Henry Leung, our Financial Reporting Manager, who is always sporting a smile, is eager to share his Watson Story. Working with the finance and accounting team, he truly believes in Watson Gloves’ core value of continuous improvement, but of course, does not forget to also practice the core value of fun! Read more about Henry’s Watson Story below.
How did you find out about Watson Gloves?
The finance leader who hired me at that time actually worked with me in our previous company – and it was just 5 minutes from here! One day, he called me and asked, “Henry, we have a Senior Accountant opening here. Would you like to talk about it?” I said, “Why not?” and we talked it over during lunch just next door.
No way! And I assume you were open to interviewing with Watson Gloves?
Yes. I talked with Marty, our current Chairman & CEO, and he shared how it’s a family-oriented business, which I was really drawn to. My past jobs were for publicly listed companies, so it’s very different from Watson Gloves. My past jobs had very minimal work-life balance due to the rigid statutory filings that needed to be completed. I remember working six to six and a half days per week from February to June, and I even had to work holidays!
Oh, wow! Yes, a work-life balance is so important.
Yes, it is. At Watson Gloves, I’m able to enjoy my life outside of work. And I also really love working at Watson Gloves and with the people around me.
Henry is no stranger to belting out the high notes and strutting his dance moves
Well, on that note, tell us more about your Watson Story.
I was hired in October 2012 and started as a Senior Accountant. I picked up some of what Sabrina was doing, as she had a lot on her plate at that time – she was doing both payroll and inventory. I helped with payroll so that Sabrina was able to focus on inventory. I also helped the finance department with accounts receivable and accounts payable – pretty much everything accounting.
Like an accounting handyman?
Yes, like an accounting handyman! Haha. After two years, in 2014, I had a chance to do the monthly and annual financial statements, which has been my area of expertise and what I’ve done for many, many years in the past. With the increase in financial responsibilities, in 2016, we had an HR Assistant who helped me with some payroll duties so that I could focus on the finance side of things. In early 2019, we hired a Payroll Administrator, Mindy, who took over all payroll functions, and that allowed me to focus on financial reporting.
Henry with Lisa, Sabrina, and Rebecca at the 2018 AGM Boat Cruise
What does Financial Reporting entail?
Financial Reporting is very broad. I’m responsible for the closing of month end financials, the monthly and annual financial reporting, budgeting, US requirements, FX contracts, cash management, corporate credit card administration, and payroll.
Wow, you weren’t kidding. It is very broad! In what ways did Watson Gloves allow you to excel and grow in your career?
I love Watson Gloves’ value of continuous improvement. The first day I joined, I thought to myself, “Oh, we are a family-owned business that will probably stay in a certain comfort zone. We must have a stable business, with some peaks and valley seasons, and that’s it.” But Watson Gloves isn’t like that at all. We are always finding ways to improve and it really surprised me at first. A couple of years ago, Watson Gloves introduced the Lean methodology into the business to help improve business operations.
My biggest professional value is always to improve and enhance processes. I don’t like coming to work and repeating the same tasks. Even in my every day personal life, I really enjoy improving things in a more efficient and effective way. Everywhere I work, I want to make improvements, and I really love how Watson Gloves has this mentality to drive towards continuous improvement rather than staying in a static comfort zone. It has helped the business and also myself and everyone else in the company lean into our vision of a more innovative future.
Henry with Kasey at the 2018 Watson Gloves Christmas Party
What is it like working with other Watson Team members?
I really enjoy working with my team. We all share a similar driving force and mentality to continuously improve in our work and processes. We don’t want to waste time duplicating and repeating things. We really push each other to become better.
Also, communication has improved a lot since when I first started. We have a finance leaders’ meeting on a regular basis where we understand each others’ different challenges and also brainstorm ideas and solutions for each other. And my team is always communicating. We’re all really close and bond well together. In our morning huddles, we all share what we’ve been up to in our personal lives, as well as discussing any problems we’re facing that day. We spend time to understand the problem and background in depth first before we come to the best solution. There will always be problems, but when you communicate well, you can solve the problems much more easily.
What’s your leadership style?
I like to share my experiences. When a team member has a problem they don’t understand, I try to share my experiences to arm them with information.
Also, I don’t want to just give my employees a task, they do the task, and then they hand it to me. I really want them to understand the background. When they understand the background, then they’ll know how to deal with the problem. The first thing I do when I teach someone is telling them the big picture – “the bottom line is this”. If they know the overall picture, they’ll do the job better.
What are your biggest takeaways/learning experiences from working here?
Honestly, I think the mentality of the company is great. Recently, the company enrolled the managers in Dale Carnegie Leadership Training. The company is not just investing in one or two people to do the training. It’s the entire management team! You can see that they’re really invested in improving the whole team’s leadership skills, which then improves the experiences of our people. It’s the mentality of “WE are great.” Not just one or two people, but the whole company.
Amazing! You love to hear that! What’s the most memorable moment in Watson Gloves?
The 100th year anniversary party in 2018! Usually, I’m not one to party, but that year, my wife and I went out to rent a costume for the 1920’s themed party. That night, the warehouse was transformed into a party floor! We got to see everyone from all three Watson Gloves locations. It was truly an amazing experience!
Henry and the Watson Family all dressed up at the 2018 100th Year Anniversary Party
What does the future look like for you?
It’s always continuous improvement and not sitting in the comfort zone. Early this year, we worked with the NorthFind Consulting group. They supported us in reviewing our existing infrastructure and make recommendations on where to focus in order to help prepare for some of our future plans. I really like how Watson Gloves is investing in these initiatives. Investing in resources, investing in their people. Not every company does this.
Looks like you feel confident about Watson Gloves’ future?
Indeed. Watson Gloves continues to head in the right direction. It’s not just work 40 hours a week here. It’s not just about business. It’s also about the amazing support for each employee and the well-being of each employee.
As we are headed into the US market, we expect to use new processes and continue our learning. This will present a lot of new challenges to face, but with Watson Gloves’ mentality, I have no doubt we’ll be heading towards a positive future.
Thumbs up right back at ya, Henry!
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