Santa Claus might just be the hardest-working guy around. He delivers billions of presents to children around the world every year – and he’s never let us down!
That got us thinking – with such a great track record, Santa must have plenty to teach us about succeeding at work. In an exclusive interview, we asked him to share his top 4 workplace skills. This is what he told us...
'What did Santa say when we asked him for his top workplace skills?'
Skill: Hard work
“I have to manufacture, package and deliver presents to the world’s 1.9 billion 0-14 year olds. On top of that, I manage and house a workforce of 3,000 elves, keep the factory running, deal with the millions of letters that start to stack up in December, and make sure the reindeer are fed and watered.
Working hard helps you achieve results, keeps you motivated, and is rewarding. It also shows the people around you that you care about your work, demonstrating to your boss that you’re an important member of the team. But don’t overwork yourself – a good work/life balance is really important. I find time to put my feet up with a mince pie and a glass of sherry most evening – hic!”
Skill: Good organisation
“If I spent the year sunning myself in the Maldives and left all the hard work till December, think of all those disappointed faces on Christmas Day! Thorough planning is essential to Operation Christmas. That means calculating how many children we’ll have to deliver to the following year (even the ones who haven’t been born yet), recording naughty children, planning the most efficient route, and ensuring everyone gets just what they ask for.
Being well-organised helps you stay ahead of deadlines, plan important tasks with enough time to spare, and lets you focus on the work, not the admin, when it comes to the crunch. Poor organisation on the other hand means less time for reflection, missed opportunities, more mistakes and added stress. Elf team leaders manage my workforce, and I always impress on them the importance of being staying ahead of the game.”
“So Christmas Eve rolls around – the big night is here, and it’s all or nothing! With so many children to visit, every moment counts. If I’m not punctual to the second, someone’s going to be left without a present.
Punctuality helps you stick to your plan, makes a good impression to your boss and colleagues, and helps you avoid feeling like you’re constantly catching up. It’s especially important for interviews and on your first day at work – it’s always a mark down for any elf who turns up late to interview.”
“One guy. 3,000 elves. And a lot of wrapping.
The ability to inspire and motivate a team is crucial to getting the job done. My mantra is that a good boss leads by example, so I’m never afraid to get my hands dirty when things get busy. I try to be kind and patient and treat everyone as an individual – so long as they play fair. To my mind, these are the key characteristics of all the best leaders.
You may not go into work a fully fledged leader – and no one would expect you to. You should still take every opportunity to hone your leadership skills – whether that’s by captaining the sports team, leading a club or society, or even founding your own. If you're the quiet type, how about taking responsibility for something as part of your team or group - you don't have to be in charge.”
Thanks Santa – we know you get thousands of interview requests every Christmas so we’re very grateful you found the time to speak to us. For more tips on skills that employers look for, check out our articles on employability skills. And have a Merry Christmas!