Our recommendations - Museums Association

Our recommendations

As a result of the research, we have developed a new community and workforce wellbeing campaign, including recommendations for the sector.

We have not included actions for individuals, as we feel all too often the responsibility for workforce wellbeing is levelled at the individual, rather than addressing cultural, structural and resourcing deficits.

The campaign should be read and embraced by museums, sector support organisations, funders, leaders, trustees and managers, and all those with a duty of care for others.

Organisations and managers should: 

  1. Commit to creating a culture of care, prioritising wellbeing for all, including freelancers and volunteers
  2. Centre wellbeing proactively in all planning, budgeting, risk assessment and decision-making
  3. Ensure all activities are sufficiently resourced to deliver successfully without excessive demands and negative impacts on wellbeing
  4. Ensure wellbeing support is accessible to all, especially those in front-of-house roles and working with communities, where the challenges may be greater
  5. Regularly review policies and practices and the efficacy of wellbeing interventions to ensure they deliver their wellbeing aims and are still relevant and meaningful
  6. Measure wellbeing regularly, for example in employee satisfaction surveys or exit interviews, to inform good practice and improvement
  7. Develop skills to support the wellbeing of others as part of management programmes, training and induction
  8. Centre people in all conversations, acknowledging the emotionally laden work undertaken, for example as part of team meetings and annual appraisals
  9. Create tailored conversations to identify what works best for people – experience of work and wellbeing measures should be focused on the individual
  10. Explore the possibilities of implementing hybrid working; for roles that can only be done onsite explore other benefits such as additional leave and wellbeing days

As communities face increasing pressures and challenges, including the cost-of-living crisis, it is even more critical that those that are delivering services for communities are equipped to support themselves whilst they support others.

Museums should: 

  1. Provide access to internal and external support for staff working with communities
  2. Develop comprehensive induction and professional development programmes to support the capacity and wellbeing of those working with communities 
  3. Commit sufficient resource and capacity for work with communities