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

When It Comes to Good Management, It’s All About Just Walking Around

Handshake onboarding

I can’t believe this guy. He did not show any concern as to why I was leaving. He is the CXX and he had three people leave within the past month, plus me. And with all of us, there was no exit interview or anything.

When I tried to steer the conversation to the office environment, he countered as if it was all our fault. Totally clueless.

After that conversation, I to concur that one of the hallmarks of a great leader is the ability to LISTEN. If your organization is suffering withdrawal and your turnover is inching up, you should be concerned. That is a basic. Read more…

HR Insights

Getting Ready to Pounce When the Next Opportunity Comes

123RF Stock Photo

“Can you make the connection for me? I would love to get an opportunity with them based on this article.”

The other email read, “Could you send a copy of my resume over to her and tell her to “help a brother out.”

Friday is a day for me to connect back to the U.S. with requests like the one above, follow-up, and meet new people. But sometimes I get a little perturbed with the level of request and the cluelessness of the people making it.

Granted, I do know a lot of people and I am always willing to share my network with them. The problem is that sometime the requestors do not realize is that this is the major leagues. This career conundrum is a serious business. Read more…

Culture

It Takes the Right Talent Mix to Get the Culture Thing Right

123RF Stock Photo

No the manager was cool, it was just that I could not survive in that culture. I had to get out.

We have all heard the phrase that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers. Well, hearing that had me thinking.

Yes, this makes sense. I quit Martha Stewart because the culture had changed dramatically. I loved the people, but the toxicity at that time was a bit much. I walked out with a job in sight. Read more…

HR Insights

So, What Did You Learn From Your Last Workplace Setback?

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The truth is, everything that has happened in my life, that I thought was a crushing event at the time, has turned out for the better. You learn that a temporary defeat is not a permanent one. In the end, it can be an opportunity.”

This was a statement from one of the wealthiest people in the world, Warren Buffett. It is also a very true statement.

When we stare defeat in the face, it sometimes frightens us. It completely shakes up our equilibrium, but eventually, we will realize that it all worked out. Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

The Question If You’re in a Bad HR Organization: When Is it Time to Go?

I love HR

I have encountered numerous HR professionals recently musing about the difficulty of doing their profession in an organization that could care less.

They read, they discuss where HR is headed, but in their current space, it is light years away from where it should be.

They want more, they dream of more, but they get no more.

After one blog post of mine, someone wrote to me about the frustration she faces. After years of toiling in the transactional nature of her job, it is at a point that she wants to pull her hair out. Read more…

HR Insights

If You’re Building Your Brand, You Can’t Escape Your Capabilities

personalbranding2

“She said that she remembered me from my last job. I remembered her but did not think she even knew who I was since she was very senior to me.”

As I listened to this conversation the other day, it just confirmed what I always tell everyone. It’s this: someone is always watching your work. By watching, they are creating a vision for you and the brand of you — how you work, what you deliver, your attitude, and the list go on.

Regardless of how you feel about your work, even if you know you are no longer going to be there, always do top-notch work. Read more…

Global HR, HR Management

What Work in the Mideast Taught Me About Building Business Relationships

123RF Stock Photo

“I heard you had a tough time getting back to the airport after the HR Leaders Conference in Lagos.”

That was followed by at least a half-hour of further discussion concerning our recent travels. There was no rush to get to the “meat” of the meeting or what it was about.

The next time we got together, the discussion centered around housing and where to live in Dubai, which was followed by a conversation about tuition payments and our past experience working together on an HR panel.

It took a half-hour to actually get to get to the crux of this meeting. Read more…

Culture, HR Insights

A Message From the Mountaintop on the Value of Work-Life Balance

Photo illustration by Dreamstime

“Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends, and get proper rest. 

Value has a value only if its value is valued.”

I came across parts of this speech the other day and was floored by its simplicity. The main object of my excitement in reading this was that it came not from someone down in the depths of the organization, but from the CEO of a major company.

In other words, it came from on the top of the mountain. Read more…

Recruiting and Staffing, Talent Management

Would One of Your Former Employees Really Want to Come Back?

From istockphoto.com

Would you want to go back?

I was just asked for references, so it looks good — right?” read the text message. This young lady was in the throes of interviewing, and yes, I told her this is a good sign.

However what happened next caused both of us to do some thinking. As she reached out to her old boss and another former team member, the trajectory changed. Sure they would give her a reference, but more importantly, would she consider coming back? Read more…

Global HR, Leadership

Hello Goodbye: It’s Critical to Connect and Build Trust With All You Meet

trustyourheartsample

As I looked into his eyes, I could see them welling with tears. As he began to speak, his voice cracked, “Mr. Ron we’ll will miss you so much. It has been my honor to know you.”

As I listened, my eyes teared up in synch. These guys had no idea what they have meant to me over this past year.

As I walked from department to department, the reaction was mostly the same — we were saying our goodbyes. Having spent close to 15 months in a new environment with a workforce that could rival the United Nations — including multiple languages and customs — I was proud of myself for having connected with them. Read more…