January 2000

Last LMC ethics survey: Getting better

ORNL Ethics Officer Steve Stow has had time to crunch the numbers on the latest and probably last Lockheed Martin ethics survey conducted at ORNL. With about 25 percent of staff members responding (that’s down from 34 percent last time but still a respectable response), respondents indicate that improvements have occurred over the last two years in many areas, ranging from management communication to better morale.

But there are still areas of concern, such as incidents of observing misconduct. And many of those who said they did also said they were reluctant to report it.

“Almost half of the staff members who say they saw misconduct did not report it because of fear of management retaliation,” says Stow. “We have several places where we need to work; one of them is for management to reinforce that there will be no retaliation for reporting concerns and another is to increase staff’s faith that reprisals will not occur.”

Improvements from two years ago were numerous, however. Compared with the 1997 survey, management communication has improved, although compared with the corporation ORNL still has room to get lots better at it. Also, people are generally more satisfied with the company in terms of job satisfaction and recognition.

One related item of concern, however, is that fewer than half the respondents say they get ongoing feedback on their performance. On the other hand, almost 60 percent of respondents think their supervisor is doing a good or very good job. More than three fourths say that their direct supervisor exhibits a commitment to ethical business conduct. But perceptions dim as you go up the management ladder.

“For whatever reason, people perceive less trust as you go up the management chain, and that’s true for the entire corporation,” says Stow.

In the linked chart, questions and reponses are grouped into seven areas: morale; open environment; job satisfaction; involvement in decisions; performance recognition; satisfaction with the company; and management communication.

Ethics Resource Corporation of Washington, D.C., conducted the survey. Survey results will be on the Ethics homepage on ORNL’s internal Web, www-internal.ornl.gov/ethics/survey.html.—B.C.