HR Lessons from Santa

With his team of elves and reindeer, Santa Claus has been successfully delivering toys to children all over the world for millennia. The solid and established HR practices in place at the North Pole Workshop ensure that this happens every year!

Recruitment and Hiring at the North Pole
Santa knows that his ability to successfully deliver toys to children around the world on Christmas Eve starts with hiring the right elves and reindeer. He is diligent in screening applicants and assessing and understanding their skills. He realizes that the reindeer for his flying team need to be strong, have a good sense of direction and be able to collaborate with the other reindeer on the team. He also realizes that due to the variety of tasks in the workshop, he needs to select elves with the right skills sets and attitude! He needs multi-lingual elves to review the letters from children, planning elves to efficiently schedule work in the workshop, elves with the physical dexterity needed to work on the production line, elves with creative skills to wrap the gifts, and other elves to pack all the gifts into the sleigh! Regardless of their particular skill, all the elves need the right attitude so they can collaborate effectively in a very busy working environment.

Onboarding the Team
Reindeer and elf on-boarding and training are done to support Santa’s hiring process. He normally completes the hiring process early in the year so there is time to conduct proper training prior to the busy Christmas season. What would happen if, due to lack of proper training, the toys weren’t made well or the reindeer were unsteady and the parcels fell out of the sleigh? Children everywhere would be disappointed and Santa’s reputation would take quite a hit.

Workplace Culture
Santa knows that he needs to provide a positive and fun working environment to keep his team motivated. His workshop is bright and airy and he keeps up with the latest technology so that his elves are able to meet demand as the number of children in the world increases. Additionally, there is music in the workshop (Frosty helps with this!) and his team is treated to delicious hot chocolate and goodies (Mrs. Claus helps with this!).

Professional Development Opportunities
Santa ensures that throughout the year his elves have opportunities to learn about the latest trends in toys. He sends them to toy trade shows (incognito, of course) and provides training to update their electronics and production skills so they can make the dolls, games and toys that are most in demand. Because of these opportunities, the elves are also able to provide Santa with insight into toy trends which is confirmed and refined through the letters that children send to Santa.

Workplace Health and Safety
Santa is committed to providing a safe working environment for his elves and reindeer. The production line in the workshop has been adapted to minimize the potential for harm to the elves and the team is quick to respond to any workplace accident. If an elf does hurt themself or is not feeling well, they are encouraged to take the time to heal. Also, because Santa relies on reindeer to make the big journey on Christmas Eve, if a reindeer is unwell, they are left at home at the North Pole and another reindeer fills in for them.

Leadership in the workshop is critical and, if things are not going well, Santa knows when to step in to provide guidance and support. He is also able to recognize the uniqueness and diversity of his team as demonstrated when he promoted Rudolph to lead reindeer when the fog required his red nose. Through his leadership he helped the other reindeer to understand that differences are good and should be celebrated.
Santa’s vision and belief that all good children deserve a merry Christmas helps to keep his team focused throughout the year. In turn, the energy and collaboration of his team helps ensure that Christmas is a success and that good quality toys reach their destinations on time!

Our Elves (the team at Chemistry Consulting Group) would like to wish you and all those that work with you throughout the year all the best for the holiday season and much happiness and success in the New Year!

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