Our recommendations for the sector and organisations - Museums Association

Our recommendations for the sector and organisations

The sector is made up of different components – museums, funders, sector support organisations, suppliers and consultancies. By working together, we can begin to address bullying in the sector.

At an organisational level, respondents felt the following to be critical:

  • 78% of respondents felt all organisations should ensure bullying, bullying behaviours and good practice are covered in training and development, including induction, management and leadership programmes
  • 72% felt organisations should have a bullying policy and procedure that is highlighted to staff
  • 66% of respondents felt it was important to ensure the organisation had an awareness of the impact of bullying and 64% of respondents felt they should offer or signpost support where applicable
  • 37% of respondents’ organisations had a bullying policy, although this content could be included in other policy documents

The following recommendations expand on the research responses. These outline proactive changes to reduce the likelihood of bullying taking place and suggest interventions to support workforce wellbeing more generally.

  1. Develop and adhere to a policy for bullying, and other supporting policies, for example harassment, victimisation, grievance or whistleblowing
  2. Demonstrate this commitment by including a policy statement in relevant processes, for example recruitment, procurement, partnership development and project ‘kickstart’ meetings
  3. Ensure all leaders, managers, staff, volunteers and freelancers understand the role they play in creating a bullying-free sector with zero tolerance of bullying
  4. Where this is not the case, and following an investigation, ensure that sanctions are applied in line with policy internally, for example disciplinary procedures and externally, for example the Museums Association Code of Ethics
  5. Be transparent, for example report on grievance-related subject matter to trustees or others when requested
  6. Develop and implement a programme for anti-bullying, including training, coaching, resources, 360-degree feedback and conduct regular surveys to spot patterns or trends
  7. Ensure all leaders, managers, staff, volunteers¹ and freelancers actively participate in relevant training, including induction, difficult conversations, health and safety and managing investigations, where applicable
  8. Engage with recognised trade unions and other groups, for example participating meaningfully in Anti-Bullying Week
  9. Look for support from employee assistance programmes or occupational health providers and external mediation or investigation organisations
  10. Establish support groups and networks, including mental health first aiders and champions

¹ Trustees are included as volunteers.