People Ops: The Secret to Making your Company a Great Place to Work

1 minute • Sep 3, 2021HR

What is People Operations?

People Operations (also known as People Ops and POPs) is someone or a team focused on how to make your employees more happy, engaged, and productive while working for your company. They own and continuously optimize the full employee lifecycle from the first impressions of the recruiting process to the final moments of off-boarding, your people ops team is working to create a better, more dialed-in employee experience for your people.

Isn’t that just HR? 

Not quite. Many think this HR vs People Ops debate is  a simple battle of semantics, but a closer look tells us it's not the case. HR is having a glow-up, yes. but that doesn’t mean People Ops is the new name to be slapped onto HR.

Here’s what seems to be happening. 

The term Human resources makes your employees feel like a commodity (spoiler: they don’t like that). Lately, HR has taken on the rebrand of calling itself Human Capital Management. 

In many ways, there is sometimes an overlap between People Ops and Human Capital Management. But when executed correctly, HR and People Ops have two very different missions for your organization. Think of these two roles as both coming together as your house.

Metaphor comparing HR vs People Ops to a house

Your HR or HCM (Human Capital Management) team stands up and maintains the infrastructure in order for your business to run at all:

  • compliance

  • payroll

  • employee database

  • policies

  • conflict management

  • etc.

People Ops focuses however, focuses on how create a great employee experience within the infrastructure. The moments in the employee journey that make your company a great place to work:

  • onboarding

  • engagement

  • performance management

  • pulse surveys

  • exit interviews etc.

Now that you get the metaphor we have to ask...could you survive in an empty house (only HR/HCM)? Absolutely. Would you want to though? Absolutely not

That's where People Ops comes in. They fill your house with (metaphorical) paint, music and decor-- they create an experience that makes people want to be in the house.  If your organization is suffering with a retention problems, low engagement, and bad reviews on Glassdoor, it's time to get a People Ops expert to come in asap and turn things around. It may not even be your HR (*ahem* ...HCM) representatives fault, they may have had too much on their plate running your business than to be able to work on the business.

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