This past week was truly wonderful !! I was on a beach with my family enjoying vacation. Overall, the week was fairly uneventful and relaxing. We did the things we enjoy like playing Euchre, tackling an impossible 1,000 piece puzzle, rounds and rounds of miniature golf and time with our feet in the sand.
I don’t do well just sitting on the beach. I need to move and be a part of the flow of the environment around me. I love watching all of the different people walking by and sincerely wanting to talk to each of them (if it wouldn’t creep them out) and learn about who they are and what they do. I don’t do that . . . much, but the throngs of people fascinate me. I tend to roam up and down the beach to search for shells, look for unique things and take in as much of the experience as I can.
This year we were actually in a condo on the beach. And I mean ON the beach. The endless pulse of the Atlantic Ocean was a constant melody if we were splashing around in the waves, or listening to them as we fell asleep at night. It was a hypnotic symphony that I loved hearing and watching.
My kids and I love bouncing up and down in the waves for hours and hours. We happened to be out in the surf in some rather active waves. In fact, you had to really try to maintain your footing. After fighting this force of nature, you were worn out. We’d catch a breath, grab a drink of water and head right back out into waves.
It reminded me of HR, work and life. It may seem like a stretch, but hear me out. Life comes at all of us in waves. And, like the ocean, the waves never stop. I love it when we expect our employees not to “bring their life” issues to work because that is a flat joke. You can’t wish that people would do this because it’s not possible. Instead, I think we need to have a characteristic that should be in every HR role – resilience. It’s something that we don’t teach, and it’s even hard to think about it. This attribute is needed because waves of different sizes and intensity come at all of our employees every day. Instead of being pulled out by a rip tide, or having the waves of life bury us, we need to be there to pull people up and get them on their feet once again.
Too often we bemoan the circumstances of life that people share with us. We want everything to be just perfect and smooth and get frustrated when it’s not. Being resilient is what is needed instead. If we are the people who can be the example to others, then they will understand they have support. Support is something lacking in most workplaces for our employees. If HR could step in consistently, then people would appreciate this and not be overwhelmed by what comes at them.
Tomorrow, I jump back into the surf, but this time it’s at the office. I can’t wait to be in the waves with all of those around me !!