Big plans for the future of HR at the British Museum

months into his role as head of HR at the British
Martin Moore has big plans for an institution that celebrated its 250th
anniversary last year.

objectives of the museum are very different from anything in the private
sector," he said. "When I joined, I saw a lot of unexploited
opportunities in both commercial and HR terms."

said his previous experience in the hi-tech sector, at such companies as Nortel
and Caradon MK Electric, is
helping him in his new role, which he calls his "dream job".

first challenge I faced was the need to professionalise
the HR function," he said. "The big theme here is reaching out and
interacting with the public. HR can’t support that agenda if we are looking
after policies and procedures and writing new regulations."

HR department at the museum was mostly staffed by career civil servants, and
while Moore
is hesitant to be critical of them, he realised changes had to be made.

number of individuals left us early on, and that gave me the opportunity to
bring new people in," he said.

challenges I’ve given my people are to have a clear sense of vision and
perspective, recruiting great people for the organisation who are motivated to
work here, giving them rewarding careers, and the skills to do the job."

admits that while this mandate is nothing revolutionary, a sense of clarity has
helped within an institution that has suffered recently.

year, the British
suffered its first ever curatorial strike, and had to cut 14 per cent of its
workforce because of finances slipping into the red.

have hard times, but [the British
has picked itself up and is now steady," said Moore.

is now planning a relaunch
for the HR function in the next couple of months. "It will effectively be
a rebranding, saying that
we are here to listen and there are a number of schemes that will genuinely
help all staff," he said.

has the full backing of Neil MacGregor,
director of the museum, in the changes he wants to make.

we do in HR has to be true to the public perceptions of us as an
organisation," he said. "We work very closely with our communications
team to make sure the institution is seen in a positive light.

it is, that will reflect back on the way that people feel about themselves and regard themselves at

Moore‘s HR plans

Significant learning and development investment on a scale that the museum has
never seen before

Other new schemes around e-learning, a home-computing initiative and a range of
formal learning events on senior management development through to diversity

The development of a new employee assistance programme and switching providers
in the New Year

Moving to a third-party recruitment provider, and increased use of internet

Mike Berry


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