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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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People Operations, formerly known as Human Resources, transcends mere administrative tasks; it is the strategic force driving talent acquisition, development, and retention.

At its core, People Operations focuses on optimizing the human capital within an organization. It encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities, including recruitment, onboarding, training, performance management, employee engagement, and workplace culture development.

People Operations plays a pivotal role in shaping organizational culture, fostering employee well-being, and driving business growth. This transformation reflects a shift towards a more people-centric approach to management, where employees are recognized as the most valuable asset.

What are people operations?

People Operations, also known as "Pops" or "People Ops," refers to the strategic approach to managing and optimizing an organization's most valuable asset: its people. It encompasses various functions related to attracting, developing, retaining, and supporting employees throughout their lifecycle within the company. People Operations focuses on creating a positive and productive work environment that aligns with the organization's culture and goals.

What do people in operations do?

People in Operations are responsible for a range of tasks aimed at supporting and enhancing the employee experience within the organization. This includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, employee relations, training and development, compensation and benefits administration, and ensuring compliance with labor laws and company policies. 

They also often play a crucial role in fostering a healthy workplace culture and addressing any issues or concerns that may arise among employees.

Listen, recognize, award, and retain your employees with our Employee engagement software  

What does a people operations manager do?

A People Operations Manager is typically responsible for overseeing the entire spectrum of People Operations functions within an organization. 

  • Their role involves developing and implementing strategies to attract and retain top talent, managing recruitment efforts, designing and implementing employee development programs, handling employee relations issues, managing compensation and benefits, and ensuring compliance with relevant regulations. 
  • They also collaborate with other departments to align people-related initiatives with the organization's overall objective.

What is the difference between HR and people operations?

While Human Resources (HR) and People Operations share similarities, there are key differences in their approaches and focus. HR traditionally has been associated with administrative tasks such as payroll, benefits administration, and compliance. 

In contrast, People Operations takes a more strategic and holistic approach, emphasizing employee experience, organizational culture, and alignment with company goals. People Operations often involves a shift towards more employee-centric practices, focusing on fostering a positive workplace culture and enhancing employee engagement and productivity.

What is the difference between talent operations and people operations?

Talent Operations and People Operations, though related, have distinct focuses within the realm of human resources and organizational management:

1. Talent Operations:

  • Talent Operations primarily focus on acquiring, managing, and optimizing talent within an organization. It often involves activities related to talent acquisition, such as recruitment, sourcing, and hiring processes.
  • This function may also encompass talent development, including training, performance management, career pathing, and succession planning.
  • The main goal of Talent Operations is to ensure that the organization has the right people in the right roles, with the necessary skills and capabilities to achieve its strategic objectives.

2. People Operations:

  • People Operations encompass a broader range of functions related to managing the workforce within an organization. It includes employee relations, payroll, and benefits administration, compliance with labor laws and regulations, and employee engagement initiatives.
  • This function often involves handling day-to-day administrative tasks related to employees, such as onboarding, offboarding, managing employee records, and handling employee queries and concerns.
  • People Operations also focuses on fostering a positive work environment, promoting employee well-being, and ensuring fair and equitable treatment of all employees.

What are people operations in a company?

In a company, People Operations refers to the department or team responsible for managing all aspects of the employee lifecycle. This includes recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and HR compliance. People Operations professionals work closely with managers and employees to support their needs, address concerns, and create an environment conducive to success and growth.

What is a people operations job spec?

A People Operations job specification (job spec) outlines the responsibilities, qualifications, and expectations for a specific role within the People Operations department. It typically includes details such as job title, duties and responsibilities, required skills and qualifications, reporting structure, and any other relevant information about the position. A well-defined job spec helps attract qualified candidates and ensures alignment between the role and the organization's goals and culture.

What does a people operations associate do?

A People Operations Associate typically supports various aspects of the People Operations function within an organization. 

  • Their responsibilities may include assisting with recruitment efforts, processing new hire paperwork, coordinating employee training and development programs, maintaining HR records and databases, assisting with employee relations matters, and providing general administrative support to the People Operations team. 
  • They play a crucial role in ensuring smooth operations and supporting the needs of both employees and the organization.

What is the role of a people operations manager?

The role of a People Operations Manager is multifaceted and strategic. 

  • They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of People Operations within the organization, including recruitment, onboarding, performance management, training and development, employee relations, compensation and benefits, and HR compliance. 
  • Their primary objectives are to attract and retain top talent, foster a positive workplace culture, support employee growth and development, and ensure compliance with relevant regulations. 
  • They also collaborate with other departments to align people-related initiatives with the organization's overall goals and objectives.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

What are the key functions of people operations?

The key functions of people operations are:

  • Talent acquisition: People Operations teams are responsible for attracting top talent to the organization. This involves crafting compelling job descriptions, utilizing innovative recruitment strategies, and ensuring a smooth candidate experience.
  • Onboarding and integration: Effective onboarding sets the tone for an employee's journey within the organization. People Operations professionals design onboarding programs that facilitate seamless integration, provide necessary training, and instill a sense of belonging from day one.
  • Performance management: Regular feedback and performance evaluations are essential for employee growth and development. People Operations teams establish performance management frameworks that align individual goals with organizational objectives, fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
  • Employee engagement: Engaged employees are more productive, innovative, and committed to their organization's mission. People Operations professionals implement initiatives to boost employee morale, promote collaboration, and create a positive work environment.
  • Learning and development: In a rapidly changing business landscape, continuous learning is paramount. People Operations teams oversee training programs, mentorship initiatives, and professional development opportunities to empower employees to reach their full potential.
  • Culture and diversity: A strong organizational culture is the foundation of a thriving workplace. People Operations professionals cultivate an inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated, and every voice is heard.

What are the impact of people operations on business success?

Investing in effective People Operations yields numerous benefits for organizations:

  • Enhanced employee satisfaction: By prioritizing employee well-being and development, People Operations fosters a happier and more engaged workforce.
  • Improved retention: A supportive work environment and opportunities for growth reduce turnover rates, saving time and resources associated with recruiting and training new employees.
  • Increased productivity: Engaged employees are more motivated to perform at their best, driving productivity and innovation across the organization.
  • Enhanced employer brand: A positive workplace culture and reputation as an employer of choice attract top talent and bolster the organization's brand image.

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