Santa’s elves are so highly motivated and engaged, there’s never been a need for a performance improvement plan at the North Pole and they think turnover just means a folded pastry filled with apple!

So how do you emulate Santa’s workshop to generate happy, productive employees, who love going the extra mile, with permanently shiny eyes, brimming with passion, excitement, exceptional customer service and motivation?

Having a value and a purpose

Creating magic for every girl and boy by making toys and goodies to be loaded on Santa’s sleigh is a purpose bigger than the elves themselves.  They know their mission is to make that delivery happen and that their work impacts millions of people in a positive way.  They know where their organisation has come from and where it’s going.

Engaging Managers

Santa fills his workshop with joy and laughter.  He focuses on each of his elves individually.  He knows every one of their names and treats every one the same.  He gives them the tools to do their jobs, gives them scope and coaches and stretches them with gentle encouragement. Elves receive lots of positive feedback and recognition from Santa every day.  There’s no micro-management at the North Pole!

Employee Voice

The voice of the elves permeates the workshop.  The elves know what their customers want, they talk to them and read letters to Santa.  Santa sees the elves as central to the Christmas delivery – to be involved and listened to, always contributing their experience, expertise and ideas throughout the whole year.


In the workshop, Santa’s behavior and interaction with the elves embodies a message of trust, respect, and value.  Promises are made and promises are kept.  The values on the wall are reflected in his day to day behaviours.  There is no ‘say –do’ gap.  Santa’s actions form the message elves believe in and speak so loudly that he rarely needs to say anything about what he believes.  Everyone knows!

These are not the only factors that make elves happy at work, these are the basics, which employers should follow for success with their employees.  If you implement these factors every day in your workplace, you’ve gone a long way towards creating a performance boosting employee culture.

For help in evaluating your culture, removing any barriers to performance and putting an engagement plan into practice, please Contact Us.

The future is bright, work with us to expand your Horizon.