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21 Examples of People Operations

People operations is the management of labour including employees, contractors and freelancers. This is essentially a modern term for the human resources department as people prefer to be called people as opposed to resources or capital. People operations is associated with modern labor management practices that view employees as valuable talent that deserve transparency and a voice. The following are common functions of a people operations team.

Organizational Structure

Designing and implementing the structure of organizations such as departments, teams and roles. This includes elements such as authority, job titles, job levels and reporting lines.

Organizational Culture

Organizational culture are the expectations, norms, stories and symbols of an organization that form over time as a result of the shared experiences of employees. This is not directly controllable but a people operations team plays a role in shaping culture with shared experiences such as onboarding and all-hands meetings.

Employer Branding

Cultivating a good reputation as an employer in a competitive market.


Attracting and hiring talent.


Giving new employees everything they need to be productive from the moment they start including information, access to resources and introductions to a firm's culture and people.

Internal Branding

Building a brand from the inside out to make it an authentic representation of a firm. For example, if you are targeting a sustainable brand image you begin by engaging employees in reducing the firms negative impacts on people and planet.

Compensation & Incentives

Setting appropriate levels of compensation and designing incentives to align with organizational goals.

Performance Management

The process of setting performance expectations and evaluating performance. Performance management also includes the process of dealing with low performance including performance improvement plans and dismissals.

Career Planning

Working with employees to match their careers goals with opportunities in the organization and setting expectations for what is required to achieve promotions and career changes.

Training & Development

Developing the talents of employees with training and development programs.

Competency Models

Taking an inventory of the talents and skills required by the organization and building a depth of coverage in each area.

Rewards & Recognition

Recognizing and rewarding high performance including elements such as awards, bonuses and promotions.


Designing and delivering benefits. This is often heavily outsourced with people operations responsible for strategy, monitoring and partner management.

Working Conditions

Designing and delivering suitable working conditions. This includes job design, policy, processes, employment terms and environments.

Employee Communication

Managing communications to employees. For example, communicating open positions to employees to give internal candidates access to job openings.

Employee Relations

Managing relationships with employees. It is common for people operations to reach out to every employee and get to know everyone in the organization to understand employee satisfaction issues at the working level.

Employee Engagement

Engaging employees to make everyone a part of an organization's current strategy, challenges, risks and change. In other words, people operations plays a role in preventing teams and individuals from becoming isolated from the rest of the organization.

Employee Satisfaction

Measuring and seeking to improve employee satisfaction. For example, identifying policies, environments, tools and other factors that are making employees unhappy.


The administrative processes of employing someone over the entire course of a career. This is often highly systematized and automated with important human touchpoints. For example, retirement benefits may be automatically calculated but a retirement party is an human act of respect for an individual.


Ensuring compliance with laws, regulations and internal policies and standards.

Contingent Workforce Management

Managing a firm's contingent workforce including contractors, freelancers and anyone else who performs labor for a firm on a non-permanent basis.
Overview: People Operations
The management of labour including employees, contractors and freelancers.
Related Concepts

Human Resources

This is the complete list of articles we have written about human resources.
Balanced Scorecard
Bench Strength
Bozo Explosion
Career Planning
Compliance Risk
Competency Models
Corporate Culture
Culture Fit
Contingent Workforce
Employee Behavior
Core Competency
Employee Benefits
Employee Costs
Employee Data
Employee Development
Employee Engagement
Employee Relations
Employee Retention
Employee Satisfaction
Employer Branding
Employee Expectations
Hire To Retire
Employee Experience
Human Capital
Employee Motivation
Job Depth
Key Employees
Exit Interview
People Operations
Formal Communication
Performance Metrics
Full-Time Equivalent
Goal Setting
Succession Planning
Talent Management
Time Off
Internal Branding
Work Performance
Internal Communication
Work Schedule
Job Levels
Working Conditions
Job Orientation
Workplace Issues
Knowledge Capital
Workplace Privacy
Mission Statements
Org Structure
Improvement Plan
Performance Mng
Performance Objectives
More ...
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Human Resources

A business discipline that seeks to maximize employee performance.

Employee Expectations

The definition of employee expectations with examples.

Talent Management

The definition of talent management with an example process.

Human Capital

The common types of human capital.

Employee Retention

The common types of employee retention strategy.

Performance Expectations

An overview of performance expectations with examples.

Exit Interview

The common elements of an exit interview.

Job Satisfaction

An overview of job satisfaction with examples.

Succession Planning

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Organizational Culture

An overview of organizational culture with examples.

Power Distance

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An overview of sustainability with examples.

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Internal Environment

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