- Career Development
The Backbone of the Water Heater Factory
Known for his kind expression and muscular shoulders, Cao Xianlin is a popular and reassuring figure at Midea’s water heater factory in Wuhu, Anhui Province. His status message on QQ, roughly the Chinese equivalent of Facebook, is indicative of his attitude over the years he has been at Midea: “努力做事，只能把事情做完。用心做事，才能将事情做好”。 “It is not enough to give your time to a job. You also have to give your heart to it.”
At the factory, which he joined in 2005, Cao is responsible for overseeing pressing, cleaning, welding, sanding, and enamel, keeping up with the rapid changes in the industry along the way. Most importantly, he evangelizes his belief that mere hard work is not enough to bring success.
As China’s labor market becomes more flexible and fewer people are willing to do factory work, Cao also takes it upon himself to motivate workers and make sure the overall attitude in the workplace remains at a high standard. He also delegates responsibility, for example on days when production stops, it must be arranged for some workers to buy enamel powder and others to clear up the waste in the furnace.
He also tries to keep overtime to a minimum, knowing that workers need to have lives outside of work and need to show up to work revitalized with rest. He sees to it that the factory is inspected every day to maintain and improve safety, efficiency, quality, and on-site management.
Under Cao’s leadership, the factory operates with a spirit of friendly competitiveness between teams to keep meeting demand. His experience and determination has proven contagious.