Trends in People Operations (Formerly known as Human Resources)
“Human Resources is coming,
everyone hide, stop laughing, get to work checking boxes!” That is the common
misconception of HR – it’s all about compliance and preventing people from
doing anything that is actually productive, much less fun.
However, change the name to People Operations (People Ops) and the focus automatically shifts to what it
should be – onto how people effectively and efficiently operate within
organizations. Certainly, compliance is part of the function, but it is just a
part of the overarching function of creating an effective and efficient
As organizations shift from an HR
to a People Ops paradigm, the emphasis naturally shifts from being compliance
focused to being people focused organizations. People Ops is focused on
outcomes and strategy while HR is focused on organizational structure. An
emphasis on people is what it takes to be both competitive in the greater
economic landscape, and to be effective in attracting and retaining the talent
needed to keep ahead of the pack.
We all grapple with the
proliferation of technology into our operations and, People Ops is no
exception. It is very alluring to adopt time and cost saving technologies, and
often the benefits are significant. However, we need to ensure that the
technologies we adopt enhance our capabilities as people if we are to ensure
people (substitute your favorite human; customer, patient, employee, etc.)
focused organizations. Whether the technology is internally or externally
employed, the organizations that best identify and harness the human elements
of their organizations while simultaneously engaging effective uses of
technology will come out the winners.
While greater numbers of
organizations (51%) are using flexible workforce solutions to supplement talent needs outside their core competency areas
(IT 75%, Manufacturing 59%, Healthcare 56%), most companies have a solid team
of permanent employees that fulfill their core roles. People Ops focus on
finding the solutions for your organization, identifying the people who can
implement them, and developing those people to help grow your organization.
Having a solid workforce plan in place to attract, develop and retain their
core people is essential to every organization, and having a People Ops team or
strategic workforce partner should be a part of that plan.
The trend in shifting from
structure and compliance to strategy and outcomes is the fundamental difference
between Human Resources and People Operations and is a purposeful shift in
running an organization. This purposeful shift readjusts your organization to
be people focused and is essential for high performance organizations.