Come and join us around our fire for a special Christmas story about how an HR catastrophe was narrowly averted at the North Pole earlier this year and - thanks to a sprinkle of festive magic - Christmas has been saved for millions of children around the globe.
Frontline workers across all industries have been under huge pressure this year and the North Pole elves are no different. The situation at Santa’s Workshop grew so grave that Christmas itself was at risk.
The elves were faced with long hours, staff shortages, increasing operational demands, and soaring expectations all while having to do their jobs with out-dated tools that weren’t fit for purpose. As the year went on morale began to drop and the Christmas spirit began to wane.
“I’ve never known a year like it”
Twinkle Merryweather, one of the elves who oversees toy production, explains.
“I’ve never known a year like it,” she said. “Elves have always wanted to work at the North Pole but this year many began to leave. From going to star in the new Lord of the Rings TV show to taking on more flexible gig economy jobs, we were faced with a mass exodus.
“We knew we had to do more to get them to stay which is why I told Mrs Claus - our HR Director - we needed something more enticing than unlimited candy canes to make them stay.”
“The very fabric of Christmas was starting to rip at the seams. Without our elves, we’re nothing”
After listening to the concerns of her frontline workers (and having to deal with an increasingly stressed out Santa who was ruining their home life), Mrs Claus set out about finding ways to rekindle the magic that had been lost in the workshop.
“Something had to be done,” said Mrs Claus. “The very fabric of Christmas was starting to rip at the seams. Without our elves, we’re nothing. The true magic starts with them. For too long we’d been relying on goodwill and, if I’m honest, both Santa and I had taken the work they do for granted.
“Twinkle Merryweather was fantastic. She brought to me a list of everything the elves wanted. Many said they wanted more flexible working hours so they could spend time having more snowball fights, riding the ice slides, and enjoying all their hobbies with their friends and family. Others wanted more recognition for the amazing work they do and wanted us to listen to them more. Some wanted better communication and everyone said their lives would be so much easier if we could optimize their tasks for them.
“You see elves are usually such happy little creatures it’s very easy for them to get distracted with all the fun and chaos of the workshop - it’s why they love a list to work through because it keeps them focused!”
"Now, the elves have everything they need in one place"
Mrs Claus and Santa put their heads together to try and solve the problem. They felt terrible the elves were having such a tough time and knew there must be something out there that would help them solve all these problems.
Santa said: “I’m a man of tradition and, while my magic hat helps me with all things Christmassy, I’m not great when it comes to new technology. Luckily, those bright little sparks in our ElfTech department found the perfect solution.
“They built a magical app that every single elf can install on their elfPhones. I’ve never seen anything like it. Now, the elves have everything they need in one place."
“They can see when they are working, easily switch their shifts, message each other and message me, get their to-do lists and much, much more. I can even send them little badges of recognition when they’ve done a particularly great job and I know Mrs Claus uses it to send out surveys asking them how they’re feeling and if there’s anything we can do for them.
“They’ve been happier than ever since they started using it and production in the workshop has gone through the roof. It really has given me my ho-ho-hi back!”
With the elves now full of smiles (and many returning from their adventures in the big wide world) Christmas is safe for another year. By putting his workers first, Santa has seen the Christmas spirit reach even greater heights and is now ready to jump in his sleigh with his reindeers to spread joy and happiness around the world.
So, wherever you are this Christmas, think of Santa and his elves. Remember those around you who help make magic a reality every single day. Thank them, cherish them, and give them what they need so they can shine like the stars they truly are.