At Sunrise Residential Treatment Center we are very aware of the Climate and Culture within the milieu and within our organization. In seeking to understand Climate and Culture we need to first understand what they are.

What is Organizational Culture

Organizational Climate is defined according to Aarons et al. (2012) “Organizational Climate is defined as the employees’ perceptions of the psychological impact of the work environment on their own well-being and functioning in the organization” (p. 6). The authors stated further “An organizational climate is formed when employees in the same organizational unit share similar perceptions about the psychological impact of their work environment” (p.6).

There are many external factors that impact the perceptions and attitudes of employees in and organization. One external factor that has impacted the attitudes and perceptions of employees within my organization is the hiring of new employees Glisson (2009) stated “If new employees are selected who share tendencies to perceive their work environments either more positively or more negatively, the organization climate is affected by the perceptions that are shared by the new employees.” (p.130, 2009).

Culture at Sunrise

In the residential setting at Sunrise we are constantly trying to measure and monitor the climate among clients as they impact one another so readily.  As discussed it is just as vital to monitor the climate and culture of the organization due to a direct correlation in the outcomes for clients and the successful implementation of evidence-based practices.

Glisson & Green reported “Poor organizational climates reduce caseworkers’ capacities for helping maltreated children by increasing job-related stress, contributing to high caseworker turnover rates, and depersonalizing the relationships they develop with their clients. This is supported by two preliminary studies showing that positive organizational climates in child welfare systems are associated with improved child outcomes” (p.583). It is critical to be aware of the external factors within the organization that impact climate and culture due to the direct impact it has on client outcomes

In selecting a Residential Treatment Program it is critical to have an organization that not only measure outcomes of their students and families but also measures themselves in regards to Climate and Culture within the Milieu and the organization as both directly impact one another. I am grateful to work in an organization that understands both organizational and milieu climate and culture.

– written by Brad Simpson, LCSW, Clinical Director


Aarons, G. A., Glisson, C., Green, P. D., Hoagwood, K., Kelleher, K. J., Landsverk, J. A., & Research Network on Youth Mental Health. (2012). The organizational social context of mental health services and clinician attitudes toward evidence-based practice: a United States national study. Implementation Science, 7(1), 56.

Glisson, C., & Green, P. (2011). Organizational climate, services, and outcomes in child welfare systems. Child abuse & neglect, 35(8), 582-591.

Glisson, C. (2009). Organizational climate and Culture and performance in the human services. In Rino J. Patti (Ed.), The Handbook of human services management (pp. 119 -141). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.