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

Leadership

Giving Is the Very Best Workplace Communication

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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

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“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

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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

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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…

Global HR

Are You Ready For Your HR Career to Finally Go Global?

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My name is xxxxx — where are u headed?

I replied that I was heading to Dubai and the conversation started (which was eased by the champagne served in business class).

My seatmate was from Russia. As the conversation continued, our other seat mate chimed in, she was from India. The couple sitting across from us was from Cape Town, South Africa. As I looked around the plane, it seems that we had a mini-UN of travel aboard. Read more…

HR Insights

HR Advice to Start 2015: Resolve to Listen More to Your People This Year

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“But, it is the General Manager who so sets the tone and culture in an organization.

That statement, by a local reporter, followed the recent firing of New York Jets football coach Rex Ryan. As I watched the news over the holidays, I saw that there were a lot of sports people who lost their jobs.

As another famous football executive, Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells, explained years ago, “you are what your record says you are.” Read more…

Best of TLNT

Networking in the Internet Age: It’s Still About Building the Relationship

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Editor’s NoteIt’s a TLNT holiday tradition to count down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 26. Our regular content will return on Jan. 5, 2015. 

“Hello sir this is XXXX. I just completed my engineering degree. If you have any opportunities, please let me know.”

“I would like to have a job with your company, please help me.”

“Mr. Ron, please review my resume and give me a job.”

In the course of a week, I get numerous emails of this type. Sometimes it feels as if people think I can just create a job for them even though their skill set does not match up with my company. I also feel that they think I have the time to filter their resume and advise them. Read more…

Best of TLNT

Customers Are Key, But Employees Are the Important Value Proposition

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Editor’s NoteIt’s a TLNT holiday tradition to count down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 32. Our regular content will return on Jan. 5, 2015. 

Everyone talks about building a relationship with your customers. I think you build one with your employees first.”

That statement was from Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of Burberrys and now headed to Apple as new retail and online leader. She joins them this week.

Employees First, Customers Second was the title of a book a few years back by CEO Vineet Nayar of HCL Technologies. He wrote that by putting employees first and his customers second, he was able to build the world’s largest IT Firm. Read more…

Best of TLNT

Yes, It’s Time to Finally Bid the HR Generalist Goodbye

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Editor’s Note: It’s a TLNT annual tradition to count down the most popular posts of the year. This is No. 49. Our regular content will return on Jan. 5, 2015. Happy Holidays! 

I do not have time for LinkedIn or any of that, but I DO make time for my pedicures. Super serious HR lady at #gbrshrm.”

This was one that I saw posted last when someone was asking what HR could do that would create more employee engagement. The big answer: “company picnic.”

Robin Schooling’s posted the comment the other day concerning an HR person who told her that she does not have time for LinkedIn and other stuff, but she makes time for pedicures. Both these Facebook comments give insight into the mess that HR finds itself in today. Read more…