I know that sounds like the opening line of a groan-worthy Christmas cracker joke, but it’s a serious question. I’m not sure of the exact employment status of the elves – does Santa pay them a living wage or are they volunteers, working at the North Pole because they want to make a difference to children’s lives – but whatever the legalities of it all, they are Santa’s team. He is their leader and, as such, he has a big responsibility communication-wise.
So why is it so important to get his communication with his team right? What difference will it make? Here’s a few reasons for you to consider and perhaps apply to your own communications with your team:
Successful organisations have teams that want to do well. They want to do their best for their employer, for themselves and for their customers (in this case, excited children waking up on Christmas day eager to take a look in their stockings). Despite the busyness of the pre-Christmas period, Santa has to make time for communicating well with his elves – finding out how they’re doing, making sure they understand what’s required of them this year (goals and targets may have changed since last December) and listening to feedback about improvements to products and processes from those on the frontline. Good elf morale is crucial. Happy elves mean happy children.
2. Customer satisfaction.
The team of elves who are tasked with reading children’s letters to Santa have to be engaged with paying close attention to what each child has asked for. There have to be good communication processes and channels in place for making sure that they pass this information on to the manufacturing teams quickly and effectively. And then the right gifts have to make it into the right stockings on Christmas day – effective communication is a key part of successful logistics. At the end of the day, non-one wants to see a sad little face looking at a gift from Santa that was meant for someone else.
3. Avoid duplication.
With so much to do in such a short space of time, Santa’s workshop has to be running like a well-oiled machine. Everyone must know the role they play and how it connects to the next elf’s job. If duplication of effort creeps in because elves don’t know what other teams are actually doing, things could start to go wrong. And Santa would do well to remember that elves don’t want to be duplicating on purpose, they’ll be doing it because they think something needs to be done to keep children happy. Keeping the lines of communication open all around the workshop means any potential issues can be ironed out before they even occur.
And one last thing to remember about communicating with your elves, Santa – don’t talk down to them! (Sorry, that is a groan-inducing cracker joke, but I couldn’t resist!)
If you would like to improve your communications with your team, please get in touch to find out how I can help you be more like Santa.
I’d like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year!
Until next time