Ron Thomas

Ron Thomas is CEO of Great Place to Work-GCC countries, based in Dubai. He formerly was Chief HR Officer of the RGTS Group in Saudi Arabia. Ron is also a senior faculty member of the Human Capital Institute. He holds certifications from the Human Capital Institute as a Master Human Capital Strategist (MHCS) and Strategic Workforce Planner (SWP). Ron's prior roles included senior HR positions with Xerox HR services, IBM, and Martha Stewart Living. Board memberships include the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, McKinsey Quarterly Executive Online Panel, and HCI's Expert Advisory Council on Talent Management Strategy. He received the Outstanding Leadership Award for Global HR Excellence at the World Human Resources Development Congress in Mumbai, and was named as one of the 50 Most Talented Global HR Leaders in Asia. Contact him at ronaldtthomas@gmail.com or on Twitter.

Articles by Ron Thomas

Global HR

Calm Down, Don’t Worry: A Lesson in Service From Government Workers

123RF Stock Photo

Mr. Ron, don’t stress yourself out. We will find it. We always do. You will get a call within 24 hours, the policeman assured me.

I live and work in Dubai, and I had jumped in a taxi at the end of the day and headed to the mall to pick up an item. When I jumped out of the taxi, being consumed as we all are from time to time (talking on cell phone, writing a note, etc.), I was distracted. I paid the driver and jumped out.

Problem was, I left my wallet on the seat in the cab. Read more…

Classic TLNT

Leadership 101: The Most Powerful Words You Want From Any Leader

123RF Stock Photo

Editor’s Note: Readers sometimes ask about past TLNT articles, so every Friday we republish a Classic TLNT post.

“All I want is for someone, sometime, just one time, to say thank you.”

She works late every night, and pulls long hours. This particular morning she left home at 5:30 to make sure she got in to prepare for the big meeting. She left at 8 that night to go home.

As she wistfully told me that story, that first statement about wanting somebody to say “thanks” caught my ear. Read more…

Culture

What’s a Top-Rate Organization? One That Gives People Keys to the Culture

© noci0114 - Fotolia.com

“They have a common goal and they have to get there together.”

That was a recent comment made by the coach of an NFL team, Chip Kelly of the Philadelphia Eagles. His comment that “culture beats scheme” was made in reference to trading one of his star players, who from all indications, was known as a prima donna and high maintenance.

“When he talks about culture, he’s talking about a 360-degree approach,” says David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California Sports Business Institute. Read more…

Compensation, Talent Management

When It Comes to Employee Wages, We Just Need to Do the Right Thing

This pay initiative is an important part of our strategies to continue attracting and retaining the best talent in order to deliver a great shopping experience, remain competitive on wages in our U.S. markets and stay focused on our value mission,” TJX Chief Executive Carol Meyrowitz said in a statement.

Having noticed from afar the recent groundbreaking announcements that have come from major retailers in the U.S., that decision has given me cause for hope.

First Wal-Mart and now Target has, on their own initiative, decided to raise the wages of their workers. That is a good sign. I particularly liked the above statement, tying it to “attracting and retaining.” Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

Leading in Today’s Workforce: Let Your Personal Style Come Through

© Grasko - Fotolia

You should never be afraid to let your personality and style come through.”

That has been a foundational statement for me during my career.

My first job out of college was working in the sales division for IBM. I always tell people that IBM was the Google of its day. As part of the role of becoming a sales associate we were all sent to “sales school” where we had to learn to sell the products, sell the benefits of those products, and extend the brand into the client organization. Read more…

Leadership

Giving Is the Very Best Workplace Communication

© Gstudio Group - Fotolia

Sometimes, the best leadership examples come from someone who does not have the lofty titles.

We watch in amazement how one tiny gesture ends up giving us the wow factor in multitudes (as the video below shows). Ordinary people, or those in professions that would not be synonymous with leadership, set an example for all of us to follow.

It always brings a smile to my face when I see these random acts play out. Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

Planning For the Worst: Compassion Is the Key When Layoffs Come

© antiksu - Fotolia

“Are we all set. Yes, we are all in compliance with the cost savings. All the numbers are correct. Just give me the go ahead and they are all gone.”

Then the conversation changed.

The executive listening to this rundown told the HR person to stop. Do you know any of these people? The answer was no.

Do you know whether it will be difficult for them to find jobs in your area? “I have no idea” was his reply. Read more…

Leadership

What Do Organization’s Need Today? A CEOs Who Really “Gets It”

ceo

While waiting for a minor surgery this past week, I asked for reading material. Out comes a newsletter, a printed one.

This hospital — American Hospital Dubai — had just hired a new CEO, Mr. Peter Makowski. His introductory greeting was on the first page of the newsletter under the headline, “From the Desk of the CEO.” Read more…

Global HR, HR Insights

What I Learned About Nurturing Talent from My Middle East Gardener

Photo by istockphoto.com

You coddle your people way to much.”

If they do not like this company, let them leave. We can hire someone else at a cheaper price.”

The only people who I consider talent at my network are the people on the air. That is all I care about.”

I’m sick of all this culture stuff. Give me a break.”

All these comments were from senior level executives during conversations concerning engagement, culture, or just their people. The third statement was from the head of a major cable network during a discussion at a dinner party back in New York. That was a very spirited discussion, to say the least. Read more…

Culture, Talent Management

A New Way to Work: When Your Office Space Reflects Your Core Values

© christianchan - Fotolia

As I left a recent presentation at one of our clients, I noticed the design of the hallway leading into the area. My comment was “wow.”

It stopped me in my tracks. The walls were adorned with a blow up of their core values. The other side of the wall were positive thoughts from famous people. I called it a Hallway of Positivity.

With all the talk about culture in organizations today, it makes me proud when I see organizations go all out in trying to create this atmosphere. I sure there are some that will say something like, “yes, but do they live it?Read more…