What is People Operations?

Management of human resources, or “People Operations,” as it is more often referred to, is an integral part of every business. Employee involvement, development, and retention are all aspects of people operations.

The terms “Human Resources manager” and “People Ops” are often used interchangeably. While each organization has its unique take on what “People Operations” means, it is generally agreed that it is a contemporary take on HR metrics and HR strategy.

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What is People Operations?

The term people operations is defined as strategic management of the workforce within an organization. This management process focuses on employee development, engagement, and retention.

Extensive and successful firms have replaced conventional HR divisions with person ops to design solutions that enhance human resource management procedures. In contrast to HR, which seeks to ensure legal compliance and minimize risk, people ops aim to maximize the value of personnel by using a multifaceted approach to company operations though this workforce management strategy falls under the HR umbrella.

Importance of People Operations

A company’s worth is derived from its people, regardless of the role they play. Many business managers and people operations specialists have started to realize this fact.

In today’s digital world, intellectual property and the quality of personnel have become more important than ever. Moreover, the power has transferred from corporations to their employees. It’s becoming more difficult for firms to keep top talent by focusing on employee retention and company branding since employees are moving jobs more often.

In practical life, every business statistic, including staff turnover, performance, and customer loyalty, organizations with strong corporate cultures and high levels of engagement beat their competitors. All these fundamental operations are possible only through effective management of people operations.

Major corporations such as Google or IBM have shown using a people operations approach, rather than using conventional HR methods. Hence, people ops are the new way to go and this fact strengthens how crucial it has become for organizations to target better productivity and hold over employees and the workforce.

What are the Objectives and Priorities of People Operations?

There are several critical objectives that each organization’s people operations department is working to achieve. There is a list of the eight most critical ones.

A people operations manager must make sure that Individual employee success is linked to the company’s overall objectives. It is the job of people operations specialist to ensure that all workers are aware of their significant responsibilities within the company as a whole. Employees’ contributions to the company’s aims are also often mentioned by management. It’s their responsibility to create work that motivates people to put in extra effort and keep learning new things. Engaged teams are more willing to work hard and become more devoted to their jobs, which increases profitability and aids in expanding the firm.

Also, people ops should engage in the organization’s primary objectives whether or not they can directly participate in achieving and raising current issues.

The instances in an entire employee lifecycle are used in employee journey mapping. These include instances like:

  • Interviews
  • New employees’ first day of work and training
  • Additional activities for new hires
  • Evaluations of the worker’s performance
  • Education and training
  • Team activities
  • Company mergers and acquisitions.
  • Exit interviews

The people ops group creates a timeline of these crucial occasions (and the period in between) and then stores all records in the employee database. For the benefit of their employees, they must enhance them. According to the future workplace, 83% of HR department executives feel that a positive employee experience is critical to their company’s overall success.

Maintaining clear communication channels with workers at every stage of their career may go a long way toward creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and respected. You must create uniformity across the whole employment lifetime to build trust.

Appreciation of Employees

According to a recent study, forty percent of workers say they are demotivated at work because of a lack of acknowledgment. Employee churn is reduced by 31% in organizations with a recognition culture.

Creating and executing a rewards program and acknowledgment culture that encourages workers to feel valued is essential for people ops’ mission. This process might get done in various ways as through an employee incentive system or a sequence of casual emails. It doesn’t matter what kind of system or approach is used. The goal is to make workers, who are also internal customers, feel more valued. Hence, a people operations manager must support employees to keep them motivated at work and nourish the actual ability of the workforce.

Continual Participation is Necessary

Increased employee attrition and dissatisfaction can have a significant adverse effect on your company’s bottom line. Why should keeping your employees happy and healthy be a top priority for HR departments? When it comes to employee appreciation, there are several options. However, it is essential to keep workers engaged in maximizing revenues by decreasing absenteeism rates, boosting employee retention, productivity, and satisfaction, and strengthening corporate culture.

A thorough understanding of the three primary drivers of employee engagement—cultural, physical, and digital—is critical to this effort. The People Ops team is well-versed in the concerns of your workers, and they talk to them on a regular basis to learn what they want and need from their work environment.

Employee Training

Those in people operations are in charge of ensuring that employees have the opportunity to grow and learn. Upskilling and retraining, career pathing, leadership development, and KPIs for particular tasks are all part of this training.

A culture of continuous learning fosters an environment where all workers feel competent and appreciated. As a result, the business is better able to achieve its goals.

Motivated, diligent, and consistent personnel outperform their counterparts who have not been well trained. As a result, putting up and executing an effective strategy for staff development is critical.

It’s critical to have the help of workers when putting out a development plan, which is why engaging them to think about their growth is helpful. Inquiring about their professional aspirations, the tools they need to achieve them, and the resources they need to succeed in the workplace is part of this process. Last but not the least, we can say that if people ops opt for effective employee management strategies, they can more value to the organization.

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HR Management Certification


Developing a Trust Relationship with Employees

People Ops may assist build trust among employees in a variety of ways. The first step is to become open and honest with your workers. In business culture, salary and perks information is accessible on social media or in public databases such as Glassdoor. So, you must initiate people ops in the early phases of an employee’s lifetime. A failure to communicate may lead to distrust. That is to say, it is the role of People Ops to establish trust from the beginning by speaking often in an explicit way.

Another strategy to create employee trust is to collect employee input and act on it. You must ask the employees how they felt about the firm and how they felt about their work environment through surveys and one-on-one interactions. Following the collection and analysis of this feedback, it is critical to present the proposed adjustments and improvements to your staff and solicit their opinion again. As a result, workers feel more engaged in the whole process, creating a more open and collaborative environment.

Change Management

Change management is one of the primary responsibilities of people operations. We’ve added system upgrades to this list, a transition from paper-based to digital processes, personnel reorganizations, modifications incorporating goals, and alterations driven by internal research.

Adopting these sorts of organizational transformations becomes seamless and straightforward if they are overseen and managed. It assures no (or minimum) negative repercussions on production and the overall company objectives.

Changes in Cultural Values and Practices

Last but not the least, people ops are an advocate for the company’s values and culture. For example, if the present civilization is not aligned with the company’s vision, business function, and goals, they have the power to develop a more ethical, diverse, and inclusive corporate culture.

What is the Significance of a Company’s Culture?

In firms with strong cultures, workers’ overall views of their company’s characteristics are 20% higher, and 90% of employees at “winning” company cultures feel confidence in their executive board.

The head of people operations should be clear about their principles and express these convictions to the organization to foster a sense of mutual respect.

To empower employees and your staff, you need people operations.

A people ops unit is essential to modernizing your human resource strategy and ensuring that your employees are your priority.

Creating an unstoppable business culture and a beautiful reputation is a crucial competitive advantage when your people are engaged, valued, and cared for at work. People are essential, and it’s time to demonstrate that you appreciate them.


Here are answers to some of the most asked questions regarding people operations:

When It Comes to Human Resources, What Is the Term “People Operations” Used For?

In a similar vein to Human Resources, People Operations is an organization that focuses on staff development, retention, and engagement.

Are People Ops and Human Resources the Same, or Is There a Distinction?

People Operations and HR are pretty similar in many respects. On the other hand, People Ops focuses on boosting employee productivity while HR focuses on lowering liability.

How Can People Ops Increase the Efficiency of a Company?

Here’s a short guide on how people ops work to enhance the productivity of an organization. People ops trigger organizational efficiency by:

  • Boosting staff morale
  • Encouraging staff to stay with the company
  • Establishing a good working environment
  • Improving the company’s public image
  • Simplifying the hiring processes


Even the main objectives and priorities of people ops are enough to emphasize the importance of the people operations model. It is fair to conclude the details with a saying that value to the company comes only through effective people functions no matter what the department or team is. Regardless of how huge or small, your company is, it is mandatory to establish a people ops team, apart from other traditional HR teams, that can work on enhancing the HR strategies and ensure that your workforce is your priority rather than your tasks or goals. Employees who feel and acknowledge their importance ultimately struggle to get the tasks done and boost your organization’s productivity.


If you are new to Human Resources and are looking to break into any HR Operations position, we recommend taking our HR Certification Courses, where you will learn how to build your skillset in human resources, build your human resources network, craft an excellent HR resume, and create a successful job search strategy that lands you a sought-after HR Operations job.


Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.