Alec’s work as a labor economist and organization behavior expert started a quarter century ago with research and consulting on people related topics such as human capital, employee engagement and talent analytics, strategic focuses that continue through today.

He is a thought and practice leader, combining the external view of labor market trends with deep knowledge of individual motivation and behavior, talent development and labor cost optimization. Alec helps companies identify how to maximize the ROI of investing in people: target financial investments to mutually benefit the organization and its talent, the most valuable asset that walks out the door every night and needs to be maximally engaged while on the job.

Areas of expertise include:

  • Talent analytics / people analytics / workforce analytics / human capital analytics
  • Employee engagement
  • Human capital
  • Talent management
  • Job performance
  • Attraction & retention
  • Competency models
  • Careers
  • Strategic workforce planning

A selection of Alec's projects...

Work Redesign Pilot Evaluation for Large Consumer Products Company

Accomplishments: Measured the behavioral and productivity impacts of a work design change that created new roles and interdependent teams in customer-facing settings.

Key insights: Before-and-after measurement of customer impacts, and linkage to both internal group dynamics and change management effectiveness.

Global Intergenerational Management for Multinational Professional Services Firm

Accomplishments: Most comprehensive scientific evaluation of the drivers of retention and engagement for the new versus older generations of workers. Data collected from over 40,000 people in 19 countries worldwide.

Key insight: Separating myth versus reality for how organizations need to change to adapt to the new generation, how the new generation needs to adapt to the world of work, and which management practices are going to have the biggest impact.

Talent Management Optimization for Multinational Company’s Operation in China

Accomplishments: Assessed hiring profile for key frontline talent roles, and the career development and talent management systems needed to improve retention, motivation and productivity. The company used the results to restructure recruiting, training and development.

Key insight: How to tradeoff building capability for profitability today versus market share and strategic success in the long run in a rapidly expanding emerging market.

Human Capital Value for Large Multinational Professional Services Firm

Accomplishments: Identified labor market return to skills developed on the job. Identified job design elements driving motivation, productivity and turnover for critical talent pools. Company used the results to change the work system and lower turnover.

Longitudinal component: Repeated the study design seven years later to measure changes in the factors driving motivation and engagement for the Millennial Generation versus Generation X

Key insights: The monetary and career development value which professional employees and their managers derive from a job. The role of job factors versus compensation as drivers of retention. Management techniques and processes for managing the new generation of workers.

Role Optimization

Accomplishments: Assessed role design and business unit structure for multiple layers of management for third largest pineapple plantation in the world.

Key insight: How to structure roles, responsibilities, competencies and organizational processes to increase efficiency of decision making and organizational effectiveness.

Compensation Pilot Evaluation for Large Multinational

Accomplishments: Designed measurement framework to evaluate new sales compensation program, identifying the drivers of and barriers to increased sales. Company used the results to optimize the compensation program and evaluate whether to institutionalize it.

Key insights: Deep understanding of the role of compensation in driving behavior that is aligned with the company’s strategic objectives.

Maximizing Route Sales Effectiveness for Multinational Foods Company

Accomplishments: Identified job components that contributed differentially to the bottom line, which the company used to redesign the role, better target customer segments, improve performance, and increase compensation.

Key insights: Deep understanding of the drivers of performance and motivation in a frontline role that is critical for the organization’s success.

Career Paths of Temp Workers for a Leading Temporary Staffing Agency

Sponsored by Russell Sage Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation

Accomplishments: Company used the results to improve career paths for temps. Results also used to evaluate public policy implications of national growth in temp employment.

Key insights: The roles that temporary workers play vis-à-vis non-temporary workers in firms’ human capital strategies.

Measuring the Business Impact of Executive Coaching

Accomplishments: Developed model for measuring and improving the business impact of executive coaching.

Key insights: Executives’ contribution to business performance often depends on the unique application of their own skills in combination with the actions of people on their team and throughout the organization.

Helped Design and Train Human Capital Analytics Group for a Large Canadian Financial Institution

Accomplishments: Consulted on the design, mission and processes of new analytics group focused on employee behaviors. Designed measurement models for analysts and provided coaching on their implementation and interpretation.

Key insights: Organizations’ ability to fully capitalize on their employees’ data often requires the building of significant analytical capabilities both internally and externally.

Linking Managerial Competencies to the Bottom Line for a Large Food Products Organization

Accomplishments: Created measurements to demonstrate bottom-line impact of managerial competency system. Company used the results to validate the design of the competency system.

Key insights: Managerial competency systems that evaluate, develop and reward specific skills that are essential for organizational performance and effectiveness can contribute directly to the bottom line.

ROI of Investing in Basic Skills
Sponsored by National Institute for Literacy

Accomplishments: Analyzed company-funded basic skills remedial training programs to determine the ROI of companies filling in gaps left by the primary and secondary education systems. Results used to challenge conventional buy vs. build approach to managing basic skills in companies’ human capital strategies.

Key insights: Companies can capture the ROI from investing in workers’ basic skills by paying close attention to how the services are designed and delivered, and to their employees’ career development needs.