Check on Your Icicles !!

I have lived in Ohio for the majority of my life. I love that in this part of the Midwest, I get to experience all four seasons of the year. Each season has its pluses and minuses. I have to admit that I do love a good snow !! This past Friday afternoon a legit snowstorm took over for several hours. It was part of my commute home and I was able to get back and enjoy the flakes floating down from the sky. When it was over, we had 3 inches covering everything in a smooth white blanket.

I am one of the odd people who regularly yearns for more snow. I think it paints a beautiful landscape of Winter. I knew the picturesque scenery would be short-lived because Spring is doing its best to arrive and start the second season of the year. As the snow began its inevitable melt, the conditions were just right for icicles to form. I LOVE icicles !! They are a wonderful creation but they don’t always appear after every snow. So, when they occur I make sure to cherish them.

Icicles are fascinating because they form while melting. They cling precipitously off the edge of something or other. There is no rhyme or reason to how long or short they’ll be. Also, some just seem to build and build until they become a massively thick structure reaching down as far as they possibly can. As rarely as icicles form in our area during the winter, their time is limited as well. As the outside temperature rises, the icicle begins the end of its “life” by slowly dripping from its tip. You hope for it to melt completely, but more often than not, the icicle detaches from its edge and it rapidly freefalls to shatter on the ground below. As I’m writing this blog, there is a barrage of icicles falling and smashing on the back patio.

It’s a shame that they don’t stay around longer than they do. I understand that everything has its time and life cycle. However, they are so magnificent and make such a visual impact that it’s brighter when they’re around.

As I take a look at these dangling masterpieces, it makes me think of people. You’ll hear the term “well-being” being used more regularly these days in the workplace. Unfortunately, it took a global pandemic for organizations to realize the well-being of our people has ALWAYS been something that deserved our focus and attention. Now, hang with me here (pun intended). I think many of our employees act just like icicles on a daily basis.

You don’t see them before they appear magically from the crowd. It’s just like icicles that emerge from the “crowd” of a fresh snowfall. Once they show up and are visible, you see them as the talented and unique people they’ve always been. What you don’t notice is they may be hanging on a ledge and you don’t even realize they are. On the outside, they glisten and are on display while also melting on the inside at the same time.

Most likely, our great people will detach and fall as well before they reach out. That shouldn’t happen. We should be in a position to not only enjoy them for all they bring to the company, but we should make sure they’re more anchored all the time so they don’t fall. Making sure we are intentional in knowing our people all. the. time. needs to be our baseline as HR pros. They should never be oversights that get in the way of our work.

People are looking for someone who will be there for them all the time and not just in times of crisis. Taking note of a person’s well-being is a full-time endeavor. The more we embrace this, the healthier people will be. Let’s turn the tide and take care of our icicles. Value them every day and give them the awe and attention they deserve. Then you’re sure to have them with you year-round.