Cheryl Samuels

Please tell us your name, job title and place of work?
Cheryl Samuels.
People Director, Evelina Women’s and Children’s Hospital

How did you come about working in HR?
I became interested in HR whilst studying business and administration

What would you say are the 3 key strategies organisation should focus on- post pandemic to
support their workforce?

  • Organisations need to focus on embracing flexibility and supporting a greater work-life
    balance whilst supporting services to evolve.
  • A greater focus on equality, diversity, inclusion and equity is more important as the need to
    close inequalities, is expected as the workforce demands more and wants far and equitable
    staff experiences, which in turn impacts on the quality of services we provide.
  • Improved utilisation of apprenticeship programmes within organisations to harness new
    talent and support better succession planning and promotion of hard to recruit roles.

What are you most proud of in your career to date?
The leadership I provided was crucial during the pandemic, with the pressures, the risks and the
volume of death. During the course of the pandemic I was the national health and wellbeing lead for
the NHS, and I provided psychological support to all 1.3M staff in the NHS. Some of the products
made available to all NHS staff included health and wellbeing apps like Headspace, Unmind, Stay
Alive and many other apps which helped NHS staff at the height of the pandemic. In addition, I led
the work and produced the cultural bereavement guidance for managers to enhance their understanding of bereavement in differing cultures, given we manage a diverse workforce, who all grieve differently. I also provided financial wellbeing webinars in partnership with Money and Pension Services, as well as ensuring a cultural lens was applied to show how differing cultures approach money.

How do you relax in your free time?
Enjoy spending time with family and friends, going to the theatre and travelling to new places.

What advice would you give to a young professional starting a career in HR?
Take on new opportunities and don’t be afraid to dip your toes in unfamilar territory that’s part of how we grow, when we tread new paths.

What are your three wise words to anyone or a favourite quote?
‘Its important to figure out where to fit in and where to stand out’

How can our members connect with you?
Via LinkedIn and Twitter.