What is People Ops?

The world of work has forever changed. Between the pandemic and the rise of the open talent economy, 80% of business owners say work will never be the same. Now, we need to tackle new challenges: How to manage distributed workforces? How to encourage connection and collaboration? And how to drive employee productivity from anywhere.

SCROLL DOWN TO EXPLORE PEOPLE OPS
People
Are beings that have certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousnes.
Operations
Is everything that happens collectively within a company to keep it running and earning money.

Soo... what exactly is People Ops ?

We're moving from an IT-driven economy to a people-driven economy. The value of technology has been proven over the last 10 years, and now the competitive advantage lies in our ability to unleash our employees to maximum potential.

By automating traditional HR processes, POPS shifts attention from tactical administrative work to people and productivity. People Ops is responsible for designing a great employee experience with pivotal people moments that make work exciting, rewarding and engaging for your team.

The 220 year path towards People Ops and Perfect Work

1900
Industrial and labor relations
A result of the industrial revolution, the “industrial and labor relations” department was created as an intermediary between management, workers, and unions to oversee work conditions, hours and activities. Introducing... the policy police.
1940's
The personnel department
An influx in regulations for employees and employers created a new era of record keeping and documentation to keep up— forms, filings, and paperwork. Newly coined “personnel” department took on the burden. Introducing… the paper pushers.
1980's
Human resources
Personnel teams became known as human resources (HR) to manage growing documentation and reporting needs; and handle transactional tasks such as time tracking, payroll, and benefits processing. Introducing… the Administrative Age.
2000's
Strategic HR
Progressive HR teams take on initiatives like recruiting, performance, learning and talent management. Terms like human capital management (HCM) are coined but HR is unable to shake the “Office Space” stigma of its reputation.
2010's
Google coins the term "People Operations"
Google builds the first "People Operations" team, ditching "HR" because its engineers regarded it as "administrative and bureaucratic" whereas the term "operations" implied "a credible title, connoting some actual ability to get things done."
2020
Pandemic changes the world of work
COVID dramatically reminds people that the wellbeing of their employees is key to productivity and resilience. The workplace, workforce and workstyles as we once knew them are forever changed. Introducing… the new world of work.
2020's
People Operations grows in familiarity, necessity
The best companies move from HR to POPS for the new world of work - embracing technology and data to automate HR, design a great employee experience, and shift from paperwork (administration) to peoplework (productivity).
1900
Industrial and labor relations
A result of the industrial revolution, the “industrial and labor relations” department was created as an intermediary between management, workers, and unions to oversee work conditions, hours and activities. Introducing... the policy police.
1940's
The personnel department
An influx in regulations for employees and employers created a new era of record keeping and documentation to keep up— forms, filings, and paperwork. Newly coined “personnel” department took on the burden. Introducing… the paper pushers.
1980's
Human resources
Personnel teams became known as human resources (HR) to manage growing documentation and reporting needs; and handle transactional tasks such as time tracking, payroll, and benefits processing. Introducing… the Administrative Age.
2000's
Strategic HR
Progressive HR teams take on initiatives like recruiting, performance, learning and talent management. Terms like human capital management (HCM) are coined but HR is unable to shake the “Office Space” stigma of its reputation.
2010's
Google coins the term "People Operations"
Google builds the first "People Operations" team, ditching "HR" because its engineers regarded it as "administrative and bureaucratic" whereas the term "operations" implied "a credible title, connoting some actual ability to get things done."
2020
Pandemic changes the world of work
COVID dramatically reminds people that the wellbeing of their employees is key to productivity and resilience. The workplace, workforce and workstyles as we once knew them are forever changed. Introducing… the new world of work.
2020's
People Operations grows in familiarity, necessity
The best companies move from HR to POPS for the new world of work - embracing technology and data to automate HR, design a great employee experience, and shift from paperwork (administration) to peoplework (productivity).

The Shift to People Ops

Traditional HR was focused on tracking employees, enforcing rules, and ensuring compliance. People Ops is focused on maximizing business results and optimizing workforce productivity by making work exciting, rewarding and engaging.

Then
HR
  • Process
  • Administration
  • Activities
  • Tracking
  • Instinct
  • HRIS
Now
People Operations
  • People
  • Operations
  • Outcomes
  • Experience
  • Data
  • POPS Platform
Then
HR
  • Process
  • Administration
  • Activities
  • Tracking
  • Instinct
  • HRIS
Now
People Operations
  • People
  • Operations
  • Outcomes
  • Experience
  • Data
  • POPS Platform

Measure if you are more HR or People Ops?

EXPLORE MATURITY MODEL
Then
HR
  • Process
  • Administration
  • Activities
  • Tracking
  • Instinct
  • HRIS
Now
People Operations
  • People
  • Operations
  • Outcomes
  • Experience
  • Data
  • POPS Platform

The future of work is here, and we aren't going back. Fueled by an era of ubiquitous technology access; massive shifts in work expectations from Gen Z and Millennials; increasing automation of jobs; and a rise of the open talent economy the question is no longer: "how will technology shape the future?" But is: "how will people use technology to make their greatest impact?"

People Operations rises to this new-age question. It operationally creates opportunity for businesses to create competitive advantage through human capital management in a technology-assumed age.

Like the best business functions, People Ops is operationally forward. It focuses on helping achieve business priorities through combining the power of people with data, insights, and automation. People Ops favors outcomes over activities — "points, not yards."

Here are the key factors in this shift from HR to People Ops

Shift from manual to automation
Use technology instead of humans for repetitive tasks such as data entry, processing and reporting.
Shift from guesswork to data
Capture, analyze and share data-driven insights about the workforce instead of relying on gut instinct and anecdotes.
Shift from cost center to profit center
Optimize for workforce productivity and results (e.g. revenue and profits) instead of expense and efficiency (e.g. time and costs).
Shift from management to experience
Treat the employee experience like the customer experience, optimizing it to create an advantage.

Your World with People Ops

If you want to build a great company, start with your own people. The People Ops approach is a win-win-win. It’s a win for your business. It’s a win for your employees. And, it’s a win for your people team. Let’s take a look at why.

67%
Higher Profitability
189%
Lower Administrative Costs
100%
Mobile Friendly
24/7
Self-service HR
80.5%
of employees say productivity and engagement increases with regular performance reviews
24/7
employees see an 11-25% increase in productivity with good goal setting
Good for Business
People Ops helps accelerate growth, cut costs and reduce risk exposure.
Good for Employees
People Ops helps keep employee data secure, private, and accessible.
Good for Leaders & Teams
People Ops connects managers and employees through digital communication forums, live performance management, and goal setting.
Good for Business
People Ops helps accelerate growth, cut costs and reduce risk exposure.
Good for Employees
People Ops helps keep employee data secure, private, and accessible.
Good for Leaders & Teams
People Ops connects managers and employees through digital communication forums, live performance management, and goal setting.

Our People Ops Recipe

The People Ops methodology — aka "The ABC's of People Ops" — is the recipe to automate HR, design a great employee experience, and unleash the workforce. When your people are at their best, your business is too. It's the ultimate force multiplier

step 1

Automate administration
and compliance

Make the stuff you have to do easy. Easy for you, your managers, and your employees. Use technology to "declutter" and eliminate as much busywork as possible. This means going completely digital.

step 2

Build a great employee experience

Start from within with pivotal people moments that matter. Employee listening, open communication, and transparency are foundational. Consider flexibility, learning, recognition and wellbeing in order to build a strong organizational culture.

step 3

Create workforce productivity

Build a high-performance, high-energy culture that motivates the entire workforce to achieve new heights. Embed clearly defined goals, feedback loops and motivators into daily workflows. Improve workplace collaboration, engagement and mobility.

step 4

Drive growth & profitability

Moving from anecdotes and instinct to data and KPI's - across the employee lifecycle - is key to measuring progress and outcomes. Being data-driven is foundational to the People Ops movement and how to demonstrate value to the rest of the business.

step 1

Automate administration
and compliance

Make the stuff you have to do easy. Easy for you, your managers, and your employees. Use technology to "declutter" and eliminate as much busywork as possible. This means going completely digital.

step 2

Build a great employee experience

Start from within with pivotal people moments that matter. Employee listening, open communication, and transparency are foundational. Consider flexibility, learning, recognition and wellbeing in order to build a strong organizational culture.

step 3

Create workforce productivity

Build a high-performance, high-energy culture that motivates the entire workforce to achieve new heights. Embed clearly defined goals, feedback loops and motivators into daily workflows. Improve workplace collaboration, engagement and mobility.

step 4

Drive growth & profitability

Moving from anecdotes and instinct to data and KPI's - across the employee lifecycle - is key to measuring progress and outcomes. Being data-driven is foundational to the People Ops movement and how to demonstrate value to the rest of the business.

Todd Dobson
Next pay day
Apr 15, 2019
Taylor Meads
MAR 01
How likely are you to recommend our company to friends?
Like
Comment
3. I have a healthy work-life balance.
86%
61%
93%
25% Higher
than Survey’s
Average Score
No paper. No forms. No filings.
No spreadsheets. No manual tasks.
No authoritarianism. No politics. No hassle.
No guesswork. No anecdotes.
No fluff. No waste. No BS.
No busywork. No inefficiency.
Less paperwork, more peoplework.
People Ops lives in a digital-must world.
People Ops embraces automation.
People Ops empowers people to do their best work.
People Ops surfaces data and insight.
People Ops is driven by outcomes.
People Ops drives productivity.
This is
People Ops.
People Ops
join the movement

The People Ops Maturity Model

30% of employees say their company doesn't understand what motivates them. Connect with your employees in ways that drive motivation.

Based on our work with over 30,000 small and midsize businesses, it helps a company assess, develop and refine their people programs. In short, it helps us look at ourselves now, and also see what could - or should - be. And, how to get there.

Get Your Maturity Model Score
Maturity Score
Level 4: Scaling

The People Ops Book

Authors Jay Fulcher, Kevin Marasco, Tracy Cote of Zenefits, the leading People Operations platform, provide readers with a playbook for creating a massive competitive advantage by eliminating antiquated approaches to HR.

The book takes a look at how work has changed and what companies need to do about it, and the new approach they must take to processes, systems, and best practices. You'll learn how to eliminate busywork and hassle, and how to use that newfound time and capital to empower your biggest asset: your people.

grab your copy

The People Ops Podcast

Work just changed. 79.8% of small business leaders say the pandemic has permanently changed the way their people and their companies work.

The POPS! Podcast shares fresh thinking, examples and answers to build your people and your business in the new world of work.

browse episodes
Take the first step in becoming a People Operations department. Automate HR.

Zenefits automates hiring, onboarding, pay, PTO, benefits and more.

  • Free Demo
  • No credit card needed
  • No Setup