People Operations(PeopleOps) and Human Resources

What is People Operations?

People Operations, in short, called PeopleOps, is the function/division within the organization that primarily focuses on employees’ development, engagement, and retention.

Laszlo Bock coined the People Operations term for people working at Google. PeopleOps falls under the traditional HR department but intends to change the whole stereotype towards the HR department.

Difference Between People Operations vs. Human Resources

The term PeopleOps is comparable to HR. In traditional Human Resources, employees are resources only – members of an organization are compensated for their hard work, that’s all.

But the PeopleOps approach is distinct because it understands the value of the employees and focuses on increasing productivity and enhancing their skills through training and ensuring that the employees are working happily in their workspace.

As PeopleOps is comparable with the term HR, the two terms are not the same. Meaning there is an existing distinction between the two terms. The table below outlines the difference between both, laying out the focus and roles of each.

Human Resources (HR) vs. People Operations (PeopleOps)

Let us delve a little deeper to understand the role and function of Human Resources and PeopleOps.

People are treated as resources. People are respected as individual contributors who add value to work.
Reactive – dealing with issues once they occur. Proactive – Learning from failures and being prepared for the future.
Policies and processes (certain or most times) supersede employees’ needs. Employees’ needs and expectations are valued as they are customers.
Siloed approach Agile and integrated approach with people as the central focus

Human Resources (HR) as a function:

HR is defined as the effective management of people in an organization. The HR management is focused on various areas like recruitment and staffing, performance management, training and development, compensation and benefits, and labor & employee relations.

Many organizations treat each functional area distinct from the other, thus leading to a siloed approach. The standardized, transactional policies and procedures in HR hinder agility and personalization – the current buzz that, if practiced, can open the doorways to human experience (HX) and constructive culture.

People Operations as a function:

PeopleOps is vast and has an expansive scope. Its prominent role is to empower and propel the employees and facilitate everyday life in a workspace.

It involves all actions that help to make employees more productive at work. PeopleOps consider employees as their internal customers and helps increase their satisfaction. It improves the employees’ talent through self-directed and socialized learning and development programs.

PeopleOps offers personalized rewards and recognition that are necessarily not extrinsic always. Its focus is on creating meaningful work to feel intrinsically motivated to perform and grow within the workplace.

PeopleOps aims to design people-centric solutions, thus contributing toward a constructive organizational culture. It seeks to gratify and support the current members to have a productive journey.

Today, organizations are slowly transitioning their HR function to PeopleOps. Are you?

The core intent of this transformational journey is to create human-centric workplaces. PeopleOps takes a holistic approach by designing a meaningful journey for the organizational members.


In conclusion, PeopleOps is better in all respects as it improves employee commitment, increases retention in the company, helps establish a strong company culture, and optimizes business performance.

In short, PeopleOps fosters opportunities that help members become invaluable contributors to the business, thus maximizing the shareholders’ value.

Comments are closed.