A commitment to inclusive practices, from recruitment to celebration, from communication to improvement, is vital. Including all colleagues working in and with museums creates success.
Front-of-house colleagues have been seen as being at the periphery rather than at the core of the museum, yet they are at the heart of the visitor and community experience.
Direct observation of the museum experience provides great reflections into what works and what does not, and this insight is vital. This expertise should be valued and utilised.
For example, we should ensure:
- Space for sharing opinions and feedback to improve the visitor experience is provided
- Where a decision affects visitors, opinions are sought from front-of-house colleagues based on their direct experience, for example to shape and inform new museum experiences, exhibitions and programmes
- Wider engagement and dialogue are sought, as having a diversity of voices is shown to create better outcomes – a single front-of-house colleague will not represent the thinking of an entire team
- Opportunities for communication are open to all, for example front-of-house colleagues should not be expected to attend out of hours staff presentations without pay or time off in lieu
- Timely access to information that relates to the museum, for example by having a workplace email address and access to a workplace intranet
- There are opportunities for relationship building within the organisation, for example identifying key departmental or team relationships to strengthen collective practice
- Inclusive communication and opportunities, for example don’t advertise opportunities to attend events or training on a first-come, first-served basis
- Opportunities for celebration are open to all, which should be planned to ensure maximum attendance, and renumerated if necessary in the same way across the organisation