“Human Resources is coming, everyone hide, stop laughing, get to work checking boxes!” That is the common misconception of HR – its 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 organization.
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 are 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, 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 the paradigm 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.