maintenance.
Result: Jose doesn’t quite have the strength nor speed to get the job done, so Rick steps in to help. It’s clear that this job can be very dangerous, as leaking gas can explode into flames. Rick takes precautions and always has an extinguisher nearby.
Rick complains that the incentive plan is far too hard for anyone to reach, and is rather demoralizing. Rick plans to marry his fiancee as soon as he rounds up enough money for the wedding. Rick’s fiancee’s sister has a mental illness, and stays with Rick for care.
How he made amends: MasTec will be adjusting their incentive program to make it more attainable by the employees. Jose gives Rick $20k to pay for his upcoming wedding, and another $25k so that Rick can provide care for his fiancee’s sister.
What he should have done: The correct move here is to lower the bar on the incentive program (after a close inspection of the performance stats to see just what may or may not be possible from the employees) – well done, Jose. An incentive plan too high is a slap in the face, while an incentive plan too low can be costly.
Position 4: Construction Crew
Overview: Hugh guides Jose through some basic construction work on a power line site.
Result: Similar to some of the previous positions, Hugh doesn’t think Jose quite has what it takes to perform at this role, joking at one point that his 11 year old child might be stronger than Jose.
Hugh is very concerned with safety. He was in an accident years ago, and Jose’s mother and father visited him in the hospital, asking how they could help further. This was touching to Jose, since his father passed away a few years ago. Hugh noted that Jose’s father used to come around and see the employees all the time, but Jose’s children haven’t done the same. Because of this, the employees were actually rather close to the Jose’s father.
How he made amends: Jose promises to visit with employees much more often, to stay in touch with their needs. Jose offers Hugh his home in the Bahamas to use for a family vacation – an all expenses paid vacation courtesy of Jose. Hugh is also given an additinal $25k.
What he hould have done: Meeting with employees more often will help Jose keep in touch with the internal feelings of his company.
Jose Mas earned a “B” grade for her appearance on Undercover Boss.
Overall, Jose did a great job responding to the issues presented by the employees in the company. His generosity was on par with many of our previous undercover bosses. He did, however, fall trap to a situation common to most undercover bosses – providing financial help to a select few, where the need is much more broad (i.e. paying for one person to go to school vs setting up a scholarship program for all top performers). As an MBA graduate, he should have seen this one a mile away.
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