HR Happy Hour Workplace Movie Hall of Fame: ELF

Hosted by

Steve Boese

Co-Founder of H3 HR Advisors and Program Chair, HR Technology Conference

Trish Steed

CEO and Principal Analyst, H3 HR Advisors

About this episode

HR Happy Hour Episode 504

Hosts: Steve Boese, Trish McFarlane

This episode of the HR Happy Hour is brought to you by Paychex, one of the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement, and software solutions for businesses of all sizes. 

Financial capital has long been established as a key driver of business performance, but today, business leaders are increasingly recognizing the importance of their human capital in driving success. Download Paychex’s latest guide to discover why breaking down the silos between HR and finance can result in better business strategy and growth, as well as 14 simple HR metrics your teams should be tracking, and why. 

To download the e-book, visit  

This week we brought back the Workplace Movie Hall of Fame with a Christmas favorite, Elf, and how it relates to the workplace today.

– The importance of using skills to find “best fit” careers

– What makes a good mission statement?

– Reskilling employees when organizational needs change

– The benefits of employees taking initiative at work

– Company culture around the holidays


Thank you for joining us today!  Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour wherever you get your podcasts.

Transcript follows:

Steve 0:20
Welcome to the HR Happy Hour Show with Steve and Trish. Trish, this is one of my favorite shows that we do periodically on the Happy Hour podcast, it’s workplace movie hall of fame day. Back on demand.

Trish 0:36
I know and I feel like you know, sometimes I feel like we should dedicate shows to people. Do you ever think that? We haven’t talked about it, but I feel like I would like to dedicate this show to Tracy Volkman, who is one of our biggest fans when it comes to workplace movie hall of fame shows. So this show is going out for Tracy!

Steve 0:57
Absolutely, she’s fantastic! And she’s with Paychex, our friends, our sponsor for the show, so thanks to Paychex for all their support. We’re going to be talking about a holiday movie, Elf. Yes, we’re talking Elf. We’re getting into holiday season, Trish. You know, the clocks change thing just happened and as we record this it got very dark pretty early today. Since we’re close to holiday season, here’s the question of the day. Which holiday tradition or custom or practice are you like, I’m out on that? I’m done with that. I don’t dig that one. Is there anything that you’re like no? Not for me?

Trish 1:35
You know what I think? Sort of, I guess. I think that there’s this unwritten rule that you cannot prepare for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or any of the December holidays before Thanksgiving. That’s just kind of like the unwritten rule here in the US. And I feel like with the pandemic and everything we’ve been through, I actually started decorating today. So we are recording this a good two weeks before Thanksgiving.

Steve 2:08
Yeah, it’s early November.

Trish 2:11
You know what, I need it and I started putting it up. I’m not going crazy. The other thing is, I’ve always been like an artificial tree person and I’m taking the easy way out this year. I’m gonna just get real trees. So it’s super easy. I don’t have to like put it together and worry about all that stuff. Real trees. What about you? What are you like, no more of?

Steve 2:31
I can think of just one off the top my head when I started this question. Here it is. I think it’s kind of applicable to what we’re talking about. The movie A Christmas Story. Played ad nauseum at Christmas time. Like even like to the point where it’s on, like, in the US here. 24 by seven on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I think that movie stinks. I think it’s very overrated. I hate it. And I’ve been subjected to a couple of Christmases over the years where I’ve been somewhere where I had to be subjected to it for hours on end. Even in the background, and it’s awful. So that’s when I’m out on I think that movie is terrible and very, very overrated.

Trish 3:11
I, you know, yeah, I’m probably sick of that one. Because I’ve been watching that one since I was a child. So, speaking of Christmas movies, though, before we actually get into the review of Elf and how that applies to the workplace. I sat down and watched a Christmas movie this morning. I just went on Prime Video and searched like Christmas movies like those Hallmark kind of movies, you know, that are a little cheesy. Although it was called it was called the 12 dates of Christmas. Do you remember that show? I can’t remember his actor’s name but the show Saved by the Bell.

Steve 3:44
I remember the show vaguely. Yeah.

Trish 3:45
And the guy that played the main character, right. Anyway, he’s in this movie. It is now my new favorite Christmas movie. The 12 dates of Christmas. Think like Groundhog Day meets Christmas movie.

Steve 3:58
Okay, I’ll be sure to miss that one. We’re here to talk about actually a good holiday movie. Underrated holiday movie. Actually, it’s probably properly rated. If I come to think of it. A lot of people do like this movie. I haven’t seen in a long time. We’re to talk about the holiday movie Elf. Just a couple of a couple pieces of data on Elf, Trish, to remind our audience, Elf was released in 2003. So it’s pushing almost 20 years old, which I was surprised. Very surprised. Did 167 million or so in the box office was the number seven movie in 2003 directed by Jon Favreau, who actually makes a cameo appearance in the movie as an actor.

Trish 4:41
Can we just say how amazing he is? Love Jon Favreau.

Steve 4:45
He’s great. Swingers, come on? I’d watch Swingers all day long.

Trish 4:49
Very Bad Things. Oh my gosh, yeah, I could watch Very Bad Things a million times.

Steve 4:54
And so the movie stars Will Ferrell as the Elf, James Caan as his father he didn’t know, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Ed Asner as Santa, Bob Newhart, Artie Lange, one of my all time favorite comedians as the department store Santa does a great job in a small role. So yeah, Buddy Great. Raised as an oversized elf at the North Pole, Trish, a human travels from the North Pole to New York City to meet his biological father who doesn’t know he exists and is in desperate need of some Christmas spirit. So that is Elf, tons of workplace stuff in this movie.

Steve 5:33
Right at the top. And I know you you kind of focused on this, like we learned in the before the even credits roll about what the workplace kind of like what can an elf do for work?

Trish 5:47
Right? Well, so just to kind of set the tone for me, like, I have never seen the entire movie, like start to finish. It’s one of those movies like if it comes on, it’s kind of on in the background. So I’ve seen bits of it over the years. And it, was actually really good to sit down and really watch it. So yeah, right. Before it even really starts. They’re telling you there are three jobs that elves can have. You can work making shoes, when the cobbler goes to sleep, right? And they’re all very angry about him going to sleep. Or you can work in a tree Keebler elves making cookies make lots of workplace risks, because they mentioned the tree catching on fire and all the dangers that happen. Yeah. Or they say you can work in the big show, which is Santas workshop. So it was just interesting. Right away. We’re thinking about it, like from a work perspective. And I’m, I’m sort of in my head thinking, Ah, this might be a bit of a stretch, no. First thing, it’s about work.

Steve 6:43
Yeah, right off the top. And we learned also that really, only the elves can make the toys, right, like other folks, other types of the trolls can’t make toys, right? Like the elves or for whatever reason are really well suited with our temperament with their skills.

Trish 7:00
Skills, right? Yeah, they immediately talk about the skills.

Steve 7:03
They sure do. And the elves are just like they’re gung ho. Like they’re excited. And I think one of the other really big, we’re talking about Elf, which is kind of a silly movie, right? Overall, a good movie, I enjoyed watching it again. But like, right off the top, after we sort of learned the elves can do these jobs. And here’s the job you really want. You want to make toys, you know, incentives workshop, like we see like, like a staff meeting, or like a team meeting or going for an elves all hands meeting, right, very early in the morning, complete with PowerPoint, although maybe it wasn’t actually PowerPoint. But there was a slide and I wrote this down with three bullet points on the slide, which was kind of like the elf code, if you will, the Santa organization mission statement. Did you catch that like fairly early in the movie as well?

Trish 7:56
Now that you’re saying it? Yes, I remember. But no, I didn’t even write that down. So isn’t that funny?

Steve 8:01
Yeah. And so they’re the head kind of four person for elves, I guess in charge of the elf workers. I wrote down the bullet points. There are three bullet points of the the elf code or the Santa organization, kind of mission statement. Here they are, one, treat every day like Christmas, right? That was number one. Number two, there’s room for everyone on the nice list in quotes, right? The nice list right, right, everyone there. And finally, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Which probably doesn’t have a ton to do with the actual manufacturing of the choice but is important later.

Trish 8:38
Yeah, that’s pride. Right, pride in your work, pride in your what you’re doing. I think that’s interesting. Those are things like if every company right now just use those three, I think we they’ll be much better off. Right?

Steve 8:51
Which is kind of the beauty. Yeah, the beauty to me of just saying, Hey, this is what we’re about here, elf team, elf organization, Santa’s toy making operation. These are the things that are important to us. We need you to buy into these things, right? This is how we’re going to succeed. And everybody was kind of bought in and they were like, super simple. Like, I think, I think often we just overthink a lot of this stuff, right? Like if you could distill what your organization really cares about into three short little bullet points, right, and share that with everybody and sort of get everybody to buy in. I think a lot of organizations would probably be better off.

Trish 9:27
Yeah, are really just one. I remember when I worked. I know I’ve told you before, but when I worked at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, we had one it was to do what’s right for kids. And it made your job so easy, because if you couldn’t in your mind, tie it back to that mission. Don’t do it. Yeah. Easy as that. Don’t do it. It’s not valuable. Right. It might be interesting, but it is not doing what’s right for kids, then don’t do it. Yeah, yeah. We need shorter mission statements, I think.

Steve 9:59
Yeah. I totally agree with that. And just ones that sort of connect with people, right on a more visceral kind of emotional level as well. Like, it’s really hard to rally around, you know, we strive to be the number one supplier of, you know, precision hydraulic automotive parts to the, you know, general aviation industry. Like that could be a good mission. And that could be a really good business, maybe if you could do that. But it’s hard to get really gung ho about that. Yeah, precision autoparts hydraulics, man, you know, love it.

Trish 10:29
You know what, that’s where, whether it’s your C suite, or the HR team or whoever communications team, whoever would work on that. They can easily distill that down to something that is meaningful, right? If they actually put the personal side into it and said, here’s why we make precision hydraulic aircraft parts or whatever, right like that. We’re actually helping people get their work done. Go see their family Rite Aid is again, yeah, like you said, connecting it to something really meaningful to an individual is probably the way to go. So yeah, great lesson from Elf, who knew?

Steve 11:05
Yeah, there’s lots of great workplace lessons in this movie, like pretty early in the movie as well. We see Elf, Will Ferrel. All right, the human who’s been raised as the elf, Buddy, right, the character name. He’s not very good at making the toys, right? We see this kind of early in the movie, he’s trying to make extra sketches. Right, we just got to try, which is pretty awesome toy. By the way, I’d like to get another one. But he can’t do it. He’s like way under quota, you can’t really make them. And a couple of things that are kind of interesting happened in that little part section in the movie, I thought one was the other elves who are sitting around with him also making the extra sketches like that they don’t come down on him. They’re really supportive. They’re there, they encourage him they compliment him there with him. Like they don’t kind of come you know, they don’t turn on. Like I say, come on. Yeah, come on, buddy. You’re like you’re bringing us all down, which I thought really interesting.

Steve 11:59
And then second, they kind of find some other thing he could do, right? They sort of figure out, okay, you’re not good at this will put you down in the QA department, if you will, and test out the jack in the boxes, right? And we see there’s a little scene in there where that becomes his new job. And it’s meant to be funny. But I also think it’s important from a workplace perspective as well, like, just because someone doesn’t really fit in the role. Exactly, you know, that you thought they would when you hire them. That doesn’t mean they’re, they should be just kicked out, right? Maybe there’s something else you can find for them to do that’s more suited to their quote unquote, special talents, which they talk about in this movie.

Trish 12:38
I think everyone should take note of that, because you’re right. I think also, you know, when you when you think of that on the surface, you might think, Oh, he’s being demoted, which has such a negative connotation. And really, when we would call it repositioning people. I’ve done that, there was a guy one time he was in a job. It was a very complex job. But anyway, he had been at this company a long time, and they were going to do a reduction in force. And we wound up asking him he was so friendly. He knew literally every person in the entire company. Pretty big company. We want if we needed someone in the mailroom, the salary wasn’t too too different. I mean, honestly, it was a little bit of a demotion, quite honestly. But long story short, we asked him and he was like, I would love that. He excelled. I mean, over the next couple of years, he just it was his niche, he found he could go around, he could deliver the mail, he lifted everybody’s mood. And he wound up getting promoted to being over the entire mailroom, which got him making more money they made Well, to begin with. So yeah, I think it’s a good thing to remember, don’t just don’t just do a demotion with no explanation of opportunity. Or don’t just let someone flounder or they could have just let Buddy flounder, with his etch a sketch making until he was either so frustrated, he quit or got fired. Right. So I like that they’re kind of introducing that concept of actually repositioning someone to something they’re going to be successful at or will hopefully be successful.

Steve 14:10
Yeah, and the idea that everyone’s got a talent of some kind, but a unique special talent, everybody’s going to be good at something. And maybe if we have just a little bit more patience, a little bit more inquisitiveness, a little more concern or care about the folks we’re working with, we find that thing for them if they want to find it right. And if they want to, to to be with us longer term. I think that was a really good lesson, actually.

Trish 14:31
Yeah, I think we’ve talked a lot about it throughout the year to just on our shows around neuro diversity and differences. And there are a lot of people who may not be able to do kind of the standard jobs that we have, as they’re written on a piece of paper. But when you look into the special talents that someone might have in their abilities, you’ll be surprised at how you can actually put people into roles that you might have never thought possible and then they they can see something different in that role where they really enjoy it and bring more to it than you ever thought possible. So Yeah, I think the movie is just good at kind of opening up your mind to the possibility for workers.

Steve 15:05
Yeah. And so the next workplace kind of area I want to talk about in the context of this movie is what happens at the department store. So Elf Buddy, Will Ferrell, right ends up finds his way to like one of the big department stores they call it Gimbels in the movie but it’s kind of like your whatever your quintessential big giant like Macy’s city yeah department store that does the whole Christmas Village Santa thing that department stores Santa who comes and the children you know, get their photos taken with the department start Santa’s etc, etc. This thing is huge. First of all, what’s fascinating is he just kind of wanders into this place. And the guy who’s in charge, like the supervisor of the Santa area, just, like assumes he works there. Because he’s dressed in an elf costume.

Trish 15:53
He’s got it, yeah.

Steve 15:55
He has no idea who he is. No, you’ve never seen him before. He just assumes okay, I guess you work here, which I felt was weird, right? Like, how the the supervisor had no idea. You know, didn’t question it. I know it’s a movie, whatever. But like, but Buddy throws himself into this job. And what the interesting thing is because he’s so into Christmas, is most of the other workers particularly the Jovi who becomes like his, quote, unquote, love interest in the movie. Like she’s just punching the hours, right? She’s just there for a job. She’s just there for a paycheck, right? She’s like, a lot of people in those kinds of hourly, especially seasonal jobs are right, you can’t expect too much from them. But he throws himself full on into this job. He has working in fan his workshop at the department store, and no one can really get why, I guess is what what was interesting to me.

Trish 16:44
You know, it’s interesting, because he brings so much passion for what they were doing, which is making a really great environment for the children. And, you know, one of the first things he does after the store closes is he sets to work really just amping up the level of Christmas decorations. And you know, everything. So he’s really just someone who would be the ideal worker, and in a job like that, you know, it’s funny, as you’re saying that it reminds me of last night, like a lot of times you don’t think like someone would just walk in and start working. But we went to a concert last night, my family and I did. And before it, we went to dinner at a restaurant and it was pretty quiet. And they were definitely understaffed. There was a sign at the front desk there that at the podium that said, please wait to be seated. Well, we waited and waited and a line was forming behind us and there’s menu sitting there and they’re clearly tables. We’re kind of doing the looking around sort of thing, like what’s going on, where’s the person the hostess or host?

Trish 17:43
Finally, my son Jack, just like, he just takes over. He’s like, alright, well, I’m just gonna stand back here. And I’m gonna seat people. Wow, just like grab the menus. And he was very nice. And he’s like telling the people behind us, like, how many do you have? Okay, we got two menus, we’re gonna get you seated, whatever. And it’s funny because so it’s kind of like that you can’t I guess nowadays, just just walk in and start working. I think they would have hired him. Honestly, you could tell the bartender was trying to like supervise all of this going on. She was grateful. She was just grateful. So yeah, sometimes maybe the trick to getting a good job. Well, I know if it’s a good job, but getting a job. Walk in and start doing it. Start doing it. If they appreciate you and you’re doing a good job, like maybe they’ll hire you.

Steve 18:28
Yeah, that story is certainly a testament to like the you know what’s going on in America right now with right understaffing, and no one can find people, especially in a lot of the service industries and the restaurant and hospitality. It’s like, yeah, it’s brutal out there. That’s a funny story. Yeah, it’s. So it was kind of interesting, though, that, you know, the elf kind of dives into this job, which again, most people would think, Oh, this is just kind of a crappy seasonal, you know, put in the hours job where this silly costume, and he throws himself all the way into it, which I thought was pretty cool. And just kind of reminds you that hey, like, a lot of jobs are what you make of them. You know? Like you you even the worst jobs, I’ve had some awful jobs, right. But like, you know, you can find that one or two things that you can claim to you to help you get through it. And also to help you kind of prepare for you know, something better down the line. Right. I think that’s a good lesson as well.

Trish 19:21
Absolutely. Yeah, that I think too, in that particular sort of sequence where he’s going through kind of starting his work there. There’s one point where the supervisor comes like storming back in and he’s really upset because it’s decorated so beautifully. He feels like someone’s trying to sabotage him, right? Yeah, his job. So he’s like, if you figure out who it is, you call me on this radio right here. Like he’s so into his radio and, like, it’s just weird. You know, you think about taking your job too seriously, is also a little bit of a problem. I think if you’re, you know, if you’re not someone who’s willing to maybe take pointers or help from other people. I just I found that supervisor to be pretty interesting too.

Steve 20:06
Yeah, he was a good character. She was let’s take a quick pause and thank our friends at Paychex, sponsor of our show and just great friends to us. This episode dedicated to Tracy Volkman, our really good friend over there. This episode of the HR Happy Hour Show is brought to you by Paychex from the leading providers of HR, payroll, retirement, and insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Financial capital has long been established as a key driver of business performance. But today, business leaders are increasingly recognized as recognizing the importance of their human capital and driving success. Download Paychex latest guide to discover why breaking down the silos between HR and finance can result in better business strategy and growth, as well as 14 Simple HR metrics your team should be tracking and why To Download This eBook, please visit That’s and thanks to our friends at Paychex.

Trish 21:03
Yeah, absolutely. Did you know an interesting fact about Paychex? I heard I don’t know if it’s true. But I heard the rumor that actually Santa’s and his workshop, they use Paychex to pay the elves.

Steve 21:16
They should. They want to get it done right. They want to keep up on like regulations and compliance things,

Trish 21:22
all of that because you know, at the North Pole, like you’ve got to really stay on top of the laws up there. I mean, there’s all kinds of different tax withholdings and things like that. So yeah, I heard Paychex is handling that for them.

Steve 21:32
Paychex takes care of Santas payroll. I love it.

Trish 21:35
They do.

Steve 21:35
So the one other thing Trish I thought we it probably is important to talk about in the context of Elf that we see a lot, you know, from a workplace movie hall of fame perspective, his buddies, biological dads, workplace and the things that happen there. So the whole again, the whole point of the movie is buddy travels from the North Pole to New York City to discover and to meet his biological dad who’s played by James Caan in the movie, he works in publishing a children’s book publishing specifically doesn’t own the company, but he’s, you know, an executive they’re taking what books get published, and cetera, et cetera. And, boy, there’s some good workplace stuff there for sure. Like, first of all, like, buddy’s dad, the dad in the movie, James Caan is like a workaholic, kind of ignoring the family, but under a ton of pressure. So I give him a little credit, right? He’s under a ton of pressure from the person who owns the publishing company, you know, to achieve certain results. So I do feel for him a little bit in this movie, that he’s really being squeezed, right. And he’s actually worried about losing his job.

Trish 22:39
Yeah, and right there at the holidays, too, which tell me this? Have you ever worked somewhere where they do reductions in force this time of year? I’ve worked it two or three places and I’m not gonna say where I get that it is the end of the calendar year, and you’re trying to cut costs, but Oh, my goodness, like, I can’t even tell you how many times I had to do reductions in force for people right at Thanksgiving. And why? There just has to be a better way. Really. I mean, honestly, if it were me, I’d rather be laid off in October. And just give me some kind of a better severance or something and, or help getting a new job. But like, right at the holidays, you know, people are struggling and like it just awful.

Steve 23:23
Yeah, I went through that one time and it was absolutely awful. And so yeah. And in this particular case, right, in the movie, right? He’s worried about the job. The results aren’t great. He does a couple kind of shady things. They should he knowingly ships a book out that’s missing two pages, like the book. So you don’t? Yeah, he just said on purpose to save like $30,000. But he said, He’s saving his company the money too. So in a way, like, you know, it’s unethical. And it’s kind of crappy, but it’s not, you know, he’s not he doesn’t own the company. But but then the worst part of this whole story from a workplace movie perspective, and just like they and now I don’t know if this is ever happening. I don’t think it ever happened to me. But like the big meeting, the big pitch meeting where he and his team, right buddies, dad and the team have to pitch the owner of the company, some new ideas that are going to turn the results around right and right to ship, if you will, the huge pitch meeting is scheduled for the late in the afternoon, possibly even the evening of Christmas Eve may have to sit there and do this meeting Trish. I mean, I can’t think of any kind of workplace thing that’s worse. Forget about what what holiday you celebrate, or whatever, right. Like, you’re gonna drag people into a big meeting in the afternoon. Late in the afternoon on Christmas Eve, man, you’re some kind of monster I think.

Trish 24:39
But you know, there’s companies that do that all the time. We don’t. And not just that holiday, just other other religious holidays or other. Just national holidays, right? Just like get every last little second of you before that. That, you know, one day you get off for the holiday. So yeah, it’s kind of crappy, absolutely.

Steve 25:00
So he drags, the boss of the owner of the company drags James Caan and the whole staff into this big pitch meeting they, they get to talking, but meanwhile, right and we’re not gonna get in every second of this movie. Meanwhile, things are going on outside, you know, with Santa and the Elves and the reindeer and things like that. And so Buddy’s little brother, James Caan’s son shows up in the meeting barges into the meeting and says, there’s trouble, dad, you know, we need. Santa’s in trouble, Buddy’s in trouble, whatever, I forget exactly what he said. But I don’t know how to kick got to the office, by the way, but he did. He found his way there. And he says, Dad, we, you know, we, we need your help right now. And the owner of the company, if you remember, this just basically says, if you walk out of here, you’re done. Right? You’re done if you leave right now, and the guy to his credit, right, the character anyway, James Caan who was a real workaholic, real concerned and trying to do there and he leaves he just walks out. And that’s actually kind of a good lesson as well like about, hey, keep things in perspective, right? Like, the dumb pitch of the next children’s book, was that more important than a little crack crisis going on with his son and his other son from the North Pole who he just met? Right?

Trish 26:13
Yeah, and I think we put our employees in that position more often than you think there are definitely times where we’re making, making people choose. And again, I get if it’s once in a while, but not every, not every meeting is a fire drill. Not everyone has to be at every meeting, right? They’re just I think one thing that’s come out of the pandemic, and with us doing more virtually, is that hopefully we won’t ever go back to that feeling of someone has to be physically in the office in order to be effective, right. We’ve sort of blown past that. And, and maybe get of that one component of really making people feel like they have to choose between their family obligations, and their, and our work obligations. And honestly, if you’re listening to this, and you work for someone that’s going to make you make a choice like that, stand up and quit seriously, you have permission to quit a job that is crappy. Because right now there are other jobs to be had. Life is too short, to be bogged down working for someone like that, honestly.

Steve 27:13
Yeah, it’s definitely the case. Right? I think one of the good things that has come from this extended working from home situation we’ve been in for a couple years is the fact that more and more companies if not most companies have realized, yeah, we can figure out ways to get things done more flexibly, more nimbly, with people kind of figuring stuff out balancing their obligations, outside of work with their workplace obligations, you know, less counting of hours, less less, you know, going in taking attendance around a cubicle, farm, etc, etc. Right? And I know that’s not look, what I worry about a little bit on that is, after a while, after things sorta normalize, and maybe that’s the middle of next year or something like that. We’ll see a pushback, right? Like we’ll see more, more companies trying to claw people back into offices nine to five, Monday through Friday, etc. And some will write to some, well, we know this, right? Because there are some organizations who have that philosophy, or they have leaders who believe in that philosophy, but hopefully, it’ll be fewer and fewer. And over time, it will get less and we’ll start to really care about kind of people’s whole lives more right than we maybe traditionally did.

Trish 28:25
Right? You know, I’m going to quote the other movie I told you about the 12 Dates of Christmas.

Steve 28:32
Modern classic, absolutely. I know.

Trish 28:35
No, there was a line in it. I actually made a note of it, it said “back isn’t change”. So going back to the way things were. That’s not change. And it’s not always better. And we just did a show the other day with Ken from Culture Amp kind of saying the same thing. Like we all keep talking about employees going back to work, back to the way it was, back to the new normal of the workplace. It’s like, let’s just not go back in that sense, I think is kind of the message because you’re just gonna wind up unhappy. A lot of people were unhappy in the roles before, a lot of companies are struggling with company culture. So yeah, you know, watch Elf and take note. Don’t be like that company. Right?

Steve 29:21
Yeah, absolutely. And then just the last thing I would say on this in terms of workplace is sort of you know, we get to the end you know, Elf helps Santa out, kind of saves the day a little bit brings helps bring the Christmas spirit back to everyone, which is great. And then we see kind of in a closing kind of credits deal where the dad says basically, you know, heck with you to the company he was working with anyway sets up his own company, right where he sort of controls his own destiny in the first movie publishes right is the story of elf right that Elf writes for him. Right? Which turns into a big success too. So what so it’s a good happy ending from that perspective, but also attrition, you know, you and I, like we’ve been working basically for ourselves for quite some time now. And hey, for more and more people, and that that definitely ticked up during the pandemic as well, people decided to set out on their own new business formations were way, way more than than we would have thought in the last couple of years. And honestly, like, that’s probably going to be one of the really positive lasting kind of developments, right? What’s happened over these last couple years, more and more people have decided, hey, I’m going to do my thing on my own under my terms, right in a way that suits my life. And I hope more people who have the ability to do it, it’s not always easy, right? We know this, it’s not super easy all the time. But I hope folks, more and more folks, as we go into next year, take that opportunity, if that works for them.

Trish 30:48
I agree. I think if you’re someone who likes to hustle anyway, and you are a hard worker, because it does take a lot of work. And whether that’s opening your own small store, maybe in your town or a revised wanted to have a restaurant, right, you are going to be working a lot more hours for different periods of time when you work for yourself, but I think the reward is we get that flexibility we get to kind of work on our own skills at our own pace, and then we can incorporate using those skills whenever we’re ready. Which I don’t feel like I ever had that opportunity when I worked for someone else.

Steve 31:28
No you really don’t. It’s been a great ride and yeah, hopefully we’ll it will continue. But yeah, I love this movie. I’m not a huge holiday sentimental movie guy. I’m a little cynical. I’ll admit that.

Trish 31:42
I feel like you’re so sentimental.

Steve 31:45
I know. It’s awful, but really good movie tons of great workplace stuff with the left a couple things out but you know workshop II stuff the man we didn’t even talk about the mailroom what else gets a quick little side job in the mailroom.

Steve 32:00
Of his dad’s company.

Steve 32:02
At the Empire State Building, he makes friends down in the mailroom, which is pretty awesome, too. But great movie, you’ll probably come across it again through the holiday season because it’ll be on 50 million times. I definitely encourage you to watch it again though. I really liked it a lot. We picked out a few kind of good little nuggets that are that are relevant for the world of work.

Trish 32:24
I think we did. I’m really shocked that there were that many honestly because I like I said I never watched it just start to finish and certainly never with that lens. And I was happily surprised. And honestly I was sitting there thinking as I was watching it, I started watching us maybe 10 or 15 minutes in and I’m thinking like it has been just such a busy like last couple months. And I’m sitting there watching a movie, you know, on a Friday and I’m thinking like, Oh, it feels like I was taking the day off but really I was working. See that’s the benefit of when you work for yourself. Yeah, you can actually do a workplace movie hall of fame show so that it’s technically work, but it was pretty enjoyable. So awesome.

Steve 33:05
All right, well, great stuff. Just it’s been really fun. Check out Elf, you could see it everywhere. Amazon, probably on cable 50 million times in the next six weeks. Thanks to our friends at Paychex once again. They’re awesome as well. Hopefully, they’re going to be on top of Santa and the elves payroll as we get down to the end of the year. And you can check them out as well at Okay, Trish, for you for me, for Steve Boese, for Trish McFarlane, this has been fun. This has been the HR Happy Hour Show workplace Hall of Fame series. Thank you so much for listening. Check out all the show archives at We will see you next time. Bye for now.

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