English Heritage

  www.english-heritage.org.uk
  www.english-heritage.org.uk

English Heritage Reviews

Updated October 3, 2014
Updated October 3, 2014
16 Reviews
3.5
16 Reviews
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English Heritage CEO Simon Thurley
Simon Thurley
11 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Secretary

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at English Heritage

    Pros

    A great company to work for. They believe in what they do and it shows in the way they treat their employees.

    Cons

    The structure of the company was not always cohesive.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Review

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at English Heritage

    Pros

    This is really a fantastic place to work...I cannot imagine better... I have really enjoyed the people and the atmosphere.

    Cons

    There really are no down sides for me at this company......I have enjoyed every minute of my employment here.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful  

    2014 saw a decline in the care of employees with introduction of illegal working hours policy for lone workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Visitor Operations Team Member
    Former Employee - Visitor Operations Team Member

    I worked at English Heritage full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    above average hourly rate of pay. Good contributory pension, flexible working hours, good performance development review process, staff card allows access for your family to get in free, and the 25% discount in the shop is generous.

    Cons

    Hideous, uncomfortable, assexual, teflon coated uniform that encourages sweat and immobility.

    Staff lone working at small sites were told that due to the increased opening hours this year, they would be working 9.15 (min) hour working day - WITH NO BREAKS.

    EH say they have considered the H&S risks 'minimal'. But don't care that its slave labour or that its illegal. Not to mention that if you have a constant stream of customers you cannot go to the toilet when you want to.

    So .... if you ever visit a site with one staff member of staff, and they may seem disoriented or flagging in energy be advised that this is because they have been there from 9.30am and will be there to at least 6.30pm, in a demanding customer facing role, WITH NO BREAK, so cut them some slack before you complain.

    EH intranet claim to have a policy of 'supporting CPD' - in reality they don't. They are happy for staff to do internal courses, but they have no funding/ interest to help staff develop CPD skills outside the IT or HR fields.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stop USING your employees and make all single staffed sites at least 2 staff sites so the staff can have access to basic human rights like a break, and access to a toilet when they want to go.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    A place full of self deluded narcissists

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Visitor Operations Team Member in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Visitor Operations Team Member in London, England (UK)

    I have been working at English Heritage part-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    You dont need to be clever

    Cons

    you work with idiots and social misfits

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Wake up to reality

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6.  

    Previous employer.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Field Monument Warden in Swindon, Gloucestershire, South West England, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Field Monument Warden in Swindon, Gloucestershire, South West England, England (UK)

    I have been working at English Heritage part-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    English Heritage does a marvellous job of protecting our culture and providing accurate, researched material and information about these sites, monuments and related heritage.

    Cons

    None really. I would recommend anyone to try English Heritage as an employer.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to involve staff in current work as you do because local advice is of importance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    Great training and mutual respect working for a great cause.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Archive Support Officer in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Archive Support Officer in Swindon, Wiltshire, South West England, England (UK)

    I worked at English Heritage part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Interesting environment. Learning new skills. Great support from line manager. Criticism put in a constructive way. Great appraisal scheme. Team working and team building. Interesting trips to other English Heritage sites. Money off visits to English Heritage properties. Some opportunities to be flexible in working hours. Varied work so do not get bored. Great lectures and company information to add to role. Good support from Human Resources with any problems. Opportunities to take part in training to further you in role.

    Cons

    Working for a charity so not one of the highest paid jobs working for love of job and belief in cause. Short term or temporary contracts may not be possible to find another appropriate job in the company after leaving. Need to have a sense of humour. Need to be prepared to do physical work as well as a desk job. Some jobs may be quite specialised so may not suit everyone. Because it involves working for a charity have to be prepared to be resourceful in not wasting money or materials. Need to be careful handling precious materials.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be prepared to invest in training for staff. Have to balance being careful with funding with investing in staff for the future.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    Friendly atmosphere

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Catering Assistant
    Current Employee - Catering Assistant

    I have been working at English Heritage part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Most colleagues had a good attitude and were equally friendly with other members of staff as with the public. Fantastic places to work eg castles and high standards.

    Cons

    Quite high turnover of start partly due to many seasonal jobs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect people below you, they have tough jobs too even if not under as much direct pressure to keep to budgets etc.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    A wonderfully rewarding organisation to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant
    Current Employee - Consultant

    I have been working at English Heritage part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Bright and enthusiastic colleagues who respect your knowledge and ideas. In fact the most respectful organisation I have worked for in a long career - and I've only been at EH for three years.
    I get to travel around the country and visit amazing historic sites, so I'm learning all the time.

    Cons

    A large organisation with a big base in Swindon, plus a London office, and regional offices. So not always easy to know what's going on everywhere. Different activities in organisation in many 'silos', such as Events, Interpretation, Retail, Catering, Designation etc. so synergies not always easy - but good teamwork tends to overcome this. English Heritage is soon to split into two - one part managing the historic properties open to the public; the other part will become "Historic England"

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would prefer a more horizontal management structure.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Historic Property Steward in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Historic Property Steward in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, England (UK)

    I have been working at English Heritage part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Excellent team of people, all who want to work in some of the country's most important and iconic places.
    Good work-life balance in my role as being only a steward I don't take any work home with me.
    Perks, a very good staff discount. Vouchers from love to shop when the site reaches sales targets and retail targets. Free entry to English Heritage properties. Festival of History is excellent.

    Cons

    seasonal work
    potentially a lack of career opportunities moving up the ladder

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    communicate more with staff, especially the 'lower' pay grade staff as they could be the managers of tomorrow, as most people will want to work in this area as a conscious choice.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Not at all what it seems!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Historic Property Steward in Bath, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Historic Property Steward in Bath, England (UK)

    I worked at English Heritage full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    All things considered, there aren't very many pros. Work/Life Balance is OK. Staff discount. Nice teams (largely). Main benefit is free entry to all properties, although something like a third of EH properties are free/ unmanned anyway. Many people (especially customers and new members) don't realise this.

    Cons

    Where do I start? Contrary to popular belief, EH only care about England's heritage as long as it makes money; if it doesn't they're not really interested. They also don't care about you, your passion, ambitions, commitment or how reliable you are – only whether you can sell things. If you can't then you're no good to them. What's more, in 25 years I have never known a company which shows such complete contempt and disregard for its employees; ironically, especially the ones lower down the food-chain who actually generate the revenue. Then there's the arrogant, condescending and (especially in my case) utterly incompetent management, the seasonal job, the extremely high staff turn-over, the Victorian one-size-fits-all attitude/ approach to running a business and EH are not at all afraid to use bullying tactics if they decide your face doesn't fit. Training? What training!? In fact, I was personally told by a senior manager that with regards to training I was 'probably expecting too much'. Poor staff facilities. No real opportunities to work your way up and in conflict situations EH tend to side with the customer, so don't expect your employer to back you. Because of this you will find that your confidence starts to suffer, doing your job becomes more and more frustrating, and eventually almost impossible. Wages? Around £7 an hour – you'd earn substantially more working in a supermarket. And finally, EH will become a charity in 2015, so you can expect conditions to get a lot worse.

    EH don't like people who have opinions, who criticise (constructively or otherwise), who speak up when something bothers them or who stand up for themselves. Be quiet, do as you're told and take it lying down. As a Historic Properties Steward (at least) you're actually doing a sales job – nothing more. Making as much money as possible for a small elite at the top whose CEO earns more than his boss (the Prime Minister). Think you'll be looking after historic sites? Showing off your history knowledge? Helping to preserve and maintain England's heritage? Then you're kidding yourself. What you will be doing is selling stuff – all day long. Tickets, memberships, hopelessly overpriced merchandise, and more tickets and especially memberships. Memberships are very important to EH, although nobody keeps track of how many you sell and, ironically, apart from bully you EH does nothing to make your job of selling memberships easier. And during those brief moments when you're not selling anything, you'll be dealing with countless (often difficult) people, asking you whether they can get in with their National Trust cards or whether there are toilets on site.
    Oh, and then there are the countless people who will try to get in for free; something, you'll find, EH are not particularly bothered about, so you'll be fighting a losing battle and will often ask yourself 'why bother selling tickets at all?'. And don't even think about telling these people off because there is a distinct chance you'll be the one ending up in the office and they will get free tickets (again, I know this from bitter experience).

    There are clearly substantial differences between working in the north and the south, as well as between people working at sites and people working in some posh office. Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that some of the positive reviews on here may well have been written by somebody sitting in a posh EH office. Ultimately you'll have to make up your own mind, but my advice is think very carefully before applying and especially before accepting a job with EH. Talk to people who work there/ have worked there, read reviews, try to find out as much as you can about them and what really goes on there.

    As for me, EH is quite possibly THE worst company/ organisation I've ever worked for, and I'm extremely glad I left; my only regret is that I didn't go earlier. It's been a total disaster and a colossal disappointment pretty much from the beginning.

    I was ecstatic when I first got the job. I had planned on staying till retirement. I took a pay-cut to go and work for them, zero hours during the winter (no problem) and didn't even mind a huge fuel-bill (yep, there's that as well). I had all the enthusiasm, motivation, dedication and ambitions in the world. I put the job before my private life and bent over backwards for them. All I received in return was contempt and disregard, and a management that tried to bully me out of my job based on nothing but perception, assumptions and hearsay.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There can't be many organisations/ companies that have as many passionate people working for them as EH and all I can say is this: you only treat people with contempt for so long before it seriously backfires ...

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

English Heritage Photos

English Heritage - East of England offices (Photo thanks to Geograph user SJB, Some Rights Reserved)
English Heritage - National Monuments record centre (Photo thanks to Geograph user Roger Cornfoot, Some Rights Reserved)
29 Queen Square, Bristol (Photo thanks to Geograph user Stephen Richards, Some Rights Reserved)

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