Galleries, theatres and museums struggling to attract and retain staff due to rising wage demands in face of cost-of-living crisis.
Paul Stevenson/Creative Commons
One in five UK culture organisations are currently struggling to retain staff, with more nearly 80% expressing concerns about recruitment and retention prospects over the next 12 months, research has found.
A survey by Ecclesiastical Insurance, the initial results of which were released in November, found that across museums, art galleries, and theatres a combined 21% of organisations are currently struggling to attract and retain staff.
Of the 500 organisations included in the survey, 78% said they were concerned about being able to recruit and retain staff over the next 12 months and 80% cited concerns about the recruitment and retention of volunteers over the same period.
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“High salary demands are believed to be the top reason for staffing challenges,” the report said.
“The cost-of-living crisis runs through everything in our 2022 research, and it will compound the challenges organisations face in recruiting and retaining the people they need."
Staffing challenges have resulted in an increased focus on staff and volunteer wellbeing, which ranked among the top five concerns for respondents, at 79% and 80% respectively.
This proportion has more than doubled since a similar survey was conducted by the firm in early 2020, prior to the onset of the pandemic.
Faith Kitchen, Customer Segment Director at Ecclesiastical Insurance, said:.“After the COVID pandemic, the heritage sector may have been looking forward to a period of calm. Instead, our research shows it preparing for the next crisis wave to hit.
Kitchen said that organisations are now "taking proactive steps to attract and retain talent”. More than half (53%) of respondents said they are reassessing and increasing salaries and 52% are offering better incentives for staff, such as private health insurance.
A third of respondents (34%) said they are introducing flexible working hours or offering hybrid work models as a means of retaining staff.