The Employee Experience in the North Pole

Brynne Ramella

Santa Claus may be the face of Christmas, but the real heart of his operation is his elves. They work tirelessly year-round to ensure children around the world get their gifts. That makes them Santa’s employees. As with any workplace, their employee experience deserves to be examined. 

We’ve chosen a handful of Christmas movies in order to do a deep dive into the employee experience in the North Pole. We’ll judge each movie on the following criteria:


2003’s Elf follows a man named Buddy, who is a human raised as a Christmas elf. He eventually leaves the North Pole to meet his human father. But before that, he works alongside the other elves at Santa’s workshop. 

Takeaway — The elves in Elf are happy and supportive colleagues who respect their boss. However, management could stand to update their workshop with more comfortable working conditions. 

The Santa Clause Franchise 

The Santa Clause follows Scott Calvin as he falls into the role of Santa Claus. He visits the North Pole on his first night on the job. Because of that, he gets a good taste of the way that his predecessor ran his workshop. 

TakeawayThe Santa Clause offers a pretty stellar employee experience for its elves. The main area for improvement would be in employee-supervisor communication. 

Fred Claus

Fred Claus follows Fred, the older brother of Santa Claus. After years of not being involved in Santa’s life, Fred begrudgingly visits his brother for the holidays. While he’s in the North Pole, he gets to know some of the elves that work for Santa. 

Takeaway — Of the workforces we examined, this North Pole has the most room for improvement. Management should set more realistic goals for elves, so their stress doesn’t bubble over during inappropriate times. 

Of the three holiday movies we examined, The Santa Clause’s version of the North Pole sets the gold standard for elf employee experience. Elves are happy, and their teams are adequately staffed. They seem genuinely fulfilled by their work. No matter the industry, this is the employee experience that all companies should strive for.

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