In this insightful episode of The Headcount People, host Tushar Makhija welcomes Alisa Avelar, a seasoned VP CHRO who has led HR teams at multiple hypergrowth companies. The discussion dives into the complexities of selling the HR story to the leadership table, addressing why HR departments often feel unheard or face pushback.

Alisa shares her journey into HR, highlighting her passion for learning and development to support employees' career growth. The conversation covers a wide range of vital HR topics including the new normal post-pandemic, the importance of grace and patience in the workplace, and strategies for influencing and gaining a seat at the leadership table.

Alisa also emphasizes the need for robust HR data tools and how to effectively use people analytics for better decision-making. The episode provides valuable perspectives on balancing business growth with employee wellbeing, making it a must-watch for HR professionals and organizational leaders.

Chapter list:

00:00 Introduction to the Episode and Guest

01:22 Alisa Avelar's Journey in HR

02:40 The Evolution of HR in the Modern Workplace

04:10 Balancing Business Growth with Employee Well-being

07:26 Strategies for HR Leaders to Influence and Drive Change

12:01 The Importance of Data-Driven HR and the Challenges of Tooling

25:28 The Future of HR: AI and the Human Touch

30:21 The Impact of Technology on Human Connection

31:12 The Role of HR in Organizational Development

33:00 Challenges and Solutions in HR Technology

36:08 The Importance of Data in HR Decision Making

37:44 Choosing the Right HRIS for Your Organization

42:13 The Cost of Underinvesting in HR

50:30 Strategic HR Management and Headcount Planning

57:52 Final Thoughts on HR's Role in Organizational Success

[00:00:00] Alisa Avelar: our job is to sell that story so the people sitting at the table are like, Oh, that makes so much sense. But if I'm only giving them snippets of a story , then the story isn't really being told, which is why HR sometimes feels like they're not heard, or they're getting pushback.

[00:00:13] Tushar Makhija: Hello everybody, and welcome to the new episode of the Headcount People. And today I have with me Alisa Avelar, who has been a VP CHRO over the last decade at multiple hyper growth companies. And I met Alisa when we, started building Team Ohana and I always left every meeting.

[00:00:38] Tushar Makhija: After talking with Alisa, learning something new about the true nuances of company building, org design, headcount planning, there is such institutional knowledge, Alisa, that you have that I'm so excited to dig deeper today. And you know, so glad that you are generous enough to share this information with everybody on this [00:01:00] podcast today.

[00:01:00] Tushar Makhija: So welcome.

[00:01:02] Alisa Avelar: Thank you. It's an honor to be here. I think the platform is amazing. Your vision is strong. So it's easy to attach our conversations because we start with what are we trying to solve today? And then you and I are talking about 24 months, five years, 10 years of what it really looks like in terms of workforce planning for a nation.

[00:01:22] Tushar Makhija: before we get into the meat of the conversation it would be great if you can just tell us abouthow did you enter HR, your past experience, and then you have survived being a head of HR for a long period of time and yes, all the other HR leaders would agree when I use the word ups and downs, pandemic recession, what have you, how do you do it?

[00:01:44] Tushar Makhija: And what is your superpower?

[00:01:46] Alisa Avelar: Oh, that's a loaded question. I think many may be able to resonate with this is that I fell into HR. It was not something I did not decide I was going to go to school and then be an HR leader. I [00:02:00] fell into it really because I love the learning and development side of that really helping them find their passion and then building a career map and a career journey and what are the tools they need to learn.

[00:02:11] Alisa Avelar: And so from there, that kind of evolved my HR career road. And then I learned all the other, you know, great pieces of that employee performance and how do people elevate themselves and upscaling an organization. The hiring and finding great talent and hiding, finding talent where, you know, you would never know that there's talent, which is why I'm a huge remote work advocate, because I think you can find talent in a much larger radius than just, you know, your comfort circle.

[00:02:40] Alisa Avelar: I will say survival and survival mode and perseverance, especially the last three years, you know, HR has been a rough role through the pandemic, post pandemic. And what is the new normal of an organization? What is the new normal of HR? What is the new normal for an employee? And so we're all navigating that while, [00:03:00] you know, what I've said is please give everybody grace and patience while we navigate this new place that we're all trying to be at, because we're never going to be pre pandemic.

[00:03:09] Alisa Avelar: And we have a new, you know, new world, so to speak. And so now we just need a little bit of grace and patience while we navigate what that's supposed to look like. But meanwhile, guess what things are moving a million miles an hour. Organizations are still in hyper growth moving really fast, needing to grow really fast.

[00:03:27] Alisa Avelar: And so. Grace and patience tends to be more incremental when a business needs to grow exponential. I think that would be my superpower to answer your question is really trying to pause, observe and provide grace and patience and try not to be jumping to a solution or a fixer, even though that is my first initial thought is like, Oh, how do I fix this?

[00:03:49] Alisa Avelar: But Learning to kind of just observe and offer grace and patience, but then also be patient with others as well, I think is a big piece of the new [00:04:00] way of work and that doesn't always align with what a business needs because they're trying to grow in revenue and boards and all those things.

[00:04:10] Tushar Makhija: I mean, it's like such a important piece because you know, as a CEO myself I sometimes struggle with the fact that I'll give a live example is that we like to give people the last week of December off because I personally don't like to work the last week of December.

[00:04:28] Tushar Makhija: I need to decompress. But I do find myself sometimes when I hear My engineering team or the product team saying things like, Oh, we're going to, we won't be able to get this done by the end of the year. We will reconvene at the beginning of January. And then I immediately switch and say, no, you're going to work on the 26, 27, 28, and you got to finish this.

[00:04:47] Tushar Makhija: And then they laugh. It's like, this is like, and then, you know, again, this is just like the, Tussle or the, you know, the fight that is going on in the head is that there is a right thing to do But then there is this [00:05:00] impulse around the business, right? Oh my god Are we gonna miss a deal or are we gonna delay a feature?

[00:05:06] Tushar Makhija: How do you coach the ceos or how do you coach the c suite to follow these guidelines of? Patience, giving people the benefit of the doubt, and just being good humans.

[00:05:20] Alisa Avelar: Grace and patience is relative, right? and everybody's probably shaking their head. It doesn't always work and you know, the ceo or the leadership team has a vision.

[00:05:30] Alisa Avelar: They're trying to Close out the goals Revenue, whatever it may be, the board could be pressing and just trying to finish the year strong. And what I always try and say is that sometimes business wins and sometimes people wins. And there's this ongoing of give and take.

[00:05:48] Tushar Makhija: And

[00:05:49] Alisa Avelar: I know both sides can say like, well, I've given a lot and I've given a lot, but sometimes just being patient with that as a, as a leader is, How can is there a [00:06:00] compromise? Can we do both? And I know these seem like very what's the word I'm looking for? Very abstract. Oh, that's in a utopia and things of that nature.

[00:06:10] Alisa Avelar: But I think pausing what is going to get the most productivity out of our employees? Having them work that last week of December is like, how much are you really getting done? Are you going to get 40 hours from everybody? Probably not.

[00:06:26] Tushar Makhija: Probably not.

[00:06:27] Alisa Avelar: Because you know what, the first 51 weeks of the year, you were getting how much every week?

[00:06:32] Alisa Avelar: You were probably getting 60 hours a week. And so now you're asking them, you know, it's like sprinting a marathon. And people that know me say, I say this a lot is like, you cannot sprint a marathon.

[00:06:45] Tushar Makhija: have to pace yourself. Yeah.

[00:06:47] Alisa Avelar: Exactly. But

[00:06:49] Tushar Makhija: I think again, right? I think. You have really been part of hyper growth at multiple companies and you have, you have [00:07:00] seen headcounts get doubled.

[00:07:01] Tushar Makhija: You have seen budgets get slashed. You know, you literally lived through the, Hey, I have a lot of money to spend versus I have no money to spend. You know, from in all of this and then your leadership can be also anxious because their goals are tied to certain and their payout is tied to certain goals that they have to hit.

[00:07:24] Tushar Makhija: How do you influence? The leadership, how do you make sure that it's not you can't just walk into the room and people start listening to you Right that you have to it's a build up and I think there is a lot of to the listeners I believe that they we want to show them the both sides of the coin is that all the hard work that You did in the beginning to get the seat on the table so that you can influence decisions.

[00:07:49] Tushar Makhija: So Any tips tricks on? You Or like guidelines, what should be followed in order to get the seat on the table?

[00:07:57] Alisa Avelar: it's a two way street. And it's not going to be an [00:08:00] answer that everybody likes because we got the seat at the table and we have a voice, but you need the people sitting at the table to actually listen.

[00:08:09] Alisa Avelar: So that's the big piece. And everybody has to be willing to listen to everybody. And if you're at a product company, you have to realize that you're going to have to speak twice as often to be heard. If there's anything that I've learned as being an HR leader is that don't be passive. Being that annoying, that lack of a better analogy is be that annoying younger sibling.

[00:08:30] Alisa Avelar: It's like if you have the information and you know that this is good information that you can take to the bank, then you should be talking to all of your peers, you should be getting proactive buy in, running by your peers, and so that when you go to sit at the table, and you bring this information, you have somebody in your court saying, Oh, yes, yeah.

[00:08:50] Alisa Avelar: This is something that I've spoken to, you know, the HR leader about, and this is something that yes, we should do, So just as much as you have your go to [00:09:00] market teams that rally around each other, you may need to have your GNA leadership rally around you, just like you should be supporting as a head of HR, the CFO and the HR should be marching side by side,

[00:09:12] Alisa Avelar: They control the money, you control the people. It's very important to stay connected. And, but you need an ally too. So pull somebody over from go to market, you know, sail the head of sales. You're going to need allies because you'll notice that your product and engineering may be at odds.

[00:09:28] Alisa Avelar: And, but engineering is going to maybe side with sales or there you'll start to see allies at the table. And this is probably some of that. You know, non HR people don't want to hear, but you're going to start seeing where people rally behind each other. You're going to need your own cheerleading squad as well, or in it alone, because that's not going to help your cause.

[00:09:53] Alisa Avelar: And I know that sounds terrible because it's like, Oh, I can't bring data and just be at the table. I have to bring data and [00:10:00] then bring a squad with me. Well, nobody likes to hear. One, usually people say no to the first time they hear information, right? The immediate is no, because nobody likes change.

[00:10:12] Alisa Avelar: If I sat down at the table and said, Oh, our attrition rate is 35 percent and it's the first time everybody's hearing it at the table.

[00:10:21] Tushar Makhija: This is going to be chaos.

[00:10:23] Alisa Avelar: Yes, it's shock. What do you mean 35 percent when everybody is thinking attrition rate is in the teens, right?

[00:10:29] Alisa Avelar: You want to build up to the conversation at the table. This is the big thing is no shock and awe, no surprises. And it's not about rallying, you know, your peers against each other, but it's keeping them informed along the way.

[00:10:45] Alisa Avelar: are you sharing the information regularly enough where if you said attrition was 35%, nobody would be shocked. They knew that as they've been paying attention, if they are shocked and you've been sharing information, then you know that not everybody's looking at the [00:11:00] information.

[00:11:00] Alisa Avelar: And then why aren't they looking at the information? Because we should all be concerned. If there is a spike in attrition or a change in anything that's going on around our people

[00:11:10] Tushar Makhija: So this is a very important point. You just made because I think I can draw a parallel between we have a Product dashboard which is telling us if we are going to get to the end of the sprint And when are we going to get to the end of the sprint and there is a high probability of either Meeting the date or missing the date and this a lot of this discussion happens Full quarter in advance, right?

[00:11:34] Tushar Makhija: As the company, and especially in sales, you cannot show up at the last day of the quarter and say, sorry, we are missing our number, right? you have to report on it every day. You also said something very interesting about the HR dashboard. If I stop anybody on the streets of San Francisco who's worked in tech, they can tell you the dashboard for product, for engineering.

[00:11:53] Tushar Makhija: They can actually tell you dashboards even now for finance, right? HR [00:12:00] dashboard. Two questions come to mind. Is HR data driven so that they have a dashboard? If indeed they are, what are you tracking? What are the data points that you believe a company should have on a HR dashboard?

[00:12:19] Alisa Avelar: There's so many things to track when it comes to people because people are led by emotion and those can kind of be like this throughout a period of time.

[00:12:28] Alisa Avelar: And so you're trying to find maybe five or six metrics. That you know that give you the pulse of the organization at any given time, regardless of what that metric is, you're, you're going to get a good feeling of what that is. Obviously, attrition, you know people are paying attention to regretted turnover.

[00:12:48] Alisa Avelar: And that's super important. Are you losing people that you don't want to lose is important, but who are you losing is even more important. Are you taking care of your high performing employees? Are [00:13:00] you taking care of those superstars?

[00:13:02] Alisa Avelar: They're looking to grow and excel and they're helping drive your organization. Are those the ones leaving or the ones that are leaving are strong performers and, but they're just willing to sit in the seat, you know, your core players, or are you losing under performers because they realize it's not the organization that, you know, that they can be successful in.

[00:13:21] Alisa Avelar:

[00:13:21] Tushar Makhija: you

[00:13:23] Alisa Avelar: have turnover and then we'll drill down into regretted turnover or things that I look at time to hire a super important. Does it take a long time for our organization to hire somebody? Why is, you know, two years ago I could hire people in days where maybe four or five months ago, it may have taken longer if we were looking for a very specific skill experience, things of that nature.

[00:13:48] Alisa Avelar: So that's super because also the other thing is if you're having difficulty hiring, where's your employer branding? You know, how are people even feeling about your organization?

[00:13:57] Alisa Avelar: Do they know your organization? Think of all the new [00:14:00] startups and tech companies where people don't even know that they exist and the opportunities are there. And so how are these new, there's new startups. So those are two of the things that I look at. Obviously, there's a lot of other ones.

[00:14:14] Alisa Avelar: If you were to ask a CFO, they probably want to know revenue per employee. That's going to be super important to the board and your peer group at sitting at the table. Pulse survey, you know, where's the culture sitting your DEI numbers. DEI numbers as a whole are super important, but what I also look at is how many of our underrepresented groups are actually being promoted or moved into higher level roles.

[00:14:38] Alisa Avelar: That's something that it's great if we're hiring from underrepresented groups. But how are they actually what's your internal mobility look like after you bring them in, like recruiting can do a great job about bringing in underrepresented groups and you're like, Oh, we're hiring them. Okay, but where are they, if they're sitting in the same roles you hired them at, are [00:15:00] we actually truly diverse and inclusive and offering equitable experiences.

[00:15:06] Alisa Avelar: I always look at, you know, D I B is kind of, there's several prongs that you need to look at. You just can't, you know, show a chart and saying like, Oh, look at our underrepresented groups. Because on, you know, you could say that that's how many you have, but what is their experience inside of your organization?

[00:15:22] Alisa Avelar: That's the key. And so you really need to, you know, are they engaged? Are they participating? And so. Those may not seem as important when you look at a dashboard, but if you were a leader, you would want to know, okay, I'm focused on hiring underrepresented groups and they're succeeding in our organization.

[00:15:40] Alisa Avelar: That's the key right there. And let's be honest, I'm probably going to jump forward a bit with four generations in the workplace. what are our younger generations focused on is that they want to see the same experience for everybody. And so. If we want to tie that back into headcount and hiring, it's like, do we [00:16:00] have things in place so that when we are hiring from these groups, that they have a place to feel like they're included, they're wanted, and they're feeling valued.

[00:16:10] Tushar Makhija: Right. And just as you mentioned in the beginning, like hiring is, Being remote is now a big plus because you have access to talent pools around the world. And you know We've heard a lot about folks going to army veterans and bringing them into the workforce and similarly going to There is a lot of good talent and the only way we can move forward is By tapping into those networks and actually nurturing them and making them more productive.

[00:16:39] Tushar Makhija: SoI love the nuance because we've heard a lot about DIB dashboards and those vanity metrics but what does it really mean? You have to dig deeper. It's not just about hiring. It's about. Internal mobility and growth. So I think that's a very interesting point, but let's try to double click on [00:17:00] the first part.

[00:17:01] Tushar Makhija: I said, right, that HR traditionally is not known to be data driven, right? What have you done in terms of tooling or investment in people in your team so that you can actually build out that data infrastructure? And if you have like names of companies that, you know, people can go and look into as useful tools that even you've used or what spreadsheet models have you created, just, just tell us everything.

[00:17:31] Alisa Avelar: I will say, and this is why you and I are having this conversation. Cause I think the very first conversation we had is that there is not a tool out there that gives. the HR leader or an HR team, the data that they need, it's being pulled from several places. And then we have to put it into Google sheets or Excel and create our own charts and our own dashboard.

[00:17:53] Alisa Avelar: And it's very manual. And so now if you think about it, [00:18:00] you could go to the job boards and people analytics is now this up and coming role within the people. Why is that? Because there are no tools. That I can say, Oh, I need to know attrition. I need regretted attrition. I need to know about revenue per employee.

[00:18:15] Alisa Avelar: I need to know about my DEI metrics. How many people have been promoted? What is my compensation equity? What, you know, all of these things that people come to us and saying, like, are we paying our underrepresented groups fairly? Okay, well, you know what I would have to do to do that? Let me go pull a data report, and then I have to go to this other place that I may have done my compensation merit cycles and things.

[00:18:38] Alisa Avelar: And you and I have talked about this. And you know, can team Ohana do this? Because If I'm workforce planning and I have everybody's salary in there, I know their tenure, I know their gender, I know all of these things about this, all these demographics information, I can say like, oh, this is, this has been the mobility of our organization.

[00:18:58] Alisa Avelar: And [00:19:00] what's the profile and can we say what a successful profile is, is in within the organization. Would that help hiring, would that help promoting, would that help performance, all of those things. So in terms of tooling in a long winded way, is that it's very still very manual? It's pulling some from the H.

[00:19:21] Alisa Avelar: R. S. It's pulling some from maybe your performance tool. It'spulling from your survey tool. And they all do great jobs, but each tool is focused on one thing.

[00:19:33] Alisa Avelar:

[00:19:33] Tushar Makhija: Yeah.

[00:19:34] Alisa Avelar: Which is why you and I have said like, well, what if we could put some of those? What if we had that dashboard? Because you know what that dashboard would tell me instead of me spending six hours every week in updating a dashboard and making sure those numbers are right.

[00:19:50] Alisa Avelar: And then going to the Monday morning meeting to be able to advocate for things that we need, what if the dashboard is there, and then I can, go to my peers sitting at the [00:20:00] table and saying. Hey, I read your monthly business review or hey, you're looking to hire X number of people. We should look to see where they should go into your organization.

[00:20:11] Alisa Avelar: Then you can really get org design. You can't even get into org design because one hiring is somewhat reactive for a short term goal versus a long term goal. So having, being able to understand what's going on in the organization in terms of the people allows us as HR. People leaders and just HR team members of the whole.

[00:20:31] Alisa Avelar: I mean, the BPs honestly do a lot of the work. The BPs are feeding it up to the VP of HR. And then, you know, basically we're selling the story. And our job is to sell that story. So the people sitting at the table are like, Oh, that makes so much sense. But if I'm only giving them snippets of a story trailers, per se, sporadically, then the story isn't really being told, which is why HR sometimes feels like they're not heard, or they're getting pushback.

[00:20:57] Alisa Avelar: And one of the things I've learned is that, [00:21:00] I'll say it, I may not be pushy enough, I may sound pushy here for whatever reason, but I'm not, I observe a lot, take things in, and then I want to, and I think one of the things I've learned is that you honestly have to be overly pushy, And say like, No, this is important.

[00:21:18] Alisa Avelar: We need to have a conversation. If we need to have another conversation and come back to the group. I'm happy to do that, but we need to have this conversation because I don't think anybody's I may not be articulating what I need you to hear. So let's have a, you know, kind of can we have a collaboration and then narrow it down and what it is that I need to get across to these other people sitting at the table?

[00:21:38] Alisa Avelar: So the data piece, comes from a variety of sources. That's the one issue I've always had in HR is that it's never what am I gaining by adding a tool? What am I giving up? If I'm looking at a new HR system or a performance tool, it's like, okay, what can I live without? Because they generally will not have [00:22:00] everything I need.

[00:22:00] Alisa Avelar: And I need to figure out what it is that I can live without, which is. I know I keep plugging your tool, but you and I've had so many visionary conversations about like, this would be amazing if I could just click and be like, Oh, this is what our data looks like, or, Oh, I'm starting to see it trend differently when you have to do, people always say, Oh, HR says, you know, I have this gut feeling or based on my experience.

[00:22:23] Alisa Avelar: And it's because we have remembered those trends and metrics in our head from all of our time and experience. So anybody that's been in HR longer than, I would say, eight or nine years has seen things come to fruition two or three times.

[00:22:37] Alisa Avelar: So they already know where the pitfalls are. So when they start to experience that again, they're like, stop, hold on. And then someone will say, well, where's the data for that? And I'm like, the last three companies? You know, and, you know, that experience. And so if we can then put that, that experience into data and a dashboard that people can look like on a regular basis, I would love somebody to come to me and say, like, [00:23:00] I'm noticing these trends in the time to hire and regretted attrition and our revenue per employee is dropping.

[00:23:07] Alisa Avelar: What's going on? I'm always the one saying like, Hey, all of these are happening. What's happening in sales. What's happening in marketing. Did we change some, you know, it's like all of these things that affect the business business affects the people and people affects the business, but we haven't made that connection of like reviewing a business review and then poking holes in it, we missed, we missed our goals for the sprint.

[00:23:34] Alisa Avelar: Well, why? And I will be honest, you know, in saying that's probably I probably didn't ask why enough if I was sitting in a business review of why didn't you miss your sprint? Did you over did you expand bandwidth? Did you have three people go out? Did you forget you had two people on parental leave? Did you not scope the project well enough?

[00:23:56] Alisa Avelar: what was the issue? Was people the issue? Or was it a, you know, [00:24:00] something to do with a technical piece?

[00:24:02] Tushar Makhija: Right. I mean, this, you know, the, I will remember everything that you just said and just enlist some of these points. The number one for all my VC friends listening to this podcast, you need to invest in HR tech.

[00:24:16] Tushar Makhija: stop investing just in dev tools and engineering companies. you must be investing in HR tech because good people strategy equals great company strategy. And I think that you have outlined and highlighted that in the last few minutes when you said that there is always an underlining thing that is happening in the company that cause and effect, but we only look at the net result and try to dissect it rather than going more deeper and HR has to play a very important role there.

[00:24:48] Tushar Makhija: And I think, yeah. it's like every other department as well, right as salespeople we come with scar tissue as product people We have call it scar tissue call it learnings and then I think the [00:25:00] only difference is that all these other functions are able to marry the qualitative and quantitative together but the quantitative is the missing piece

[00:25:08] Tushar Makhija: I mean the vision that and We are Moving towards is that there has to be this unified data layer and on top of that there is Different systems of engagement, which can be headcount planning, compensation planning, people analytics, but those are all workforce workflows. And then on top of that, and this is where I want to ask you about AI.

[00:25:33] Tushar Makhija: Like where we, you just mentioned that the real work is done by the HRBPs who take this data. Or I would say there is a lot of data that can be brought together in a dashboard and then it becomes information. But that information has to be converted into wisdom. That is only happening at the HRBP level.

[00:25:54] Tushar Makhija: Do you,

[00:25:58] Tushar Makhija: can, can machines or [00:26:00] can AI help in, I heard this somewhere, Ironman, this job position that suddenly the HRBP now has this Ironman suit and they are off to the races. What are your thoughts on this whole AI revolution?

[00:26:14] Alisa Avelar: AI as a support mechanism. AI should never be making decisions for people. People should always be superior than the machine, right?

[00:26:25] Alisa Avelar: We've seen many movies play this out. If you were to look at what's going on in the workplace right now, is that there is a disconnect. Employees are feeling a certain way and in organizations are feeling a certain way. The bridge is broken. And AI is not going to fix that.

[00:26:47] Alisa Avelar: Relationships fix that. That means communication, sitting down at the table, grace and patience, listening, all of those things is what happens. So when you start inserting a tool to fix something, [00:27:00]

[00:27:00] Tushar Makhija: you're

[00:27:00] Alisa Avelar: I will say people move incrementally while product or organizations want to move exponentially. People are naturally resistant to change. Why is that? Because they, the fear, or they want to know what the end result is going to be. And, you know, this AI thing is moving exponentially.

[00:27:23] Alisa Avelar: No one wants to have their job replaced, or to think, can you imagine, is that what if my boss was harassing me? And AI is where I have to go first.

[00:27:42] Tushar Makhija: Very valid point, yeah. It doesn't end well, right?

[00:27:47] Alisa Avelar: No, it's not. Because I is going to say like, Oh, you should go, you know, and even we do this as HR.

[00:27:55] Alisa Avelar: It's like we would love for people to be able to resolve things on their own. We want [00:28:00] people to be able to come to the table and actually have conversations that cannot always happen. We get that. And, but if that was your first option. What do you think would happen to the workforce at that point?

[00:28:16] Tushar Makhija: they'll be further disconnected, I would say.

[00:28:18] Alisa Avelar: And what do disconnected employees do?

[00:28:23] Tushar Makhija: Leave and find a better home.

[00:28:25] Alisa Avelar: Exactly. AI is not the solution. We're already seeing where AI has been a problem in applicant tracking systems. And so I certainly don't want an AI to replace my, it can't replace someone's true empathy, a machine could say, Oh, I'm sorry that you feel that way.

[00:28:49] Alisa Avelar: Does that make you feel better? Or if you were able to connect with another human being? Heartbeat to heartbeat and saying like, oh my gosh, that's horrible. I'm so sorry that you experienced that.[00:29:00]

[00:29:00] Tushar Makhija: Yeah, especially when you mentioned the applicant tracking systems. I mean, there is a base. There is what is show and tell and what is reality. And do you have you experienced that there has been biases where AI is say, rejecting resumes or of certain sections of society or certain people.

[00:29:22] Alisa Avelar: I have not been a part of that. I've been very lucky to be at organizations where we have never allowed the system to say like, Oh, here's the top 10 resumes.

[00:29:32] Tushar Makhija: Yeah.

[00:29:33] Alisa Avelar: And we've always everywhere. I've been recruiters have always wanted to look at resumes, even when I'm recruiting for my own team, I will go in and look at resumes.

[00:29:42] Alisa Avelar: And I'm looking more for experience versus titles. And, you know, really understanding what did you actually do? Because I also understand that titles don't always correlate with a certain level of experience. You know, I always say small companies, big titles, big companies, smaller titles. And [00:30:00] so, what did you actually do?

[00:30:01] Alisa Avelar: And I think the summary is super important. they're talking about how to put in white letters inside of your resume so that the AI and the ATS will catch it and pull you in And to me, I think. you're breaking out this human element even more. We've talked about how technology has already done that to humans, right?

[00:30:21] Alisa Avelar: We already have difficulty connecting as right. The pandemic was horrible. We are mammals at the core of who we are. We are meant to run in packs. 18 months of isolation absolutely was detrimental. And you're now adding another piece of technology to fix things. Fix what? Relationships between people need to be fixed by people.

[00:30:46] Alisa Avelar: And the only way that happens is when people want to sit down at the table and are willing to communicate and offer grace and patience. And right now you can see that, you know I was sharing this with another colleague the other day we were chatting and I said, you go on [00:31:00] LinkedIn and you hear all these things about leadership and communication

[00:31:04] Alisa Avelar: And then you go on to social media and employees are like, Yeah, not buying it.

[00:31:12] Alisa Avelar: And so now, you know, turning things around is like hiring and development and where I would love to see data coming in for tools for HR. Teams and even for leaders in that matter is being able to look at your team in an org structure, knowing who your high performers are, who, who is looking for coaching, who has tapped into all the training that your organization offers Who are people that are hungry to grow?

[00:31:40] Alisa Avelar: Who are people, and I've also said this too, who are people like, hey, I really like my role. I don't need to have 10 goals to the next level. I really would like to do my job really well. That's okay too, those employees. But being able to look at your organization holistically and then being able to sit with a senior leader and saying like, We are doing the next 12 month planning.

[00:31:59] Alisa Avelar: What is [00:32:00] it that you expect your org to look like over the next 12 months. So don't go and put in a headcount request for a manager. Like can we promote from within? And so that's why I say sometimes right now when you're growing at all costs or you don't have that holistic back up and look at the organization as a whole, you're hiring reactively.

[00:32:18] Alisa Avelar: And I've seen it is almost at every single organization. An employee will see manager, you know, on the careers page. And they're like, I've said, I wanted to, you know, like, and now you have an employee that wanted to grow and be a people manager and all of these things. And then they literally saw the job that they would want posted in the careers page without, you know, and without any kind of consideration.

[00:32:46] Alisa Avelar: So how do you balance. Oh, we need external talent. External talent. Well, if that's what you continue to say, what do you think your employees are gonna do? They're gonna go and go find and

[00:32:56] Tushar Makhija: go somewhere else.

[00:32:57] Alisa Avelar: talent somewhere [00:33:00] else.

[00:33:00] Tushar Makhija: I wanna bring you back to this. we touched upon this topic multiple times now where traditional HR solutions have been point solutions.

[00:33:08] Tushar Makhija: If you have to take a 30,000 foot view, why is that? I mean, why are people not just going to workday? They do. It does everything. so I think two part I have a third part as well, but let's start with the two part question is like If you look at the last 15 years you've got amazing hr solutions ats solutions performance management solutions each of these are multi million dollar categories in themselves

[00:33:38] Tushar Makhija: It organically creates these silos. So why do you think this is? Is it that hard to bring all of this together? And then do you believe that HR would be better served with an all in one solution?

[00:33:52] Alisa Avelar: Ooh, all in one would make our lives easier, wouldn't it?

[00:33:57] Tushar Makhija: I mean, it's a great promise all in one, but [00:34:00] it is like only some parts of the all in one may work well.

[00:34:03] Tushar Makhija: But so, but again, I mean, you probably get pitched a gazillion times by startups to buy things, right? Me included. So how, how do you feel about this? Like, why do you think in the last 15 years we've had. Amazing HR systems, but they are mostly point solutions. They are not thinking more holistically, bringing everything together.

[00:34:24] Alisa Avelar: I think the industry is in a reactionary state. We're not developing for the future. We're developing for kind of what is now a point in time or history. And so we looked forward enough to saying like, what we were so busy trying to get it to seat at the table, but we didn't know what we were going to bring to the table.

[00:34:46] Alisa Avelar: And I know that sounds horrible. And everybody I can just see the HR leaders listening and they're like, she just does not say that like, The tools did us no justice. And if you're not an Excel whiz, you know, we all [00:35:00] became data analysts and we didn't know it because the tools did not provide us. And then yes, you do have, you know, Workday, UKG, all of these big solutions are great, but they're big and expensive and you need individuals to actually be specialists, experts in those tools.

[00:35:20] Alisa Avelar: And the average company It cannot, that's not in the budget. As you said, HR is a non revenue generating function. And then I'm supposed to go ask for this extremely robust tool. So what happens is there's all of these small startups that are catering to smaller, you know startup hypergrowth organizations, and then the SMB.

[00:35:45] Alisa Avelar: And so I think they're, you know, just like, you know, You have the local corner sandwich shop and then you have subway, right? You have where you're managing to the masses depending on what you're, what you want your business [00:36:00] to be. But I think what happens is when they build the toolsin recent software I've used for HRIS is that

[00:36:08] Alisa Avelar: they're offering data and This is a repeat offender statement is that the data is on what we needed five years ago. It's not On data we need five years from now.

[00:36:21] Tushar Makhija: Give an example. What is the data that we need five years from now?

[00:36:26] Alisa Avelar: Well, the holistic, like, how do I look at the organization as a whole?

[00:36:31] Alisa Avelar: And no, and being able to see, you know, could I have the boxes, the org structure, you and I've talked about this, I'm like, vertical or horizontal org structure, and I want names, I want demographics, I want salary, I want to be able to, You know, roll the cursor over it and it gives me this pop up and it says, Oh, Mary has been with the organization for three years.

[00:36:57] Alisa Avelar: She's been promoted once she's had four [00:37:00] merits. Like where is that data in, in a visualization versus running an Excel spreadsheet.

[00:37:11] Tushar Makhija: Right.

[00:37:12] Alisa Avelar: And I would have to run three or four Excel spreadsheets and then merge and VLOOKUP again, becoming a data analyst.

[00:37:21] Tushar Makhija: But you know, Workday is a very successful company doing,

[00:37:26] Alisa Avelar: if

[00:37:27] Tushar Makhija: not millions, billions of dollars in revenue who is buying Workday then, or is there a time and place in an organization that they would, they can go to a Workday?

[00:37:38] Tushar Makhija: And what is that inflection point for you

[00:37:41] Alisa Avelar: or your

[00:37:41] Tushar Makhija: opinion?

[00:37:42] Alisa Avelar: I don't know. If your organization is planning to be more than 000 people, then you may want to buy Workday early on and you realize that you're doing an early investment knowing that your goal is to get to 5, 000 [00:38:00] employees or 3, 000 employees.

[00:38:01] Alisa Avelar: When I initially went froman SMB HRS to UKG, which was actually ultimate software at the time. It was before they actually merged with Kronos. I think we are probably right around four, four 50. But we knew that we were going to grow over a thousand. So we knew that if I just. moved from one SMBHRAS to another one, I'd end up moving again in another two or three years.

[00:38:30] Alisa Avelar: And I was like, Oh, what can I buy for that next five plus years? So that,

[00:38:35] Tushar Makhija: but what do you get? How do you think an SMBHR system is different than a mid market system? what do you get in addition?

[00:38:45] Alisa Avelar: That's funny that you said that because you have to be a specialist. to work within some of those data tables, right?

[00:38:53] Alisa Avelar: But you need those data tables as you kind of outgrow so that what I have [00:39:00] found, you know, is being at the several organizations I've been at that four to 500 employee size is about the time where you have the pain point of needing a much more robust HRAS for data. Where I have multiple data tables, I can pull multiple information, but guess what?

[00:39:20] Alisa Avelar: Now you need to be a data expert. You, you have to be that analyst person because the way that you're pulling the data or the way that the data tables are created on the back end of those systems are not always intuitive. They're built for, they're hard coded in some ways. I will give you an example. If I needed to pull social security numbers for my U.

[00:39:41] Alisa Avelar: S. employees, so maybe I need to do a comparison with a benefit report and make sure everybody's social, right? For whatever reason, that is not actually in the personal profile data table in one of those softwares. It's actually stored, and this may be old data, but this was [00:40:00] probably 2. 5 years ago.

[00:40:00] Alisa Avelar: This is a social security number was actually in the I nine data table, mhm. That's not intuitive, but where I would look for somebody's social security number, I would look for that in the employee personal profile section box. And so you have to be an analyst to kind of navigate the tables and understand how they work on the back end and where to pull data and the Python comes in handy.

[00:40:26] Alisa Avelar: I had an intern last summer and the reason I hired her is because She, I, I don't know Python. I don't know SQL. I have some basic command information, but there's no way. And she's building all of these reports. She's pulling data out of the SMB HRS because I knew I needed to go to a bigger HRS, but it wasn't in the budget.

[00:40:47] Alisa Avelar: I was having to wait until the next fiscal year. And so what do I do? I hired an intern that could do my actual data and pull it out. And even then it was very stale. manual, [00:41:00] antiquated, and to try and keep it up after she left, I actually learned, don't tell them this, but I learned that it was actually, I loved what she did, but our, our skillset, we did not have skillset on the team to manage that.

[00:41:15] Tushar Makhija: Right.

[00:41:16] Alisa Avelar: Then you go to why you go to work day, because then you can create these reports and save them and then anybody can run them.

[00:41:21] Tushar Makhija: Right.

[00:41:22] Alisa Avelar: And so that's where it's helpful. But because of the cost, because of what they do, it's kind of like, am I buying a Honda Civic?

[00:41:31] Alisa Avelar: Or am I buying the newHonda Accord that has, you know, push button and all these other things. It's like, I can't quite afford, the accord. I can afford the civic. So sometimes it is a budget because we're non revenue generating, which then comes into play of what things are important at the table for your C level and senior leadership to the data you have access to and build a story with that, the ability to [00:42:00] get. Money or budget for the tools that you need so that you can do things less manually is going to be super helpful,

[00:42:08] Tushar Makhija: right?

[00:42:09] Tushar Makhija: So this brings me to the next question, right? We talked about affordability Gna cost is a drag on revenue, right?

[00:42:22] Alisa Avelar: Yes

[00:42:23] Tushar Makhija: I mean, I couldn't say it any other way. So I apologize to our hr listeners, but I was I was at a conference with and they were like very successful ceos presenting about their business talking about their thought process and one of the ceos One of the challenges that they are facing is if they are going to be a 200 or 300 million ARR plus company and try to go public.

[00:42:52] Tushar Makhija: They are seeing that the GNA costs are not moving linearly, but kind of exponentially because the cost of [00:43:00] people is increasing, right? And that is, it's an unsolved problem in business that, okay, you, you know, and it comes down to this one HR BP for 150 people or 200 at the max. And if you are a 2000 person company, you just had 20 people there.

[00:43:20] Tushar Makhija: Right. So, and that's a lot of cost. And as you keep growing because organizational growth comes before revenue growth you, if you really want to do justice, you have to keep hiring more people. And now we also don't have very good people. So how should you solve for this?

[00:43:38] Tushar Makhija: Is there a solve for this? Do you change the ratios? because the honest truth is that there's no extra money to give. Yeah.

[00:43:47] Alisa Avelar: No, you're absolutely right. And so what happens is anytime there's high, the G&A is always post revenue gains, right? Okay, we've now made enough money. Now we're going to go and hire the people we need [00:44:00] in G&A And then what happens is there's this catch up period that you have. And so then those in G&A are like, Oh, well, all of these things that we should have built while we were growing all need to be built now. And now you're asking everybody to hurry up and catch up. And that is, that is a very dangerous place to be.

[00:44:22] Alisa Avelar: But I will tell you that that is a very comfortable place that all businesses operate from. And every organization that I've been at in the last 10 years. I mean, there was one time I was the only true HR person.

[00:44:35] Alisa Avelar: We had an onboarding person, but I was a true HR person to almost 400 people globally. And you know, when you grow from when you're, under a hundred and it's easy to kind of grow with that exponentially, but trying to insert people into that exponential growth becomes more and more and more difficult.

[00:44:55] Alisa Avelar: Because now you're asking them to do what sprint a marathon, [00:45:00] which is not feasible. The answer is, is to be okay is that as revenue is growing and you're hiring your product and engineering, is that you're growing your, like everything is growing in parallel, but what ends up happening is that G&A runs super lean.

[00:45:20] Tushar Makhija: Yeah.

[00:45:21] Alisa Avelar: Super lean. People get burnt and I'm going to say it. GNA is burnt. HR is tired. We're exhausted. And then you hire them all and then you want them to bend time.

[00:45:37] Alisa Avelar: And that's okay. Actually. I kind of thrive in that chaos and hyper and startup and. Not everything's built out and, you know, things change a lot, but that's not for everybody and sometimes that can be really difficult fire trying to fire and find the right people that are okay with that a high level ambiguity, [00:46:00] high level of you got to build the plane while you're flying and figure it out as you go along and being resourceful.

[00:46:07] Alisa Avelar: And that's why we said at the beginning, you know, you're kind of in survival mode and you persevere because people that thrive in that are going to be just fine. And, but I think if we've learned, if we can, again, pause, observe, patience, grace, what is it, what is going to get us five plus years, and you've got to get more proactive about hiring and, oh, I need this headcount.

[00:46:34] Alisa Avelar: I need that headcount That doesn't work.

[00:46:40] Alisa Avelar: That doesn't work well when you're trying to build a sustainable, scalable organization, but we have been operating in that mode for so long.

[00:46:51] Tushar Makhija: kind of become second nature, right? To people. So, but in your opinion What would you say is [00:47:00] hey as like a for the lack of better word?

[00:47:02] Tushar Makhija: Ultimatum to the c suite and say if you don't grow the HR Organization just in a similar fashion or pattern that you're growing the rest of the organization What will fail? Some companies have, which have a very long term thinking about how they want to build culture and how they want to be powerhouses.

[00:47:24] Tushar Makhija: Like I would say Microsoft, you can say, right, Microsoft is a powerhouse, right? And Google has been one. People don't leave. Well, I don't know if they're productive or not, butthey don't leave. So. What gives, like what if, if there is a CEO listening to this podcast, what would you tell 'em that if you don't do this, what's in store for them?

[00:47:45] Alisa Avelar: One, give the HR the tools they need to give you the data you need to make decision. That is the key. You want data, well, we need the tools to do the data. Otherwise, you're gonna have a very lean HR team doing hours and [00:48:00] hours of manual Excel work to give you the data that you're looking for. When there are tools out there that can help.

[00:48:06] Alisa Avelar: And if that means investing in Workday or UKG or, you know, all of these other larger systems, then do it. But figure out what tools it is that your team needs to be able to make good people decisions. quit scrimping on the tools.

[00:48:25] Alisa Avelar:

[00:48:25] Tushar Makhija: Convenient. Got it.

[00:48:27] Alisa Avelar: If you make time. and go to the grocery store, you're going to get more for your buck. And it's probably going to last longer. It's not an immediate pay for the long term, be willing to pay for the long term.

[00:48:39] Alisa Avelar: No one is buying a 20 year old car and thinking it's going to last them another 20 years, you buy a new car, and you're going to say this car is going to last me 20 years, and I'm going to take care of it.

[00:48:51] Tushar Makhija: Most importantly, yes.

[00:48:52] Alisa Avelar: If If you hired people, you hired them for a reason. Don't start doubting them and [00:49:00] discounting them.

[00:49:00] Alisa Avelar: And it's like, listen to what they have to say. I think that's the biggest piece. If I was going to talk to, It's leadership across the board and even the VP of HR, you know, sometimes we don't get it either, but that's where you need to sit down and we need to understand what everybody in the business is doing.

[00:49:18] Alisa Avelar: I think that's really key. what is the pain of product? What is the pain of engineering? What is the product of sales and customer success and marketing and all of these things? What is really going on? But what's going to fail over time? If I can't give you the data to make better decisions in terms of hiring performance learning, you know, you think about the employee life cycle.

[00:49:40] Alisa Avelar: if we don't have data in every single one of those houses, then what's going to fail at the end of the day is culture, regretted attrition, employer branding, you know, it's really hard to recover from those things. Those things take incremental [00:50:00] actions. I always say first impression, you only get one set of first impression and it takes a hundred additional impressions to remove one negative interaction.

[00:50:10] Alisa Avelar: So if I've had a negative interaction with somebody, it's going to take me a hundred other interactions to fix that.

[00:50:17] Tushar Makhija: Okay. I want to, I want to segue into the question around, and you touched a lot of it, but we, we are we, the name of the podcast is The Head Cow People, right? I think what,

[00:50:33] Tushar Makhija: what are the most important things to look into for headcount planning?

[00:50:39] Alisa Avelar: Skill set. What is the skill set you have and what is the skill set you need?

[00:50:45] Alisa Avelar: And are you doing regular gap analysis on your skill set? People will grow and they will either, and other people will not follow. So you may, and gaps may be inserted into your team. [00:51:00]

[00:51:01] Tushar Makhija: How would you go about doing gap analysis? Is it more like qualitative talking to people or is there some formulaic way of doing it?

[00:51:10] Alisa Avelar: I wish there was a formula of doing this again. This is where the people piece comes in and this is only done because There are relationships between the manager and employees. So they're having regular one on ones. They know, you know, there's professional goals. What are they working on? are they working on the things they want to work on?

[00:51:31] Alisa Avelar: Are your team taking PTO? If nobody on your team is taking PTO, that usually tells you, you don't have enough people on your team. If somebody says, oh, if I go on, you know, then this won't get done. Or, oh, I can't give that to Bianca because she's already overloaded.

[00:51:49] Alisa Avelar: It's like, If those are the kinds of conversations happening in your organization, that should tell you right there that you're missing skill. You're missing a person. [00:52:00] There's something missing on the team.

[00:52:02] Tushar Makhija: Yeah, I think the net net what I'm hearing about this is that companies cannot be gaining revenue by reducing, artificially reducing GNA.

[00:52:12] Tushar Makhija: So I thinkinvestors especially for public market companies should be starting to look at this that if companies are, underperforming or under investing in G& A, especially the HR function the long term prospects of that business don't look good. Let's we covered a lot of topics, right?

[00:52:31] Tushar Makhija: And before we end the conversation today, thank you so much for deep insights. These were not cursory things that you said. I think, we got an insight into your, expansive career and learned a lot of new things Likeyou gave us the magnifying glass into a lot of different things that I appreciate that.

[00:52:51] Tushar Makhija: But I want to end this conversation with your thoughts on Let's say you have this podium to talk to new HR leaders or folks that [00:53:00] are really interested in HR. What are your top three, top five points to them? What should they be doing in order to become a strategic partner to the CEO and have that seat on the table?

[00:53:13] Tushar Makhija: Because I think people should go to your LinkedIn and check that out because you've done this a lot. You've, you've gotten a seat at the table repeatedly at some, some marquee companies. So what's that secret sauce?

[00:53:26] Alisa Avelar: Oh and you know, each organization and each group of people is going to be different.

[00:53:29] Alisa Avelar: There's not, you know, two plus two is four all day long, but the dynamics of people are just that dynamic. And so to say like, Oh, this is what works. Every organization I've gone into, I will say like, this is the framework, but realizing that there's going to be different steps in each of those frameworks because, oh, this group works this way, or this group of people works this way, or the culture is this way, or the people operate this way.

[00:53:58] Alisa Avelar: But you have to be the bridge [00:54:00] between the employees and leadership.

[00:54:01] Tushar Makhija: All right.

[00:54:03] Alisa Avelar: And, you know, it hurts my soul when I read on social media that HR is not your friend and organizations don't care about their employees and things of that nature.

[00:54:13] Alisa Avelar: And the reason I still love HR is because I am truly like, the company will always win. Take that off the table. How can I help you win?

[00:54:23] Alisa Avelar: Wow.

[00:54:23] Alisa Avelar: And that's super important is that the company is always going to win. So the thing is, is what HR, any HR person doesn't have to be someone seated at the table because this, your seat at the table really starts at the beginning of your career.

[00:54:39] Alisa Avelar: Because the whole reason you have a seat is because employees are coming to you and they're telling you. So building relationships with the employees are going to be key. Listening to employees and getting that authentic feedback may not be feedback you like, but if somebody comes to you and tells you the harsh truth, they trust you.

[00:54:59] Alisa Avelar: And [00:55:00] that's what's super important. And if you can gain that early on, it becomes extremely valuable as you move up the ladder.

[00:55:06] Tushar Makhija: And that information is power, right? So you, you're getting the information of the people, and then you can you can be the sounding board for the CEO, because again, they are not getting this information anywhere.

[00:55:16] Tushar Makhija: There is no magic tool. There's no Jira dashboard for this one.

[00:55:20] Alisa Avelar: But what I will say is that You do have, if you can get some data, we'll take let's take engagement surveys because those are all a littlecontroversial is that the score can say that the organization is great, but let's go to the comments, all the feedback, let's type the comments, not to see who, to figure out who said what, but go look at the comments and then think about all the conversations you've had with employees.

[00:55:50] Alisa Avelar: Or managers, and you're like, that doesn't align, look at the participation rate, if you don't have more than 50 percent of the [00:56:00] people participating, there's something wrong, you know, and those are things I've been doing whole survey, so to speak. There was one place we did them every month.

[00:56:11] Alisa Avelar: And I've been at places where everything is anonymous, which is great. It gives people safety and to say whatever they want. And I've been at places where things have been non anonymous. And it's like if you don't have the courage to stand up and say it, then this isn't the place for you. So I've been at two very different places in terms of What they believe about feedback, and you know what?

[00:56:30] Alisa Avelar: Both work. So there's not a right or wrong. You have to figure out what's right for you and your culture. It's kind of like what's right for you as a person may not be right for another person. And that's okay. So having that data, but then also having an intuitiveness to realize that you have this qualitative piece, maybe on the outset, that's not showing the data, and being able to bring those two together and then being able to have a conversation.

[00:56:55] Alisa Avelar: Okay. But being able to do that at every level will be super [00:57:00] important because that also brings the experience that I told you about where you're like, wait a minute, I've seen this trend before. And now you have the experience of being able to say, like, we should not venture on this because I have not seen it.

[00:57:15] Alisa Avelar: I have not seen positive outcomes in the past. And our culture, our people, or this organization represents similarities. And so let's try something new. But I, you have to relationship building is going to be key being the sounding, being that trusted advisor.

[00:57:33] Alisa Avelar: It's okay. Being true to yourself is going to be super important What I always say is like, if you have consistently said what you said, did what you said you were going to do then that will always outwin anything that the general conversation may be about your role or what you're doing in the organization.

[00:57:51] Tushar Makhija: Great. I think, it's the opportunistic time to end this conversation. Again, thank you so much for joining us. the key [00:58:00] takeaways are that companies must invest in GNA, especially HR. Second, provide HR. The tools so that that is step number one so that they can actually Bring you the right information to make better decisions, especially around your people I would I would say that instead of thinking it just like a Cost item, we should think it more like an insurance policy.

[00:58:25] Tushar Makhija: You need it for future success.

[00:58:27] Alisa Avelar: I would actually say it's an investment, just like you make an investment in product or you're doing an acquisition, all of those things. This is where there's this gap between organizations and employees. You are not investing your employees. You're seeing them as a liability.

[00:58:47] Alisa Avelar: You're seeing resource, not as a person. And so that's how employees are feeling. And if that's how they're being treated, well, then that's what you're going to get.

[00:58:56] Tushar Makhija: I think that's our mic drop moment. Thank you again [00:59:00] alisa. Thank you so much for joining us It was great to speak with you today.

[00:59:04] Alisa Avelar: It was great to speak with you tushar I hope that you have gotten all the nuggets that you need to get and I hope those listening have as well being on the people side of business is not an easy place because you are dealing with people and emotions and The dynamics are large And but I will say Patience and grace is really key right now.

[00:59:24] Alisa Avelar: Like we're still recovering from the pandemic. And I know that sounds crazy as we enter into the new year and things, but at the end of the day, people are emotional. People are just emotions and just give people the the gift of time. Just like, it's okay. Just take a breath. That's what I try

[00:59:44] Tushar Makhija: to

[00:59:44] Alisa Avelar: patient patient.

[00:59:46] Alisa Avelar:

[00:59:46] Tushar Makhija: All right. Thank you so much, Elisa.

[00:59:51] Alisa Avelar: Thanks, Tushar. Have a great day.

About the guests

Alisa Avelar
VP People
Alisa Avelar is a seasoned HR leader and VP CHRO who excels in workforce planning, org design, and headcount strategy at hyper-growth companies. She has led People teams at Docker, Modo Labs, and Toptal. Alisa also enjoys teaching as a lead professor and subject matter expert in HR at Champlain College, and as an associate professor at University of Maryland - Global Campus.

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