Culture Enhancements

Champion enhancements that enable a more positive and productive work environment through inclusive staff engagement, respectful behaviors, and learning opportunities that are the foundation for safe, secure, compliant, and quality performance of our missions.

LANL approaches its national-security mission through cultivating a culture where how we work is as important as what we do. This culture is embodied in our institutional values of service, integrity, teamwork, and excellence.

This Critical Outcome focuses on nurturing these values, relying on continuous learning to strengthen our cultural foundation at the individual, leadership, and institutional levels. This Critical Outcome supports all four of the Laboratory's Strategic Objectives in accomplishing our mission: Nuclear Deterrence, Threat Reduction, Technical Leadership, and Trustworthy Operations.

In FY23, we made progress in several areas: (1) held disciplined ops meetings with all levels of managers; (2) created a Manager QuickStart training program with more than 100 managers completing the program; (3) improved job ads to increase reach and diversity of candidates, which resulted in increased hiring rates across the Laboratory; (4) supported employee resource groups to promote a culture that aligns with Laboratory values; (5) launched an initiative to increase the number of gender-neutral bathrooms available to employees (197 bathrooms converted thus far); (6) reduced the number of requirements for first line managers (FLMs); (7) upgraded the MOV (Management Observation and Verification) system to the ECHO (Engage, Communicate, Hear, and Observe) system to increase trust and employee engagement across organizational boundaries; (8) implemented improvements recommended by the Worker, Environment, Safety, and Security teams (WESST); and (9) provided nested safety talks across the Laboratory.

In FY24, we will build on these successes through three Supporting Initiatives.

Supporting Initiatives

  1. Continue to evolve and enhance a Lab-wide culture of teaming and collaborative behaviors based on LANL values (service, integrity, teamwork, and excellence) and update the behavioral goals in performance planning and goal setting to match those values.
  2. Annually measure and document Laboratory culture maturity with a focus on sustained improvement in four areas:
    1. Leadership, where the leadership team, through disciplined operations and responsible line manager engagement, demonstrates and models a commitment to transforming culture.
    2. Continue Laboratory leadership commitment to investing in FLMs, allowing them to engage and communicate directly with their employees more often; implement ECHO; and create and review metrics to measure areas of improvement.
    3. Incorporate/integrate into Disciplined Operations sessions, the Director’s Leadership Development Program, and the Executive Leadership Development Program an in-person engagement program that places our best leaders in front of our FLMs to mentor, model, and train. Focusing on reinforcement of our Lab values and being committed to completing the mission in a manner consistent with those values.
    4. Enhance employee engagement with shared and integrated improvement actions across LANL, including through the efforts and network of the WESST; create integrated program office(s) in ESHQ/DPP focused on safety, security, performance improvement, and wellness, leveraging existing institutional strengths.
  3. Communicate changes made in response to the 2022 DuPont survey and conduct a 2024 survey. Make survey results available to the workforce in a timely manner and take action based on feedback.
    1. Improve feedback/ensure organizational learning, with demonstrated excellence in safety, security, quality, and compliance by adhering to the LANL values. Increase integration of Lab value goals and deliverable/milestone goals, providing the workforce with guidance on writing actionable goals that reflect “how we do our work is as important as what we do.”
    2. Develop focused and comprehensive training that integrates current training in areas related to Laboratory values, e.g., ethics, and expand to include those areas not currently covered, e.g., fraud prevention.

primary Strategic Objectives

Trustworthy Operations - Consistently demonstrate and be recognized by diverse stakeholders for trusted and trustworthy operations.

Technical Leadership - Deliver scientific discoveries and technical breakthroughs to advance relevant research frontiers and anticipate emerging national security risks.

Threat Reduction - Anticipate persistent and emerging threats to global security; develop and deploy revolutionary tools to detect, deter, and respond proactively.

secondary Strategic Objective

Nuclear Deterrence - Lead the nation in evaluating, developing, and ensuring effectiveness of our nuclear deterrent, including the design, production, and certification of current and future nuclear weapons.