How to's, Tips & Tricks
November 21, 2019

What is People Ops? How can You Turn Employees Into Your #1 Customer?

People Ops is designed to meet the needs of a creative and forward-thinking workforce that values recognition, doing meaningful work, and wants access to a variety of choices to chart their own work experience. There are four ways People Ops accomplishes this goal, treating employees like their best customers, utilizing software to create a better candidate experience, developing a smooth onboarding experience, and providing an engaging environment

Companies are increasingly embracing the concept of People Ops as a solution to employee retention and engagement concerns. With over 25% of employees categorized as being “high risk” for turnover, and studies showing that the cost of replacing employees can be as much as 200% of their salary, companies simply can’t afford to lose employees due to a lackluster work culture. 

Gaining traction over the last decade, People Ops is more of a philosophy than a concrete model. According to former Google SVP Laszlo Bock, widely credited with inventing the movement, People Ops is grounded in the belief that  “people are fundamentally good” and company leaders need to “treat [their] people like owners instead of machines.” 

People Ops wraps the core functions of Human Resources (HR) around a multi-layered portfolio of services that turn employees into internal customers, taking a holistic but data-driven approach to supporting each employee across their entire lifecycle. The goal is to increase employee engagement and happiness to boost retention and make the company more attractive to top-tier job-seekers. Whereas traditional HR is sometimes seen as “reactive” and/or focused mostly on serving and protecting “the business,” People Ops puts employees at the center.

People Ops Meets The Demands of Today’s Workforce

People Ops is designed to meet the needs of a creative and forward-thinking workforce that values recognition, doing meaningful work (bonus points for social and environmental impact), and wants access to a variety of choices to chart their own work experience. (Also - this particular workforce really wants dogs!). There are four ways People Ops accomplishes this goal:

  • Treating employees like their best customers
  • Utilizing software to create a better candidate experience
  • Developing a smooth onboarding experience
  • Providing an engaging environment


People Ops Makes Employee Satisfaction Top Priority

As entrepreneur and business management leader Sir Richard Branson puts it, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” That’s the very heart of the People Ops philosophy - the idea that by creating a holistic, creative, experimental approach to putting employees first, businesses can realize true stability and scalability while in turn delivering amazing client experiences. And it’s hard to build a forward-thinking environment where creativity and risk-taking are encouraged with HR siloed away from the project teams that most employees work on.

Instead, People Ops takes the approach of folding core HR functions into a series of collaborative workflows. This brings recruiters to the table along with general operations staff, area managers, IT, marketing, and senior executives to put employee experience at the center of everything. There’s even been a recent trend of hiring Chief People Officers to work across functions. 

In fact, building a People Ops team with connections across all necessary departments is one of three key strategies identified by Lucia Guillory, VP of People and Places at Virta Health. In her model, which was implemented at Patreon, PeopleOps brings multiple stakeholders together in an informal relationship that’s designed to support each employee while also fostering collaboration between teams. 

Using The Best Software To Create A Better Candidate Experience 

The People Ops philosophy recognizes that employee success begins in the recruiting and interviewing stage, much the same way that a successful customer journey starts when the customer first engages. Workers now look for an employer’s brand to be reflected in their day-to-day experience. Sure, those core values painted on the wall in the lobby may look impressive, but job candidates are on the lookout to see if they are actually practiced or not. The People Ops team ensures that company values are lived out day-to-day, starting with recruiting and interviewing.

People Ops can help recruiters and team managers collaborate on hiring requisitions, job descriptions, and even candidate reviews by leveraging a Slack-integrated internal ticketing platform like Halp. Eliminating lengthy email chains in favor of real-time and asynchronous communication means that recruiting teams know the critical competencies before they begin screening candidates.

Candidates also want to know that their time is appreciated by receiving prompt updates and notifications on all steps of the process, from confirmation that an application has been submitted, right through to an offer or final rejection. If you’re sending a rejection, it should ideally be accompanied by contextually-appropriate feedback. (Hint - ghosting candidates is not a great reflection of your company’s values, even if the candidate is clearly not qualified). By quickly coordinating internal responses and reviews, People Ops ensures that hiring pipelines function smoothly and top-tier candidates receive first-class treatment from start-to-finish.

People Ops Sets New Employees At Ease Through Seamless Onboarding

The rise of People Ops has brought about a new focus on the process of onboarding and its importance in the employee lifecycle as well. And for good reason - a good onboarding program can have a major financial impact, improving retention by 25% and overall employee performance by 11%. 

In a smooth onboarding process, the new team member should be met at the front door by a friendly face and receive a warm welcome from a now-familiar recruiter or even a manager. From there, the new employee is introduced to teammates, takes a tour of key locations in the office (a handy facilities map can also be provided), then shown to their workstation where ID cards, laptops and tablets, and a fun assortment of company swag items are waiting for them, along with a hand-signed note from their new colleagues. (Pro Tip - make sure apparel sizes are on the pre-boarding checklist).

Of course, it takes a tremendous amount of coordination to make this magical moment happen. Equipment has to be approved by the finance team and set up by IT, who also have to provision new accounts for your tech stack; security cards have to be printed and prepared; schedules have to be coordinated with managers and co-workers to ensure the full team is ready to say hello when their newest team member walks through the door. There’s a lot going on. 

However, the entire process becomes a breeze when using Slack ticketing via Halp. Leveraging Slack and Halp together makes it easy to bring all of the pieces of onboarding together and quickly introduce your new team member to the whole crew. 

People Ops use Engagement Tools for Employee Growth

A recent survey of over 500 companies determined that 71% of managers recognize that high employee engagement drives organizational success. Keeping the kitchen stocked with healthy treats and booking fun activities help boost morale overall, but that’s just a small part of the employee experience. To drive meaningful engagement and ensure that employees stay happy and productive, the People Ops team looks to data to inform their decision-making process.

If you are already using BetterCloud and Slack, Halp offers an integration making it easier than ever for teams to onboard employees, enabling launching onboarding/offboarding workflows in Slack! Connect BetterCloud to your Slack workspace today and trigger onboarding and offboarding workflows instantly. 


Last but not least, People Ops professionals can ensure the employee experience isn’t disrupted by delays in handling HR matters. After all, having a great snack close by or a discount code for a popular delivery service doesn’t make up for an issue with payroll processing due to missing employee information. By using an integrated suite like Halp for People Ops, teams can set up internal SLAs to ensure managers are notified and can resolve issues before the employee even suspects there might be a problem. 

Ready to bring conversational ticketing to your team? Try Halp today!

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