By Yael Cohen – Palavra de Especialista
Believe it or not, Human Resources and People Management are not exactly the same thing. Let’s get to the definitions.
A traditional Human Resources department has as main responsibilities the Personnel Department (database, payroll, benefits), compliance, recruitment and selection, transfers, promotions, conflict mediation, dismissal, among others. The People Management team, on the other hand, deals with the employee experience – from identifying and implementing strategies to increase team productivity, to offering tools and resources so that employees can perform optimally, to creating and strengthening the company culture. In short, HR historically saw people as resources only and People Management treats them as (internal) customers.
As with many aspects of HR, Google pioneered this change when in 2006 it renamed its Human Resources department “People Operations” to “People Operations” with the aim of making it less administrative and bureaucratic and more strategic. Since then, many companies have chosen to rename or create their People Management teams.
Besides Google, many companies understood that the team was the real competitive advantage, and not only their product or service, which can quickly become obsolete given the speed of innovation in today’s world. When people are a company’s greatest asset, the talent market becomes extremely competitive, and employee retention becomes a priority topic on leaders’ agendas.
The change of focus to the valorization of the employee does not eliminate the need to have a professional dedicated to the more traditional HR functions. After all, they are the basis of the basic structure (physical, social, psychological) that the company can offer to its employees and also help in retention. However, beyond the functions, the big differentiation between HR and People Management is in how the employee is seen and treated – an asset, rather than a resource or expense. This new approach can also be seen in many aspects of more traditional HR functions, for example companies offering shares as part of their remuneration package and flexible benefits.
The People Management team is focused on developing a culture of teamwork that enables innovation, authenticity, a sense of belonging and engagement, all of which contribute to employee retention. These professionals collect feedback from employees on motivation, performance of their leaders, benefits, events, among other subjects, analyse the data and implement new processes, policies and tools. Thus, this team is responsible for investing in engagement and development, which benefits employees, and also the company as a whole.
Yael Cohen has a degree in Business Administration from IBMEC-RJ and a Master in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco, CA. Yael has over 7 years of experience in several areas of Human Resources, both in Brazil and in Silicon Valley startups. She is currently Human Resources Manager at TuneIn, based in San Francisco, CA.