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Amy Hsuan: What the Great Disconnect means for employers

INTERVIEW: In the third instalment of Chief of Staff Asia’s interview with Amy Hsuan, the Global Vice President of People and Strategy with Mixpanel says it is now vital to balance the needs of both employers and their staff.

Global Vice President of People and Strategy Amy Hsuan and her team at Mixpanel.

COS Asia: On resignation and attrition, how should the growing employer-employee disconnect affect an HR leader’s strategies in 2022?

Hsuan: It's a good question. Work has been transformed in people's lives around the world. Our perspective at Mixpanel is that we need to give people opportunities to volunteer for the causes that are important to them. We have a “volunteer time-off” of 40 hours a year where our employees can donate their time to causes they are most passionate about.

At a company level, the whole Corporate Social Responsibility realm becomes increasingly important. We have to do a lot more than just take care of our employees and investors now.

COS Asia: How well do staff participate in these corporate-level activities?

Hsuan: It's a highly-popular program. People get behind a cause and dedicate their time. We are data analytics and digital product experts, so donating time to causes to help them improve their products is the next step we’re evolving in our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.

COSAsia: Do you foresee that this generation's changing relationship with work will prevail for decades, even post-pandemic?

Hsuan: Covid will probably be ongoing, and it is hard to say for how long. But the lack of certainty that people feel is going to weigh on their perception of their future for a very long time, which dictates daily life decisions in the near term. We've been seeing this shift in the role of work for some time. Corporate Social Responsibility is, by no means, a new concept.

COS Asia: As an HR leader, how do you strike a balance between the employees’ and the business’ needs?

Hsuan: The number one investment our company makes is on our people and supporting them; it’s probably consuming 90% of our expenses. Attracting, recruiting, and retaining talent is such a huge investment. My employees are my customers. If you truly understand what employees fundamentally want, and you regularly survey and treat them like customers, it's good for your business. You may not give them every product and service they want, especially if it's not going to fit the broader needs of your customer base, but it’s vital to know and understand your staff as well as you would your customers.

In this market for talent, employees have a lot of say, choices, and different companies they can go to.

For example, hybrid for us is “employee choice”. We've reopened most of our offices, but they have the choice if they want to come in or continue working from home. Some would say it's a questionable business decision; 30 people coming in every day does not make sense financially.

We ran a pilot to see at what point people want to be in the office more regularly. It's worth our understanding of the ways that employees want to engage in a physical space now. Because we can be a hybrid workplace, we attract more talent who want to come to the office but not daily, and people who want to be fully remote. That helps us with our efficiency, engagement, and employee retention. Employees, like customers, have constantly-evolving needs.

COS Asia: How do you encourage and motivate employees in that mixed environment?

Hsuan: I encourage everyone to look at some of the positive sides of this uncertainty because a lot of experimentation and innovation is happening. Things are changing in the organisational culture and people space and this is a huge opportunity.

Up until the pandemic, we've not leveraged nearly what we could have (in terms of) technology that can afford to give people flexibility and to experiment with different formats. I see this period as a tremendously opportune and exciting time.

Many new tools allow people to live their best life and spend less time on things that they don't want to spend on if they don't want to. Giving people a chance to have the balance they need is exciting.

This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Amy Hsuan, Mixpanel’s Global Vice President of People and Strategy. For further coverage please see any of the below links:

Hybrid work deep dive: A view from Mixpanel’s global HR leader

The Great Resignation: It’s not just about the money

Amy Hsuan: What the Great Disconnect means for employers

Getting to know: Amy Hsuan (April 14, 2022)

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