Creating the Best Culture

Since 2010, our global employees who have participated in the annual employee survey have provided feedback to improve our company culture. The survey process is managed by a third–party vendor to encourage candor and recommendations on many topics including company leadership, manager effectiveness, work environment, sustainable engagement, accountability, inclusion and career development.

2017 Annual Employee Survey

  • 84 percent of Northrop Grumman employees completed the survey.
  • Survey distribution in 40 countries and eight languages.

Overall, inclusion scores were higher than those from externally benchmarked, high-performing companies and significantly exceeded the benchmark for other aerospace and defense companies included in the survey database. Our leaders and teams worked together to use the results to create 2018 action plans.


  • African Americans Task Group (AATG)
  • Asian Pacific Professional Network (APPN)
  • Connect1NG
  • Generation to Generation
  • greeNG ERG
  • Native American Caucus (NAC)
  • Northrop Grumman Women's International Network (NGWIN)
  • One Adelante
  • Pride in Diversity Alliance (PrIDA)
  • Veterans, Employees and Reservists Inspired to Act and Serve (VERITAS)
  • Victory Over Impariment & Challenge Enterprise (VOICE)

Our employee resource groups (ERGs) exemplify diversity and inclusion and connect our team members in countless ways including internal and external outreach, professional development and community involvement. During 2017, our ERGs sponsored a speaker series with 12 sessions ranging from international leadership skills to working with introverts to community connections.

Our Commitment to Development

At Northrop Grumman, an investment in our employees is an investment in our future. We are committed to a culture of continuous learning and development where employees have the opportunity to increase their skills and capabilities, build knowledge of our business and pursue job opportunities aligned to their personal aspirations and talents. Our employees grow through job rotations and a diversity of new job experiences, technical and leadership development programs, formal and informal mentoring and visibility to senior leaders across the company.

The Foundation-Leadership Characteristics

Northrop Grumman Leadership Characteristics enable employees at all levels to strengthen their leadership skills and their ability to deliver and develop top-tier sustainable performance. These six leadership characteristics are representative of the Northrop Grumman culture. The extent to which employees demonstrate our Leadership Characteristics is considered in our hiring practices, performance review and succession planning process.


Mentoring is a valuable method for developing employees at all levels and supports our culture of performance, learning and innovation. We offer a variety of formal and informal opportunities to support career growth and development for mentors and mentees.

In its third year, the Vice President Mentor Program creates increased leadership visibility and business exposure of high-potential talent to all vice presidents. The program will continue offering mentees the opportunity to pay it forward by mentoring other high potential talent. Formal and informal mentoring provides an ideal opportunity for knowledge transfer and talent development.

Inclusive Leadership

We promote a culture of inclusive leadership by helping leaders increase awareness of inequalities and unconscious bias. Leaders develop critical inclusive leadership skills, as well as strategies and action plans to foster and promote an inclusive work environment for all employees. Leaders participate in inclusion leadership opportunities as a part of the New Manager Program and other development

New Manager Program

Highly skilled managers create a work environment that is inclusive and encourage the development of their staff to optimize individual performance and advancement opportunity. In 2017, we introduced new programs to ensure preparation, selection and development of effective new managers. Through the New Manager Program, new leaders develop skills to effectively coach, develop and maximize their team’s performance. Access to information is important for all managers, so we connect managers through an internal, online portal and help them to refine their communication skills using a variety of tools to coach and support his or her new manager’s ongoing development and transition into management at Northrop Grumman.

We empower employees to learn, explore their aspirations and proactively develop their capabilities.

Leadership Series

The Northrop Grumman Leadership Series helps vice presidents, directors, managers and technical leaders improve manager effectiveness and team performance by focusing on people leadership, sustainable performance and building the best culture. Leaders have an opportunity to hear from both external and internal keynote speakers followed by virtual, interactive sessions, where leaders learn more about business topics, ask questions and collaborate with leaders across the company. More than 8,000 leaders attend annually.

Executive Development

Our annual succession planning process identifies and develops high-potential employees. To further prepare and evaluate candidates for advancement, employees attend a number of leadership programs including Strategic Leadership, Executive Leadership Cohort, Women in Leadership and Affinity Forum. Program participants also receive one-on-one coaching and access to tools such as 360 and executive assessments. Our Building the Best Culture program helps leaders develop critical inclusive leadership strategies, as well as sharpen awareness of unconscious biases and privilege while strengthening their leadership skills.

Professional and Technical Development

As technology changes and customer needs evolve, our ability to provide strong performance, meet all commitments and to innovate is linked to our investments in employee development. The Northrop Grumman Development Center provides on-demand resources and development opportunities for employees. Our 24/7 Online Development portfolio includes thousands of courses, videos, articles and job aids to support employee development of technical and leadership capabilities. Employees who aspire to be managers benefit from development guidance and assessments that focus on building the skills required for success at Northrop Grumman.

We encourage employees to leverage Northrop Grumman Development Center resources to develop in their current roles and engage in a broader approach to career development. We empower employees to learn and explore their aspirations, assess their talents, proactively develop their capabilities and pursue opportunities aligned to their aspirations.

In 2017, we created technical academies and apprenticeships. Technical academies complement our long-standing Cyber Academy and Enterprise Analytics development offerings and up-skill our most experienced engineers and developers in critical areas such as embedded cyber, data science and artificial intelligence. In partnership with local businesses and academic institutions, our apprenticeship program for technical professionals provides “learn while you earn” opportunities, combining on-the-job training with related technical instruction. These work-based learning programs, launched formally in 2018, will be critical enablers in closing the skills gap and attracting talent. We are excited by the growing momentum around technical development.