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“Work hard and work on yourself for yourself always.” – Ozioma Sammie-Okposo

In every organization, the HR department is key! Today we are delighted to Introduce you to Mrs Ozioma Sammie-Okposo, the HR manager at Filmhouse Limited whose passion for her job is unparalleled! Read our Q & A with her and be inspired!

Your background, How did that very particular background prepare you for your current work?

Oh wow! Where do I start from that you don’t look at me funny, so I bagged a degree in psychology and another degree in Human Resources also did my masters program in Human Resource. I would say these are the best courses to combine because it gives so much depth and understanding, it helps you analyse the thought process, view it from all angles, calm situation and most importantly gives you a upper hand if I say so myself. This has further helped me effectively and efficiently in my current position in terms of people management, strategizing, ensuring labour law compliance because you sure don’t want issues with the government, learning and development etc. for instance we have had situations arise where I had to put my psychology knowledge to practical use, in terms of deal with guest concerns or that of the team members (staff).

What are the key strategies in your role in pushing the Filmhouse Brand?
We cannot talk about strategy without delving into the Filmhouse Limited values which are; Trust, Passion, Ownership and Innovation, these are the guiding principle that has helped my department in shaping the Filmhouse limited and pushing the brand. Our key strategy are in:

Ensuring labour law compliance.
Strategic hiring and retention; as at January 2019 we had 97% retention rate. As at 2018 we had about 264 male employees and 193 female employee, if you are looking at the work force below the age of 25 years we had a total of 99 (male 39 and female: 60).
Employee training and development which is done cross all board Pacesetter environment and the best content provider attitude Innovator as we currently have a divers and unique workforce and fully customer focused organization.
Become the best employer brand
Strong communication and engaged employees

Was there any specific training you needed in your line of work?

Oh yes, there was specific training I needed in my line of work, you know there is this saying that unless you experience or go through the same path as someone you can’t really say you have worked in their shoe or felt their pain. I worked at Odeon as a team member that in itself is a training because it prepared me for all sorts, I experienced everything from the shift jobs, to hustling for customers in terms of looking for who has not been served to make sure they were attended to and meet my KPI for the day, because we each had a target we were expected to meet at each shift; reduce guest concerns or handle delicate/difficult guest. Oh men I had an instance where a guest requested for something then changed her mind and was trying to put the blame on me and you must know that in business a customer is always right, as you will want to do everything in your position to make that customer(guest) a loyal customer who will keep on coming back to us. In that situation I had to put to use my psychology degree and horned human resource skills to use. I persuaded and changed their method of thinking it was not easy oh or is it the on that the guest is undecided about what he or she want and you know there is a time frame to attend to each guest and still attend to the guest properly and not leave other guest on the queue for so long.

What is it like being a female in your industry?
It has been an interesting one I must say, because it is always fun to handle situations people deem you not fit to resolve and boom they see you have settled it in a minute, it is really interesting because it makes you push yourself even more; I have worked in this industry for eight years and it has been very incredible, I learn on a daily base and sought out ways to learn more because in this dynamic world we live in continues to evolving and you must continue to stay relevant and productive. In essence it has been challenging and a learning curve for me, broaden my horizon and thought process and the motivation that you can achieve all things is forever there to push you.

Do you feel you need to work extra hard to prove yourself as a woman in this male dominated industry?

Not necessarily, when I first started oh yes! Because I was trying to prove a point, I could make it, I could do even better and but must importantly make myself proud was the goal that I was not a waste of space, time and resources. I had a lot riding on me at that time and I had to work hand so it wasn’t like I was handed things but instead I worked hard for what I got and achieved. For now I think I have accomplished some things and now it’s not to prove only to men per say but now we have the younger generation coming out with innovative ideas and skills that could rival anyone hence the reason I said not necessarily men but now am looking out for the younger generation who I could learn a thing or two from and they also could learn from my years of experience.

How do you manage your day?
I have a journal that I use to make a to do list every single day and I also work with an efficient and dedicated team in which I assign task to get our goal for the day accomplished. As no man is an island and would need to work with a team to achieve a common goal. I have an awesome team that even go the extra mile to accomplish their task at an efficient and effective way.

Can you talk a little bit about some the specific challenges you?
As we grow as a business expanding across the country, the challenge to keep in touch with all the branches, dealing with almost 500 employees across the country and also juggling between home, family, lagos traffic and lastma.

You have built one of the biggest brands, Filmhouse is an everyday part of our lives, how have you managed to be consistent?

Thank you so much for recognizing Filmhouse Cinemas oh we are trying LOL!! The number one thing that has worked for us which is in alignment with the company vision and mission which are:

Great customer service
Good content that continuous to entertain with innovation
Ambience
People

What is the most interesting part of your work?
Hmm there are so many but I guess one unique one would be the team that makes up Filmhouse interacting with them on a daily basis across all our site resolving issues.

How does your work impact society at large?
My work does have a rippling effect because we help create jobs and reduce unemployment in the society as we have sites in Lagos, Akure, Dugbe, Samonda, Benin, Port-Harcourt and Kano also our dealing across site helps with the sites in dealing with guest and giving good guest service and we are also driven by the need to continue discovering new and innovative ways of creating inspiring experiences, delivering world-class service and bringing the magic of cinema to life. This is a culture we are working on as people go to our cinemas to relax and let loose.

What do you do if you find yourself stuck in a rut creatively?
Oh men! I and my Ipad will be one at this point, you would see me watching undercover boss, judge judy and even paternity court this helps me get fresh ideas; the cases that the deal with it helps intellectually and creatively.

How does Filmhouse make working easier?
We do that by creating a conducive working environment that is not rigid and gives room for everyone to contribute, we have a culture that allow you free access to managers and directors, if you can’t see them you have access to their emails and can forward your suggestion which they are sure to reply.

What’s the working environment like working at Filmhouse, and is there a girl squad and culture?
It is fantastic to work at Filmhouse where the entertainment never ends, it is full of dynamic and innovative staff that are always fun to be around and push you to think fast always.

What advice would you give your younger self?
Keep doing what you are doing, you are on the right track however get some skills in sewing( to avoid all these tailor grammar because ehn I have been disappointed countless times) and eat less carbs because I want to be a baby girl forever lol.

What advice would you give to female’s attempting to start out in your industry?
Work hard and work on yourself for yourself always.

Connect with Mrs Ozioma Sammie – Okposo on Instagram.

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