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3 Secrets to Santa’s Operational Success That You Can Apply Today

By / December 13, 2016 / , , , / 0 Comments

Operational SuccessWhen you’re running one of the most recognisable operations in the Western World, better be on top of your game. Even Santa Claus need a strategy to achieve operational success.

Yes, the elves work for free in a slave-like/child labour style arrangement, so wages aren’t an issue. Yes, you don’t have to pay any taxes, as no one government controls the North Pole (and besides, you’re pretty good at hiding from satellite sweeps and tax collectors anyway).

But you’re in a remote location. Staffing is an issue. You work to very tight deadlines, and are heavily reliant on key personnel performing their jobs at 100% efficiency.

So what’s Santa’s secret to operational success? We sent HR systems specialist, Billy Arrigo, undercover to find out:


Operational Success#1 Strong organisational structure & hierarchy

Every elf in Santa’s workshop knows who reports to whom through the use of clearly communicated org charts. If you need to find out what the hold up is in the Nerf gun department or why half the teddies are missing an eye, every elf can simply access the workshop’s org chart online and get the contact details of the elf responsible.

Not only does this lead to greater accountability amongst the team, but it also helps ensure there are no miscommunications or wasted time spent trying to track down key individuals.

Of course, sensitive information like salaries (or lack thereof) is locked down to prevent the naughty elves from breaching Santa’s privacy policy.


#2 Up-to-date HR Reports & Metrics

Each team in the workshop must work to strict budgets and headcounts to ensure team leaders aren’t over-stretched and production costs don’t blow out. Little Timmy has been good, but he hasn’t been $5000 bicycle good.

Using the data in Santa’s HRIS, all the workshop’s org charts automatically show the allocated budget and actual spend of each department based on salaries. They’ll also show any team leaders or managers who may have too many staff underneath them with a red highlight, making it easy for Santa to identify who may need some extra help before they burn out.

The beauty of these reports is that Santa doesn’t have to get his elves to manually pull the data – all he has to do is hit refresh and he’ll see an up-to-date snapshot of his entire workshop at that exact moment.


#3 Succession Planning for Operational Success

Training reindeer handlers is hard. When a handler is tragically devoured by an overly excitable Rudolph, it’s important for Santa to already have a few key elves groomed for the position to take the reins.

Key successors are constantly being identified using Santa’s Succession Planning tool, which rates each elf based on their Current Performance and Potential for Growth. By visualising this in an org chart, Santa drags those most suited to the role into his Succession Plan.

Note that he doesn’t just choose one elf for each role – you need contingencies in case your planned successors leave too! (though honestly, where are those elves going to go?)

Finally, these succession plans are shared with the elves in question so they are motivated to grow, learn and pick up the skills required for their future career path. It’s a great way to keep morale high without increasing expenses.

If you are wanting to to improve your operational success, ensuring your organisation runs as smoothly as Santa’s workshop – check out org.manager today.

about the author

Peter is Navigo's founder and Managing Director. Peter is passionate about building and running businesses, finding solutions to business process problems and new trends in HR Technology.