With the holidays fast approaching, our minds are focused on our personal lives, friends and family—anything except business. But oddly enough, during the height of the retail profit-making season, we are able to learn a lot about running a successful company. In light of the holiday season, I’d thought I’d share the wisdom I gathered from the classic holiday film: Miracle on 34th Street.
Customers are human, business should be too.
It’s amazing how far a little kindness in this world can go. By simply putting the needs of a frazzled mother and her son before the bottom line, Kris Kringle was able to create a loyal customer base and a positive word-of-mouth campaign for free—a 100% return-on-investment (ROI).
It’s important to recognize and reward star players.
Even though Kris Kringle single-handedly made Macy’s a household name during the all important Christmas-shopping season, he was almost fired—twice! It would’ve been wiser for Macy’s to be more tolerant of Kringle’s eccentricities considering how well he was performing for them.
Mental health issues can have a significant impact on work.
Although Macy’s employed an in-house counselor, they did not go far enough to verify their employees before hiring them. If they had, they would have found out about Kringle’s previous institutional stint and could have avoided the entire competency hearing.
Violence in the workplace is no laughing matter.
Having an employee lose it at work is bad for all involved. The provocation of Kringle by another employee set-off a chain reaction of legal events that while ending happily in the film, may not end so happily in real life. With stress at an all-time high, especially during a busy season, it is important to combat stress before it leads to a violent blow-out.
The tale of a disenchanted young widow and her daughter who overcome their cynicism when confronted with the impossible reality of a real Santa Claus has always been one of my favorite holiday movies. Turns out it’s educational as well as uplifting.