Where Are They Now? May Zhao and Flora Wang from Shanghai
Three years ago, May Zhao realized she could do something to help with Jabil Shanghai’s labor shortage. After 15 months of researching, analyzing and implementing improvements, she found herself at Jabil’s Corporate Headquarters accepting the first-place prize in the Human Development category at its annual Deliver Best Practices competition, a global continuous improvement program that celebrates innovative projects developed by employees.
Since winning, May has continued to receive recognition throughout the organization for her team’s hard work. Due to the success she achieved in Shanghai, the program she and her team developed has been implemented in almost every Jabil location in China. The work hasn’t stopped there — her team is now focusing on how to train, develop and retain new employees to ensure their efforts to increase labor retention rates continue.
The most valuable lesson May took away from the competition was how to select the right group of people with diverse skill sets, who can bring their specific strengths together to work as one team. When she was at the event, she recognized how diversity is needed to make a team, a project and a company successful, and her team was contributing to Jabil’s global diversity.
“I learned how to lead a team and work as one,” May says. “It’s also helpful when there’s a group of people, who are as excited about innovation as you!” Following one of Jabil’s cultural tenants of leading by example, May mentored her co-worker Flora Wang who was preparing her own trip to the global competition.
Flora Wang, human resource generalist at Shanghai, took what she learned from May to lead her team’s project on career progression assistance for manufacturing employees. Flora credits the support she received from May, as well as department and management, as the reasons she was able to capture first place in the competition.
Joining Jabil in 2016, Flora quickly acclimated to the innovative culture of the company and immediately became involved with Deliver Best Practices competition. The journey to the company’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida helped her grow professionally and personally. “If you asked me what the best experience of going to Florida was, I’d say the beach,” she said. Although she only spent a few hours there, Flora left with a strong feeling of environmental responsibility. “After I came back to Shanghai, I proactively looked for ways to volunteer through Jabil Cares events to protect the environment.”
Flora has grown professionally as well, organizing cross-functional trainings and leading the training team. “The competition really helped me step into the next level of my Jabil career,” she said. “I am thankful for all that has come from the opportunity.”
With May passing on her guidance, Flora followed May’s footsteps and used her experience to help another team prepare for the competition. Together these two women are setting a great example of continuous improvement while keeping the Joules values of mentoring and educating at the forefront of their work.