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What is people operations?

People operations is a business function that puts employees first. Despite the fact that it falls under the HR umbrella, People Ops has a broader scope: it involves all actions that help employees be productive at work, from the moment they’re hired to the moment they leave.

Let’s look at the main responsibilities of people operations in more detail. They are:

  • Modernize and digitalize outdated, bureaucratic HR systems, including payroll and applicant tracking software.
  • Treat employees as internal customers and increase their satisfaction.
  • Support employees on a day-to-day basis and answer questions about benefits and company policies.
  • Keep track of and analyze HR metrics (e.g. turnover rates, time to hire).
  • Onboard new employees and ensure they have access to necessary resources and tech.

Overall, the role of people operations is to empower employees and facilitate the day-to-day work life. Depending on the company’s size and objectives, there could be one or multiple employees responsible for the people operations. For example, one company might choose to hire a people operations specialist who’ll take care of new employees as they join the company and for their first six months until they’re fully productive. Or, another company might create an entire people team that’ll redesign the entire HR department and will be responsible for the entire employee lifecycle inside the organization.

Want more definitions? See our complete library of HR Terms.

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