5 Reasons Santa’s a Bad Manager


Every year, Santa Claus judges millions of children on whether they have been naughty or nice, determining if they’ll wake up Christmas morning to a beautifully-wrapped present or a stocking full of coal.  This year, we are turning the tables and judging Santa’s abilities as a manager instead. As it turns out…he’s on the naughty list! Here are five reasons why Santa is a bad manager, and how you can learn from his shortcomings:


     1. His Ego’s as Big as His Belly

Santa’s the head honcho, but he acts as if he works alone. He takes credit for work done by others (the elves, who else?!) and openly accepts all praise without acknowledging others’ efforts.

While Santa may be the only loveable narcissist, these are not appealing qualities. Narcissistic managers are only concerned with themselves and how they can use their employees to get ahead, constantly taking credit for others’ work.


     2. He Plays Favorites

Ever heard of Rudolph, Frosty or Buddy the Elf? How about Mrs. Claus? These names stand out because Santa plays favorites instead of showcasing all of his workers equally.

As a manager, it is not easy to give time and attention to everyone equally. In fact, most managers prefer to spend time with their top performers or employees they like best. However, in order to maintain a positive culture, managers must expand their time and attention across the entire office.


     3. There’s No Room for Growth in the Toyshop

After hundreds of years, Santa’s elves are still Santa’s elves. He doesn’t promote from within and hasn’t done any succession planning. How does he expect to keep the elves around once they realize there is no room for growth in the toyshop?

Managers who do not promote growth are limiting the potential of their employees and eventually, this will show in employee engagement and quality of work. People want to know their contributions will pay off and eventually take them up the ladder in the company.


     4. He’s Stuck in Century-Old Traditions

Santa Claus has been around for centuries and unfortunately, so have his business techniques. Stuck in old traditions, Santa insists on delivering presents around the world in a sleigh and making the elves build every toy by hand. Sure, it gets the job done at the end of the day, but at what cost?

It is important to stay on top of new trends and advancements in order to stay relevant in the business world. With things constantly changing, upgrading and advancing, it can be easier to shut down and revert to the way things have always been done. However, a manager who does not recognize this or refuses to adapt is only hurting the company and their staff in the long run.


     5. Where in the World is Santa Claus?

As we near the holiday season, business at The North Pole hits its peak. To be most productive, Santa should be present in the workshop, monitoring the work and pitching in to get it done. Instead, he is visiting shopping malls and being featured in parades. Although this is part of his job description, it leaves the elves wondering what matters more: supporting himself or The North Pole.

Absent managers can result in employees feeling unsupported and lost, without anyone to turn to for guidance. While employees should be able to function when the manager is not around, they also should be able to rely on their manager for assistance and support during hectic times.


While these qualities are present in many managers, this may be an extreme example so don’t worry, we really do love Santa Claus. Hopefully we don’t get coal this Christmas!

Are you adding to your team this winter? Let us help! 

About LaSalle Network

LaSalle Network is a national staffing, recruiting and culture firm with business units that specialize in accounting and finance, administrative, call center, healthcare revenue cycle, human resources, management resources, marketing, sales, supply chain, technology and executive search.

We partner with companies across the country to help find top temporary and direct hire talent and grow their teams.

Our team is here to help you find your next role or find great talent for your team. Don’t hesitate to contact us.


Share the Post: