We are the manufacturers of possible: From Purchasing to Suzhou 1 Plant Manager
Rowland Zhu has been with BD for 23 years. His career development with the organization took on an “L” shape path starting with a role in purchasing. From this role to SAP lead, associate procurement manager, material department manager, operation manager, and now the plant manager of Suzhou Plant 1, which is the first BD manufacturing plant in China, it’s been filled with learning, growth, and opportunity.
Get out of your comfort zone and embrace change
Rowland shared with us his personal development philosophy: Never stay in your comfort zone, changes may bring challenges and that’s the time we can grow and develop. He draws upon his own career path at BD where, within each new role, he set different learning goals, kept learning, and made sufficient preparations to advance further at the company.
“In addition to holding myself to high standards, I’ve always emphasized ‘growth mindset’ in plant management, encouraging the team to continue learning, actively updating their knowledge, broadening their horizons, and learning additional internal and external best practices,” explained Rowland.
Improve the skills of associates in an all-round way and build a strong organization
Rowland is committed to building a learning organization. He attaches great importance to the improvement of the capabilities of associates at different levels and encourages the close integration of theory and practice.
“The management team and I actively sought various internal and external training resources and channels, established a comprehensive talent training system, and provided associates with personalized training and development plans,” said Rowland. “I’m proud that most of the management team members come from internal promotions.”
He also mentioned that the Suzhou1 team creatively established the "Technical Club", which is a platform for technical talents in the plant to learn, exchange, and share knowledge and experiences. Cultivating multi-skilled associates and building an autonomous team has helped improve the performance of the technical team and productivity.
All-round care for associates
In addition to focusing on associate training and promotion, Rowland and his team have implemented and upgraded a series of projects for the benefit of associates. One example is #SheGrows ARG empowering females in three aspects: physical health, mental health, and career development. Another example is the Good Job Strategy, which has been implemented in the plant for three years, focusing on front-line associates from five dimensions: Workplace Safety, Fair Wages and Benefits, Working Conditions, Managerial Effectiveness and Associate Engagement/ Career Progression.
Rowland and his management team value and encourage the voices of the associates, empowering speak up culture. “The Good Job Strategy Ambassadors have become a communication bridge between the plant management team and the front-line associates. The insights and feedbacks from front-line contribute a lot to the continuous improvement of plant. While helping the plant continue to improve, the sense of belonging and engagement of the front-line employees has also been further enhanced. We have a lot to be proud of at the Suzhou 1 Plant,” concluded Rowland.