Alex Wan is the co-founder at VinPit.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Alex Wan: Buying a used car can sometimes get you into trouble. The primary goal of creating VinPit was to provide our customers with a comprehensive vehicle history at no cost. They can compare the vehicle history of a used car to our database of more than 268 million registered vehicles in the United States. VinPit was founded to protect customers from fraud and prevent the resale of stolen vehicles. We also provide you with all of the vehicle specifications and equipment data to help you assess if you are getting good value for money or not.
Who has been the most influential person(s) in your life and how did they impact you? How did that lead to where you are today?
Alex Wan: Elon Musk is that entrepreneur for me that has changed our worldview entirely. He created PayPal and revolutionized the online marketplace. He did the same thing for the electric car sector, and now Tesla electric car is seen as a status symbol. In addition, he has been working to extend horizons in space with SpaceX. He inspires me because of many reasons. First, Elon Musk motivates me to work hard and that anything can be possible if you put effort into something. Second, he is affecting the choices I make because he helps me think bigger. Sometimes I feel like something is highly unlikely to happen, which makes me not want to try something because of that. Elon took the risk of starting his own car company and not knowing if it would be successful or not. That is what’s most important.
2020 was a challenging year for all of us, particularly for businesses. How did the pandemic impact your business? Please list some of the problems that you faced, and how you handled them.
Alex Wan: We were quite unsure about the future course of our business when the pandemic ravaged the entire world. Our operations were stalled for many days because no one around us was aware of its nature. As the lockdowns stretched, we also got tenser about our company’s prospects. After a 15-day unofficial work from home, we decided to make a complete transition to remote working. One of the essential strategies we adopted was allowing flexible working hours. I feel delighted to inform you that the employees at our office were pleased with this scheme. Not just that, it also ensured that our employees remained calm and composed during these stressful times. The result was that the productivity of our employees enhances manifold.
Looking back, I can fairly say that our experiment with remote working was a great success. However, there came many points when we felt stuck and had to amend our ways. In the initial days, we faced a lot of problems in establishing solid communication between the team. But, thankfully, the traction that apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams got helped us overcome this problem and connect with everyone effectively. This helped to manage our systems and operations effectively. The pandemic also pushed us to adopt newer technologies to a fast-changing scenario. One of the most significant changes that we made was cloud migration. Making a transition of our data to cloud services was the most crucial step to keep our employees connected with the work even in the socially distanced world.
The pandemic led to a myriad of cultural side effects, including one that was quite unexpected that is informally known as “The Great Resignation”. Did this widespread trend affect you in any way?
Alex Wan: “The Great Resignation,” or the phenomenon of people worldwide quitting their jobs en masse this year, has received a lot of attention. With 4.4 million Americans quitting their jobs in September and nearly 400,000 Britons changing occupations in the third quarter makes this quite evident.
These workers have had more than a year to think about work-life balance and career options, and as the labor market reopens, many of them are giving their two-week notice and making the changes they’ve been hoping for. Those leaving simply choose to put themselves first for a change, whether due to a concern of personal safety, a lack of fair treatment, having to cope with a horrible boss, or an inequitable work-life balance. The Great Resignation is the present-day reality where workers realize that they aren’t getting what they need/value from their employers and are rethinking their career strategies.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 4 million Americans quit their jobs in July 2021. How do you feel about this trend? Explain.
Alex Wan: Employee monitoring has become a common practice among companies, especially with the proliferation of monitoring software, and the consequences vary. Different employees have different perceptions about being tracked; some are comfortable, some aren’t. I have been tracking my employees for the past few years and the results are overall positive. However, before taking this approach, there needs to be a mutual agreement between both parties. Communicate to your employees why they need to be tracked and why it’s important to the company and the employee as well. Oftentimes, the problem employees have when being tracked is feeling like their privacy is invaded. Some feel distrusted, etc. The biggest benefit employee monitoring has to a company is ensuring productivity isn’t sacrificed. This is more beneficial when employees are working on hourly projects; it gives employees a sense of commitment and responsibility.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, Employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021. That can be quite an alarming rate. What advice would you share to increase employee retention?
Alex Wan: Upskill employees
The primary goal of increasing employee loyalty is to retain them for the company’s productivity. A typical strategy that is meant to improve employee loyalty is enough to convince an employee that your company offers great value worth their stay. Upskilling employee is a great strategy that’d help employees find more value in your company. Generally, many companies haven’t adopted it, although they may very soon in light of the great resignation where employee turnover has escalated. While at it, companies ought to understand that they can start with cheap alternatives that will be sustainable over the long haul and upgrade to more sophisticated resources depending on the results.
A more recent survey by Joblist asked about 3,000 respondents if they’re actively thinking about leaving their job. That survey found that 73% of 2,099 respondents who answered this question on their employment plans are considering quitting. How are you preparing for the future to counter this potentially persistent problem?
Alex Wan: The upheaval in the labor market can’t entirely be attributed to the pandemic although it’s main the cause. Think of baby boomers for instance. They make up a significant percentage of the workforce and when the pandemic struck, some of them were forced to quarantine since their age was considered more vulnerable. The immediate effect is that a good percentage of baby boomers left their jobs completely. This means Millennials and Gen Zs will dominate the labor market, possibly taking senior-level positions.
Companies do not have much control over this and their efforts to reduce employee turnover may not always bear fruits as expected. There are few things companies can do depending on a wide array of variables. Upskilling employees is one of the best strategies companies can do to increase employee loyalty, which in turn can play a role in retaining talent.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Alex Wan for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Alex Wan or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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