Moving People with People Operations

Every company has that one employee who does so much work, and does it so well, that people are constantly saying, “What would we do without them?” At Personio we’re lucky to have more than a few, but today we’re just going to talk about one of them: Ann-Sophie, People Operations Manager in our Munich office.

In People Ops, Ann-Sophie’s work begins the moment a candidate signs their Personio contract. She handles the onboarding process, ensuring each new hire has the information and equipment they need to hit the ground running from day one. (With most employees working from home these days, this part requires a bit more flexibility than normal!)

Once a new employee is onboarded, Ann-Sophie jumps into the long-term employee experience. “Everything that can happen to a single employee throughout their life at the company, at least from an operational perspective – all of this is done by our team.” This includes everything from the logistics of payroll, role changes, and promotions to salary increases and parental leave – none of which happen without the People Ops team.

As she describes it, Ann-Sophie’s role also includes helping people “if they want to understand what kind of benefits we offer, how we work as a company, if they have a tricky situation in their work environment and need somebody to talk to or get a few insights from. 

And this is just scratching the surface. With Personio closing in on 1,000 employees and offices in five countries – England, Ireland, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands – Ann-Sophie and her teammates are also responsible for ensuring Personio is compliant with local labor laws and has the frameworks in place to effectively scale and grow with new changes. For example, People Ops recently spearheaded PersonioFlex, our office-first but remote-friendly framework that we’ll use when offices across Europe fully reopen. This involved a massive amount of research, comparing the policies of different countries, engaging consultants and subject-matter experts in tax and labor laws, and more.

Dan joined Personio as a Group Product Manager and relocated with his wife from the United States to Germany.

With this variety of projects, it’s no surprise Ann-Sophie is unable to describe her typical day. “I can’t map it out because I don’t have one day which looks like another! It depends on the situation we’re currently in, what projects we have going on, any troubleshooting or new priorities that come up. It’s a role that is focused on whatever the most important topics are to the company at the moment; the things that impact our employees the most and move us forward. 

We like to think of Ann-Sophie as the ultimate problem-solver. Anything operational and employee-related that comes up, she tackles. (You’re probably starting to understand why Ann-Sophie is one of those “What would we do without you?” Employees.)

And there’s still more. Many Personios are interested in relocating, including new employees who are moving to one of our office locations; current employees who wish to move from one office city to another; or members of our culture carrier program, who temporarily move from one office location to another in order to help grow the personio culture in a given office. People Ops refers to all the logistics and operational support as “global mobility.”

Arun, now a Quality Assurance Engineer at Personio, relocated from India to Germany with his family.

As you can imagine moving from one country to another – even within the EU – comes with a heap of paperwork and logistical challenges. For employees moving to the EU from outside of it, these logistical requirements increase exponentially. That’s where Localyze comes in.

Localyze is a full-service global mobility provider that partners with companies to help their employees relocate. They team up with a company’s People Operations or HR team and the employee throughout the relocation process. Employees, especially those moving into the EU from a non-EU country (or vice versa), get support with collecting the appropriate documentation, filling out paperwork (which is often in a language the employee doesn’t speak), applying for a visa , registering with the local government, getting a tax ID, finding an apartment, opening a bank account … the list goes on.

When travel bans pop up or embassies get hacked, Localyze have the subject matter expertise to advise the employee and People Ops team on next steps and expected timelines. “It would be hard to cope without them, because relocation is a very time-consuming topic and you have to be so on top of all the details,” Ann-Sophie says. “And they also have great contacts in governments and embassies all over Europe, which of course most HR professionals don’t have.”

But when the relocation does go to plan, Ann-Sophie just needs to kick off the relocation with Localyze via the integration in Personio – which already includes many of the details about an employee that Localyze needs to know. They take care of the rest, keeping the People Ops team informed along the way. It’s easy to see why, if Ann-Sophie is our “What would we do without her” employee, Localyze is her “what would I do without them” partner.

Alex and Max relocated from Canada to Germany for his Personio job, and then she accepted a role at Personio soon after!

And as we’ve covered, Ann-Sophie’s contributions to Personio don’t end there. Which, according to her, is a good thing! “It’s the mix of all the different topics, and the opportunity to help people tackle real life problems,” she says, listing out her favorite parts of her job. “However crazy the situation is, however out of the standard it might be, there’s always a solution – we just have to find it and implement it.” With #SolutionsOverProblems as one of our core values, this seems fitting.

For our resident People Operations Manager, tackling new challenges seems to be a way of life: soon she’ll be moving to Dublin to expand People Operations in that office! Who knows, she might even use Localyze to do it.

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