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Story in Celki VitalAire

Rita Wong - Technical Service Manager

Rita Wong - Technical Service Manager

1. When did you join Celki VitalAire and what was your role at that time?

I have been with Celki VitalAire since Sep 2010 as the Operation Support Officer and was promoted to Senior Safety & Quality Officer after 2 years. My major role in this position is to manage the safety and quality aspect in Celki VitalAire, which means I am the key person to control and manage ISO 9001 system, to organise different kinds of the safety and health programs, to conduct incident investigations and to coordinate all kinds of product recall events. Besides this, I also deploy Air Liquide group requirements and standard practices.

2. It was a big change when you took a new role. So, did you have any struggles or concerns when you were considering this offer?

In March 2018, I had the opportunity to take charge of the Technical Service Department. It was a real surprise when I heard this offer from management, a number of questions came to my mind, “Why did they consider me for the role?”, “This new position is totally different from my previous role and I don’t have a strong technical background, "Can I handle it?”, “I do not have any experience in managing a team, performing as the team head", "the team is very experienced and almost 50% of the staff have been with Celki VitalAire for more than 15 years, can I build up trust and relationship with them?”, “This department is a male oriented department, is it difficult to work with them as a female leader?”

Before I confirmed to take this offer, I had an interview with my existing supervisor - Mr. Alfred Tang. He shared with me the expectations of this post, how my background can contribute to the team, the characteristics of the team and what I will face in the future among the team and maybe from others. Also, the most critical factor to success is to build up experience on people management, especially as a female leader in a male team. This needs to be built up and is essential for becoming a mature management.

After an in-depth consideration during my vacation, I confirmed to take up the offer and jumped aboard in April 2018.

3. How do you overcome your obstacles now?

I believe trust is the first element needed to be built up with my team, this is why it is essential to create an open-minded and positive atmosphere among us. I spend time observing and trying to understand what they are doing. I also share my thoughts and ask questions during the discussion, so they can share with me their pain points and the difficulties they are facing. I assist them to solve the issues through my role by looking for any room for improvement in existing practices and procedures. Actually, to convince experienced staff was not easy and was time consuming, we sometimes will have arguments when trying to convince each other, and we might not reach a compromise at the end. But I believe that we should understand the standpoints of each other and create a platform for discussion is a good starting point.

4. What do you think will be your biggest challenge in the near future?

After 2 years in this position, I think I have built up an open-minded atmosphere for the team and understood them more, i.e. team’s strengths and weaknesses, areas of improvement, style and talents of teammates. My major thought in the near future is to deploy some project to solve my team’s pain point by using project management mechanism, to enhance their efficiency and strengthen the team’s responsibility in value-added and customer centric areas. It is not easy to change a  team's culture and develop a mindset to deploy new things. But I believe we need to keep the momentum under a rapidly changing environment.