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Organizational Culture Evaluations

ORAU's Center for Safety Studies provides independent source for safety, security and quality culture evaluations

Does your organizational culture promote excellent performance?

Do your leaders send the message that safety, security, and quality are absolutes that will not be compromised?

If you are not completely confident in your answers to these questions, you may decide that an evaluation of your organizational culture would be beneficial. ORAU’s Center for Safety Studies can help. Our team of subject matter experts has extensive experience in culture evaluations for the nuclear, chemical and other high-hazard industries.

ORAU’s interdisciplinary team of former executives, health and safety professionals, industrial/organizational psychologists, engineers, biostatisticians and data scientists provide independent analysis of your situation to help you make management decisions based on facts. Feedback from your employees through interviews, focus groups, surveys, and observations help you solve labor relations issues and concerns about safety. When organizational culture issues are identified and addressed, your workforce is more engaged, more productive and provides greater responsiveness to your customers.

  • Two workers inspecting work site safety

    What is safety culture?

    Safety culture is an organization’s values and behaviors modeled by its leaders and internalized by its members, which serve to make safe performance of work the overriding priority to protect the workers, the public and the environment.

  • Safety staff testing a work environment for radiation

    What is a safety conscious work environment?

    A safety conscious work environment is a work environment in which employees feel free to raise safety concerns to management (and/or regulator) without fear of retaliation.

What we offer

  • Safety culture evaluations
  • Nuclear safety culture evaluations
  • Security culture evaluations
  • Safety analyses
  • Independent assessments
  • Employee satisfaction surveys

Industries we serve

(including North American Industry Classification System Code)

  • Utilities (221)
  • Construction of Buildings (236)
  • Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (237)
  • Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing (324)
  • Chemical Manufacturing (325)
  • Primary Metals Manufacturing (331)
  • Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (332)
  • Pipeline Transportation (486)
  • Telecommunications (517)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (541)
  • Waste Management and Remediation Services (562)
  • Hospitals (622)
  • Space Research and Technology (927)
  • National Security and International Affairs (928)
  • Be Respected - make me a part of the conversation. Inform me of changes before they are implemented and ask for my input. I may have ideas to make things better.

    5 reasons your organizational culture may be in trouble

    Wondering why your organization is not performing as expected? 

    Your employees know the answer.

  • Make a Difference - Be Respected - A Sense of Stability - Fairness - Be recognized as an individual

    Employees need five basic conditions met to thrive in an organization

    When employees are unhappy and disengaged, it is the result of one or more of five basic conditions not being met. These include employees’ desire to make a difference, be respected, have a sense of stability, be treated with fairness and be recognized as an individual. When these five conditions are fulfilled, their perceptions and attitudes are more positive, and their performance is more likely to meet or exceed expectations.

  • Make a Difference - I want to be part of the solution. Nobody wakes up with the thought Today I just want to be average. Help me succeed.

    Making a difference

    The vast majority of people really want to be successful. Most people want to make a difference. They want to be part of the solution. Nobody wakes up with the thought, “Today, I just want to be average.” If employees understand the bigger picture and see how they fit in, they will be more engaged and contribute more to the team. If management keeps them in the dark, employees will do their job, but nothing more.

  • cube-respected.jpg

    Being respected

    People want to feel respected. They wanted to be included in the conversation. They want managers to ask for their input. They want to know about changes before they are implemented. They may have ideas to make things better if someone will just ask.

  • cube-stability.jpg

    Having a sense of stability

    It is human nature to seek stability. People want to know what to expect, especially when they are surrounded by change. Employees want management to just keep them informed and tell them the truth, instead of saying one thing when something else is meant.

  • cube-fairness.jpg

    Being treated with fairness

    Employees want decisions to be fair. They want to know why something is being done a certain way. Their determination of what is fair is often influenced by hearing the reasons behind how decisions are made. They may not agree with the decision, but at least they understand why it was made.

  • cube-recognition.jpg

    Being recognized as an individual

    People want to be recognized as an individual. They want managers to get to know their unique talents and acknowledge their contributions to the organization. Paying attention to these conditions and working to ensure employees’ needs are met are the best ways to get your organizational culture back on track and improve employees’ overall performance and satisfaction.

  • Be Respected - make me a part of the conversation. Inform me of changes before they are implemented and ask for my input. I may have ideas to make things better.

    Want your own blue cube?

    Drop us a line, and we’ll ship one to you!

    Jeffrey R. Miller, PhD, CIH, CSP
    Office: 865.576.7912
    Mobile: 865.440.6337

Perception influences Attitude which drives Behavior which contributes to Performance
The relationship between perception and performance

The relationship between perception and performance

A basic question that is sometimes asked is, “why do we even care about perceptions of the workforce?” We care about the perceptions of the workforce because ultimately they impact individual performance and that impacts organizational performance.

25,000 nuclear workers surveyed on safety cultures in their workplaces

25,000 nuclear workers surveyed on safety cultures in their workplaces

ORAU has performed periodic, comprehensive evaluations of nuclear industry workforces and practices in an effort to monitor and continuously improve safety culture.

Read More

ORAU is a safety leader among government contractors

ORAU is a safety leader among government contractors

ORAU has been recognized for more than a decade as a DOE Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Site for Safety, through our management of the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy and the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site for the National Nuclear Security Administration. We have received DOE’s VPP Star of Excellence Award each year since 2005. With this tradition of safety excellence, we have helped ORISE become one of only nine DOE sites across the nation to be named a Legacy of Stars site. Learn more about the culture of Safety at ORAU.

Our Experts

Jeff Miller

Jeffrey R. Miller, Ph.D., CIH, CSP

Expertise: Occupational exposure assessment, safety culture evaluation, chronic beryllium disease worker protection programs

  • Chair, American Board of Industrial Hygiene, 2017-2018
  • Keynote speaker, International Symposium on Beryllium Particles and Detection, November 2017
  • Co-author, “Guide to Monitoring and Improving Safety Cultures,” Energy Facilities Contractors Group, April 2017
  • Team member, design team for $6.5B Uranium Processing Facility Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee
  • Presenter, American Industrial Hygiene Association, Fall Leadership Conference, October 2017
  • 14 years of senior leadership experience; six years as a CEO
Darren Smith

Darren H.F. Smith, Ph.D.

ExpertiseIndustrial/organizational psychology, organizational culture evaluation, nuclear safety culture assessments, employee engagement, surveys, data analysis and training

Smith has more than 20 years of focused experience developing and evaluating organizational culture. He is a safety culture subject matter expert, has a doctorate in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with emphasis in quantitative methods and leadership and is a recognized authority on understanding drivers of effective culture and employee engagement.

Davyda Hammond

Davyda Hammond, Ph.D.

ExpertiseEnvironmental health engineering, safety culture assessment, statistical analysis, survey administration and evaluation design

Hammond has a wide-array of experience in the planning, execution, analysis, interpretation and reporting of safety culture data as part of evaluations for DOE contractors and national laboratories. Her academic training encompasses both engineering and public health with an emphasis on environmental and worker health, research methods, and health education. She has more than 10 years of project management and statistical analysis experience obtained as an academic and Federal scientific researcher. She has presented her research at multiple national and international conferences and in several scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

Contact us

For more information or to schedule a safety culture consultation, contact Dr. Jeffrey Miller at 865.576.7912 or

For more information about contracting with ORAU, contact Angela Holmberg at 865.576.7618 or