Blog Post | , ,

The Future of HR is People Operations

Kristina Finn

November 28, 2022

The Future of HR is People Operations

If the last few years have taught us anything about the supply chain workforce, it’s that hourly workers are tired, frontlines are fed up, and employees are demanding more than ever from their employers.

Today’s workers want to feel like they’re making a difference. They value career growth, safety and well-being, fair pay, and the ability to give and receive feedback.  Ultimately, they want to be appreciated and treated with equity. 

What does this mean for HR?

Aligning your organization with employee priorities means creating an employee-first environment. Whereas HR has typically concentrated on hiring, ethics, structural organization, regulatory compliance, and minimizing risk, meeting the needs of the contemporary workforce demands renewed focus on employee engagement and employee retention in an approach that centers People Operations.

The term People Operations, or People Ops, can take on many meanings depending on the organization and what is appropriate for a particular company, but the end goal is to create a culture and work environment that improves employee experience, and thus employee efficiency and employee engagement. 

Depending on the organization, People Operations might be the new name of the HR department, or a set of responsibilities within HR, or even a separate department altogether, but the bottom line is that People Ops is an essential business component of any modern organization and must be prioritized accordingly. 

Areas of Focus

People Operations prioritizes employee satisfaction throughout the entire employment journey by:

  • Providing effective onboarding and training
  • Maximizing employee efficiency by driving employee engagement
  • Encouraging employee development and offering career growth opportunities
  • Focusing on retention strategies in equal measure to hiring and recruitment
  • Breaking down silos and increasing transparency across an organization
  • Treating employees with compassion and empathy in their workday
  • Creating a company culture and environment where employees want to work
  • Recruiting diverse teams and centering DE&I initiatives
  • Making transparent, data-driven decisions that treat all workers with fairness and equity
  • Improving company image and employer brand

If you’re a regular reader of our publications, many of these areas of focus will surely sound familiar already. We’ve written about most, if not all, of these topics in previous blog posts and eBooks because to succeed in implementing these priorities requires a data-first approach based on employee feedback and engagement. 

Employee-first Means Data-first

Each employee is different, just as you and your company are different from your colleagues and peers, so you need insight into how your employees prioritize each of the above initiatives and what success in each means to them. Perhaps the first rule of People Operations is to set aside your ingrained assumptions and engage directly with employees to find out what they want, and then take action on their feedback within the context of what is reasonably feasible and practical for your organization. 

You need clear access to data that provides both broad organization-level and granular insights so you can make informed, clear decisions about where to dedicate resources.

The Right Technology Goes a Long Way

When evaluating technology solutions, be mindful of whether the People Ops platform can integrate seamlessly with your HRIS, offers milestone-based check-ins, and includes comprehensive industry benchmarks, custom analyses from in-house data science teams, suggested actions that drive positive change, ways to tie feedback to outcomes so you can understand turnover drivers, and the ability to track the impact of both retention initiatives and employee satisfaction.

Schedule a RETAIN demo to see how WorkStep should be a critical component of your People Ops strategy.


Kristina Finn

Kristina Finn, Content Marketing Manager | kristina@workstep.com