Dec 9, 2009

Official LTRS Rollout of the 2009 LANS "Engagement Survey" Results

Otherwise known as: the LANL Morale Survey. The summary numbers can be found here. Sorry about the sideways orientation of the report, but the results are pretty self explanatory. Please feel free to supply your own analysis.


61 comments:

Anonymous said...

What the hell is that plot that you are showing? It has way too much data for survey results. It looks like stock data to me.

Anonymous said...

Let's cut to the quick. Here are the key percentages that register in this document as "Agree"...

-----------------
The leadership team is working together to advance the Laboratory mission. : 37.75 %

Career opportunities at the Laboratory are good. : 33.73 %

Laboratory managers set good examples. : 27.58%

I have confidence in the leadership of the Laboratory. : 28.69 %

The morale of my co-workers is good. : 27.75 %

Laboratory managers consult employees about decisions that affect them. : 25.42 %

The Laboratory rewards those who contribute most. : 23.57 %

I believe that action will be taken on the results of this survey. : 17.30 %
-------------------

In most organizations, abysmal ratings like this would result the the sudden resignation of the executive management. It indicates a total failure of leadership and severe lack of trust of the employees in their top management team. However, with LANS you can be almost certain that there will be no real outcome for their poor leadership skills. PBIs, baby! That's all that matters to NNSA.

Thanks to who ever handed this data off to Doug. Have no doubt, you did the right thing and the many blog readers appreciate the risk you must have taken. God bless you, my friend!

Anonymous said...

wow! the lowest ranked questions are the important ones. good job team!

Anonymous said...

Clearly, LANS has a plan to make LANL grand. Wow, it will be interesting to see how LANS puts lipstick on this pig ...

Anonymous said...

Can somebody define the term:
"Response Average?"

Anonymous said...

Actually, the survey results are a lot more positive (or less negative) that I would have expected.

Of course, I work in a technical group and we are mostly very unhappy. I suspect that those funded on overhead are much happpier and also probably responded to the survey in higher numbers.

Anonymous said...

11:09pm

That is stock data. There are obviously more data points on that plot than there have been morale surveys. The chart is one of Doug's subtle visual jokes.

Anonymous said...

The chart might have been included in the post as a visual joke, but as is usually the case with Doug's picture jokes, it's a funny way of pointing out yet another of LANS' miserable failings.

Rest assured, Roark's happy-face spin version of the survey results will have a graph with a line sloped in the opposite direction.

Anonymous said...

Will this affect my bonus?

-MIKEY

Anonymous said...

Obviously this is a plot of Lab accomplishments over time, from the Manhattan Project days to the present. What's interesting is that if you invert it you then get the plot for the number of misleading and false statements put out by the Lab's Public Affairs Office over same period of time.

Anonymous said...

Big deal, so morale sucks at LANL. Boo hoo. NNSA isn't paying their pet LLC big bucks to make happy faces. LANL was sold by the NNSA to our corporate friends with the singular purpose of turning the place into the nation's next pit foundry.

PS: Nobody in Washington gives a shit if the staff at LANL are happy or suicidal. Deal with it.

Frank Young said...

The survey questions were posted to the blog in September as a post titled LANS Listens?

Of course there were no results reported for the question I was most interested in, #45.

45. I receive the most useful information about the Laboratory from... (FILL IN TEXT BOX)

There is also no data for questions #43 and #44 as they were also "fill in text box" questions.

Note that of the five possible responses to the the multiple choice questions (#1 through #42), "Agree" and "Strongly Agree" appear to be added together in the 2009 Engagement Survey - Results By Question. This was predicted by blog contributors as a way of making the results look more positive. It would be nice to see the raw data so we could account for the differences between the questions ordered by "Response Ave" and "Percent Agree".

Also, the survey results for question #36 lists a different question than was posted to the blog back in September. I have no explanation for this. All 44 other questions match exactly.

Oh, and I've spoken with Doug. The graph is a joke, though apparently not far from the truth.

Final point, all but one of the Management/Leadership questions fall in the bottom half of the chart. Are you listening Mike?

Anonymous said...

I'd be curious to learn why LANS reversed themselves on their earlier decision to do a 5-month "rollout" of the survey results. Granted, it was a typically brain-dead LANS response to bad news, i.e: try to bury it. I would like to know who pressured them to release the report. I can't believe they decided to do it themselves, someone told them that they had to.

Anonymous said...

I know plenty of demoralized technical staff who didn't bother to fill out the survey because of what is implied in that last question:

"I believe that action will be taken on the results of this survey."


They are probably right. However, if these people had taken the time to fill in the survey, I'm sure the results would have been even worse for LANS. But, then, again, LANS doesn't really care about any of their low ratings from employees, do they?

A year from today, this will all be long forgotten and that last question will have been definitively answered in the way most staff expect... deep-6'ed by LANS with a big, smiley face pasted on it.

Anonymous said...

I know... let's all call up mighty Tom Udall and big Jeff Bingamin. Maybe they can help! *


* Note: This is sarcasm. St. Pete has left the auditorium and LANL employees are now up Shit Creek without a paddle... or a boat... or even a rubber ducky! Good luck hiking out through all the sticky muck. Pweeee-Eeeeee!

Anonymous said...

Actually, NNSA probably sees the extremely low morale shown in this survey as yet another example of Tom D'Agostino's motto: "Getting the job done!"

Yep, they sure are, aren't they? NNSA should have LANL shrunk down by over 50% in no time and all those D-grade employees being brought in as replacements are so much cheaper to hire.

Anonymous said...

That graph of Doug's is of the 2008 stock market crash. But, just as with the market's recent spectacular recovery, "irrational enthusiasm" gen'ed up by LANS PR will soon have morale appearing to quickly head upward. Right, Kevin?

Anonymous said...

All LANL needs is some more "knapp-inization" and this place will be right as rain.

I wonder where Bret Knapp is going to be placed after he's finalized his latest task of destroying X Division?

Hey, maybe he'll be our next Director! Mikey likes him.

Anonymous said...

According to the plot, we have not yet encountered any resistance to further downward trending. No support in sight. It's still a Bear market at LANL.

Anonymous said...

New Russian missile failure sparks UFO frenzy

AFP - Dec 12th, 2009

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia's new nuclear-capable missile suffered another failed test launch, the defence ministry said Thursday, solving the mystery of a spectacular plume of white light that appeared over Norway.

The Bulava missile was test-fired from the submarine Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea early Wednesday but failed at the third stage, the defence ministry said in a statement.

...This was the 12th test launch of the Bulava and the seventh time the firing has ended in failure, the Interfax news agency said.

The submarine-launched missile is central to Russia's plan to revamp its ageing weapons arsenal but is beset by development problems.

The previous failure in July forced the resignation of Yury Solomonov, the director of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology which is responsible for developing the missile.

Felgenhauer said that it had dealt a serious blow to Russia's bid to maintain a credible nuclear deterrent.

"By the year 2030, Russia could lose its position as a global nuclear power if the problems are not solved. And it could be that these missiles will never fly properly.

"The Russian defense industry has disintegrated to such an extent that it simply cannot make such a complicated system work. Technology and expertise have been lost," he said.

---------------

Hmmm, disintegrating weapons expertise of a former super power... sound familiar to anybody?

How's that 20 year delayed "success" of DAHRT going for ya, NNSA? I'm sure your highly upbeat contractor employees working under the careful eyes of LANS & Bechtel will have any future problems fixed in no time at all. Or, perhaps not. It may be easier just to cover things up and pretend all's well.

Maybe the US can even beat the Russian in the race to nuclear weapons incompetence by 2030. Think of it as a new Arms Race... done in reverse.

Anonymous said...

From today's LANL web page, more roll'in and cascade'in is apparently headed our way:


Rollout continues on Employee Engagement Survey results (Dec 12)

"In September, the Lab concluded its first Employee Engagement Survey in more than five years. Shortly after, the Lab’s senior executive team were the first to hear the results as part of a plan to cascade the results to the workforce along with action-planning discussions. The briefings and discussions for division leaders, part of phase two of the most recent in a series of Leadership Summits, conclude today.

The rollout process will now center on the executive team and the division leaders prioritizing the number of institutional issues from among those identified during their action-planning sessions."

Anonymous said...

"Also, the survey results for question #36 lists a different question than was posted to the blog back in September. I have no explanation for this."

Notice that questions 27 and 36 now have the same wording but different results. Typo?

Anonymous said...

“Maybe the US can even beat the Russian in the race to nuclear weapons incompetence by 2030. Think of it as a new Arms Race... done in reverse.12/10/09 4:27 PM”

Oh no, no, no 4:47 PM. There’s no reason to worry about incompetence & disintegrating weapons expertise , we’re simply going to outlaw all nukes. As reported today...

“The World Court project and other efforts at The Hague, to outlaw nuclear weapons has made important progress. There could be hardly a more auspicious turning point in global security and in civic opinion on these truly horrific weapons.”

Ok, now let's move on to the really big "weatherization" program.

Anonymous said...

12/10/09 4:31 PM ..."The rollout process will now center on the executive team and the division leaders prioritizing the number of institutional issues from among those identified during their action-planning sessions."

What the fuck does that mean exactly?

Anonymous said...

Well, clearly the survey is just the result of a few malcontents!

Anonymous said...

IMO one of the key questions buried in the list is: "I plan to be working here five years from now." Less than 65% of those responding agreed with that statement. If that turns out to be the case, that's some serious turnover/retirements, as well as some nice PBI cash.

Anonymous said...

8:31, I think that means the executive team is blaming/reaming the DLs for the dismal survey results.

Anonymous said...

I knew I shouldn't have looked...

http://www.iim-edu.org/dysfunctionalleadershipdysfunctionalorganizations/index.htm

Anonymous said...

I guess, everyone acts as if this is a suprise and that floors me. At LANL I always believed myself to be below the bar, but this was no shocker to me.

Those that could do something were just to damn lazy, the remainer were comfortable resting between their ass cheeks.

Anonymous said...

Did it say anywhere what was the per-cent of responses?

I remember one GL about 5 years ago who would call a group meeting and make everybody fill out the Upward Appraisal at the meeting. Had I been in the group, I would have trashed the GL in the appraisal!

Anonymous said...

10:33 PM, certainly. And tasking the DL's to fix the problem so Mikey can continue to get his bonuses.

Anonymous said...

Had the survey been mandatory, like all the bullshit training we are forced to endure in the name of safety and security improvement, the results would have been much much lower. The only thing that saved LANS was the fact that about half of the people didn't even bother to fill it out.

LANS has accomplished it's mission. Job one - make money for Bechtel (check). Job two - tell NNSA how wonderful they are in a mutual admiration society sort of way (check). Job three - ensure that Livermore gets it's share of the stockpile work and then some (check). Job four - reduce the pension liability by driving out all the senior staff (check). Job five - replace genuine expertise with Bechtialian construction engineering (check).

Anonymous said...

Doug, New Post Please:

Death of the student program at LANL!

Terry Wallace made it clear when started his tenure as PAD for STE that he hated the Student Program by eliminating student housing.

As of November 2009, there has been a Mandatory Hiring Freeze on Students at LANL.

Everyone needs to thank the upper management team and especially Terry - our PAD leader for Science! Indeed, LANS has a plan to make LANL grand!

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that there is a hiring freeze for students. That is outrageous.

Anonymous said...

"As of November 2009, there has been a Mandatory Hiring Freeze on Students at LANL." - 8:59 AM

Don't worry, it's just preparation for the coming layoffs that LANS and NNSA have planned for LANL.

Anonymous said...

There is a hiring freeze for all categories, and it came from the Director. It was communicated in an Oct 29 memo that went to all managers and admins, so if you didn't hear about it, blame your group leader. The essence was:

"I have asked each Principal Associate Director (PAD) to develop a hiring blueprint for their respective organizations. I will review each of the PAD blueprints and approve projected hires that align with the strategic direction of the Laboratory. The PADs will be developing these blueprints through a process that is reflective of their work scope and is consistent with a set of staffing principles that were agreed to at a recently held senior leadership planning session.

Until I have reviewed and approved all the respective blueprints, external hiring will be restricted and will require my approval before an employment offer can be made. I expect that the PAD-specific blueprints will be approved over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, job offers that have been accepted and/or extended as of October 20, 2009 will be honored."

Anonymous said...

I have been here for 30 years and thus have seen many hiring freezes. They always seem to find that is essential to hire people into the overhead groups but that we can always get by without hiring physicists, engineers, and technicians.

Anonymous said...

Hiring freezes have always been bullshit!

Anonymous said...

Anastasio, the Ewok, didn't specify what a "hiring blueprint" is, so nobody knows what to do.

Help!

Anonymous said...

This hiring freeze occurred at the same time that W-Division suffered a $50M budget shortfall. This is Bret "Mongo" Knapp's Division. It will all come back on you Bret, in one form or another. What you gonna do when they come for you, bad boy, bad boy...

Anonymous said...

If it is so bad at LANL, then vote with your feet like I did during the VROF in 2007/08. Otherwise, don't complain, get to work, and stop wasting our tax dollars spending time posting on this blog during work hours (7:44 am, 8:56am, 8:58am, 9:05am, 10:06 am, etc...) Frank, you are doing a good job trying to be objective with so many juveniles posting to this blog. I would like to see more discussion about what is posted on the www.dnfsb.gov website as well as the issues identified on the Priority List.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the laboratory has no strategic direction...which would require leadership! I need people for some of my projects but cannot hire them because of the freeze BS. Additionally, there is no efficiency created by common work practices, so each effort has to have its own support people. Bottom line, we have a bloated structure, broken systems, and too many expensive people here not contributing. Congress should stop funding make work projects like LANCE-R and other useless efforts.

Anonymous said...

IMO one of the key questions buried in the list is: "I plan to be working here five years from now." "Less than 65% of those responding agreed with that statement.
--12/10/09 10:04 PM

Not to worry. 100% of current management plans to be here.

Anonymous said...

The Response Average is the rating average, which is the sum of all the answers divided by the number of respondents for that question.

Anonymous said...

Well, having supplied the data to Doug for posting, I have to say I'm really disappointed you all have been so lazy about analyzing results. (Maybe it's true all the A students have left?) Some of the old survey data is still available from the Newsbulletin archives. So for example:

"I am proud to be associated with the Laboratory"
1997: 82% agree
2004: 79% agree
2009: 66% agree (now "I am proud to tell people I work for the Laboratory")

"Morale in my group is high"
1997: 45%
2004: 40%
2009: 28% ("Morale of my coworkers is good" - note the bar appears to be lowered from "high" to "good").

Also:
2009: 46% agree that "My morale at work is good."

2004: 78% "My work gives me a sense of personal accomplishment"
2009: 66% "My work is rewarding"

2004: 66% "Employees are treated with respect, regardless of position"
2009: 49% "Employees are treated with respect"

2004: 60% "Satisfied with my overall compensation incl benefits2009: 62% "Satisfied with my overall compensation incl benefits"
(Perhaps the only category that's held steady)

2004: 64% "Lab keeps me informed about matters affecting me"
2009: 49% "I feel well-informed about events/decisions/news that affect my job"

2004: 69% "Would recommend Los Alamos as good place to work
2009: 63% "The Laboratory is a good place to work"

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the laboratory has no strategic direction...which would require leadership! I need people for some of my projects but cannot hire them because of the freeze BS. Additionally, there is no efficiency created by common work practices, so each effort has to have its own support people. Bottom line, we have a bloated structure, broken systems, and too many expensive people here not contributing. Congress should stop funding make work projects like LANCE-R and other useless efforts.

12/12/09 7:12 AM


Some things that need to go are LANCE, T-Division, Mag Lab, EES,
LDRD, DARHT, MST, P-divsion some of C-Division, CINT, and B-Division. What is really done in these groups? Why are they at LANL? Also why do we have threat reduction at LANL? It could be done cheaper and better at other places. I think CCS division should be moved to OakRidge where they would do much better. In fact in many ways we should take much of what is left and combine it with LLNL. It would be much cheaper, for more easy to manage, way more secure, and would probably be much more effective. The nation wins and the tax-payer wins. As for science if the people move on to other places they will probably be able to do much better science so they to would win. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

10:45 AM, I see no evidence that you are aiming for irony with your post. So let's see... you want to get rid of the civilian science, get rid of the threat reduction work. And we know Bret Knapp is already getting rid of the defense programs activities.

So, you must work in the Project Management Directorate? Or maybe HR or CFO or (heaven help us) the Badge Office? Do you understand that if we shut down all of the technical work at LANL, your own services will no longer be required?

Anonymous said...

"So, you must work in the Project Management Directorate? Or maybe HR or CFO or (heaven help us) the Badge Office? Do you understand that if we shut down all of the technical work at LANL, your own services will no longer be required?

12/12/09 11:42 AM"

I think the better response would be to try and show why 10:45AM is wrong rather than just saying that they might be out of a job. The 10:45AM post is over the top but some valid points are raised.

Anonymous said...

10:45 am pontificates a lot, but provides little substance and indicates that he/she doesn't even know what most of LANL's organizations do... talk about a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

But fine, let's start with the Threat Reduction work. Much of it relies on an understanding of nuclear weapons design principles and/or phenomenology. What university possesses this knowlege?

EES? How about the seismologists from the weapons program, who are now applying their expertise to Test Ban Treaty verification?

MST? Ever think that there might be materials science and engineering required for nuclear weapons design and maintenance?

P Division? Um, gee, instrumentation for stockpile certification experiments?

Are you starting to get the concept that not everything can be done at a university?

Anonymous said...

"I will review each of the PAD blueprints and approve projected hires that align with the strategic direction of the Laboratory." (The Fuzzy Ewok)


From the looks of it, any future "strategic hires" will probably be pointed in the area of D&D (demolition and disposal). LANS is, indeed, the shut down crew!

Meanwhile, as NNSA and the weapon labs are slowly being starved of funding, today's news out of Washington indicated that non-defense areas of government are going to be receiving huge funding boosts for next year.

Snagging a research job at one of the DOE energy labs just keeps looking better and better. LANL is dead.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that almost all of the recent front covers of LANL's monthly "Currents" magazine seem to involve people associated with construction/hard-hat activities?

Hint, hint...

Anonymous said...

"I will review each of the PAD blueprints and approve projected hires that align with the strategic direction of the Laboratory." (The Fuzzy Ewok)


Like the earlier poster indicated. The PAD in charge of students ... Terry Wallace ... does not see student hires as important. He finally set off what he started when he took on the PADSTE job and bit by bit he has killed off the student program at LANL. Stick a fork in it - done! What next, the postdoc program?

Anonymous said...

I'm new to LANL and still trying to
understand how it operates.
I'm wondering if it is possible for LANL to change its personnel fundamentally to concentrate on new program or new mission.
There have been many discussions on new direction the lab needs to take but I'm wondering if it is realistic to expect the lab to change its character without changing the large part of its workforce.

Anonymous said...

"There have been many discussions on new direction the lab needs to take but I'm wondering if it is realistic to expect the lab to change its character without changing the large part of its workforce.

12/13/09 1:39 PM"

You need to change the workforce. If you just hire scientists and engineers you will just end up with the same problems, so no science or engineering. However I am not even sure that will work since you will still have security issues and safety issues. So the best thing is to not have a workforce.

Anonymous said...

"So the best thing is to not have a workforce." - 6:31 PM


I'm working on that. Have you see my amazingly low morale survey results? Next year will be even better (i.e., lower)!

- MIKEY

Anonymous said...

1:39 PM:

LANS' Bechtel "leaders" believe that scientists and engineers are commodities that can be exchanged on a whim but, while that might be true for building airports and leaky tunnels, it certainly isn't true for cutting-edge National Security missions. The caliber of employee needed simply can't be hired at will. These people have other options at other places to work with, undoubtedly, much better work environments than LANS has created at LANL.

Realistically, given LANS' horrible reputation, to change LANL's mission will take time and investment in retraining the existing workforce with only limited (very high cost) strategic hiring possible. Unfortunately, LANS' astronomically high costs makes that all but impossible.

Anonymous said...

6:31 PM - like always, you make no sense, no sense at all. You must be a pathetic sociopath. Your endless hatred and whining is tiresome. Here's some advice; seek medical help, help of the psychiatric kind.

Anonymous said...

10:52 AM: "The caliber of employee needed simply can't be hired at will. These people have other options at other places to work with, undoubtedly, much better work environments than LANS has created at LANL."

So... why are they still here? I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

Dilbert from Dec. 12

Anonymous said...

8:23 They like working with you.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to LANL and still trying to
understand how it operates.
I'm wondering if it is possible for LANL to change its personnel fundamentally to concentrate on new program or new mission.
There have been many discussions on new direction the lab needs to take but I'm wondering if it is realistic to expect the lab to change its character without changing the large part of its workforce.

12/13/09 1:39 PM

Let me make you aware of something. LANS Management is continuing to force-out professional office workers into new and exciting opportunities in the area of clean-up of Los Alamos legacy waste and waste sites. Not only is it realistic but real. Grab yourself a pair of rubber gloves and coveralls, welcome to Los Alamos. Also, get ready to peg your dosimeter.