Elf Motivation 101: Insights from Santa!

Photo credit: Axente Ovidiu, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The count down begins.  Santa’s checking the list twice.  He’s finding out who has been naught or nice?  Sounds familiar?  How does the big man in the red suite keep everything going smooth in this chaotic holiday season?  Think of all the Elves, Ms. Claus, 8 Reindeer, and one special Reindeer (Rudolph), how do you keep them all working together?

Santa, being the person that he is, must have exceptional interpersonal skills.  I often wonder how he manages to find each Elf’s strength and utilize this in the workshop.

There has to be a huge sense of understanding in life/work balance.  He has to truly love his job as I think any normal person would be screaming if they had to keep up with the naughty or nice list.  What vendor demands, right?  Smartphone for kids, gaming devices, etc….

And Ms. Claus, it has to be a major relief from the “home” team that has an understanding that planet Earth’s kids are all depending on him to deliver gifts on Christmas.

Reindeer?  What does Reindeer motivation have to do with Elf motivation?  Without the 8 Reindeer, Santa would have to find another method of transportation.  The motivation of those responsible for carrying out the end results makes a big impact.  If the Reindeer team does not work well, the Elves will become upset, Santa will be stressed, and Ms. Claus will not be a happy camper.  That’s where the Reindeer champion Rudolph steps up to the leadership plate – to execute the remaining steps for Christmas by Santa.

We all agree that keeping your team highly motivated during the peak times is crucial.  Having the right people in place will make a difference in how taxing it will be on you to motivate these individuals.  For the Elves, Santa ensures the Elf’s are happy, well feed, working conditions are good, and each Elf skill set is used wisely.  I’m sure we would not want Santa to be late on Christmas because of an Elf skill set mismatch because all the toys was not produced on time?  I think the Elf’s have a say also in what they like doing in the toy shop – I’m quite sure they are not robots just putting trinkets and gadgets together.  The demands that Santa’s vendors place are very taxing – ghee look at all the technology changes from just over a year ago.  I’m still amazed at how the guy genuinely balances all the relationships – and keeps peace in the house.

If you remember anything about the story, Rudolph actually comes to Santa willing to help in a time of crisis.  Do you support or have created a work environment that others would voluntarily commit to if a crisis happened?  If you have the slightest reserve in answering the question, or running out of ways to keep the team motivated, check out your team members capabilities to see if you are utilizing them correctly.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!  (Blogging will resume the week of January 9, 2012 – everybody needs a break, including Santa).


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