santa's elf smiling and working, overtime employee tracking

Why Santa’s Workshop needs a Workforce Management Solution

Timothy Lozier Blog, Events Leave a Comment

It’s Christmas time, and that means there is one workforce out there that is working harder than any other for the biggest event in the year.  No….it’s not Amazon.


Santa is hard at work with his elves building toys, wrapping them up and loading them onto the sleigh for a night of perhaps the largest overtime accrued in the history of overtime.  Santa runs a pretty amazing operation – thousands of workers providing millions of presents to the boys and girls all over the land.  How does he keep up?  How does he handle wage and labor?  What about overtime?  How do these little guys get paid? Does Santa have a Workforce Management Solution?


Let’s break it down (full disclosure – I have no idea what Santa pays his elves, if he pays them at all.  Perhaps Candy Canes are a commodity up there, perhaps they have a good union.  I really don’t know – but it’s fun to imagine):


  1. Scheduling Elves:  Posts and Qualifications are important toymaking Components

So, Santa’s got this major operation of 1000’s of elves working on various different aspects of the workshop.  Some are working building toys; others are working on painting and assembling; others might be in the wrapping department.


I’m going to wager that each elf is highly specialized and has qualifications for each post they are working.  So in order for Santa to appropriately schedule out the right elves, he needs to post the schedule by post – you don’t want a wrapping elf assigned to a post that only a building elf can work.  He’s got to have a way to visualize his schedule and have the ability to only schedule out the elves that meet the qualifications.


Using a Workforce Management Solution, Santa can visualize his schedule by department, by post and then filter the elven team with workers who are only qualified to work that post.  Having a solution with this intelligence allows Santa to focus less on filling out the schedule, and more time figuring out if you’re naughty or nice.


  1. Even Elves have to work Overtime: 

This one has me a little worried.  There are elves working around the clock building, assembling and wrapping toys for us, and I can’t imagine they are only working a 40 hour week.  There has got to be some overtime incurred, especially during a “high season” such as Christmas.  How is he tracking this Overtime?  Does Santa worry about his costs of Overtime?  Does he have any costs?  How do elves even get paid?  Whatever it must be, Overtime rules are probably the same in the North Pole as they are in the States.


Luckily for Santa, he can track and manage his overtime through a proper Time and Labor Management within his Workforce Management Solution.  Having the ability to visualize the schedule by elven qualification AND by how many hours they worked for that week, he can see which elves are under hours and schedule them out more efficiently.


  1. Elves Need Time Collection like anyone else – it’s probably just Merrier

So, Santa has a schedule set, and broken it down by his elves’ qualifications so they are assigned to a post that matches their skills.  How do they know when to work?  How can they clock in and out?  What if they need to swap shifts?


Luckily for Santa, his Time and Labor Management Solution has a way for the elves to clock in.  I think GPS is probably spotty in the North Pole, so Geofencing, while a great tool here, probably won’t work.  I doubt they have a Telephony system; probably no service there either.  No, Santa is using a biometric clock in system that elves can scan their prints in when they come to work, and get recorded for their time, breaks, and accurately connects this time worked to the system.


Elves should also be able to swap posts too.  What if they had too much Hot Cocoa the night before and want to swap with another elf?  They can send out a swap request to an elf with the same qualifications and same post, and have Santa approve the swap.  This way, the elves can better dictate their schedules, and Santa can focus on his flight path for Christmas Eve.


  1. Getting Paid Properly, the Elven Way

So, we are already going on the assumption that elves are probably not paid in cash – I’m thinking we use candy canes as the preferred North Polian currency.  Whatever it might be, Santa has to make sure that his elves are getting paid properly for their time worked.  This means that the Time and Labor worked must match the Time Earned in their peppermint-flavored paycheck.


By integrating his Time and Labor Management Solution with a Payroll Management Solution, Santa can directly link his elves’ time schedule to their payroll.  This way, elves that work overtime can get 1.5 candy canes, extra deductions for candy cane benefits, or wages worked are all calculated in real time for Santa.


(and if you’re still thinking about candy canes as a form of currency, I sympathize)


That’s Santa’s Workshop – there’s always the wonder of how he gets it all done, and it’s not just one man delivering presents in one night.  There is a whole workforce of elves that help him out, work tirelessly for the boys and girls of the world, and they work hard.  Santa has to have a Workforce Management solution that properly schedules his elves, tracks and manages time works, allows them to clock in for work, and lets them manage their schedule.  On the other end, all this work is rewarded to them in the form of payment that is interconnected to the time work.  This way, their allotment for candy canes is exactly what they worked for.


While I’m sure your operation isn’t quite like Santa’s workshop, I’m sure you face similar (albeit less merry) challenges.  Having a Workforce Management Solution that allows you to visualize your employees’ schedules, post based on qualifications, and track overtime is key to success.  Furthermore, having an integrated payroll management solution with Time and Labor management can take the manual work out of matching time worked to time earned.


And with this level of automation, you can rest easier, knowing there will be a Merry Christmas to All, and To all A Good Night.

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