Natural History Museum (UK) Reviews | Glassdoor

Natural History Museum (UK) Reviews

Updated December 12, 2017
15 reviews

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2.9
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Natural History Museum (UK) Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon
Sir Michael Dixon
4 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Visitor Services"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Natural History Museum (UK) full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    I met some nice, like minded people and that was pretty much it.

    Cons

    Firstly they hire people through an agency so after they take a cut you end up with minimum wage. Uniforms were badly designed and uncomfortable. Expect to be on your feet all day and working outdoors to deal with queues getting in. The museum is packed at weekends and the summer so badly you can't even move. Visitors were rude because of this and complain about things you don't have control over. You also learn through jobs like this just how stupid the public can be and you just have the deal with it. The 'staff room' was a tiny area where visitor services, security and cleaners all have to squeeze into and was so unkempt. I also noticed that senior staff would never say hello as they thought we were beneath them. Pretty pathetic really as most of us were graduates trying to get jobs in the real world. I can only name 3 decent managers, the rest of them were nasty people. As nice as the building is, it's a pretty horrible job and you will have to put up with rubbish from the public daily.

    Advice to Management

    A lot of the managers were unfriendly and unapproachable. Whilst working on an exhibition I had customers demanding to see a manager and after calling upstairs they never came down. You can tell they're just there for the money and experience but hide when they have to face people complaining. One of my colleagues was perched on a desk towards the end of the day and a manager came over and shouted 'If I see you sitting there again, I will wring your neck'. You know, because we're not allowed to stand. We should have reported that manager, really unprofessional. Hopefully you've had a turnover of managers since then.


  2. "Visitor Assistant"

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

    I have been working at Natural History Museum (UK) part-time

    Pros

    - Flexible hours
    - Great team environment

    Cons

    - Communicate through an employer agency

    Advice to Management

    - Keep up the good work

  3. "Great place to work"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Natural History Museum (UK) full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The amazing building aside ( walking past dinosaurs on the way to the office!) the museum is an excellent place to work, with very good support for staff, cutting-edge science, and a strong focus on digital as an enhancement to the collections and exhibitions. Especially a great place for those with tech skills and the Museum enters a very innovative phase.

    Cons

    The shear size of the building means that many departments are physically separated by quite a long walk through public halls, or hidden in back buildings with one or no connecting corridors - this hasn't aided the move towards better contact and collaboration amongst the groups.

    Advice to Management

    More ways for staff across the Museum to socialise, but also truly collaborate together on shared initiatives.


  4. "WORK"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Research Scientist in London, England (UK)
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Natural History Museum (UK) full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    great work life balance and holidays

    Cons

    poor pay - not progressive, job for life


  5. "Dream for any ecologist researcher"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Discounts, free exhibition entry, centre of London

    Cons

    Inactive research environment compared to other institutes


  6. Helpful (4)

    "The worst culture of bullying within management."

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

    Pros

    Stunning and historic building. Invaluable collections and surroundings. Some really interesting colleagues who care about their work and want to progress within the institition. Pretty flexible hours (depending on your department).

    Cons

    Oppressive managers. A number of complaints about certain "notorious" members of staff brushed under the carpet. No support from HR when I tried to raise a serious issue about my manager, who was discriminitive and a bully. I ended up handing in my notice.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your employees, whatever their status within the heirarchy of the institution. Take complaints and concerns seriously and handle with respect and confidentiality.
    When an employee hands in their notice and actively requests an exit interview to discuss their concerns about known bullies, don't just ignore them and let them go quietly. These things need facing.


  7. Helpful (12)

    "Poor and oppressive management and culture in Development and Communications"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Natural History Museum (UK) full-time

    Pros

    Wonderful people to work with in department (excluding management) and across museum.

    Loved the collections and history of the museum, and the scientific output.

    Cons

    Management in Development and Communications were oppressive and unsupportive, since new management arrived in 2015.

    Long hours expected, and lunch breaks were frowned upon. 'Urgent' requests were sent at all hours throughout the evening/ night and on weekends and holidays. No balance with personal life.

    A bullying culture developed and as a result there was a high turnover of staff in 2016.

  8. "Other museums treat visitor assistants better"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Natural History Museum (UK) part-time

    Pros

    You get to see dinosaurs everyday without queueing.

    Cons

    All day walking around in a big museum. Not allowed to sit down. Must wear dress shoes (no trainers allowed). If you are lucky enough to get outside duty...you'll lose your voice AND almost die from dehydration in the summer or hypothermia in the winter. Overall it can get really exhausting after the first couple days.

    Advice to Management

    Some of the managers aren't a very good leader, not approachable, and generally dismissive. The other ones are quite alright. Don't you think some of your team leaders would be much better duty managers?


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Poor Management"

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

    I worked at Natural History Museum (UK) (More than a year)

    Pros

    Work/life balance is good, and the hours
    Canteen is affordable and the food isn't terrible. So ... yay to that I guess?

    Cons

    Lack of respect from management/condescending attitude/poor training etc.
    No communication between teams/between management & staff.
    Other teams within the workplace unashamedly and disrespectfully condescend certain other teams.
    At one period our management was firing multiple people without warning and very suddenly, and with no word of what was going on to the team or who was next. It created a terrible atmosphere, and was extremely counter-productive. Absolutely terrible management with no excuse.
    Money-obsessed. Human factor completely removed, it's all about making as much as you can.
    Inconsistent hours. No idea how many days you will work, and the amount week-to-week seems to be random, never based on performance. Similarly, you can be given warnings or even fired for poor performance, even if you've been placed on desks where selling is nigh on impossible. I was slated by a manager for not selling enough when we'd had only one couple pass our desk in that time. That same manager criticised the layout of the promotional items on display and re-organised it by themselves. We didn't move it, and later the manager came back and criticised it again, despite it being left as asked previously. You literally can't win against an outlook that backwards.

    So yeah ... shockingly poor, braindead, disrespectful and somewhat dumbfounding management. And the division and apparent dislike between different teams working in the same environment is eye-rollingly stupid.

    Advice to Management

    Treat your employees with some respect. It's not difficult to do. Have some understanding that they want to help and are doing exactly as you ask of them. Understand that some things are out of their control. And most importantly, understand just how unbelievably stupid it is to start firing people without telling anyone what's happening or who's next. It destroys peoples confidence and is entirely counter-productive to your aims for excellent customer service and, more importantly in your eyes, making tons of money. This review will likely be dismissed because of the lower position I held whilst there, but that is the exact problem itself. Get out of your own heads and try cohesion and good work ethics ... it might just help.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "NHM"

    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
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Natural History Museum (UK) part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible work weeks, good team and management and a beautiful place to spend a work day.

    Cons

    During term times, shifts can be few and far between. You are outside as a rover, so in more extreme temperatures it can be hard work. Also my position is a zero hours contract.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure to make rovers feel part of a team and not on the periphery.


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