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Conscientiousness, optimism, and curiosity

Our research into the museum workforce is launched

Our research into the future of the UK museums workforce has now been published. The first of its kind for the sector, it analyses the attitudes, behaviours and skills of the UK museum workforce.

The report is online here, or there is a summary here. We found:

  • A number of key ‘personal qualities’ emerged as priorities for the workforce, such as conscientiousness, optimism, self-efficacy and curiosity. Some of these qualities can be influenced and changed, while others are relatively fixed.
  • Museums need a two-pronged approach of careful skills development to nurture personal qualities, as well as more innovative recruitment methods to develop a more diverse and well-rounded workforce.
  • Organisations should themselves become more flexible, agile, entrepreneurial and supportive of their workforce.
  • The sector needs to recruit and develop a more diverse, flexible workforce that brings new skills, energy and ideas into the sector by developing their recruitment and line management practice.
  • Funders and sector support organisations are challenged to encourage applicants to demonstrate commitment to diversifying and supporting their workforce, as well as celebrating and sharing good practice.

Arts Council England, Museums Galleries Scotland, the Museums Association and the Association of Independent Museums commissioned us (with the Museum Consultancy) to undertake the research, which draws on interviews, consultations and analysis of over 2000 online survey responses for this research.

- Bronwyn McLean, Consultant