Like it or not, traditional human resources as we know it is undergoing a tremendous transformation. In fact, many forward-thinking companies have already made the transition from HR to a new model known as People Ops. Whereas traditional HR departments focus primarily on compliance from a company perspective, People Ops places the emphasis on maximizing the value of employees and using that value to drive business results.
This difference will ultimately become the distinction that differentiates good companies from great ones. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the trends that are driving this shift.
Increased digitization has heightened the value of people.
Technology companies have taken their rightful position at the front of the pack in terms of rapid growth and success. While just one tech firm made the list of top 10 largest companies a decade ago, today they account for half of those organizations. One would think that this so-called digital revolution might push humans even further down the list of priorities, but the opposite is true.
In reality, the true value of a tech company comes from its people – from design and engineering to sales and marketing to management and more. And this doesn’t only apply to technology firms, either. More and more organizations are beginning to recognize that people are, indeed, their greatest assets. And any company whose differentiating assets are its intellectual property and its people need People Ops in order to thrive.
The balance of power has shifted.
Today, people have much more power over their careers than they ever have before. Gone are the days of a dedicated employee remaining with one company for 45 years before retiring and collecting a pension. These days, the average employee changes jobs at a rate of every 4.4 years. And with the increasing number of millennials in the workforce, that number is expected to decrease even more.
All of this has resulted in a marked shift of power from employers to employees. Furthermore, the accessibility and transparency of new career opportunities – thanks to sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn – have empowered job seekers and influenced organizations to focus more on employer branding and retention in order to attract and retain top talent.
Company culture and employee engagement have become the strongest competitive advantage.
Research from Gallup has highlighted the fact that companies with a strong culture and high level of employee engagement outperform their competitors across just about every business metric. This includes productivity, customer satisfaction, employee turnover and, subsequently, profitability.
In order to perform well in the areas of culture and engagement, companies must be deliberate and strategic in their priorities, with people being at the top of the list.
The New People Ops
As mentioned, forward-thinking organizations have already begun to respond to these shifting trends by moving away from traditional HR and instead focusing on People Ops. The latter brings with it a focus on maximizing the value of employees through talent acquisition, on boarding, quality management, employee engagement, company culture and improved internal communications.
Now more than ever, people have become the key drivers of organizational success. The winning companies of tomorrow will be the ones that have successfully reinvented their HR to become more strategic, deliberate and holistic. Will you be one of them?