British Museum Reviews | Glassdoor

British Museum Reviews

Updated August 4, 2017
15 reviews

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3.9
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15 Employee Reviews

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  1. "BMV"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    Learned a lot about the archival process
    Generally nice people
    Give you independence on doing the work yourself - not constantly followed around by a supervisor

    Cons

    No opportunity to grow after the first few weeks. you learn what you are going to do and then it is 8 weeks of the same thing.


  2. "Excellent employer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - British Museum in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - British Museum in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at British Museum full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible working, fantastic team environment

    Cons

    Low salary and fairly process driven

    Advice to Management

    Low salary

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Nice poeple, AWFUL salary and benefits"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at British Museum full-time

    Pros

    Amazing building and environment, great people, access to collections

    Cons

    Worst salary ever. Management don't see the issues, and turn a blind eye to them. Salary isn't high and the BM Management state it's because they are 'civil service' - the problem is, all other civil service has moved on and the BM hasn't. Also, tends to be one rule for one, another rule for others, including in HR. Technology is about 15 years behind, as is manager's experience with technology. Manager's are institutionalised, because they have been there too long. Because of this, they don't know about technology and processes which have progressed and moved forward.

    Advice to Management

    Wake up and smell the coffee! Don't continually turn a blind eye to the problems that are there, because you are losing far too many good staff.


  4. "Fantastic organisation and building"

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

    I worked at British Museum full-time

    Pros

    Values employees
    People are motivated the organisation and mission
    Brilliant building and location

    Cons

    Lack of progressive strategy
    Pay rises restricted due to being public sector

    Advice to Management

    Keep treating people well
    Need to make better use of advances in tech


  5. Helpful (2)

    "Conflicting values"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

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

    Pros

    The British Museum operates with a very international and diverse selection of staff in all its departments, and is keen on improving its international relations with other countries and cultures.

    Cons

    Regardless of its new international policies and relations, it is still an old-fashioned and stiff institution, where communication is either extremely difficult or non-existent.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more opportunities for career progression and training, while improving and encouraging communication between all departments.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at British Museum full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The Good
    There are incredibly interesting people working for the museum, and the collection of course is second to none. If you are a keen networker like I am you will have the chance to interact and become friendly with all sorts of colleagues, be they from the upper classes, mostly helicoptered into the institution by the infamous old boys' network, or the migrant workers cleaning and guarding the place on zero hour contracts. Whatever their background, those staff members are truly passionate about the place, always trying to find ways to improve processes and achieve positive outcomes.

    Cons

    The Bad
    Quite a few of the people working at the museum are institutionalised to an incredible degree. Especially when it comes to support services like Marketing and Design they delight in being a great hindrance to anyone who tries to improve and modernise processes. To give an example – when the branding of the museum was renewed in 2012, the (outsourced) creative lead, engaged mostly for the fact that he was friends with one of the deputy directors, omitted providing guidelines for screen and digital design. This was essentially because he had been taken out of retirement, and famously 'didn't do computers'.

    The Ugly
    Frustration levels across the museum have gone up tremendously over the last couple of years. Staff are being laid off, in many cases without redundancy provisions, even though they have sufficient continuity of service. There is a huge discrepancy between official HR policies (which include annual top-down assessments, etc) and the reality, which caters to those that are inside the established segment (who literally have jobs 'made' for them) and the rest who have to dance for scraps in form of rolling three-month FTC extensions before eventually being shown the door. Emanating from the top, a disdainful bully culture is being promulgated and projected throughout the institution.

    Advice to Management

    Replace the 'Deputy Directors'. Institute 360 degree annual assessment reviews.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great Co workers, Ok working conditions"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Collections
    Former Employee - Collections
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

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

    Pros

    The collection is one of the most comprehensive in the world, the co workers are friendly and casual with lots of team building and training. The supervisors and lower level management are amazing and really care about what your doing. There is room to move laterally into other departments and it is possible to progress if you put in the time. The other co workers are passionate about the museum's aims and love the collection. Most truly care about what they are doing and understand how important it is. There are lots of Benefits and great holiday parties to make up for the lower wages. I still miss that place and the people there

    Cons

    Having to compete with your co workers constantly to apply for jobs within the museum when your contract expires. Re applying to your job when you know that might mean one of your coworkers/friends may be out of a job on a yearly basis is not ideal. Neither is waiting to see if your contract will be extended on a yearly basis. To be fair it is not entirely a local problem but supposedly a government funding issue and things seemed to be improving slowly. The pay is lower for the amount of work you are expected to do and questions about pay rises literally are met with a laugh as they are constantly effected by the civil services pay freezes and management has no control over that. Some issues with long term planning.

    Advice to Management

    The immediate management such as line managers and supervisors are excellent and organised and should be running things. Their workload is very high and they really fight for their employees the problem is that upper management doesn't communicate with them enough. Hire full time staff and hire enough of them. Don't force contract staff to compete for a limited number of jobs and find a way to secure pay rises.

  8. "excellent workplace"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Islington, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Administrative Assistant in Islington, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at British Museum (Less than a year)

    Pros

    excellent relaxed workplace, interesting projects and everyone makes an effort to be friendly

    Cons

    temp role, wading through tourists to get places


  9. Helpful (5)

    "British Museum Collections staff"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at British Museum part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Amazing collections and interesting subject matter to work with
    Excellent colleagues
    Good training opportunities
    Civil service benefits and pension

    Cons

    Bureaucracy-heavy processes and hierarchical management system so your experience depends alot on your line manager
    Pay on average below most comparable UK museums
    Overworked staff who end up becoming demotivated because of excessive workload
    Many fixed term contracts and staff on externally funded contracts

    Advice to Management

    Invest more in staff - don't overwork them and support their work progression and strengths, be more flexible in outlook.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Amazing collections and colleagues but terrible pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at British Museum full-time

    Pros

    The collections are obviously world class (!) and it was a pleasure to work with them.
    There is an eclectic work force from the cleaners right up to Keepers of Departments all of whom made the job varied every day.
    There were opportunities to travel with the collections and for some lucky individuals to go on excavation.

    Cons

    I could no longer afford to work at the museum on the wage that I was receiving and after the pay freeze this wasn't going to change.
    Little to no progression available.

    Advice to Management

    No management training which meant that colleagues who were not fit for this purpose where shoehorned into line management and could not cope - make training compulsory!


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