How often do you turn on a light switch in a day? Most likely, multiple times a day. It’s something we do without much thought, expecting the lights to turn on every time. But occasionally, we flip the switch and nothing happens, reminding us of how essential electricity is. We often take for granted the smooth functioning of the wiring, electrical grid, and engineering that make it all possible. In many ways, this is similar to people operations.
People operations, also known as POPs, focuses on managing and optimizing all aspects of the employee lifecycle to create a positive and productive work environment. It includes employee engagement, performance management, and offboarding. Just like the lights turning on when we flip the switch, employees and employers expect people-related processes and systems to run smoothly and without interruption.
Behind the scenes, there is incredible diligence, attention, and strategic planning involved in ensuring that these processes and systems work seamlessly. Even in well-established organizations, it requires constant maintenance and care. However, for younger and rapidly growing organizations like G2, establishing effective people operations can be challenging but critical.
In my over two decades of experience in HR, I have gained valuable insights into the power of people operations. In this article, I want to share my thoughts on how to make them effective and impactful, how they have evolved over the years, and provide advice on taking your organization’s people operations to the next level.
HR is often misunderstood and carries stereotypes, such as being solely focused on hiring, reprimanding, and firing employees. While these are part of HR’s responsibilities, they only scratch the surface. Just like other departments in an organization, HR encompasses a wide range of responsibilities. At G2, our HR function is called Employee Success, and it consists of three teams: Talent Acquisition, Employee Experience, and People Operations.
Talent Acquisition aims to attract, recruit, hire, and onboard the best talent. It involves more than just posting job descriptions and screening candidates. The team works on building a diverse pipeline, conducting equitable and thorough interviews, and ensuring a smooth onboarding process.
Employee Experience focuses on creating an exceptional working experience for employees. This includes performance management, learning and development, culture building, engagement surveys, and fostering a workplace where every employee feels valued and inspired. Collaboration with other Employee Success teams is crucial due to the broad nature of this work.
People Operations, the team I lead at G2, is critical to an effective people strategy. It covers all facets of managing staff and ensures that people-related processes, systems, and guidelines are implemented and running smoothly. It humanizes impersonal systems to improve employee engagement, development, and retention.
The responsibilities of a people operations team are vast. They include administrative tasks, employee relations management, compliance with policies and regulations, offboarding processes, managing people data and systems, and supporting decision-making with data analysis. People operations teams often handle an organization’s HR tech stack as well.
A strong people operations team is essential for any organization. They support the employee lifecycle, integrate business goals into the workforce, and help implement strategic plans. Long-term people planning is a crucial aspect of people operations, ensuring the organization’s sustainability and success.
In conclusion, people operations play a vital role in creating a positive work environment and achieving business goals. It requires careful attention and strategic planning to ensure that all people-related processes and systems run smoothly. With the right people operations team in place, organizations can attract and retain top talent and create a supportive employee experience.