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There are newer employer reviews for Exploratorium

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Helpful (2)

Fantastic organization handicapped by toxic and illegal work practices

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
Approves of CEO

I worked at Exploratorium full-time (More than 5 years)

Pros

Strong work-ethic of staff / vibrant research and develoment culture / many creative, smart, and likeable personalities / imaginative, acessible delivery of its mission / strong transmission of its core values / output-driven / the museum culture is always reinventing itself / sense of community within the staff This organization strongly embodies the do-it-yourself, do-it-together spirit that has made the Bay Area a hub for innovation.

Cons

For all that is great and character-building about working here, my time (and that of others) was deeply marred by hostile management practices, including harassment, verbal and physical abuse, retaliation on whistle-blowing, defamation, and constant over-work and over-scheduling without overtime compensation. Sadly, these are not isolated incidents---there is historic precedence, and evidence that it's endemic to the museum culture. The mechanisms to seek arbitration, recourse, or simply just help are, in my personal experience, politically skewed and ultimately unhelpful. The imaginative capacity of the organization is not tempered by a management that knows when to say enough is enough. Nor do they seem to value the dignity or hard work of staff, who are charged to pull off management's (often) over-the-top vision.

Advice to Management

Please advocate for more work-life balance among your ranks. Please don't permit or perpetuate discriminatory or illegal procedures. Please don't perpetuate defamation in a formally organized setting, then call it a "feedback" session. Please get more support staff for your department-of-ones, so they don't displace their rage or frustration onto someone relatively powerless and easy to project onto. If someone has proved to be toxic or is known to be mentally ill, and they are harming their staff, please intervene instead of practicing "C.Y.A." Project managers, most of whom have a great head on their shoulders, don't have the capacity to veto you. Please have a more feet-on-the-ground sensibility, so you don't burn out or harm the health of your staff through overwork. Please have safer, more politically neutral mechanisms for whistle-blowing.

Other Employee Reviews for Exploratorium

  1. Helpful (4)

    Creative, inspiring work environment, hamstrung by inept management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Exhibit Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Exhibit Developer in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Exploratorium full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Myriad opportunities to learn both new professional skills and about the physical and biological world; welcoming, diverse staff, inspiring environment and appreciative visitors.

    Cons

    With a few notable exceptions, "managers" are people who have no skill managing. This is most evident at the top, where the management tasks are more organizational than interpersonal; mishaps from financial miscalculations to workload underestimation to lack of transparency weaken morale and scare away valuable staff.

    Advice to Management

    Spend more time interacting with middle management and the rest of the staff to better understand the needs of the institution; show a little restraint in calculating your own paycheck and attract better talent via better salaries (especially in outrageously-expensive San Francisco. You know who you are, 37% raise in 2013...), exercise caution when setting spending and staffing goals and be wary of hubris.


  2. Helpful (2)

    Wonderful staff, inspiring environment, inept management

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Project Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Exploratorium full-time

    Pros

    What the museum provides the visiting public is phenomenal. And, the internal programs, brown bag talks for staff and the like, are amazing. Brilliant and creative coworkers. You are constantly learning about the world around, regardless of what your actual job/tasks are at the museum.

    Cons

    Quite a few management staff who are absolutely terrible at managing people. Company follows the stereotypical non-profit set up of overpaying the top, and barely paying the staff. Company reorg in 2013 left the place in turmoil, hopefully they will get it together before the product starts to suffer.

    Advice to Management

    Get training on how to communicate better with your staff. Don't assume you know what all their responsibilities are, this is a non-profit which means folks end up doing way more than their job description in OD has on file.


There are newer employer reviews for Exploratorium
There are newer employer reviews for Exploratorium

See Most Recent

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