Monday, 20 January 2020

For Love or Money 4: Impacts on Reward

I've had a chapter on reward included in MuseumEtc's book, 'For Love or Money': Re-engineering the Way Museums Work. However, I would hope the content will be relevant for people working in other sectors too.

For many museums this type of re-engineering may mean a need for less core employees, but with these and other staff being higher paid, as well as for looking at new opportunities in broader reward and recognition.

As shown in figure 4, Barker Langham expects to see:

   The core workforce receiving most of their pay through a high base salary with progression being based on time served and the acquisition of skills to compensate this group for their ongoing commitment and involvement in a broad range of discretionary activities. They may also receive some variable reward linked to overall organisational performance to support their collaboration with other staff in projects, communities and networks but this is likely to be quite limited as incentive pay is not generally a key motivator in the museum sector.

   Peripheral staff receiving a lower base than core employees with pay progression based upon their overall contribution in their jobs and on projects, with, where it makes sense, additional variable payments based on the performance of their departments or the whole organisation.

   Contract staff being paid mainly on a project basis, either for their time if an employee, or for their outputs if a contractor, with pay in either approach reflecting the value of their accumulated experience and expertise. These staff may also be given additional retainers to keep them linked with the museum between projects.

   Contingent staff paid mainly for completing tasks and projects as well as maybe some payments for ideas and innovations and other impacts. These staff may not be paid that much by any one museum, but have the potential to generate high levels of revenue from across their broader portfolio of work.

Museums also need to ensure these different reward approaches are seen as fair by each of the different groups. This will be aided by greater pay transparency, enabling each group to understand the different reward approaches used for each group, if not the actual pay structures used within them.

To support collaboration across the workforce we expect to see reducing pay differentials within museums so that on an overall balance sheet based perspective, there is both a reasonable pay ratio between the most valuable core employee, and perhaps the lowest paid contingent worker (on a pro rata basis), and that this ratio is also perceived as fair within each of these different categories. This will also respond to increasing shareholder and public concern about executive pay and increasing pressure on both minimum wages and the immigration of cheap labour in some geographies, including the US and UK.

However, as identified earlier on, pay is not the only motivator in any organisation and museum staff in particular are motivated by a range of other factors. We therefore expect to see more use of benefits and other personalised support, helping to meet the varied needs of a more diverse workforce, together with increased use of recognition and maybe other approaches like gamification to maintain levels of engagement, for at least as long as levels of pay remain low.


Re-engineering the work and staffing of museums aided by digital technologies and approaches offers the potential for museums to find ways of moving from a focus on efficiency and saving money (a bad jobs strategy) to one focused on value and experience (a good jobs strategy). Whilst museums should follow this approach to ensure their own success and engage more customers positively in their domain, it would also support fairer rewards for the staff working in this sector.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

HRZone’s 10 most popular articles in 2019

It's great to be included in this compilation of 2019's most popular articles on HRZone, with "Supporting the business isn’t strategic HR – people centricity is". 
Here's our round up of the 10 most popular HRZone articles of the year: Thanks to Stuart Duff, Megan Reitz, John Higgins, Jon Ingham, Fiona Adler, Blaire Palmer, Max Blumberg, Garry Turner MCIPD and Leena Nair for your fantastic contributions!

I'd definitely recommend reading this and the other articles if you've not done so.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

CMSWire Future of Work webinar

I'll also be providing some predictions about the future of work and technological disruption in this webinar with CMSWire and Workgrid (digital workplace) software at 6pm BST on 22 January:

Being prepared for the “future of work” is no easy task. With new technologies coming out virtually every day that promise to revolutionize the workplace, it’s impossible to know what you should be focusing on.

Join CMSWire and Workgrid in this live, hour-long interactive discussion and we’ll discuss the big predictions from top digital workplace thought leaders. We’ll share what you need to know to prepare your organization for success in the coming decade.

Featured panelists for this discussion include:
  • Gillian McCann, Co-Founder and Head of Cloud Engineering & AI for Workgrid Software
  • Sharon O’Dea, Co-Founder of Lithos Partners and Senior Principal Consultant for Infocentric Research AG
  • Jon Ingham, Human Resources & Organization Development Consultant and author of “The Social Organization”
  • Brett Caldon, CEO and Co-Founder of Workgrid Software

You may also be interested in my posts from CSMWire / DWG's Digital Workplace Experience in Chicago in 2018:

Monday, 16 December 2019

11 HR tech trends to watch in 2020

I'm in this article by Sage People on 11 HR tech trends to watch in 2020:

1. Go beyond functionality to add true value for employees
The right HR technology doesn’t just automate tasks for employees – it enables them to contribute fully, and leverage their potential as unique individuals, explains Jon Ingham, author of ‘The social organization’.

“Approaches need to move towards liberating and empowering people,” he explains. “HR tech needs to support this change”.

Jon adds that that something else the sector can expect to see over the next year is a shift towards managing teams, groups, and networks – rather than just individuals: “HR systems, therefore, need to focus much more on the value of a group, enabling us to measure and reward the performance of teams, not just individuals”.

You'll also find more on my predictions for greater people centricity in 2020 in this article at HR  Zone:

Jon Ingham,, +44 7904 185134

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

For Love or Money 3: Opportunities for Re-engineering

I've had a chapter on reward included in MuseumEtc's book, 'For Love or Money': Re-engineering the Way Museums Work. However, I would hope the content will be relevant for people working in other sectors too.

The changes required to support both customers and employees / workers are often going to be very significant and may require radical re-engineering rather than more incremental improvement (although implementing these radical changes in an ongoing, agile manner is often the very best approach).

As shown in figure 3, re-engineering means developing new processes and services to meet particular objectives, without being constrained by the way things are currently done. However a key requirement in today’s digital age is that these objectives now need to refer to employee expectations as well as business and customer needs. In addition, redeveloping processes and services to meet these needs will often benefit from including design thinking, personas and journey maps to help ensure interactions with employees at key touchpoints within or around the process are as positive as possible.

Once processes and services have been redeveloped it is possible to identify new roles and skill requirements to support these, allowing staff appropriate discretion to identify new ways of meeting customer needs in order to provide exceptional experiences.

These roles can then be grouped together to provide new jobs and gigs to be performed by people acting in the different segments of the workforce. These jobs and gigs need to be supported by the use of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and robotics (Jesuthasan and Boudreau, 2018), as well as outsourcing, to ensure core, contract and peripheral staff can concentrate on the most valuable activities, as well as the digital gig working platforms required to support contingent workers.

These jobs and gigs can then be grouped together into an updated organisation design. Whilst most organisations, in the museum sector and elsewhere, have traditionally organised themselves using functional and divisional structures, they are increasingly using new organisation models (Ingham, 2017) based on project teams (the main opportunity for contract and especially contingent staff), and communities and networks (core, peripheral and contract staff). They are also increasingly using new approaches such as self management. Museums should also look at using these more modern approaches, particularly as they tend to support people’s sense of purpose and empowerment, helping them to add value to their customers.

Based upon the above steps, museums can then check whether they have the right people working in these redesigned roles and reselect people into them as appropriate. Museums should also think more broadly about recruitment pools which may help them improve the diversity of their workforces.

They also need to set up mechanisms to support changes in the workforce, such as the HR and management processes required to support the various workforce segments. One particularly important requirement is to update the museum’s reward strategy and practices.

Monday, 9 December 2019

HR strategy in the 2020s - have you been paying attention?

Yes, it's prediction time again, and I'll be sharing a few thoughts in a couple of different places. First up, in HRZone on HR Strategy.

You'll hopefully know that I think strategic HR is all about focusing on people, not ever tighter alignment with the business (eg this post recently).

My new article is about all the stuff going on with people that explains why this focus on people is essential (and that therefore, if we don't do it, someone else will!):

Jon Ingham,, +44 7904 185134

Thursday, 28 November 2019

For Love or Money 2: Changing Requirements of Staff

I've had a chapter included in MuseumEtc's book on reward, 'For Love or Money': Re-engineering the Way Museums Work, writing as an associate of Barker Langham.

However, I would hope the content will be relevant for people working in other sectors too.

This is part 2 of the chapter. Part 1 on the changing context of work was here:

Changing Requirements of Staff

Managing staff more smartly is also more important because the expectations of the workforce in many areas of the world have changed. People want and increasingly demand a sense of purpose and meaning from their employment as well as connection with others in the workforce. Employers in all sectors already need to respond to this demand and this will become an absolute requirement if we ever see the widespread introduction of something like universal basic income. This will mean that people have a more realistic opportunity to take on work that they want to, rather than have to do and will potentially provide a significant opportunity for employers like museums working in the creative economy.

People also want more flexibility, often including the need to work part vs full time, to work at home, and increasingly to work for multiple organisations as freelancers, or by developing ‘side hussles’ on top of their main employment. Importantly, these expectations are not limited to generation Y / Z or their global equivalents, eg China’s post-80’s, but are increasingly expressed by people of any age.

Organisations therefore need to focus on meeting these workforce needs as well as their business and customer ones. Sometimes this can be quite easy. For example museums often need project based staff to design exhibitions and this short-term focus often fits the aspirations of people who want to work in this role.

Similarly, museums’ increasing need for flexibility often means they need to get work done by temporary employees, contract or ‘gig’ workers, and consultants. This contingent workforce is an increasingly common addition to the traditional organisation. For example, as shown in the above figure, Charles Handy’s shamrock organisation model (Handy, 1995) now needs to be considered to have four constituent parts (or leaves):

   A core workforce with specific skills and a high alignment with a museum’s mission and domain who want a long-term relationship with the museum. The core workforce may include curators, conservators etc, but also front of house / visitor experience staff where excellent as opposed to average performance, for example by offering and personalising explanations on exhibits, can make a huge difference to customer experience.

   A contract workforce of key talent who do not fit the above profile but are still really important for the museum’s future. Handy suggests this may include people who have previously been employed by the organisation. Web designers and other digital staff may also fall within this category.

   A peripheral workforce who will probably be employees rather than gig workers, but who may bring a ‘gig mindset’ (McConnell, 2018) to their work, meaning that they are more focused on their own development and career rather than loyalty to their current and short-term employment. This workforce segment will include staff working in generic functions such as Finance and Marketing as well as areas like security and food and beverage if these are not outsourced.

   The additional leaf provided by the contingent workforce of gig workers and other short-term contributors. This group could include people working in a range of different areas but where it is easier and more effective to rent rather than own capability. As opposed to the contract group, these staff will not generally provide a strategic differentiation and this means they may need to be managed with rather more focus on efficiency.

Each of these different workforce segments have different requirements and expectations and will need to be treated differently, though to the same extent in terms of the relative quality of the approach.

Meeting each of these segment’s needs can also be fairly easy as the flexibility required by an organisation often relates to the flexibility desired by individual staff. However, the challenge is often in matching the two. For example Glassdoor reviews from staff on UK’s zero hour contracts, show a significant difference in perspective depending on whether these arrangements have been designed to meet employees’ as well as the employer’s needs (Ingham, 2015). In addition, staff need to be participants in the design of the flexibility to ensure it really does meet their needs.

Organisations also need to focus on providing suitable integration between these workforce categories in order to avoid tensions between them (McIlvane, 2019), as has been reported recently at Google (Wong, 2018).

Other ways of meeting the workforce’s new expectations include providing more involvement in the core domain of the museum. For many staff, this will be a core reason that they work in the sector and most museums could make much more out of this alignment than they do, maximising the opportunities for intrinsic as well as just extrinsic motivation. For example, museums could develop internal communities enabling staff to contribute outside of their specific job areas.

The role of volunteers in many museums shows the potential provided by people who want to contribute to a museum’s cause, separate to any financial compensation for doing so. A good example here is the London Transport Museum which has a large volunteer workforce, including roles which might usually be standard paid positions, including research, IT, helpdesk analyst, curators, and event stewards. The museum even takes this approach a stage further forward by using volunteering as a means to meet the museum’s broader mission, providing volunteering experience as a means for people to develop into transport engineering careers with other employers through the museum’s Enjoyment to Employment programme.

However, it is also important that this opportunity is not taken too far. Providing broader and more altruistic benefits can never be a good excuse not to pay people appropriately!

The above strategies should also help museums improve their diversity as moving towards more personalised approaches also makes it easier to meet an increasingly varied range of requirements and hence appeal to non-traditional recruitment pools. However, making this approach work also requires an effective approach to inclusion, ensuring a more diverse range of people are able to contribute and work together effectively.

I'll be posting parts 2 and 3 of the chapter over the next couple of weeks.

Jon Ingham,
Top 100 HR Tech Influencer - Human Resources Executive

Mover and Shaker - HR magazine, +44 7904 185134