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Most of us have heard of Santa's omniscience in knowing and grading children's behavior on a simple pass/fail (bad/good) scale. But in the past few years, there's been an exciting new development in the whole “Naughty/Nice List” tradition in the form of mass market Elves on the Shelf (shown below being all smug and judgmental). These elves are made to surveil children in the weeks before Christmas, covertly reporting back to Santa what they witness for ease of naughty/nice determination.

I saw that.

While initially seen as a huge advance in collecting timely child behavior data from the field, the elves too are not without their flaws. Some words about the elves from those in Santa’s workshop highlight their drawbacks:

  • Inconsistent reporting in the field. As one workshop elf revealed, “Some elves will report every stolen cookie or overdue library book, while others will ignore infractions that would result in serious jail time. You can’t trust them to be fair or consistent.”
  • Who’s watching the watchers? There is no oversight on the field elves, and many go rogue, failing to report on anything, and ignoring their surveillance duties.  As noted in one shameful Pinterest board, some of these elves treat the time away from Santa’s workshop like prisoners out on parole. Supervisor elves and even Santa himself has no way of knowing what these remote workers are up to, or how they’re sullying the Santa name and legacy.
  • The awful commute. Even for elves that are diligent in their duties, there is the problem of reporting back to the big man. Every night, the elves make the long trek back to the North Pole to spill the beans on their surveilled children yet return to the field site by dawn. “It can be literally thousands of miles,” revealed one weary elf. “Sure, we’re magic and can travel incredibly fast, but it’s still not instantaneous. Plus, jet lag is murder.”

How Fulcrum revolutionizes naughty/nice data collection

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With field inspection apps like the one shown, elves are given clear directions and checklists for children’s deeds, both good and bad, ensuring consistent grading from house to house, and elf to elf. Supervisors back at the workshop can easily check in on elves’ locations and even watch as they do their work to ensure that every elf is not slacking off to party with Barbie. 

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Finally, gone are the days where an elf would have to end his exhausting day of spying with a quick trip to the North Pole to give a report. With field inspection management software, the data is uploaded and shared in real-time with any supervisor or Santa himself for quick cataloging of naughtiness and niceness, along with available powerful custom reports to swiftly determine whether a kid deserves a PS5 or a lump of coal. And for the real hard cases, the elf in the field can refer the erring child for follow-on remediation activities from a colleague.

Thank you to Santa and his field team of elves for trusting Fulcrum for naughty/nice reconnaissance – and happy holidays and a prosperous New Year to all!

To learn how Fulcrum field inspection management software can help you better manage your teams with location-based data, start your free trial today!

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About the author

Linda is a Content Writer at Fulcrum.

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