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What does Santa know that you don’t about the value of employees?

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 22, 2013 11:38PM



Christmas Eve is just two days away and all those elves at the North Pole are very busy in Santa’s shop. Santa cannot afford to lose any elf right now or during the rest of the year because he’s one smart small business owner.

Years ago, Santa realized that beyond the upfront costs of hiring any new elves he recognized all those hidden costs that so many other small business owners don’t take the time to reflect and understand.

For example, some of those hidden costs are overworked elves who must make up for the missing elf or unhappy children (customers) who may just stop believing. Yes, the costs to hire a new elf (employee) are indeed two to three times the salary of the one who just quit or was terminated.

Of course, Santa’s elves are not like millions of employees surveyed by Gallup over the past years where just over 50 percent know what is expected of them each day when they show up for work.

Yes, you read that right; just over 50 percent!

Santa knows how to communicate with crystal clarity his expectations. This clarity of communication allows for increased productivity. No wonder at least 75 percent of all his elves are actively engaged all the time compared to the 25 percent for those businesses south of the North Pole. (Source: Gallup’s Annual Poll of Workforce Engagement)

Santa’s hiring process is also quite different because his business model is about elves (people) first and revenue second, given he collects no sales for his once-a-year distribution unless, of course, you count all the Christmas cookie and glasses of milk. He wonders why more mid-size to small businesses do not embrace his people first business model.

Believe it or not, Santa gives each of his elves several assessments beginning with knowing the elves decision-making styles, 78 key talents and their capacity for stress. Then he follows with an assessment about the each elf’s communication style. Next comes an assessment specific to what motivates each elf to ensure his elves are not just motivated by money. Finally, he has each elf take a relationship management assessment to ensure his elves are emotionally intelligent to each other because Santa’s shop is a crazy busy place with the potential for short tempers.

These assessments provide both Santa and the elves opportunities for reflection. Additionally, Santa is able to schedule the right elves for the each shift to maximize everyone’s strengths and communication styles.

After all the toys are distributed and Santa rests for a few days, he uses these assessments to support all performance reviews. Yes, Santa does know the value of his elves. The question is do you know the value of your employees?

P.S. Shout Out: All Food Banks in Lake and Porter counties



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