Blog post

Love admin week

Read how Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) designed a campaign to recognise and develop its administrative and clerical colleagues.

10 March 2022

In this blog Ben Falk, director of operations at GSTT, shares how the trust recognised the hard work of its valuable administrative staff with a dedicated week of celebration.

The ‘love admin’ campaign was developed and launched through the trust’s administration and clerical professional standards committee. The committee includes representation from all clinical groups at GSTT, including operational managers, HR, organisational development, equality, diversity and inclusion, health and wellbeing and staff-side representation. It was originally set up in 2019 to ensure that the skills and development of the administration and clerical (clinical facing) staff remains a priority and to provide the best patient care and outcomes.

There are three work streams that report into the committee, each one led by an operational manager.

Career development:

  • Career planning and support.
  • Interview processes.
  • Coaching and mentoring.

Building capacity:

  • Learning and development.
  • Apprenticeships.
  • Skills frameworks.

Engagement and wellbeing:

  • Flexible working.
  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Building a community.

Following regular, monthly meetings the committee agreed three main objectives for the love admin week campaign:

  • Promote and recognise the contributions of administration and clerical colleagues.
  • Showcase career and development opportunities.
  • Highlight wellbeing and equality, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.

What did we do?

We hosted the campaign from 13-17 September 2021 which included a number of initiatives and events designed to recognise and engage with this particular staff group.

Virtual careers fair

Our online careers fair was attended by 200 colleagues. The fair provided the opportunity for administration and clerical staff to find out how they could develop and progress in their roles to reach their full potential. Staff were able to hear from colleagues across the trust, in a variety of roles, to understand and be inspired by their diverse career journeys.

Careers clinics

We also hosted a number of career clinics during the week where staff could have a one-to-one conversation with current managers to seek advice and support on their own career development.

New training and development guide

A guide was designed and printed that outlined all of the training and development opportunities available at the trust. These were available for staff to take away at our stands. 

Visibility / stands

Throughout the week, sites across the trust hosted a love admin stand. These were set up in accessible areas so that staff could stop by to pick up some of the gifts on offer and other useful materials.

Love admin awards

In the lead-up to the campaign, we introduced our love admin awards. We encouraged colleagues to nominate a member of staff in an administrative and clerical role for one of our eight categories including ward clerk of the year, admin team of the year and medical secretary of the year. We received 800 nominations in total and ended the week with a virtual awards ceremony hosted by our chief executive and chief operating officer.

Case studies

To support the campaign, we developed a number of love admin case studies featuring administrative and clerical colleagues from across the trust. These were used across a variety of channels including desktop wallpapers, posters and online news stories.

Social media recognition

We showcased some of our admin staff on our social media channels. These appreciation posts included their image and a quote stating what they enjoyed about their role at the trust.

What did we achieve?

Initial feedback on the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive and it has been agreed that love admin should now become an annual event at the trust with further development needed to improve future initiatives. In 2022, we’ll look to widen the scope to all administration and clerical staff across the trust. Our 2021 campaign focused mainly on operational administration and clerical staff. 

A more detailed evaluation and feedback process will be undertaken over the coming weeks, including an online survey and a review of training uptake following the campaign.

“I thought the careers fair was brilliant! I have never experienced such gratitude for any admin role I have held. The only improvement that you could make is to be bigger. Please continue with this initiative as it really makes this group of staff feel valued and recognised as part of the overall team”.