Tense, divided workplace with inept management, but saved by a staff of hardworking, passionate people
Support (Former Employee) – San Francisco, CA – July 3, 2014
There are 3 main factors that contributed to a tense, divided culture that I ultimately decided I did not want to be a part of: 1) It's a very large organization (with more and more of a corporate feel) that just went through a major site relocation in April '13 and laid off 1/5 of its staff in Oct '13. Lots of lingering confusion on job roles with seemingly a lack of interest from management to provide clarity and communication. Creates lots of frustration and inefficiency. 2) Management Team is mainly comprised of scientists and educators, not trained managers. As a result, people management skills are incredibly lacking and communication is weak. There is a palpable disconnect/communication gap between management and rest of staff. 3) There is also what seems to be a greater fundamental shift in the identity of the museum. Once it moved to the new location it began to expand moneymaking ventures, like consulting and building exhibits for other museums (adding to the more corporate feel), which many feel rips at the heart of why the museum was started in the first place.
On the other hand, the majority of the staff are wonderful people who are all passionate and want the best for the Exploratorium. Between the museum's major financial woes, lack of communication from mgmt, and overall fragmented, dismal office culture, the hardworking, committed workforce seem to be the only thing saving the place. But at the end of the day, I was consistently left with the impression that the Exploratorium is not as committed to its people as its people are committed to the Exploratorium.