From HR to People Ops: The Strategic Shift in Managing People
Christopher E. Maynard
Human Resources (HR) has been a traditional term used to describe the department responsible for managing the workforce of an organization. However, in recent years, the term People Operations has gained popularity and has been seen as a more inclusive and strategic approach to managing people. This article will explore the reasons why Human Resources should be referred to as People Operations.
The Evolution of HR
The term Human Resources was first used in the 1960s when organizations began to recognize the importance of managing their workforce as a valuable asset. Initially, the focus of HR was on administrative tasks such as recruitment, payroll, and benefits. However, as the workplace became more complex, the role of HR expanded to include training, employee relations, and performance management.
While HR has evolved over the years, it has often been perceived as a bureaucratic and reactive function that is disconnected from the business strategy. This is where the term People Operations comes in.
The Emergence of People Operations
People Operations, also known as People Ops, is a term that was popularized by Google in the early 2000s. It represents a shift from the traditional HR function to a more strategic and data-driven approach to managing people. People Ops is focused on creating an employee-centric culture, improving the employee experience, and driving business outcomes.
The difference between HR and People Ops lies in their approach. HR tends to be reactive and focused on compliance, while People Ops is proactive and focused on innovation. People Ops leverages data and technology to drive insights and improve the employee experience. By focusing on the employee, People Ops can create a culture that attracts and retains top talent, which ultimately drives business success.
The Benefits of People Operations
There are several benefits to adopting a People Ops approach. First, it aligns the HR function with the overall business strategy. By focusing on the employee experience and driving business outcomes, People Ops can become a strategic partner to the business. This helps to break down silos and create a more integrated approach to managing people.
Second, People Ops creates a culture of continuous improvement. By leveraging data and technology, People Ops can identify areas of improvement and implement changes to improve the employee experience. This helps to create a more engaged and productive workforce.
Finally, People Ops creates a competitive advantage in the marketplace. In today's economy, top talent is in high demand, and organizations that can attract and retain the best employees will be more successful. By creating an employee-centric culture, People Ops can help to attract and retain top talent, which ultimately drives business success.
The term Human Resources has been used for decades to describe the function responsible for managing the workforce of an organization. However, the emergence of People Operations represents a shift from the traditional HR function to a more strategic and employee-centric approach to managing people. By adopting a People Ops approach, organizations can align the HR function with the overall business strategy, create a culture of continuous improvement, and create a competitive advantage in the marketplace. As such, Human Resources should be referred to as People Operations to reflect this strategic shift in managing people.