How “PeopleOps” Influenced My Transition Back to the Office

by

November 14, 2022

I credit Integris HR and our advanced PeopleOps for inspiring my transition back to the office.

I’m not returning 100%, but I have a new routine stoking my energy, optimism, creative output, and team spirit. One or two days a week is a big jump from zero in-office days per week.

What does “PeopleOps” – short for people operations – have to do with my fresh outlook?

Everything! PeopleOps nurtures human capital to create happier, more productive, and connected workforces. Chief People Officers design employee experiences that:

  • Improve profitability
  • Reduce burnout
  • Inspire everyone to do their best

Although Integris has a Chief People Officer, and one of our core values is #People first, I wasn’t aware of the term PeopleOps until November 9, 2022. Now everything makes sense.

I’ll review three significant benefits and why Integris PeopleOps has me heading into the office (and Thanksgiving 2022) with an abundance of gratitude.

 

#1 – PeopleOps Elevates HR

I’ve worked for small, medium, and large organizations since 1989 and never paid any attention to HR or PeopleOps.

PeopleOps is the brainchild of Laszlo Bock, former Senior VP of Google’s People Operations. He coined and expounded on this new definition of HR in his book WORK RULES!

HR is Shifting

As Bock puts it, “HR is shifting from a strictly ‘administrative and bureaucratic’ department into one with ‘some actual ability to get things done.’”

He’s spot on. I used to think of HR as payroll, benefits, and PTO authorization. And I only filled out forms once a year.

But the new iteration has a ubiquitous presence, a wider sphere of influence, and more personality.

Whenever I correspond with our “People Leaders” in emails, they respond quickly. I see and hear their presentations in our All Hands Video Conferences. And they’re active in our most popular Teams channels.

In short, they’ve got my attention and interest, inspiring me to play along.

 

#2 – PeopleOps Leverages Automation

PeopleOps leverages automation with reliable self-service applications.

Self-service used to mean “figure it out on your own” and pray your workspace is soundproof, so no one hears you cussing and screaming when something doesn’t work.

With PeopleOps, you can say goodbye to tech rage and hello to goal attainment.

Our recent migration to ADP was fast and efficient. (No, that’s not a typo.) The Integris People Team provided concise directions and judicious enrollment reminders and tied up any loose ends with detailed follow-ups via email. Even switching my 401K allocations was easy, a first for me.

Convenient Automated Compliance

The People Team even made online anti-harassment training from ADP efficient and engaging. After reviewing a 45-minute module (with vignettes of extremely cringeworthy bad office behavior), I scored a 100%.

The training was so compelling I’m scared to cite examples. After all, what happens in ADP anti-harassment training, stays in ADP anti-harassment training.

Since I have a connection with PeopleOps, I’m less likely to procrastinate and more likely to engage immediately with whatever they send me.

I usually complete our 360-degree anonymous employee feedback surveys from Biz Ratings and monthly cybersecurity awareness training from Infosec IQ weeks ahead of the deadlines.

 

#3 – PeopleOps is a Community Booster

PeopleOps is constantly boosting the community with new employee announcements and open positions.

Every week there’s a nonstop celebration in Teams, welcoming new team members. The company is expanding, and everyone always submits encouraging remarks, emojis, memes, and GIFs. I read every one of their messages and think:

  • More positions open? I wonder who might be a good fit? I know a lot of people in the MSP space. I’ll post the job openings on LinkedIn.
  • New people in our Atlanta office? I better drop by and meet them.

Encouraging professional development strengthens the culture at Integris. The following communique from Barbara Leafgreen, Integris Training and Development Specialist, says it all:

It’s coming! The moment we’ve all been waiting for! LinkedIn Learning will be rolled out company-wide very soon.

LinkedIn Learning lets you learn at your own pace. You can select courses relevant to your current role, and you can also pursue other passions! With courses on financial literacy, social media, even drawing and music theory, you’ll be able to grow and develop in the areas you care about both at and outside of work. 

Be on the lookout for more information later this week.

Events are Surprisingly Unifying

Over the last six months, PeopleOps and marketing collaborated to produce several events and contests:

  • The Best Group Halloween Costume, The Best Individual Halloween Costume, and The Best Pet Halloween Costume
  • The Virtual 5K with four teams walking or running and Integris underwriting donations to four different charities
  • The “I am Integris” Video Competition to showcase people and their perspectives on our brand

The first two events inspired the team to get together in person, in the office, where pictures and videos were captured and disseminated internally and across social media. Everyone rallied around fitness goals while increasing awareness and contributions to deserving nonprofits.

The video competition showcased company spirit in short videos espousing Integris values.

Each initiative generated fresh perspectives, created new relationships, and an increased appreciation for connecting with colleagues somewhere else besides the phone or Teams.

 

A Little Office Time Goes a Long Way

Going back to the office helps Integris and me in several ways.

A big part of my role is creating digital content that answers buyer questions and helps IT decision-makers solve technical challenges. When I meet face-to-face with our sales team, project managers, vCIOs, help desk, network, and cloud specialists; I get details and context I can’t get from any other medium.

Capturing everything via iPhone video saves time going back and forth via email, instant messenger, and Teams meetings. I also give everyone the option to share information without a camera in their face or any concern they will be the next accidental social media star.

Mutual Benefits

They rely on me, and I depend on them. When the team knows I am looking out for their best interests – and will suffer Atlanta traffic to do so – it takes the relationship to a new level.

For example, when I create educational assets for the website that answer vexing buyer questions, it saves prospects time and decreases our time to revenue if they move forward with us.

The same is true of content that educates and inspires our clients to think strategically about cybersecurity frameworks and compliance. This audience is more likely to approve IT improvement projects and be less of a burden on our technical support team. So when I tell the tech team, I need their input to solve client challenges, they gladly share insights.

Additionally, our new Atlanta office has walking trails, food trucks, and several dozen other tenants. I’ve already made some new acquaintances, and we’re likely to gain a few new clients.

I hope my experience will inspire people everywhere to think outside of the makeshift office in your bedroom, kitchen, or corner of the living room.

Find your reasons to go back.

 

Jed is a Solution Advisor at Integris who has specialized in MSP solution development, sales, and marketing communications since 2003.

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