Workforce wellbeing - Museums Association

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Conference 2024: The Joy of Museums booking open now – Book before 31 March 2024 for a 10% discount

Workforce wellbeing

The MA is a campaigning organisation with a long history of supporting everyone who works in and with museums. 

Our broad campaign areas focus on supporting our members and the sector to deliver change centred around social and climate justice, community engagement and inclusion.

Introducing our wellbeing workshop

Develop skills to support your team's wellbeing

We have developed a workshop with Jessica Agudelo, a consultant working in the wellbeing space, to explore the findings of our wellbeing research and develop skills and confidence for leaders, managers and supervisors.

Find out more

Our workforce campaigns focus on inclusive and diverse museums with an emphasis on fair working conditions and workforce wellbeing. Our Museums Change Lives and learning and engagement campaigns focus on museums working with communities, placing them at the heart of what we do.

This wellbeing campaign acknowledges the relationship between these campaign areas, and the fact that to do good work in all areas of museum practice we need a healthy workforce with positive wellbeing. This is even more critical in those roles working with communities that have been marginalised or underrepresented, or have experienced trauma.

Campaign aims

  • We will work with museums to raise awareness and showcase good practice so that they can put in place programmes and support for their workforce and for the communities they serve
  • We will work to improve wellbeing within the workforce through advice, support and programmes
  • We will work with museums to actively support community wellbeing

About workforce wellbeing

During the pandemic we prioritised wellbeing for our members and the workforce through our dedicated Facebook pages and the creation of our Wellbeing Hub. We have continued showcasing good practice at our events, including a dedicated wellbeing strand at our conference in 2022.

As part of this work, we have examined our own commitment to workforce wellbeing, creating a wellbeing action plan for the MA. It includes improvements such as an updated compassionate leave policy, a ringfenced budget for individual wellbeing activities and training for line managers and staff.

Supporting and improving the wellbeing of the workforce means that we are better placed to support our communities. You can find more information, guidance, and case studies relating to our commitment to community wellbeing in our Museums Change Lives campaign area. 

Our future work and support for the sector has been informed by sector-wide research, which  provided rich data for discussion, reflection and recommendations.

Research

In summer 2022 we carried out sector-wide research into workforce wellbeing with the following aims:

  1. To identify the current state of individual wellbeing withinthe workforce, understanding the wellbeing of all colleagues – volunteers, freelancers, and employees
  2. To identify factors at an individual, organisational and sector level that affect our individual wellbeing
  3. To identify ideas and priorities for action to positively effect change within the sector for everyone who works in and with museums

We had a high response rate with 658 responses and engagement with sector organisations.

It is important to note the individual and intersectional nature of wellbeing, and museums should therefore commit to ongoing conversations about workforce wellbeing in order to take a nuanced and targeted approach to institutional and individual circumstances.

Our findings have informed our new recommendations for the sector, and you can now read our report based on this research below.

Introduction

Key findings

Detailed findings:

Reflections

Our recommendations

Resources and other work from the MA

Our methodology

Respondent profile

Next steps 

This is a dynamic area of work and we will be building and developing resources and programmes to support the sector and deliver the campaign aims.

We are interested in examples of commitment and impact and want to create a bank of case studies to showcase best practice. If you want to add your case studies, please email info@museumsassociation.org with the subject line “wellbeing case study”. 

We are always interested in hearing from youhow we can help or support you and the sector: please email info@museumsassociation.org with the subject line “wellbeing campaign” to share your thoughts. 

Discover

Wellbeing Hub

Resources for workforce wellbeing throughout the sector

Museum Essentials

Online courses for members to boost your confidence and competence in key practice areas
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