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The power of PeopleOps-driven HR strategies for startups

Posted by Grace Townsley

July 28, 2023

With the unemployment rate hitting a near all-time low in several states, and hovering at just 3.6% nationwide, many companies are feeling the hiring pinch. Companies in the food service and hospitality industries are struggling to retain workers. Companies in health care and social assistance have a relatively low quit rate, but can’t seem to keep up with their growing hiring needs. And when it comes to manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and education companies, there are more unfilled positions than qualified unemployed workers. 

The tighter the labor market becomes, the more valuable your startup’s PeopleOps program gets. That’s why, today, cultivating a thriving and engaging company culture isn’t just a perk — it’s necessary for every startup’s survival. 

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How does prioritizing PeopleOps benefit your startup?

PeopleOps, short for People Operations, starts with traditional HR practices and takes them several steps further. PeopleOps goes beyond payroll and benefits administration to emphasize the kind of data-driven strategies and decision-making that support your startup’s full employee lifecycle. 

While HR strategies for startups may begin at hiring and end with the exit interview, PeopleOps considers the culture the new hire will be onboarded into, how changes to the job description may impact the applicant pool, and how employees can be empowered throughout their tenure.

The core functions of a successful PeopleOps manager include improving engagement and retention across your startup, identifying and launching new employee programs, expediting the hiring and onboarding process, and strengthening your startup’s reputation. Often, PeopleOps leaders will carry out these functions through training programs, recognition programs, mental health or workplace wellness initiatives, enrichment workshops and more. 

Why the holistic approach to traditional HR? Because startups that prioritize culture are better equipped to attract, train, and retain top talent, drive bottom-up innovation and see greater ROI across every department. 

The core principles behind PeopleOps are employee support, continuous feedback, transparent communication and employee development. That’s why creating your own experienced PeopleOps team is one of the most valuable HR strategies for startups.

Still skeptical about the value of PeopleOps? Take a look at this data.

While HR functions tend to focus on regulatory paperwork and impersonal processes, PeopleOps is slowly becoming the new way to create a positive, productive workplace. The administrative work is still completed, but employee engagement, development, and retention is prioritized just as highly as payroll operations and benefits administration. 

Here’s why this shift in approach matters: 

  • Human-centered organizations that care equally about their people and their profits generate an average of 32% more revenue than traditional organizations.
  • These companies ultimately outperform the S&P 500 average by 211%.
  • In companies with highly engaged employees, there’s a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% boost in productivity. Plus, companies that intentionally engage their employees can see up to a 59% reduction in turnover. 

The research is clear. Companies that view people as people instead of resources see a significant jump in productivity, engagement, motivation and revenue. That’s the power of people-focused HR strategies for startups. 

Talk to us about how Escalon’s PeopleOps can help you improve HR effectiveness.

Don’t have the resources to prioritize PeopleOps? Outsource it.

If your startup is operating with a lean team, it may feel impossible to put energy into PeopleOps — especially if you’re still handling your key back office functions yourself. 

For busy startups that can’t afford a dedicated PeopleOps expert, outsourcing can be a game-changing solution. Partnering with a reliable outsourcing company can provide your startup with benefits like: 

Stronger HR technology solutions.

While your startup may not be able to afford the data-backed technologies you need to handle PeopleOps processes, when you work with an outsourcing company that leverages these tools, you gain access to the best functions without the big costs. 

Dedicated PeopleOps support.

If your key leaders wear multiple hats, there’s a good chance your most critical PeopleOps functions, like results-oriented leadership, proactive people planning and culture-building, are going undone. But when you outsource these key roles, you can rest assured that every process is receiving dedicated attention. 

Better systems.

With an outsourced PeopleOps team in place, you can focus on your company’s core strengths and leave processes like payroll operations setup, data security, compliance and other administrative functions to the experts that know them best. 

At first glance, it may seem like the only effective PeopleOps leader is an internal, full-time employee. But in reality, an outsourced professional or team with an unbiased, outside perspective can be even more effective at creating a people-first environment

Building a thriving startup requires a commitment to profitability — and to people

Scaling your startup involves more than product development, fundraising and marketing. To build a company that lasts, attracts and trains top talent, and dominates your market, you must put your people first.

By reframing your HR functions as PeopleOps processes that go deeper than paperwork and compliance, you can build an engaged team that’s motivated, productive and empowered to fuel your startup’s growth. 

Want more? In addition to HR, benefits, recruiting and payroll through its PeopleOps, Escalon’s Essential Business Services include FinOps (CFO services, taxes, bookkeeping and accounting) and Risk (business insurance). Talk to an expert today.

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. Escalon and its affiliates are not providing tax, legal or accounting advice in this article. If you would like to engage with Escalon, please contact us here.


Grace Townsley
Grace Townsley

As a professional copywriter in the finance and B2B space, Grace Townsley offers small business leaders big insights—one precisely chosen word at a time. Let's connect!

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