Santa's performance review

Dec 22 2006 by Wayne Turmel Print This Article

I don't know about you, but I hate writing performance reviews. Then I got to thinking that some are harder than others. Take Santa Claus - what would you say about him?

Annual Performance Review

Employee: Claus, Santa

Reports To: CEO/ Global Operations

Communication Skills

Exceeds Expectations: - Employee continues to excel at interpreting orders and communicating changing needs to his direct reports. This has become particularly challenging since the advent of email. The typical child now sends an email through portals such as and, rather than by hand-written note. Peak arrivals number 400,000 pieces per day, 5 days before project delivery date. Formerly hand-written letters would arrive from late November, to allow for postal delivery problems and make for easier order fulfillment.

Employee Relations

Meets Expectations- 360: Employee continues to receive accolades from his direct reports, constantly referred to as "Jolly" and "Merry". He is, after all, quite literally a saint. This is doubly impressive given the special needs and diversity issues of a mixed Human/Elf workplace. Accommodations such as specially sized workbenches and jumpsuits for the clean room were made in a timely manner to the satisfaction of all.

degree feedback continues to be solid, although there have been complaints of reprisals (lumps of coal rather than bonuses) to complainers and those considered "naughty" but no credible witnesses have come forth.

Project Management Skills

Exceeds Expectations: There were complaints that there was insufficient training for existing staff to move from the wooden/plastic toys to the growing electronics division over the last couple of years. The Union filed several grievances which have been settled.

Additionally, shorter order cycles (see communications) means accurate staffing has been a challenge. Employee tried to avoid layoffs during the slower season but still meet financial metrics. The North Pole is a one-industry market, and unemployed elves are a social problem for the whole community.

For now production schedules are met and barring another introduction of a new game console, should remain steady over the next year

Succession Planning

Does Not Meet Expectations: Employee has held his current position for almost 1400 years, since his promotion from Bishop of Myra in our Turkish division. While he has stepped up to the challenge of building a global operation with superb Customer Sat numbers, there is no sign that he has identified leadership capable of filling his shoes, or is giving serious consideration to delegating responsibility.

HR is concerned (especially given his current age and health which is in clear violation of our corporate Wellness standards) and will hold a meeting in the next month to identify candidates and lay out a professional development plan just as soon as we can find someone willing to tell him.

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About The Author

Wayne Turmel
Wayne Turmel

For almost 30 years, Wayne Turmel has been obsessed with how people communicate - or don't - at work. He has spent the last 20 years focused on remote and virtual work, recognized as one of the top 40 Remote Work Experts in the world. Besides writing for Management Issues, he has authored or co-authored 15 books, including The Long-Distance Leader and The Long-Distance Teammate. He is the lead Remote and Hybrid Work subject matter expert for the The Kevin Eikenberry Group. Originally from Canada, he now makes his home in Las Vegas, US.