I am in People Operations, not Human Resources. I feel the need to clarify because I think many use the terms interchangeably. I think that People Operations is the HR of the future. People Operations is the after picture in a Transformation Tuesday Instagram post. People Operations is HR after it attended a Tony Robbin’s retreat. People Operations is HR’s sexy, younger sister.
Human Resources needs a makeover. It has a bum rap. The words “Human Resources” make me (and many others) cringe. The words feel formal, cold, and stale.
When I think of HR, I am reminded of scenes in cop movies when the police would get word of an Internal Affairs investigation. Can you see it? The HR manager slides around the office with their back against the wall and peek around the corner with a clipboard to check off the company’s attendance and grade conduct. Or maybe the HR informant would try to blend in and mingle with us in the lunchroom or at company events. I suspected that the secret agent was compiling a list of who was slacking off or misbehaving.
I know, I know; I am being dramatic and taking some creative liberties to underscore my point. Let me try this again without as much exaggeration—I find that Human Resources sounds like a managerial group of corporate spies charged with tattling on employees. Who wouldn’t be leery of a group like this?
When I started my new role as Director of People Operations at Digital Surgeons, many of my new colleagues would approach me and say “So, you do HR?” I would take a deep breath and try to hide my aversion to those two dreaded consonants. “No, no, no. I am not a Narc!” I am not surveillancing your workplace movements or compiling a dossier for your managers.
At Digital Surgeons, we believe that our people are our greatest asset. We don't police our people, or punch clocks. If you get your work done and support your fellow teammates, we don't care where or how you get your work done. Our flexible remote policy encourages people to work anywhere that suits them be it from a coffee shop, at our office, or from the comfort of your home.
I am not about policing adults. I am about developing people into the best versions of themselves. I am about solving:
- How do we develop junior employees to become future leaders in the industry?
- How do we tighten up the recruiting process so we are attracting and hiring the best and most interesting people?
- How do we work with the leadership team so they can balance their time between directing and rolling up their sleeves?
- How do we create two-way channels of communication for feedback and transparency?
- How do we engage and motivate people?
- How do we destress our people?
- How do we streamline process so people can head out early or focus on personal projects?
So no, I don’t do HR. I am here to help our employees level up, lean in, and chill out.
I am not a Narc.