Tate Reviews | Glassdoor

Tate Reviews

Updated March 29, 2017
11 reviews

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Nicholas Serota
7 Ratings

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  1. Helpful (3)

    "Development Administrator"

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

    I worked at Tate as a contractor (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The people you work with are really great, there is beautiful art in the galleries

    Cons

    Very stressful! Line managers are quite busy and very little opportunity to work on interesting projects or internal promotion.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Tate Modern = super 'corporate' charity"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - General Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - General Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Tate full-time

    Pros

    - They pay London Living Wage as a minimum
    - You work with fun & interesting people
    - Working for an internationally famous gallery

    Cons

    -Although it's a charity it feels incredibly 'corporate'. There are constant talks about budget, cutting hours.
    - It's an old boys club on top. Managers make no effort whatsover to even greet us plebs, oh I meant anyone lower than a supervisor, yet alone take their time to get to know you. This causes low-morale accross the staff. It literally feels like all of the higher up's get some sort of booklet telling them to distance themselves as much as they can from employees on lower positions. Many times I've been in a situation where a manager showed up, greeted my fellow male coworker, but didn't even bother to make an eye contact with me, a female that has been working there for almost a year.
    -This year everyone's contracted hours have been changed, full time went from 32 to 24, and part-time from 16 to 12. Those who protested were told that there is a clause in the contract that allows for that as long as we receive a month notice. I wouldn't know seeing as I still have not seen my contract after being employed for almost a year now.
    - Also be prepared to be micro-managed by certain supervisors or completely abandoned by others for a few hours without knowing where they went to.
    - Also be prepared to be asked to undertake a different role, such as barista or bartender, for weeks at the time with more responsibilities but without the increased pay (those roles are paid more than standard ga's)

    Advice to Management

    It won't hurt you to say hi to other employees when you enter the room. It will only make you appear more human and boost the morale a bit rather than making us feel that we are not worthy of even acknowledgment. These are basic manners that most of the managers at Tate are lacking.


  3. Helpful (3)

    "robotic approach to treating staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Retail Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Current Employee - Retail Assistant in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Tate part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Tate Enterprises hire brilliant staff, which has been one of the only reasons why some staff stay here. The staff are all creative, passionate and dedicated individuals who care for the gallery and their working environment. We work in art gallery, our colleagues are not just ourselves but the security team, the gallery assistants, its a big arty family that we are lucky to share. Some of the supervisors who have previously worked as retail assistants are fantastic because they understand how we feel and have the experience needed to lead this team.

    Cons

    Management are poor. Tate adopts an unsuccessful impersonal approach to managing their staff, and there is no attempt to get to know employees at all. This approach does nothing but distance management from their team and create a depressing working environment for everyone. Staff are constantly called in for intimidating and demoralising 'catch up' meetings where a member of the team is reprimanded or threatened with disciplinary meetings. Usually these are over the staff member speaking out, suggesting more efficient ways of doing things or matters that the staff member has little control over, e.g occasional lateness due to train delays.

    Managers also seem not to trust their staff, which adds to this already prevalent divide and causes employees to get frustrated and uncomfortable in the company of management. Rudeness, belittling comments and constant questioning of what staff members are doing is a regular occurrence at Tate. Employees are never listened to and even though managers make effort to introduce communication tools such as comment boxes, the comments posted in them clearly have little effect and are read and not acted on.

    Managers are rarely present on the shop floor and we find that issues that we have

    Advice to Management

    Take ownership of your mistakes. Please be aware of this problem that staff have with management and try to build bridges with us rather than ignoring these issues that affect us so much that staff have resigned in the past. This robotic and functional approach to management, is ineffective; we all have great ideas to improve the way things are done here, but are constantly pushed down and scare tactics are used. Please value who we are and understand we care about the shops as much as you do, a suggestion is not an attack. Proudly represent us and be approachable, it would be amazing to work in a place where management are not condescending and don't treat you as a body that does the basic work that they benefit from. Recognise us, listen to us and support us. It does not have to be this way, it takes a few little steps from yourselves to make everyone happier.


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  5. "Developement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Development Administrator
    Former Employee - Development Administrator
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Tate full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Tate on your CV, nothing else at all

    Cons

    Most morbid miserable place on earth, completely institutionalised, has made employees, especially in development dead inside. Infanous for bad pay, no culture whatsoever, glad to be shot of the place.

    Advice to Management

    Management who? No trasparancy, wouldnt know where to start


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Worse than it's ever been"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Tate full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Opportunity to work with creative, fascinating people, passionate, hardworking and inspiring me to take on new challenges. Since I've started working at Tate, they have grown to become my family, if one can imagine a family that big and diverse. I want to be clear here that my positive feelings relate to retail assistants and supervisors ONLY.

    Knowledge I derive from my workplace, whether it's coming from books that I sell, conversations with colleagues or people from other departments (and customers) is also worth mentioning as I treasure it very much. Furthermore, it includes all the exhibitions I have a chance to see thanks to my staff pass.

    Cons

    The management team is worse than it's ever been. Suggestions from staff members are not welcomed as managers feel that their authority is undermined by the responses. Instead of appreciating the fact that staff members work hard to keep the shops running and there might be times when a retail assistant is more aware of the situation in the shops than a manager, employees are diminished and most of them feel too uncomfortable to suggest anything. There’s a level of insecurity when it comes to management’s confidence and strength in facing the problems that may arise, which results in a nervous and scatty way of managing the shops and employees likewise. Management doesn’t take time to get to know their staff and use their strengths towards the overall smooth running of the shops. Budget seems to be more important than the human factor which, to be fair, could be expected of a shop, however, gallery shop is not just any shop and there won’t be a single Tate shop left if members of staff feel so uncomfortable that they quit one by one. Most of these people are well educated, creative individuals, with PhDs, Masters degrees and years of experience in retail and art world. Not only are they not respected, they are spoken to like children and bossed around the shops instead of being appreciated for their initiative and willingness to make Tate better. Approaching problems and communicating with staff is also something worth a mention as there’s no honesty and straightforward way of dealing with issues, only sneakiness and “catch-ups” on the shop floor which employees feel very negative about. Also, actual communication between managerial (not to mention higher managerial) staff and retail assistants seems to have suffered in the past year.

    Advice to Management

    First and foremost - listen to your staff!! Appreciate and respect their insights as they spend much more time on the shop floor than you do and it's them who have to deal with a day-to-day situations. Be visible and approachable, don't dismiss people. Meet up with them to discuss the problems we are all having and agree on what can be done. We all understand and respect how hard managerial job can be but respect goes both ways! Don't try to put words in our mouths, we are all unhappy that it got to this point but we DO WANT TO MAKE IT BETTER. A manager that comunicates with us by sending memos and doesn't own a situation is not a manager at all. Be honest and clear instead of getting us to say things you want to hear. And for God's sake, we are not children, some of us have worked here for longer than any of the managers, we don't deserve to be treated like idiots.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Tate part-time

    Pros

    Exciting creative environment, great friendly colleagues, inclusive culture, interesting work

    Cons

    Pay isn't amazing, however it is a public sector role. Other benefits more than make up for this.

    Advice to Management

    Continue with your great efforts to make this organisation truly open and inclusive to all.


  8. Helpful (3)

    "It could've been great..."

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

    I worked at Tate full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I think it looks quite good on my resume because some other employees don't know what kind of a place Tate Enterprises is.

    Cons

    I find it laughable that in her response to one of the other reviews Laura ('CEO') states that she interacts regularly with the staff. I worked in the picture library for over a year and she spoke to me once (see below), including at the Christmas party, and it's a relatively small staff. More interested in keeping up appearances rather than engaging with staff - hence her response here, it's all superficial. Distant is an understatement. For the business this woman isn't so much Wright as utterly wrong! The main office is over two floors and I personally saw her upstair where I worked twice in over a year. At company meetings she'd only interact with her managers.

    The only occasion Ive seen her get excited about anything was when discussing a horrendous painting of a washing up liquid bottle that hangs in her office. I don't believe it's from the Tate collection, it would easily win the prize for worst painting ever. It's a shame Picasso didn't have a period where he painted washing up liquid bottles, just think of all the masterpieces he'd have created!!!

    There were reports of a bullying epidemic in the retail team at Tate Modern and the managers only took action once the other staff got the unions involved. I also witnessed and reported bulling behaviour twice within the Enterprises offices by different people and again the HR staff took no action and told me they couldn't discuss it.

    I just hope potential employees trust the majority of present/past employees rather than the fatally flawed management style and tokenistic responses that have no weight.

    To call the Exec Team incompetent would be unfair to incompetent people. A chimp mashing its head on a keyboard could do a better job. They have very little clue what they're doing and lack authority or respect.

    Advice to Management

    Take the opportunity of major change at the Gallery in 2017 to replace the 'CEO' and the majority of her Exec Team. There is very little vision or passion for what they do. There are so many more competent, skilled professionals out there that I believe it's a scandal that she remains in post.


  9. Helpful (3)

    "Toxic culture"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in London, England (UK)
    Former Intern - Anonymous Intern in London, England (UK)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Tate as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    The name of Tate sounds good, and the collection of art is amazing. Good research is being done there and the staff are intelligent.

    Cons

    The management is a huge problem. Staff were laid off in 2008, and replaced with managers. The managers don't know what their staff do so they became bullies to try to justify their position. In numerous meetings I saw managers put down staff. Jobs are posted often, because there is high turnaround, and there is no effort made for staff retention.

    Advice to Management

    I think the management just needs to all go, the staff know what they are doing, the managers are just getting in the way.


  10. Helpful (9)

    "AVOID!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Tate full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Work with fantastic staff in the Gallery at a world-renowned institution

    Cons

    CEO is rarely around, extremely distant when she is. Bullying is rife, that's the ethos she imbues.

    Man responsible for publishing is beyond useless, no idea about the list or how to do the basic functions of his job. Probably never read a book tbh

    All are extremely out of their depth - running the company into the ground. Incompetency of senior staff is frequently ignored

    Advice to Management

    Needs completely new 'Exec Team'. Hopefully they will be removed from their posts and the situation will improve

    Tate Response

    Nov 25, 2016

    I’m Laura, the CEO of Tate Enterprises. I’m pleased to see from this review that working with fantastic staff in the Gallery was a positive point – It’s certainly something that I value very much. I ... More


  11. Helpful (10)

    "Poor pay, no opportunities and mistrust of staff"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • 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)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Tate full-time

    Pros

    - Working alongside a great collection and exhibitions is very rewarding.

    - Free entry to other museums and galleries.

    - Tate brand attracts interesting and creative colleagues.

    Cons

    - Sadly a management culture of mistrust and bullying exists at Tate. Dignity and Respect policy does nothing to actually tackle the issue only ticks boxes for management.

    - Often overworked, micro-managed and staff concerns ignored.

    - High turnover of staff.

    - Very poor pay in comparison to comparable jobs in the culture sector. With 4 years of pay freezes, pay has fallen 20% in real terms. No recognition for dedicated staff, low team moral and virtually no career opportunities.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to your staff , value and invest in them and create opportunities. A culture of mistrust, micromanaging and bullying destroys moral especially at a time when wages are falling.