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

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…

HR Insights

Why We Need to Start Thinking of “People” and Not Just “Users”

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“As somebody once said: It’s kind of arrogant to think the only reason people exist is to use what you built. They actually have lives … outside the experience they have using your product, and so the first step of designing in a human-centered way is to recognize that they’re humans.

That statement was from Facebook’s director of product design Margaret Gould Stewart, speaking at The Atlantic’s Navigate tech conference. Basically what she was saying is that Facebook is not calling its users “users” any more — it now refers to them as “people.”

Some companies now refer to their employee group as partners or associates. I love this new nomenclature, but I know that to some it may seem as not really having any meaning. Read more…

Global HR, HR Insights

Becoming a Talent Specialist: You Just Need to Find Your HR Sweet Spot

develop-talent

We have had approximately 22 speakers over the past few day. Our focus was on Employee Engagement. We have sliced/diced it every way possible.

We have heard theory, metrics, branding, and plain old common sense — all in the guise of getting our employees more engaged. But in order for each of us as HR professionals to get our organizations back on track, we must be engaged with what we do.

Those were my closing words at the recent Employee Engagement Forum held in Dubai Dec. 7-8. I speak at a lot of conferences in the Middle East, and in close to two years working in this region, I have participated either as conference chair or keynote speaker at approximately 18 various conferences from Istanbul to Nigeria and throughout the Middle East. Read more…

HR Insights

Are You Taking Care of Your Own Scheduled Maintenance?

1956DodgeCarROM

“The scheduled maintenance light came on; what do I do?”

As we enter December, which is the end of our calendar year, I thought of my wife’s comments above. She freaks out every time a light flashes. My reply was that it is simply time for the scheduled maintenance.

I went online and with a few clicks arranged to drop it off, get her a loaner car, and it was all done. Every auto manual lays out a timeline for maintenance based on mileage and what needs to be done in order for your car to work optimally. Read more…

Global HR, Recruiting and Staffing

What I Learned About Diversity Working in the Middle East

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“But, the next office to open will be special.”

It’s the all-women office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) that MediaCom MENA will be opening. This was the statement by CEO Nick Barron in his recent essay for the magazine Campaign Middle East.

When discussing the all-women’s office, he said it has elicited positive response among his current clients. The office will have 8-15 women on staff.

His reasoning for his staffing model is because 70 percent of the ad dollars spent in KSA are targeted at women because they make the decisions in many categories, even when the actual purchase is made by men Read more…