Santa’s Workshop Taps Studer Community Institute for Training and Support in 2021


  • December 17, 2020
  • /   Dottie DeHart
  • /   Training Development,leadership-development,leadership
Santa Clause working with the team at SCI!

Jolly Old St. Nicholas and his team have done a pretty decent job for hundreds of years. But Santa Claus, as he prefers to be called, is nothing if not a perfectionist — and with the stressful 2020 holiday season in high gear, he’s decided “decent” no longer cuts it. 

Today Claus announced the minute they “wrap up” Christmas (yes, he loves his puns) Santa’s Workshop will work with our team at Studer Community Institute (SCI) for some much-needed training in areas like engagement, teamwork, and communication.

“At first I thought it was just the stress of 2020, but the more I pondered, the more I saw our whole operation has needed a reboot in the fundamentals,” he admits.

“Oh, we got by fine back when kids got an orange in their stocking and maybe a hand-carved rocking horse,” Claus adds. “But expectations are higher now. There’s just-in-time delivery, supply chains are more complex, and the workforce is changing. We’ve got to step up our game, improve productivity, and be ready to work smarter, faster, and better next year. We’ve got to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep the most talented elves and reindeer.” 

Our leadership development branch is aimed at helping all types of businesses be the best they can be. We offer world-class training opportunities like webinars, workshops, leader roundtables, and more—all based on an organization’s individual needs.

We're excited to work directly with Santa to:

  • Build stronger internal teams. Lately, says Claus, the reindeer are locking horns and even the jolliest of the elves are bickering amongst themselves. That’s unsustainable in today’s workplace. The ability to work together in tight-knit, high-impact teams is crucial because that’s where idea-generation, creativity, and other highly valued “soft skills” manifest. (The hottest holiday gifts rarely spring from the mind of a lone, pointy-eared genius—usually, they’re a result of the synergy generated by a troupe of elves in sync with each other!)
  • Instill better communication skills. With the Millennial invasion joining the gaggle of old-timer elves who refuse to retire, Santa’s Workshop has become increasingly diverse. It can be a challenge for elves of different generations to “get” each other—and the stresses of 2020 have only intensified the misunderstandings. Claus says the starting point will be the Management by Strengths workshop on Jan. 21, which assesses everyone’s temperament so folks can work together more productively. “The elves might all look the same on the surface, but they are not,” he asserts. “Everyone has their own communication style. If we can get to the bottom of that, we can shift the dynamics.”
  • Deploy skills training to kick the Workshop’s digital transformation into high gear. Sure, some kids still write snail-mail letters to Santa, but most have switched to online wish lists. Plus, the “naughty or nice” list definitely needs to get more high tech than the old pen-and-paper system with its astronomical potential for errors. To address these kinds of needs, the North Pole’s biggest employer is overhauling its systems and adding a “digital” division. “We’re behind the times,” admits Claus. “We’ve tended to rationalize that it's part of our charm, but every business has to stay relevant. We’ve got to get laser-focused on retraining our staff so we can roll out our new platform by mid-year.”
  • Coach the Workshop staff in service improvement. “Service has never been more important, and customer experience is everything. Do I have to mention the ‘A’ word?” says Claus. “Okay, I will. Amazon is encroaching on us rapidly. Sure, kids are willing to wait till Christmas morning to have toys brought down a chimney rather than getting their order in two days with free shipping — but only if the experience is magical. We’ve got to ramp up the magic these days.”
  • Hold monthly roundtable sessions for Santa. SCI Founder Quint Studer is always saying to “hold up the mirror.” When Claus did, he didn’t like what he saw. He realized the stress of the job is getting to him, and he desperately needs to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs. Our Accelerate® Roundtable Program combats that “lonely at the top” feeling and (better still) gives him a chance to lay out his problems and brainstorm solutions with those who’ve been there, done that. “Santa needs camaraderie, too,” insists Claus. “There’s no substitute for talking with other folks who have similar struggles—and who have more to say than just ‘lean your ear this way’ before they launch into a giant list of stuff they want.”
  • Offer ongoing training and development. Not only will this supercharge productivity, but it will also help retain and engage employees. In a survey, 94 percent of the elves said they would stay with Claus next year if he invested in their career development. “Now that the elves have access to the Internet, they know there are other employment options,” sighs Claus. “Surveys show development is what these younger elves want most. We’ve got to provide it if we want to keep them.”  Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to see the 2021 training calendar, providing leaders and employees ample training opportunities that best fit their needs.
  • Utilize an employee engagement survey. “Of course we want to know how engaged and motivated the elves and reindeer are,” notes Claus. “But SCI says these surveys reveal all kinds of other insights on strengths and weaknesses, where we can improve, and how we can be better leaders. If something’s wrong, employees know. And after the rough year we’ve all had, we need to know what they know.” SCI's employee engagement survey is a tool designed to kickstart positive change. We'll help Santa identify his bright spots and challenges... providing him actionable steps to ensure he is engaging his elves and reindeer for many Christmases to come. 

It’s not just Santa’s Workshop that will benefit from this partnership. SCI’s larger goal is to make communities more vibrant by shoring up their local economic base.

Of course, as the North Pole becomes a more desirable place to live, it puts even more pressure on Claus to step up his efforts to be a great place to work.

“People think the Workshop is the only game in town, but that’s not true,” Claus reflects. “More and more businesses are moving in. Just last week, two hot chocolate shops and a gingerbread emporium opened. If we want to attract and keep the best talent, we’ve got to stay competitive.”

For more information as to how SCI can specifically help your company with training and development, please email Chief Leadership Development Officer Rachael Gillette at rgillette@studeri.org.