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OIG Transcript: 1998 Survey of NRC Safety Culture and Climate Survey Briefing Transcript

Report Book Cover

Office of the Inspector General
NRC's Organizational Safety Culture and Climate Survey

Briefing Transcript
June 25, 1998

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 1                      UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
 3                                 ***
 4                        OPEN BRIEFING ON THE
 5                        RESULTS OF THE OIG'S
 7                                 ***
11                             USNRC
12                             Commissioner's Hearing Room
13                             One White Flint North
14                             11555 Rockville Pike
15                             Rockville, Maryland
17                             Thursday, June 25, 1998
19              The above-entitled briefing commenced, pursuant to
20    notice, at 9:36 a.m.
 1                        P R O C E E D I N G S
 2                                                     [8:36 a.m.]
 3              CHAIRMAN JACKSON:  Good morning.  I'm going to
 4    apologize ahead of time because I will not be able to stay,
 5    but I did want to make a few introductory remarks.
 6              As most of you know, some months ago, the NRC
 7    Inspector General initiated a survey of the safety culture
 8    and climate at the NRC.  The Inspector General secured the
 9    involvement of the firm International Survey Research
10    Incorporated to conduct the survey and to analyze the
11    results.
12              Now that the analysis of the results of the survey
13    has been completed, the IG believes that it is important to
14    communicate the results of the survey to all NRC employees.
15              The report is being released to the Commission and
16    to all NRC staff at this time, concurrent with the
17    presentation the IG is about to provide.
18              I look forward to assessing the report and once
19    the Commission has reviewed the information we will receive
20    today, we will determine any appropriate follow-up actions.
21              At this point, I would like to present Mr. Hubert
22    T. Bell, the NRC Inspector General, and after he speaks,
23    we'll have to leave.
24              Thank you.
25              MR. BELL:  Thank you, Madam Chairman.  Good
 1    morning, ladies and gentlemen.  Today I am pleased to share
 2    the results of NRC's safety culture and climate survey with
 3    you.
 4              With me today are David Lee, Deputy Inspector
 5    General; Tom Barchi, Assistant Inspector General for Audits;
 6    Mary Ann Brodin, Counsel to the IG; and, Dr. Leo Brajkovich,
 7    Senior Project Director, International Survey and Research.
 8              As you know, I initiated a special evaluation to
 9    help my office assess the current organizational safety
10    culture and climate of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's
11    work force.  The NRC is facing industry economic changes,
12    Federal Government budget reductions, continued high public
13    interest in the agency and its mission, technological and
14    societal trends, and the move to a more risk-informed
15    performance-based regulatory approach, all affect NRC's
16    safety culture and climate.
17              Our objective is to gain a better understanding of
18    NRC's safety culture and climate.  The survey will establish
19    an overall baseline against which OIG can evaluate NRC's
20    safety culture and climate.
21              In the future, we plan to re-survey the agency and
22    compare those results with the benchmark created from this
23    year's survey.
24              We felt that the best way to ensure we had the
25    required expertise to undertake a project of this importance
 1    and obtain people's attitudes, while helping to ensure their
 2    anonymity with the contract with an outside firm.
 3              Therefore, we contracted with International Survey
 4    Research.  ISR is a premier global survey firm, specializing
 5    in the design and implementation of customized employee and
 6    management opinions and attitude surveys for national and
 7    multi-national companies, organizations and government
 8    agencies and National Survey Research's expertise is in the
 9    collection and analysis of vital organizational, operational
10    and strategic intelligence through tailored survey
11    instruments.
12              International Survey Research, over a period of 23
13    years, has surveyed more than 29 million employees from
14    1,900 companies in 92 countries around the globe.  Dr. Leo
15    Brajkovich leads the International Survey Research project
16    team, working with my office.
17              Dr. Brajkovich graduated from the University of
18    California at Irvine with Bachelor's degrees in physics and
19    sociology, Master's degrees in social science and
20    mathematical behavioral science, and a Doctorate in social
21    science.
22              Before Dr. Brajkovich begins the presentation, I
23    want to note that index cards have been placed on each chair
24    here in the Commission's briefing room for your convenience.
25    Please use those cards anytime during the presentation to
 1    write down questions you may have that are relevant to the
 2    survey results.
 3              Members of my staff are available throughout the
 4    presentation to collect your cards for the question and
 5    answer session to commence after the presentation.  In
 6    addition, we are establishing an e-mail account to which all
 7    NRC employees will be able to send us questions.  The format
 8    to be used to answer your questions is still being
 9    developed.
10              Dr. Brajkovich will now present the results of
11    NRC's safety culture and climate survey.
12              Dr. Brajkovich.
13              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  Good morning, everyone.  Thanks
14    for the background over there, Hubert.  I would like to
15    start by pointing out that the packet you have is arranged
16    to give you a very broad overview of the results of the
17    survey, but let me spend a couple minutes giving you just a
18    bit of background on the survey itself and how it came to be
19    in the form we see it.
20              ISR builds tailored organizational surveys for a
21    number of companies in different kinds of industries, both
22    public and private.  The methodology used involves
23    interviewing of members of the organization to try to get
24    some feedback and representative input on what kinds of
25    issues should be included in a survey of this type.
 1              This survey was no different in that to try to
 2    build a survey on organizational safety culture and climate,
 3    we needed to do a couple of things.  One, we needed to make
 4    sure we had an overview of culture; namely, shared values
 5    and beliefs, practices and policies, but we also needed to
 6    get a valid snapshot of the most urgent or acute issues
 7    facing the agency currently.  That more has to do with the
 8    climate or the now of a particular organization.
 9              This is a particularly difficult pairing sometimes
10    because culture has a lot to do with the past, has a lot to
11    do with the successes and failures.  It has a lot to do with
12    how people view recent events and the differences and
13    similarities.  Climate has much more to do with the current
14    state of affairs in someone's work group, how they get along
15    with their colleagues, has to do with the direction they see
16    things going, has to do with looking forward many times.
17              So this survey, by definition, had to cover a lot.
18    The design of the instrument included survey people both
19    here in Rockville and also in the regions.  The survey was
20    then drafted using two real main sources of input.
21              One, we used ISR's normative database to derive
22    questions that would allow comparisons to outside
23    organizations.  Many of those comparisons you will see in
24    just a moment.
25              The other main input was tailored questions,
 1    questions that were unique to the NRC.  The NRC is a very
 2    unique agency in a number of ways.  Many questions had to be
 3    drafted from scratch to address important issues for the
 4    NRC.
 5              You will see many of those questions in your
 6    packet and I will discuss them.  They typically will not
 7    have a normative comparison with them.
 8              The survey was drafted and reviewed and then it
 9    was pre-tested, again, with regional employees and
10    headquarters employees before it was sent to a census.  We
11    sent it to 3,013 folks.  We got 56 percent back.  This was
12    the business reply return, very confidential way to return
13    surveys.  A 56 percent return rate is actually very good.
14    It's what I would call normal for a mailed return response,
15    but a 56 percent response rate is good in that it does two
16    things for us.
17              One, it says that we have a perfectly valid sample
18    of the agency.  We have well beyond what we would need to
19    talk about the NRC as a whole.  But with 56 percent
20    response, we also have a lot of very valid data for
21    subgroups within the agency by job level, by organization,
22    by region.
23              So it allows us to -- the survey is much more
24    powerful in that it allows you not just to look to the
25    outside world, but look within the agency and make
 1    comparisons across groups.
 2              The next slide shows the working culture, the
 3    working definition of culture and climate as it pertains to
 4    safety at the NRC.  This is included to remind everyone that
 5    this was an organizational culture and climate survey.  Many
 6    things in here are particularly tailored to that objective.
 7    They ask questions about regulatory effectiveness, they ask
 8    questions about new methodologies, they ask questions about
 9    commitment to safety, et cetera.
10              But having to do with culture, there are also
11    questions that are linked to phenomena you'd find in almost
12    any organization.  Things like supervision, things like
13    leadership, things like teamwork.  These are also part of
14    the safety culture, because it has to do with how people
15    successfully complete their job in support of the mission at
16    the agency, which, as we've seen, the mission is nuclear
17    safety is an overriding priority.
18              So everything you see in this survey, while it may
19    be valid for other purposes, was deemed important to assess
20    for safety culture and climate.
21              The first slide showing scores shows the category
22    scores for the NRC overall.  The way to read this, what is
23    graphed here, on the left, are the categories that the
24    survey was organized into.  The category is simply the
25    aggregation of questions pertaining to a particular topic.
 1    For instance, job satisfaction at 73 percent favorable was
 2    the highest scoring category, in the raw sense, in terms of
 3    favorability.  But by favorability, I mean the questions in
 4    the category had several responses.  One would be to agree
 5    with the favorable characterization, another would be to
 6    disagree with an unfavorable characterization.  In other
 7    cases, it would be to say something, if it was more of an
 8    evaluative question, would be to say that it is very good or
 9    good as opposed to adequate or poor.
10              So it's a very -- it's very much only looking at
11    how many people gave a favorable response.  Looking up and
12    down, you'll see job satisfaction, supervision, working
13    relationships, work organization and employee commitment
14    were all at 60 percent favorable or above.
15              There's a number of categories sort of through the
16    50s.  Only a few categories dropped below 50 percent
17    favorable.  Training and development just by a point.
18    Management leadership at 46.  NRC safety commitment at 44.
19    Future of the NRC is at 42 and NRC image was 38.
20              In your packet, one of the things that's important
21    to notice here is the categories, as I said, are
22    aggregations of particular items.  So in a way, these are, I
23    guess, the continental drift of the categories, if I could
24    describe it that way.  These are the large roll-ups of all
25    the items.
 1              It's important to see, as we get through the
 2    briefing.  You will see that depending on the question, the
 3    score can vary in some cases quite a bit from this category
 4    average.  But all together, we see that job satisfaction is
 5    the highest scoring category in the NRC image, 38 percent
 6    favorable is the lowest.
 7              It's very hard to interpret survey scores by
 8    themselves like this because you say to yourself so what
 9    would we expect to find, what do most employees think about
10    their organization, what do employees in very successful
11    companies think versus -- how many employees give the
12    favorable response in your typical company or in your
13    typical government organization, if you want to ask that.
14              Well, that's why ISR has developed norms.  Shown
15    here now as a representative sample of ISR clients
16    worldwide.  A normative comparison is a composition of
17    responses to similar questions asked in all these kinds of
18    organizations.  The national norm, for instance, we'll see
19    in a moment, is a comparison to a representative composite
20    of U.S. industry weighted by industry according to national
21    statistics.
22              If we look at that comparison, for the items that
23    were included in the NRC survey, we'll see the center line
24    represents national norm.  So what we're seeing is how the
25    NRC varies from that center line or from that national norm
 1    in terms of percent favorable.
 2              You will see the color or the shaded bars
 3    represent a statistically significant difference.  What I
 4    mean by that is the proportion of people, the difference in
 5    proportion of people giving the favorable response is more
 6    than we expect, by chance.
 7              The first thing you notice is that most of the
 8    scores are very close to national norm.  We see that work
 9    organization is three percent above, and that's significant
10    at the category level, but it's just barely so.  It's not a
11    terribly big difference.  We see that training and
12    development, supervision, operating effectiveness, NRC
13    safety commitment, and the future of the NRC are right on
14    national norm.
15              The way to think about this is on the previous
16    slide we saw, for instance, NRC safety commitment was
17    actually toward the bottom in percent favorable.  But as we
18    see for the questions in that category where we ask about
19    commitment in general or the questions specific against U.S.
20    norm, we see that actually those numbers are right on par
21    with what we might expect.
22              We notice that job satisfaction was the highest
23    raw score and, in fact, is significantly below national
24    norm.  It's five points below national norm.
25              So one thing to take away from this is that a raw
 1    score can be very misleading sometimes because survey
 2    results have natural basements and ceilings.
 3              It's very rare for us to get an 80 percent
 4    favorable on a pay question, for instance, in the U.S., but
 5    it's very easy to exceed 90 percent favorable on a working
 6    relationships or a cooperation question.  Most people try to
 7    cooperate with the person they work with every day.
 8              The largest single variance you'll see here is NRC
 9    image at 17 points below national norm.  I think this
10    represents the fact that most organizations we survey are in
11    the U.S.  Most people have a favorable view of how their
12    company is viewed by most people.
13              If you work for Intel or you work for Hewlett
14    Packard, typically, if you're asked how high a regard do you
15    think people have of Hewlett Packard, people say, well,
16    pretty high regard.
17              But the questions we ask are how do you think the
18    NRC is viewed or how -- what kind of regard do you think the
19    NRC is held by various outside organizations and we see that
20    in this case, NRC employees are a lot less favorable than
21    our typical U.S. worker.
22              The next comparison we chose was something we call
23    our U.S. transition companies norm.  This norm is defined as
24    companies that have been through some kind of a major
25    transition during this survey process.  The transition is
 1    defined pretty broadly.  It would include down-sizing, it
 2    would include restructuring, it would include typically
 3    mergers and acquisitions, which we have had quite a bit of
 4    experience with lately.
 5              There's any kind of a dramatic or otherwise
 6    jarring, changing environment that is not the status quo,
 7    typically a company will be included in this norm.  It's a
 8    national norm.  It represents companies from all different
 9    industries.
10              The first thing we notice is that on balance, the
11    NRC is above, in many cases significantly above this
12    transition benchmark.  Operating effectiveness, notably, is
13    12 percent above these transition companies' norm.
14              Communication is up seven.  Future of the NRC now
15    -- remember, the lowest scoring raw category is now up six
16    from this transition.  Management leadership is now above
17    this score, as well.
18              You'll notice the NRC image, however, is at this
19    norm and, in fact, job satisfaction is a couple points down.
20    So one of the things we can draw from these first two
21    normative comparisons is that, in general, employees are not
22    as happy with their work or the situation they were
23    performing their work, as it affects their job satisfaction,
24    than we expect in the U.S. right now.  But on balance, you
25    look at a lot better than a lot of companies that
 1    transition.
 2              To give you an idea of how much better, the next
 3    slide does not contain any NRC data.  It's strictly our
 4    trend data.  It shows the transition companies' norm, that
 5    norm I was just speaking of, compared to our U.S. national
 6    norm.
 7              Just to give you an idea of the kind of drift in
 8    opinion and the amount of depression you can expect to see
 9    on average in a company going through significant
10    transition, being asked to do things significantly different
11    than they've them perhaps for decades.
12              You will notice that some of the biggest
13    deviations are in training, communication, perceptions of
14    management, and, down at the bottom, company image and
15    competitive position.
16              I think this is instructive in that you don't have
17    quite this drift, but some of the biggest points of
18    variation for transition companies are some of the areas
19    where the NRC is starting to drift somewhat.
20              Now, one point of data does in no way make a
21    trend.  But if I was a betting man, I would say that it's
22    important to notice that as far as climate goes, some of the
23    things that typically separate transitioning companies from
24    -- companies in a normal situation are starting to show
25    themselves in your data.
 1              This next slide is here to emphasize that, as I
 2    was saying, change in organizations causes various groups in
 3    the organization to go through states of mind.  This is
 4    borrowed from the bereavement literature, as many of you may
 5    recognize.  But we found it to be increasingly true in
 6    organizations going through transition, while being asked to
 7    change their operations significantly, that people go
 8    through these stages around about work as well.
 9              It's very common to -- depending on when a survey
10    is conducted -- to catch various constituencies within an
11    organization in these various states of mind.
12              It's fair to say that typically management gets
13    through this first.  They have to because their job is to
14    lead everyone through it behind them.
15              The only caution is that when management gets
16    through this process and starts to feel like they are on the
17    upswing and be more creative and starting to get -- make
18    things happen, they need to make sure that they don't lose
19    everyone behind them.  They need to make sure they don't
20    look back along the left-hand side of this graph and find
21    everyone behind them dragging their rifles.
22              So it's important during transition to have
23    increased communication about sense of direction and it's
24    extremely important also to involve people, because people
25    will tend to feel isolated and they will tend to feel like
 1    it's happening to them and won't see it as an opportunity to
 2    improve things.
 3              Finally, our final external benchmark comparison
 4    has to do with the U.S. Government research and technology
 5    composite.  Now, this composite is not a norm because it is
 6    not representative of all government employees and we're not
 7    attempting to say it is, but it is a very large composite of
 8    other very technical organizations.  This composite includes
 9    our results from five other national laboratories and
10    several other Department of Defense and other government
11    agencies, all of which, I might add, are at the same size or
12    larger than the NRC in size.
13              What this does, I believe, is give some attempt to
14    do a little more species type match in terms of, in
15    particular, work force, the NRC employees, very technical in
16    nature, and also more of the environment they work under,
17    which means not in the private sector, not as a consumer
18    products organization, but as a government agency with
19    certain constraints and certain responsibilities.
20              The first thing you notice right off the bat is
21    that all the scores are much more normal.  There's very
22    little -- there's much less variance in any particular area
23    across the board.
24              The highest variance is in communication, up five;
25    management leadership is up five; and, actually, the image,
 1    remember one of the score we saw, the lowest score was image
 2    and now it's actually above what we might find from our
 3    other government employees here in this composite.
 4              Job satisfaction, however, is still leaking, is
 5    down three, and employee involvement we see is now down
 6    four.  Taken together, I think it means maybe that the
 7    solution for companies in transition is to try to think more
 8    like a government agency.  That's a joke.
 9              Seriously, I think what it means is that given all
10    the scores we've just seen, as they vary from national norm,
11    when we do get a modicum of government agencies together,
12    your scores fall much closer to that comparison.  It's much
13    more what we might expect.
14              That concludes the external comparisons.  Let's
15    look for a moment now at some of the larger breakouts by
16    pieces of the agency.
17              The first breakout is by location.  The way to
18    read this are the categories are listed across the top, with
19    an alphabetic representation.
20              The blue line shows the NRC as a whole, the
21    percent favorable scores.  These are the same scores we've
22    been looking at for the last few minutes.
23              What we'll see is how the groups listed down the
24    left vary in terms of percent favorable.  So we will see
25    pluses and minuses, and these are percentages, for instance,
 1    the first thing you notice really is that there is only one
 2    significant variation, the shaded cell indicating operating
 3    effectiveness the regions, function of the regions, 572
 4    respondents indicated that they are six percent less
 5    favorable than the rest of the agency toward operating
 6    effectiveness.
 7              What's remarkable about this slide is that really
 8    if you look at the regions as a whole and the headquarters
 9    as a whole, there is an absence of any significant
10    variation, save operating effectiveness.  I think this is
11    fairly remarkable in that given the differences this
12    represents in the regions, there's four regions rolled up
13    here, and the differences in jobs and the division of labor,
14    I might expect to see more variation.
15              This might be similar to a headquarters regional
16    breakout I might see in another company.  Typically, we see
17    some variation, particularly in the area of communication,
18    but we don't see that here.
19              So this is a much more homogeneous picture than I
20    think anyone had a right to expect.
21              If we pick at the paint a little bit and we break
22    the regions out into their four regions, we do see some
23    variation, but only in one.  We see Region 3.  Region 3 does
24    have some significant variation to the negative.  We see
25    management and supervision, along with employee commitment,
 1    are the most significant differences.  They are to the
 2    negative.
 3              I think those are related.  Typically, when we do
 4    see supervision scores drop and leadership scores drop,
 5    employee commitment or job satisfaction typically are
 6    depressed as well.
 7              We're seeing that.  We don't see job satisfaction
 8    here, but we do see a few other things.  In general, though,
 9    I think it is worth noting that aside from Region 3, there
10    is very little variation across the regions, as we can see.
11              There's also very little difference within the
12    categories.  If you look at the columns in these matrices,
13    they show the volatility of a category and, again, very
14    little variation in the categories across the regions.
15              The office comparison is broken out across three
16    pages. And I hate to sound like a broken record, but, again,
17    across many offices, we are not seeing an enormous amount of
18    variation.  We do see pockets of favorability here and
19    there. NMSS is a little more favorable toward the future of
20    the NRC.  We see that NRR is a little more favorable towards
21    working relationships.
22              Many groups, we will see across these three pages,
23    are small.  We don't have very large numbers there.  This
24    makes it very difficult to achieve statistical significance
25    simply because we're at the mercy of statistical equations.
 1              If anything, though, there are some groups where
 2    there are several negatives or several positives, they're
 3    just not significant the way I -- the best interpretation I
 4    have of that is that if they kept on going they way they are
 5    going, either to the plus or to the minus, they would
 6    probably be significant next year or next time around.
 7              It is significant to note the highest variations
 8    to the positive are among people in the Chairman and
 9    Commissioners offices.  Although this is not that unusual.
10    When we look at corporate staff or chairmans or presidents
11    offices and their staff, they are typically more favorable
12    than the rest of the agency.  Part of that has to do with
13    their vantage point and their feeling of self efficacy.
14              It's also nice to know that a lot of the people
15    who are working on the future and leading the company are a
16    little more favorable.  I think the other significant
17    difference here is the office of the CIO, with 84
18    respondents, does have a number of significant negative
19    variations.  Again, we see them in the same areas that we
20    might expect.
21              We see supervision down 16, management leadership
22    is down, working relationships have also dipped.  The future
23    of the NRC, job satisfaction, as I mentioned before, is down
24    significantly, and also safety commitment in the NRC
25    mission.
 1              This is the most negative group in the office
 2    comparison and there are several other categories that are
 3    not -- although not shown as statistically significant, are
 4    right on the cusp.
 5              Again, my total conclusion on the office break,
 6    however, though, is given the -- except for those two lines,
 7    very little really to talk about in terms of variation.
 8              If we move on to job function comparison.  It's a
 9    similar story, except for the perceptions of operating
10    effectiveness.  And it's not surprising because I've never
11    seen an engineering group yet who ever was too much above
12    the rest of their colleagues on how their area operated.
13              They can be a little bit critical, as some of you
14    may have noticed.  It's also the largest group compared
15    against the company average.  So you would not expect it to
16    be varying too much.
17              Legal, with 46 respondents, is a smaller group,
18    but where they do vary, they do tend to vary to the
19    positive.  Admin support, except for their significant
20    favorability toward operating effectiveness, tends actually
21    to vary to the negative somewhat.
22              Now, the next comparison is one of my favorites
23    because it shows the non-management versus various levels of
24    management breakout in the agency.  Now, you really don't
25    need a whole lot of survey experience to read this graphic.
 1    Clearly, middle management and senior management are a whole
 2    lot more favorable in their respondents, in their responses,
 3    than the rest of the agency.
 4              This is not surprising, this is not an unusual
 5    finding, when you look at management throughout
 6    organizations.  The only thing that really is significant
 7    about this is how stark it is as you move from line, with
 8    233 respondents, to middle, at 63.
 9              The fact that it's quite -- such a pronounced jump
10    in perception means that the linkages between these levels
11    and between the level above and the levels below needs to be
12    as open as possible because as you might expect, management,
13    if they only talk amongst themselves, they do only get a
14    certain input, a certain vantage point.
15              That's one of the reasons surveys like this are
16    extremely valuable to organizations operationally, is it
17    does remind folks that there are more than one way to look
18    at things.
19              But all told, this is not that unusual to see, but
20    the stark -- the nature of the contrast is more abrupt than
21    I would expect to see in most organizations.
22              Also, I think the 30 percent favorable in
23    management leadership above the company overall, in the 20s,
24    I guess, I would accept, but when you hit 30, that's a
25    little high, that's a little more than I might expect.  Some
 1    of you are smiling, that's good, that's good.
 2              Grade level.  Somewhat similar picture, but now
 3    it's ratcheted a little more into focus by grade and we see
 4    a little different pattern.
 5              We do see that the SES executives, 117 of them,
 6    did respond significantly more favorably, but you will see
 7    the numbers are diminished somewhat as a whole.  You will
 8    see that the variants on that bottom line are not quite as
 9    large, and you will also see now that we can call out the
10    14s as those with some significant drops from the overall.
11    We'll see that they are -- the 14s are significantly below
12    the NRC as a whole in their perceptions of operating
13    effectiveness, leadership, supervision, communication,
14    training and development, and employee commitment.
15              The reason this is important is this is also the
16    largest subset you will notice who coded their job level --
17    excuse me -- their grade level.  So this is the largest
18    number of people.  So it's important to see that those
19    scores are a bit depressed and represent a significant
20    number of the work force.
21              This length of service comparison is interesting
22    because it is not -- it is interesting because it's so
23    uninteresting.  In most organizations, we see a pronounced
24    difference in attitude as we move through -- as we move
25    through tenure, as we move to longer tenure employees.
 1              To see the lack of variation you have means a
 2    couple things.  One, as I look at this, it means that the
 3    less than one year of service folks, the 54, are still
 4    pretty much in that honeymoon phase, they're glad to be
 5    employed, but it doesn't take too long for people to go a
 6    little numb or go into solution.
 7              I think the NRC has a very powerful culture and
 8    you will see that attitudes don't vary much as you move on
 9    out and just begin to hint up favorable for 25 years of
10    service or more.
11              I'm seeing this more and more across the U.S.,
12    more and more are employees of all tenures seeing things the
13    same way.  Perhaps one theory we have right now is that it
14    has to do with recent events coloring people's perceptions
15    much more so than a history that they carry with them for
16    ten or 15 years.
17              The more fireworks there are in the past
18    couple-three years for any one individual, the more likely
19    everyone uses those things to influence their perception.
20    We're seeing this more and more in companies that go through
21    significant transition, generational effects are very much
22    dissipated, because everyone shares a recent history and
23    that's really what they're reflecting on.
24              But to see it here at the NRC means that it's not
25    just a private sector phenomenon.  It is crossing over.
 1              Now, the next several pages are in your handout
 2    and what I would like to do is I will go through these
 3    rather rapidly once I have explained them, because I really,
 4    with the time we have and since they are in front of you, I
 5    would like to move through this section as quickly as
 6    possible and summarize some of the major findings of the
 7    survey, before we take questions.
 8              What you're looking at are actual questions from
 9    the survey.  In the upper right-hand corner is the category
10    that the question lives in.  The upper left is the legend.
11    The item text and its number in the survey is listed.  The
12    percent favorable response is graphed and always the percent
13    favorable response is graphed.
14              Next to it, the difference column indicates
15    comparisons to norms or other groups.  The question mark
16    column indicates how many people gave the uncertain
17    response.  There was a place in the survey to give a
18    question mark response if you weren't certain or you didn't
19    know or weren't sure about your opinion on something.  Then
20    the final column there is the unfavorable, percent total
21    unfavorable.
22              What we'll see then is people have a very clear
23    idea of their job responsibilities.  They think their work
24    unit is well organized.  These things are all above norm and
25    very favorable.
 1              They don't feel the amount of stress they
 2    experience reduces their effectiveness.  Priorities are not
 3    changed so frequently that they can't get their work done,
 4    but these scores are not a whole lot above norm and over a
 5    third of the people do feel this occurs.
 6              If we look at item 12 to the right, we'll see that
 7    37 percent of employees do feel that work objectives are
 8    changed too frequently.  So there is some -- that is
 9    evidence of some of a chaotic work environment, to some
10    extent, and should be monitored very carefully.
11              However, computer system support looks very good
12    on par.  Particularly, I think it's interesting that the
13    government agencies have the highest percent favorable score
14    there, not the private sector in either case.
15              Working relationships.  In my experience, there is
16    good cooperation between work units in my division, not a
17    bad score, a bit off norm.  My division and other divisions
18    drops off somewhat however.  So the inter-divisional
19    cooperation could use some work, almost a third unfavorable
20    there.
21              Expanding on that, slide number 23, working
22    relationships, is a little different.  What we've graphed
23    there is not the norms, but the regions versus headquarters.
24    So the top line is the NRC scores and what we're seeing is
25    how the region answers this question and how the offices
 1    answer this question.
 2              The first thing I would notice is that there's
 3    really not that big a difference between whether the office
 4    folks say they experience good cooperation or the region
 5    people are talking of headquarters and speaking of their
 6    cooperation.  The perception is fairly balanced.
 7              The only real significant activity is down here in
 8    the right corner, where we see there is an increased
 9    question mark in headquarters about relationships between
10    headquarters and the regions.  This probably has to do with
11    a significant number of people perhaps in support roles who
12    do not interact with the regions in any significant or on an
13    ongoing basis.
14              I have sufficient authority to do my job well;
15    yes, for the most part.  But I believe higher levels of
16    management trust my judgment, the score is well below
17    benchmark and almost half NRC employees didn't feel this
18    way.  This is evidence of probably one of the best questions
19    we have at teasing out the cases of micro management or
20    people being second guessed by their management.
21              These scores, as you can see, are well below norm
22    and are below transition company norm.  This is one of the
23    few items where the item is significantly below that norm,
24    as well.
25              The NRC has established a climate where people can
 1    challenge the traditional ways of doing things or innovative
 2    ideas can fail without penalty.  Not yet.  I always see that
 3    significant number of employees do not agree with that
 4    statement and this would be an area where, as far as safety
 5    culture goes, innovation and the ability to challenge --
 6    challenge established procedures or to at least re-challenge
 7    them periodically needs to be improved.
 8              However, the information I need to do my job is
 9    readily available.  Most people say that's true.  So that
10    part of communication is good.  But policies and decisions
11    made by the agencies are not adequately reported.  We've got
12    pretty much an even split, 44 percent agreed with that, 42
13    percent disagreed, 15 percent or so confused, they didn't
14    know what to say.
15              I would have to say that a question mark on a
16    communication item is probably a target of opportunity, as
17    well.
18              I'm sufficiently informed about NRC's plans,
19    performance and mission.  Well, the mission looks pretty
20    good, but plans and particularly performance are not quite
21    where you could be if you were in the private sector.  And
22    performance here may be a little difficult to define, but it
23    probably should be attempted, because people like to know
24    how their organization is doing.
25              Now if you work for Hewlett Packard or you work
 1    for AT&T;, it's a lot easier to get feedback on how you're
 2    performing.  You can look at stock prices, you can look at
 3    annual reports, you can read the Wall Street Journal.
 4              I don't know what kind of performance venues
 5    people have for the NRC, but it's something that, in terms
 6    of culture and climate, it certainly has an impact on how
 7    people perceive how their job is contributing to the
 8    effectiveness of the agency.
 9              I have a clear understanding of the goals and
10    objectives of my work unit, you bet; my division,
11    absolutely.  The training I have received has adequately
12    prepared me for the work I do.  The NRC has done that, 73
13    percent favorable.
14              However, I have a good understanding of my
15    training needs regarding risk-informed methodologies, drops
16    to 43, 34 percent question mark, however.
17              This is going to be very important to look at by
18    job type because there may be a lot of people who are not
19    sure about this and maybe they need to be told you don't
20    need to worry about this, this is not going to affect you.
21    But for the people it is going to affect, you want to make
22    sure that they are getting -- they have some idea here.
23              And number 38, I have sufficient knowledge of
24    safety concepts to apply them in my job, we have over 80
25    percent responding favorably, only three percent
 1    unfavorable, with 16 in the question mark.  So we have an
 2    extremely high number of people who feel that they do have
 3    safety concepts nailed down.
 4              I think the NRC is doing a good job of recruiting
 5    the right people, developing its people to its full
 6    potential and retaining its most talented people, this
 7    having to do with the agency's ability to maintain its
 8    safety emphasis, its talent pool, it's expertise.  We see
 9    that a number of people are concerned about this, over half
10    gave the unfavorable response on B and C.
11              There is no norm on these questions, but I can
12    tell you right now that training and recruiting, especially
13    in the technical fields, is very difficult right now and
14    retention is even worse.  Retaining high quality talent in
15    certain markets, certain labor markets, is extremely
16    difficult right now.  The NRC is not alone.
17              Particularly in light of the next finding,
18    opportunities for personal development and growth in the
19    nuclear industry, almost half, almost exactly half feel it's
20    going to change for the worse.
21              This is a very difficult backdrop.  This is a very
22    difficult backdrop against which to try to instill
23    innovation and creativity and try to make people buckle down
24    for the long haul.
25              Job satisfaction, well, these are high scores, 72
 1    and 75, but as the norms indicated and now these items show
 2    explicitly, they are a few points below what we would
 3    expect.
 4              I think people still like what they do.  It may
 5    not be right now in the current climate; again, this is more
 6    of a climate question -- as fun as it used to be and it is
 7    changing.  Most people still like what they do in America,
 8    but a lot of times they're being asked to do it differently
 9    and this is more of a -- I would see as kind of an
10    aggravation score or frustration score, if you will.  I
11    don't think this means people don't like what they do.  I
12    think it means that it's harder to do it the way they want
13    to right now.
14              The NRC mission, how successful has the NRC been
15    in putting the following principals of good regulation into
16    practice.  Independence, openness, doing pretty well,
17    reliability not too far behind.  But perceptions of
18    efficiency and clarity, I think clarity is really important
19    here because as we'll see in a moment, the direction of the
20    agency and how crystal clear it is what you're supposed to
21    do day to day are very important aspects of a climate of an
22    organization.
23              When those things start to be a little confusing
24    or you get mixed messages, it's very hard to prioritize.
25    And as we all know, if you can't prioritize, it makes for a
 1    frustrating day.
 2              In my experience, all NRC employees are held to
 3    the same standards of ethical behavior, 39 percent favorable
 4    is well below national norm, but very close to our
 5    government composite norm.
 6              You will see that the unfavorable response is
 7    almost identical, as well, in the far right-hand column.
 8    This I would have to interpret more in a raw sense just to
 9    say that this is troubling because half of you feel that
10    there is a different set of standards for people, I guess,
11    depending on who they are or what they did.
12              Typically, when we interview people on this item
13    in organizations, though, what they're talking about is they
14    feel that two people do the -- if they do the same thing and
15    it's deemed inappropriate, one person gets one thing and
16    another person gets another kind of punishment.
17              That's typically what people cite here.  But we
18    didn't hear very much of this in the comments on the survey.
19    We did not hear too much about these kinds of issues.  So
20    it's a bit of a puzzle at what folks were thinking.
21              Supervision, supervisory scores are very good.  My
22    supervisor is competent in technical responsibilities and is
23    available when needed, all very good scores.  You will see
24    the norms don't vary on that either.  Most people's
25    supervisory relationship in the U.S. is good.
 1              Management leadership, I have confidence in the
 2    decisions made by my supervisor, good score.  The senior
 3    management team of the NRC, you will see it's holding sway
 4    with national norm, well above the other -- the government
 5    and the U.S. transition companies norm.
 6              But there is still about a third of the people who
 7    gave the unfavorable, though it's not an insurmountable
 8    number and it's certainly one that we encounter in a lot of
 9    organizations, but it's certainly a target of opportunity to
10    improve people's understanding of the job senior management
11    can do and have an -- and increase the confidence people
12    have.
13              Some of the other questions I think shed light on
14    the areas that people could identify more with.  Senior
15    management provides a clear sense of direction.  We see
16    that's an area that's off national norm.  So I believe that
17    if the NRC could improve these scores toward national norm,
18    we would see the confidence levels increase even higher.
19              The management style at the NRC encourages
20    employees to give their best.  We see that this is -- if we
21    look past the national norm for a minute, we'll see the
22    score is very similar to other government agencies in style,
23    but it's very different than we would encounter in most
24    organizations in the U.S. and that over half of employees
25    gave the unfavorable response.
 1              This is one of the questions that, although not
 2    shown here for transition companies, when a company comes
 3    out of transition, this is one of the items that usually
 4    increases significantly from the time one to time two.  So a
 5    lot of times this represents a question -- this is a
 6    question that tells people an organization can be at a
 7    crossroads.  It's at a time where its culture may need to
 8    shift somewhat to achieve its future goals.
 9              To give you a sense of trend on this, I have
10    included an item -- this contains, again, no NRC data, just
11    ISR trend data on the U.S. national norm.  Company
12    management provides a clear sense of direction.  I show you
13    this to give you a sense that this has been -- this is an
14    area where worker attitude has dropped considerably in the
15    past decade and probably will never reach those levels again
16    as far as in some industries, because the business has just
17    changed so dramatically.
18              Sense of direction -- I know companies where they
19    used to have ten-year plans and five-year plans and now
20    they're pretty happy with maybe one and maybe a three-year
21    plan is seen as extremely far-sighted.  I show you this also
22    to show that it's a very -- the last few years, it has
23    become a very stable score, in the low 40s, and is starting
24    to pick up.  So the NRC has somewhere to shoot for.
25              In my judgment, the following are well managed.
 1    My work unit, pretty good score; division and office and
 2    region, about the same; the NRC as a whole, we see a dip,
 3    not unlike the trend is to see a dip, but the dip we see
 4    here is a bit more pronounced, 44 percent favorable, about a
 5    third unfavorable.
 6              I believe the NRC's commitment to public safety is
 7    apparent in what we do on a day-to-day basis, 81 percent
 8    agreed with that, a very strong score.  The quality of work
 9    done in my unit is excellent, another very strong score, a
10    bit up on national norms.
11              Too much emphasis is placed upon the quality --
12    the quantity of work produced rather than the quality, 44
13    percent favorable.  This sounds like a low score, but it's
14    actually also what we would tend to expect in most
15    organizations.  In fact, you have less unfavorability than
16    we would expect to see in the norms.
17              I think the increased focus on risk-informed
18    performance-based regulation is improving NRC's regulatory
19    effectiveness, pretty much the jury is still out on that.  A
20    lot of people, 42 percent, gave the question mark response,
21    a quarter gave the unfavorable, and you see there 32 percent
22    gave the favorable response.
23              This is very much a wait-and-see question.
24    There's still a lot of people who have not formed an opinion
25    yet.
 1              Another safety commitment question, back to this
 2    category.  A very different graph, though.  What we're
 3    showing are the breakouts by job level.  We show you this to
 4    give you an example of how you don't want to go off
 5    half-cocked looking at an item level sometimes because there
 6    can be quite a bit of volatility by job level or location or
 7    the like.
 8              We'll see here very large swings in question mark
 9    response among the administrative support staff, at 45
10    percent question mark and 56 percent question mark, versus,
11    say, the engineering or scientific staff, who, as we see,
12    think senior management thinks is a very important priority
13    and most of them think it is, too; not as much as senior
14    management, but considerable.
15              This slide, again, is here to show you that survey
16    results can be very volatile at the item level and it takes
17    quite a bit of digging to get the full story.
18              People in my work unit are encouraged to come up
19    with innovative solutions to work-related problems, not so
20    much as norm, but 54 percent did say that.  Continually try
21    to improve our performance, a lot more people agreed with
22    that, still off of norm though.
23              Again, all the questions that ask about innovation
24    or coming up with new ways of doing things are not quite on
25    norm for the NRC.  So this is an area to pursue.  This is
 1    clearly a target area for improvement.
 2              Please indicate how good a job you think the NRC
 3    senior management is doing in the following areas;
 4    implementation programs and processes for improving
 5    regulatory effectiveness, providing tools and resources,
 6    investing in training, all scoring about the same, mostly
 7    loading in the adequate and poor column.
 8              Now, if we somehow decided to construe adequate as
 9    favorable, you could see how some of these scores would
10    change drastically.  But we tend to view good or very good
11    as a favorable response on this and that is how we have
12    categorized this.
13              If you turn the page, the most significant, I
14    think, out of this list is that only 15 percent of the
15    employees felt that the senior management was effectively
16    using their input to improve regulatory effectiveness.  This
17    is calling for increased dialog and increased upward
18    communication of what would most improve things in their
19    neck of the woods.  This is probably the single most
20    important thing to notice in this commitment category is its
21    linkage to employee involvement.
22              Employee involvement is absolutely imperative for
23    improving scores like this because it gives people an
24    understanding of what kind of input and what kinds of things
25    were considered before a decision was made.
 1              That's not to say they want to make the decision.
 2    That's what management gets paid for.  But I think most
 3    people in the NRC would like their opinion utilized.
 4              Future of the NRC.  Frequently concerned about the
 5    future of the NRC, the future of this industry.  You will
 6    see that most people are concerned about the future of their
 7    industry, look at the norms there.  In the NRC, it's just
 8    even more so, 64 percent unfavorable.  So a lot of people
 9    are very concerned about the future of the nuclear industry.
10              Again, this is another one of those backdrop
11    questions like we saw before that really have over time
12    represent one of the areas where the climate, the current
13    climate is really a function not just of internal factors,
14    but the backdrop by which the -- the backdrop externally by
15    which the agency has to operate.
16              Organizational change, the last couple item
17    levels, looking ahead to the next year or so, please
18    indicate how you think the following will change for the
19    NRC.  A number of people, a good number of people think that
20    all of these things will change for the better or will stay
21    the same, generally good.  These are pretty good numbers.
22              The only thing that I think is troubling is
23    communication, people think it will stay the same and feel
24    it's generally poor, 31 percent feel that way and 27 percent
25    feel that the way people are managed day to day.  The public
 1    image of the agency also had about a quarter of the people
 2    unfavorable in terms of how that would change or whether it
 3    would change for the better.
 4              And lastly, at the item level, looking ahead at
 5    the next or so, I think the NRC as a whole will change for
 6    the better, 14 percent; stay the same, 58; and change for
 7    the worse, 23.
 8              This is probably the most governmental item in the
 9    survey, in my view, because I've never seen 58 percent of
10    the people say it will stay the same, after all the other
11    things I've shown you they've said.  This is an extremely
12    large amount of inertia, given all the other things we've
13    seen.
14              You will see the norms.  We typically would get
15    close to half the people optimistic that it would change for
16    the better.  We don't see that here.  We see quite a bit of
17    stay the same.
18              So the take away from this is that a quarter of
19    the people say it would change for the worse, but there's a
20    whole lot of people who think it's just going to be about
21    the same and those folks gave all this input and I think
22    need to be convinced that things can change for the better.
23              Now, the comments highlights.  I know I've run
24    over time just a bit and there's a lot here for you to read.
25    So rather than read them, what I'd like to do is talk about
 1    this high level slide for a minute.
 2              Management leadership, operating effectiveness and
 3    training and development garnered the most comments from NRC
 4    employees.  People could code their own comment.  NRC
 5    employees were given the opportunity to make a comment and
 6    then tell us what category they felt it was most appropriate
 7    for.  These are the results.
 8              We had comments in all the categories, all the
 9    categories we've shown, but these were the ones that
10    garnered the most comment.  It's important when you're
11    looking at comments and you're not used to survey results.
12    These comments, especially about safety culture and climate,
13    are going to garner critique.
14              Comments garner people's most acute pain, their
15    most chronic pain, all their pain, whatever they think
16    should be done.  It also garners their wish list.  It also
17    garners rumor and conjecture.  It also garners some of the
18    nicest nuggets of truth and some of the nicest ideas and
19    creative improvements any company has ever gotten.
20              Many companies have built extremely nice
21    innovative -- built from and created very nice innovation
22    from things that have come from comments.  But the bulk of
23    them are negative and you should know that, from any company
24    and the NRC are no different.
25              As we look through them, I won't read them, but
 1    the management leadership comments are typically talking
 2    about added training, training they think managers need to
 3    have.  They need to bridge a gap between technical ability
 4    and people management skills.  There needs to be more of an
 5    emphasis on the management style, which is completely
 6    consistent with the quantitative results on those questions,
 7    and there needs to be a little more -- excuse me -- a little
 8    less of what people view as micro management.
 9              Now, in times of change, micro management is one
10    of the first things people cite and it's no different here,
11    but it's something that, as part of a climate you would
12    expect, but as part of a culture, probably shouldn't
13    continue too long.
14              Operating effectiveness.  The NRC work force is so
15    extremely bright and so tuned in to what they do, I don't
16    understand these comments.  I don't know what half these
17    acronyms refer to.  I'm not going to attempt to tell you I
18    do.
19              But it's clear from the comments on operating
20    effectiveness that this -- the number of comments you
21    received in this area is extremely high.  It's extremely
22    unusual that operating effectiveness would be the second
23    largest category mentioned and I think that means that
24    people really have ideas for how things could be improved.
25              Now, it may come out at 104 degrees Fahrenheit,
 1    but put on your mitts and look at it because there's a lot
 2    of really good information in this category.  I can tell,
 3    not technically, I don't understand it necessarily, but the
 4    tone of it and certainly the things it's directed at are
 5    people's heart felt solutions for what they see as the most
 6    urgent operating issue in their area.  Extremely well
 7    written comments.
 8              Training and development.  As you read these
 9    comments, I think what you're going to notice is that people
10    feel it was pretty good before and the questions in the
11    survey that mentioned these things said it was pretty good
12    before.  What you're seeing is people fearing that it's not
13    going to be as good as it has been or that it is at risk in
14    the future, in the NRC of the future.
15              I think people feel that's a major threat to
16    something that they see is a major strength of the
17    organization and that's technical ability and the talent and
18    information that its staff possess.
19              The final block of comments are from just
20    headquarters staff and you will see that management
21    leadership from this group is by far the largest category,
22    but you will see that operating effectiveness still showed
23    and you will see training and development is number two.
24    So, again, very consistent in that sense across the regions
25    and headquarters.
 1              Now, these comments are a little different, the
 2    management leadership comments from the headquarters have
 3    more to do with management style, a want for a more
 4    participatory management style.  They sound, with the
 5    quantitative results on leadership and clarity of direction,
 6    people want a little clearer picture of where they're going.
 7    They want to be led in a little more coherent fashion and
 8    they're worried about a climate of fear developing and a lot
 9    of employees have voiced that as well, that people are
10    afraid to make a mistake.
11              And we did see questions about innovation and
12    creativity being down.  Those scores are not where we might
13    expect, particularly for an agency with so many highly
14    educated and creative people.
15              And training and development, almost -- these
16    comments could have come from the region or the
17    headquarters.  They're almost exactly the same.
18              I've talked about job satisfaction previously.  I
19    think it's -- it has a frustration level to it.  People
20    still basically like what they do.  Supervision is, I think,
21    cut from the same cloth of some of the management comments
22    we saw about training and micro management.
23              And operating effectiveness, again, very specific
24    comments a lot of times about plans, programs, initiatives,
25    protocols, reports, et cetera.  But, again, I just say that
 1    these are practically a blueprint of suggestions for things
 2    that should be looked at.
 3              So in conclusion, I think the strengths to
 4    maintain is the safety culture of the NRC, that the results
 5    of this survey clearly showed that there is a very strong
 6    sense of safety culture at the NRC.  It is most clear on the
 7    following items; 81 percent of employees believe the NRC's
 8    commitment to public safety is apparent.  They feel they
 9    have sufficient knowledge and safety concepts.  They do have
10    a very clear idea of goals and objectives, most clearly in
11    their work unit, but still significantly so at the division
12    and the NRC as a whole.
13              The mission is very clear.  People still feel that
14    that is communicated and that is stuck to and they feel the
15    work they do is excellent and will continue to maintain
16    that.
17              People still cooperate.  They have their computer
18    systems they need and over half have the opportunity for
19    input before changes are made.  It's very important because
20    that means there is still -- there is a dialog and more than
21    half the employees feel that they have that input.
22              So the trains still run on time at the NRC.
23    People just think they could run better.
24              The areas for improvement, given the results, I
25    think sense of direction, a lot of people could do with a
 1    little more sense of direction and they may have to wait.
 2    It may not be clear, but that has to be communicated, as
 3    well.  I think employees respond more to bad news than no
 4    news and they do respond to a process as opposed to a
 5    postponement.
 6              People would like a lot more information, not
 7    surprisingly.  The questions having to do about information
 8    about the agency and how it's doing are all down and could
 9    be higher.  Innovation and creativity, the scores around
10    those are down.  People feel that is suffering and shouldn't
11    be.
12              And management style is an area where people feel
13    that perhaps needs to change or its time has come to change.
14              I mentioned the ethical standards question.  I
15    think it's -- the finding is very strong, so X marks the
16    spot, but there's still a lot of digging to do on that one.
17    People are concerned about the changes going on in the
18    organization and they would like an opportunity for a lot
19    more input on their part.  I think that's good.  I think
20    that basically they are saying -- they are putting a sign
21    around their neck saying ask me whatever you want, I would
22    love to tell you, I have good ideas.
23              But the final bullet is probably one of the most
24    staggering ones, in that most people don't think things will
25    change.  So there's a lot of inertia that has to be overcome
 1    in terms of any kind of an effort to both maintain the
 2    strengths you have and manage and attack the things you need
 3    to improve.
 4              So that will be the major challenge, is to crack
 5    this shell of 58 percent, same-old-same-old.
 6              That's all I have.
 7              MR. BARCHI:  Thanks, Leo.  I would ask you, if you
 8    would, to write your questions and we have a number of our
 9    folks here that will collect them from you and bring them up
10    while you're doing that.
11              In the meanwhile, though, Leo, you and I had a
12    conversation earlier this morning about how you would
13    summarize our culture and our climate and basically where
14    you would put us in terms of our -- on that continuum, the
15    scale that we noticed earlier, where you would suggest we
16    are.
17              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  I would say that most of the
18    people, you're probably somewhere on the left of that chart.
19    I don't think the ride has quite picked up all the steam it
20    could.  I think things make it more bumpy before they get
21    smooth.
22              Change is a funny thing in organizations.
23    Management usually sees it coming and does the best they can
24    to avoid it, but typically you're going to hit some of that
25    and it's very important, again, to look over your shoulder.
 1    Never turn your back on the ocean, they say.
 2              And it's very important for management, as they
 3    figure it out, to not keep it to themselves, to let people
 4    know, because communication is probably the thing that
 5    separates most constituencies on that curve, is the ability.
 6    The quicker you communicate that there is light at the end
 7    of the tunnel and it's not an oncoming train, the more
 8    people will pile into that tunnel full speed.
 9              So I think that the organization scores say that
10    the NRC is working, the NRC works, but people fear things
11    out there that can -- that they feel will detract from its
12    mission, its ability to perform the mission, to its own
13    standards.  I think the NRC holds itself to extremely high
14    standards, expect a lot of themselves and their leadership,
15    and this survey says -- doesn't give anything inconsistent
16    with that.  It says, look, there's a lot of things going on,
17    some of them aren't working or some of them are at risk of
18    not working, and we have to do something about it.  And as a
19    benchmark, I think it serves a very good purpose as a
20    baseline.
21              I am loathe to draw a trend from one data point,
22    but I would say that it does look like a crossroads, because
23    people do sense a lot of things lying ahead on the road for
24    the NRC.
25              MR. BARCHI:  It is interesting to note that this
 1    survey was completed by the end of March.  So the more
 2    recent events, the eternal events that have affected our
 3    agency really haven't been factored into this baseline,
 4    which suggests strongly that the communication issue looms
 5    even larger for us as an organization.
 6              Do we have any questions that you wanted to
 7    forward?
 8              MR. YIELDING:  This is Dale Yielding.
 9              MR. BARCHI:  I'm sorry, Dale.  We'll take
10    questions in the written format and then we'll read them.
11    If you would, just forward them to Russ and we'll --
12              MR. YIELDING:  Mine are pretty long to write out.
13    I've got about two or three of them.
14              MR. BARCHI:  Well, why don't you just hand them to
15    us and we'll be happy to read them.
16              MR. YIELDING:  I said they're a little bit too
17    long to write out.  Is that --
18              MR. BARCHI:  See if you can synopsize it for us
19    quickly.
20              MR. YIELDING:  Did the IG receive any information
21    or comments that would warrant the initiation of an
22    investigation and will you pursue any investigations based
23    on survey information?
24              MR. BELL:  The information that we covered today
25    is basically what was included in the survey.  It was not
 1    our intention, start to finish, to use this survey process
 2    to initiate, to look at or even consider an investigative
 3    opening.  Certainly, we, on a yearly basis, get 600
 4    allegations a year.  We don't need this survey to create any
 5    additional work for us.  But the answer to your question is
 6    no.
 7              MR. YIELDING:  Sounds good.  Is this the full
 8    report or is there another document like with all the
 9    comments, like a written textual, or is this just a
10    presentation document?
11              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  The comments -- I'll answer part
12    of the question that I can.  The comments in that packet and
13    the ones I was referring to are representative.  So what
14    that means is they are comments taken from the pool that was
15    received from all the NRC employees.  We read, that is ISR
16    read every single comment and put them -- picked these to
17    represent themes that lied within the pool.
18              So these comments, number one, are comments from
19    NRC employees; number two, they are representative of
20    comments made by dozens and dozens, in fact, in many cases,
21    hundreds of other people.
22              MR. YIELDING:  But is this the report?
23              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  No.
24              MR. BARCHI:  We will be providing, going out today
25    on e-mail, an executive summary that captures the essence of
 1    the results.  In addition, we will be publishing this slide
 2    presentation so that everyone has an opportunity to read
 3    what the NRC staff responded in terms of the questionnaire.
 4              In addition, we will be providing to the public
 5    document room all 63 volumes of information.  As you know,
 6    this questionnaire was designed such that we could take the
 7    statistical responses and roll them up into various
 8    categories, again ensuring anonymity, but breaking it out by
 9    various levels, by organization and what have you.     All
10    of that information is being made available today and will
11    go in the public document room, as well.
12              So there is a potential for analysis paralysis
13    here in terms of just the sheer amount of data that is
14    available, but we do think it's terribly important for all
15    of us to have that data available so that we can get behind
16    some of the statistics.  As Leo said earlier, statistics can
17    be terribly misleading if you don't have the data behind
18    them to understand.
19              So all of that information is being made available
20    today to the public.
21              MR. YIELDING:  Is there a document from ISR,
22    though, another report, another format that is not being
23    made available?
24              MR. BARCHI:  No.  There is no other document from
25    ISR.
 1              MR. YIELDING:  Question for the doctor there.  Was
 2    there any comment, were there any draft reports or any
 3    comments by management or information staff?  I know you
 4    gave a previous presentation to the chairman.  Was anything
 5    deleted or anything modified based on comment from
 6    management, of your report?
 7              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  No.  The packet you're holding is
 8    the same packet.
 9              MR. BARCHI:  And that was to the chairman, as our
10    responsibility as Inspector General, as you well know, we
11    have a dual responsibility to keep the head of the agency
12    informed that she is the head of the agency and she was duly
13    informed of this information.
14              Likewise, it is to keep the Congress informed and
15    this information will go to the Congress, as well, but there
16    is absolutely no difference between the discussion that took
17    place with the chairman and what you heard today.
18              MR. YIELDING:  The last question is where do we go
19    from here?
20              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  I think that's an excellent
21    question.  Often, a survey of this type done for an
22    organization is just the what and then there's the so what
23    and the now what.  I think the survey really has a couple of
24    -- there's a couple of ways to go about it.
25              In terms of best practice, in terms of the things
 1    I have seen organizations do, and I'm not saying this is
 2    what the NRC should do, but I have seen a lot of
 3    organizations look at their survey data and, as Tom said, be
 4    paralyzed through analysis.  I think some of the findings
 5    are compelling.  I think some of the results are fairly
 6    clear.
 7              And there are always some results from a survey
 8    that are just straight ahead and I think what good
 9    organizational follow-up is and what a lot of organizations
10    that do see drastic improvement in how they run things do
11    two things.
12              One is they don't dither on the clear results,
13    they move very quickly, and on the things that aren't as
14    clear, they keep the list of things to investigate and work,
15    investigate is the wrong word, to follow up and work on.
16              Short, pick a short list of things to address and
17    make sure you do.  The reason for that is because when you
18    make a list of things to work on in an organization, as we
19    all know, the list grows organically.  You start with a list
20    of two things to do and to do those two things you've got to
21    do four other things and to do those four other things
22    you've got to do six other things and pretty soon you've got
23    a list of 20 things to do.
24              Now, imagine what happened if you start with ten
25    things to do.  You get bogged down, you get overwhelmed, and
 1    you don't make progress on anything.  It's very much more
 2    important to pick a few things and work those issues and
 3    then let them affect other things.
 4              Most organizations experience, if they work a
 5    couple of major issues, experience what I call the bleed.
 6    It affects everything.  You would be surprised how important
 7    it is when all of a sudden people have a sense of purpose or
 8    a sense of clarity in terms of direction of an agency, how
 9    much better something way over here turns out to be, because
10    it really does affect their ability to prioritize, make
11    decisions quicker, know what to care about, know what to get
12    training on.  It's amazing.
13              I believe that -- I don't know that that's easy or
14    harder to do for a government agency like the NRC than
15    another big company.  I can't say for sure.  But your data
16    has some features that I've seen in a lot of other companies
17    and people have worked them and have improved them
18    significantly in as little as a year or two's time.
19              MR. BARCHI:  As far as the Office of the Inspector
20    General is concerned, as you know, when we initiated this
21    effort, we said to -- and we needed to accomplish two
22    objectives.  The first was to establish a baseline in terms
23    of how collectively we all view the safety culture and
24    climate in our organization and we now have that baseline
25    and inherent in that is the notion that at a date sometime
 1    in the future, we wanted to revisit that baseline,
 2    particularly given the factors that affect our organization.
 3              And we haven't established when we will do that,
 4    but that is certainly on our agenda.  The second objective
 5    was more parochial, if you will, and that was to help us, as
 6    an IG, understand where we should direct our limited
 7    resources in terms of helping our organization, this agency,
 8    and we will take this information and, as you know, we are
 9    in the early stages of our annual planning process and we
10    will use this information to help us sort through the
11    various programs in NRC to help us understand where we can
12    possibly make a contribution.
13              So from an IG perspective, those were the two
14    objectives and we feel -- thanks to the response of everyone
15    that took the time to fill out this questionnaire, we've
16    achieved that objective.
17              I just want to give a personal note, and that is
18    to say that we really do thank all of you for responding to
19    this questionnaire.  We recognize that it's not an easy task
20    when your Inspector General comes to you and says I want
21    your feedback and, by the way, this will be anonymous, this
22    will remain confidential, and we have assured that
23    throughout the course of this effort.
24              Our commitment to you is to use this information
25    in a constructive way to help us as an organization improve
 1    ourselves.  I have some questions here, Leo, if you don't
 2    mind.
 3              By the way, I -- Leo has a cold and, bless his
 4    heart, he has suffered through the last several days with a
 5    very bad cold and he is making it and I'm glad he is making
 6    it, but we don't want to try him too much here.  But one of
 7    the questions is, in what way did you define NRC as being in
 8    transition.
 9              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  I think some of the key pieces of
10    feedback is when we did the interviewing -- excuse me --
11    when we did the interviewing, there seemed to be a general
12    report that a lot of things were changing.  People were
13    being asked to look at and try to do things differently than
14    they had in the past.
15              They felt that they were getting -- there were
16    initiatives coming down that they were having to address.
17    There were new -- and they weren't exactly sure how.  They
18    felt like there were changes in the supervisory
19    relationships among a number of people, the span of control,
20    if you will, if I can throw some jargon in there for you,
21    span of control, supervisory relations.
22              Risk-informed methodologies, performance-based, I
23    thought given the communications that were going on around
24    that and what people's views on that were, I think a number
25    of those kinds of things do represent transition.
 1              I think some of the public nature of the work and
 2    of things that you have to deal with in the public eye make
 3    you more transitionary.
 4              If I look now at a survey, when I look at results
 5    for, say, an Intel or a Microsoft, it's going to be very
 6    different than maybe the results I looked at a year or two
 7    ago, just from the public scrutiny or the public attention
 8    those two organizations are getting right now versus when
 9    you only heard about them in the Wall Street wrap-ups of
10    stocks you wish you had bought ten years ago.
11              So those are some of the things that make you
12    transition.  Some of the things that don't -- your work
13    force, the fact it's mostly government employees tends to
14    weed out some of the transitionary factors, the fact that
15    your mission is pretty much the same as always, the fact
16    that you don't have a lot of turnover, as far as I can tell,
17    and a lot of other factors that would make a transition.
18              You're not about to be acquired or merged with
19    anyone, at least as far as I know.  Those things don't --
20    those things make you not like other companies that normally
21    would be transitioned.
22              MR. BARCHI:  Question; is it typical for staff or
23    support organizations to be more negative than line
24    organizations?
25              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  It's typical for some job
 1    functions to be more negative than others, depending on the
 2    culture of the organization.  I would say it's not a trend,
 3    though.  It varies widely.  I've seen results for support
 4    organizations in largely technical organizations, where they
 5    were quite a bit more negative.  They felt like second class
 6    citizens.  That was the culture in that organization.
 7              Your results are not like that.
 8              MR. BARCHI:  I want to make sure I read this one
 9    correctly.  Were the data normalized to eliminate bias and
10    findings?
11              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  I have no idea what that question
12    means.  Normalized to eliminate bias.
13              MR. BARCHI:  Highly favorable answers by 117 SES
14    respondents may potentially affect the conclusion.
15              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  Well, the return rate -- let me
16    answer this as simply as I can.  The return rate is such
17    that we got proportional response from all the job levels.
18    So when you look at the NRC overall results, they are
19    representative in the natural proportions, these different
20    kinds of jobs and grades do exist within the agency.  The
21    SES scores don't count any more than the SES count if you
22    counted heads.  Everybody has a vote of one in this survey.
23              The reason we break the results out by those job
24    levels in those locations and those grades is so we do have
25    an understanding of how much one group's opinion varies
 1    versus another.  It's clear from the results that if we took
 2    out the SESers, the results would probably dip a little bit,
 3    but not a whole lot, because like it says, there's only
 4    100-and-change out of the couple thousand responses we did
 5    receive.
 6              So it's a little mathematical game, but it's
 7    always proportional.  You take a percent out, it comes out
 8    of both the top and bottom of the equation.  So the answer
 9    is, no, these numbers aren't biased by those things.  These
10    numbers include those things and include and account for
11    them I think in extremely clear fashion.
12              MR. BARCHI:  What, if any, EEO issues have been
13    revealed from the survey, including comments received?
14              DR. BRAJKOVICH:  At this point, there is no EEO
15    issues that have emerged from the survey at all.
16              MR. BARCHI:  We do need to be clear, though, that
17    the survey was not designed to elicit EEO concerns.  As we
18    mentioned earlier, the survey was designed to focus in on
19    safety culture and climate and certainly those issues have
20    an impact on it, but it was geared toward answering those
21    questions.
22              What I would suggest is, time is running late, I
23    know there are a lot of folks that haven't had a chance to
24    provide questions to us that are watching at remote sites
25    and locations.  We encourage your questions.
 1              As we mentioned earlier, we have established an
 2    e-mail account and the title is safety.  So it's not a hard
 3    one to remember.  But we very, very much look forward to
 4    hearing from all of us in terms of whatever questions we may
 5    have about the results, once you've had a chance to delve
 6    into it.
 7              I would say this morning to you that we're not
 8    sure we know exactly how the vehicle we will use to respond
 9    to all of the questions.  I would doubt that we would
10    respond to them on an individual basis.
11              What we probably will do is leave the account open
12    for a period of time, take the information, collate it, and
13    then work up generic responses to the questions and provide
14    that feedback.  But we believe it's very important to
15    maintain a dialog so that we do know what questions may
16    arise from the survey.
17              Again, I want to say thank you for everyone's
18    participation in this.  It was a very meaningful exercise
19    for us.  Mr. Bell.
20              MR. BELL:  Thank you.  I want to thank all of you
21    for your attention and for your questions.  Dr. Brajkovich,
22    thank you for that very informative presentation.
23              In closing, I'd just like to make a few brief
24    observations.  The results of this first NRC safety culture
25    and climate survey afforded my office the opportunity to
 1    gain valuable information about the perspective of the
 2    agency's work force concerning this important issue.  I'm
 3    happy to be able to share this information with all NRC
 4    employees.
 5              As we mentioned earlier, we are providing all the
 6    statistical information to the agency after this briefing.
 7    We are also making today's briefing slides and the survey's
 8    executive summary available on the agency's web page.  The
 9    survey results we have discussed with you today represent an
10    overview of all the available data.
11              I and my staff are prepared to work with the
12    Commission, senior managers and their staff, as well as all
13    NRC employees in sharing how to sort through the results of
14    the survey.
15              Again, I would remind you that we have established
16    a special e-mail and so we will keep the account open, as
17    Tom said, until we get through the format of how we're going
18    to develop answers and we will, in fact, answer all the
19    questions.
20              In closing, I would like to thank all of you for
21    your time, effort and participation in this safety culture
22    and climate survey, whether as a participant in the
23    interview and focus group sessions, a test subject for the
24    draft survey instrument, or an individual respondent to the
25    questionnaire.  Your involvement throughout the process has
 1    been integral in this project.
 2              Thank you very much for your time and attention
 3    and thanks again.
 4              [Whereupon, at 11:10 a.m., the briefing was
 5    concluded.]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, November 20, 2015