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

Best of TLNT

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

Illustration by istockphoto.com

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”

123RF stock photo

“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

123RF Stock Photo

“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…

Global HR, Talent Management

A Few Things to Consider If You Want My Help in Finding a Job

123RF Stock Photo

Thank you for accepting my request. l am currently looking for a job and l was wondering if you could help me? l am in Dubai on a tourist visa. Please find below my CV.

Can you kindly review my CV and help me find a job?

My husband needs a new job. He is a hard worker; please help him find a job.

I am a mechanical engineer; can you get me job in your firm?

All in a week’s work. Read more…

Classic TLNT

The Problem With Meetings? They Cost More Than They’re Really Worth

Illustration by istockphoto.com

Editor’s Note: Readers frequently ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday.

How much is it costing?

We just spent over $5,000 for a half-hour meeting,” one of the senior executives said. The meeting was to decide the scheduled lunch hour, and this was the second meeting.

As I heard this, I could almost see an old-fashioned time clock at the conference room door that punched time in and time out. Taking that a step further, we could envision, at the end of the “month,” the exact cost for each one of these important meetings. It would be a sobering report if all of our meeting hours were calculated as such. Read more…

Culture, Leadership

In Case You’ve Forgotten, Here’s How Real Leadership Looks

From Dreamstime.com

This holiday season, you’ve probably seen or read about all the retailers opening their doors as early as 6 pm on Thanksgiving Day. We have decided not to follow that trend. Instead, we believe family comes first and you should be at home celebrating with them on this special holiday. This means none of our stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, none of our stores will be open before 7 am on Black Friday. ” -- Michael R. MacDonald, CEO, DSW Shoes

I came across this on Facebook the other day. It rang so true to me since my wife and a lot of her friends work in retail from the management end. Read more…

HR Insights

Someone Is Always Watching or Listening, So Make Your Message Clear

Listening

Do I know you?

Someone commented on a picture that I posted on Facebook, saying to me that  “you look more and more like your daddy.”

When the person responded to that question, I was in for the surprise of my life. The woman grew up a few blocks from me, and yes, our families knew each other.

However, she proceeded to tell me a story of how she idolized my brother, who was a saxophone player. She is now a doctorate in music and known the world over for her music prowess. Read more…

Talent Management

What Do You Do When Your Career Suddenly Gets Cancelled?

123RF Stock Photo

“I would advise all of them if they find another career, take it and do not look back.”

This statement came from a captain in a local police force. He was referencing the layoffs that had hampered the police department in a large East Coast city.

Close to 200 officers had been laid off, and according to the newspaper article, only a handful had been rehired back into their career of law enforcement. Read more…