#SMW Lagos 2016: On Building a Healthy Company Culture

#SMW Lagos 2016: On Building a Healthy Company Culture

Day 2 of #SMWLagos was all about the power of media and influence.

Attendees got up close and personal with some of Nigeria’s leading digital voices. Influencers in various mediums shared their experience and expertise on how they navigated their passions into lucrative careers. The conversation included talk about company culture.

Editi Effiong, founder of Anakle Labs, an investment company and incubator for technology businesses. “Never owe anyone money, rule No. 1. I think people who come to work for you do you a favor. When we started we knew we couldn’t pay, so we deliberately told ourselves to build a fantastic company culture where people come in to work and have fun. Pizza on Fridays. Breakfast–make people feel like they belong, like they own the business. When we sign on a new client we pop a bottle of champagne, that sort of thing. So people work extra hard to get that good feeling.”

[RELATED: The Importance of a Corporate Culture in Your Business]

Zubby Emodi, software designer, social media expert and head of digital marketing at RDM, Nigeria offered this: “The way I do it is I try to have as flat of an hierarchy as possible. Try to eliminate the old guard, the old chairman and CEO and sit down and talk to my team. When people see you sit down as the boss talking to people that are supposed to be your support, it’s like they’re your friends and that helps a lot. It makes it easier for people to come in to work and be a lot more open to you because they don’t think you’re going to fire them.”

Also, going a little off topic, I asked Ire Aderinokun, a user interface designer and front-end developer who is currently head of design and tech at Big Cabal Media–and the only woman on the panel–her advice on getting more women into coding. “Coding is not something that’s only for men and it’s one of the few industries you get hired just for the work that you’ve done. Just be excellent at what you do. I personally haven’t faced any discrimination and I taught myself how to code,” she revealed.

Tomorrow’s focus at #SMWLagos will be Women in Tech and Africa’s booming music scene, and how each area is evolving in the digital age. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recap and follow the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #BEGlobal. And just in case you’re wondering about that WiFi, today wasn’t any better. We’ll let you know how everything turns out tomorrow!