Thornton has been our national mediation and HR expert since 2011.
He has a passion for resolving employee differences without the complications of legalities whenever possible -- and refers to non-legal alternatives as indispensable in successful human relations. "Legal matters leave everyone unhappy. So why not try something else first?" he advises.
Thornton has participated in settling over 1200 workplace issues. He specializes in eliminating formal employee complaints, avoiding internal relationship disputes, preventing grievance backlogs, and restarting stalled labor negotiations.
With over 25 years of experience in employee relations, problem identification, mediation, training, and consulting, his life's work is to resolve differences. And he does so by highlighting and linking common ground with desired outcomes. "These mutual relationships always exist," Thornton affirms, "even under seemingly impossible circumstances."
Thornton has served voluntarily on several boards, including the Florida State University Business School, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Florida Labor Management Conference, and Civitan International.
He is a member of the American Arbitration Association's Mediator network, and regularly publishes articles in several professional venues here and in the UK with a readership reach of 750,000.
Thornton earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas. He holds several professional certifications including Executive Leadership from Harvard and the University of Michigan.
Sprint, August 1982 - May 2007
As Assistant Vice President of Human Resources Thornton directed the planning and implementation of national employee relations and compensation strategies for a $3.5B sales and marketing function, comprised of 10,000 employees and 32 separate three-year collective bargaining agreements. He also directed the planning for hiring and retention, diversity, and leadership development.
Following a reorganization at Sprint, his responsibilities expanded to the support of 20,000 employees in a $7.5B revenue division. He continued with strategic planning of employee and labor relations policy, staffing, organizational development, and compensation strategies.
Finally, he led the project planning team for the merger of Sprint HR with Nextel HR. He also directed the HR organizational design team for the spin-off of a Sprint division.
His related experience includes:
Employee relations -- policy design, complaint investigation and resolution
Labor relations -- negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, administration
Litigation -- Unfair labor practices, arbitration, class action civil, equal employment, unemployment, worker's compensation
Training -- employee development curricula, performance management, executive coaching
Organizational design -- change management, outplacement services
Staffing -- recruitment, succession planning, retention
Compensation -- design, variable pay, job evaluation, rewards, benefits, costing
Strategic planning -- metrics, productivity measures, budgeting, communications