HR versus People Operations

Posted on April 19, 2022

In the early days of HR, the focus was on maintaining order and discipline within the workplace. This meant that employees were often treated more like machines than people, and they were expected to work long hours with little rest or breaks. As the business world has evolved, however, the focus of HR has shifted from maintaining the discipline to supporting and developing employees. People operations is a relatively new term that encompasses all of the functions and responsibilities associated with managing a business’s employees– this includes everything from hiring and onboarding to training and development, compensation and benefits, and knowledge of federal, state, and country compliance and regulations– but also includes programs that create happier teams through a company culture defined by the mission, vision, and values of the business.

While people operations are often seen as simply the HR department of a company, it actually encompasses much more.

In recent years, people operations have become increasingly focused on creating a positive and inclusive business culture. This means that people operations teams are often responsible for developing programs and initiatives that promote diversity, inclusion, and equity within an organization. If the environment that someone is in isn’t good, they will leave. This is especially true for marginalized groups who often feel like they have to fight tooth and nail just to be heard and respected, and this is where DEI initiatives become increasingly important and recognized as a business need.

In summary, people operations play a vital role in shaping the culture of a business and ensuring that all employees feel valued and respected. By creating a positive and inclusive business culture, people operations teams can help to attract and retain top talent, improve employee satisfaction and engagement, and boost productivity. People Operations may or may not include HR responsibilities and thick binders full of complex SOPs that go unread, but they also play an important role to both the team and the company’s bottom line.