Creating the Best Culture

Our Commitment to Development

Our Commitment to Development

At Northrop Grumman, we provide the tools and support to build leaders at every level. We have high expectations for our leaders, so we provide numerous avenues to learn the skills for successful career development and enhanced team performance.

The Foundation-Leadership Characteristics

The six Northrop Grumman leadership characteristics provide the foundation for skills all employees must develop to be successful and deliver top-tier, sustainable performance. Our leadership behaviors define the company culture so we give these characteristics equal consideration with performance objectives during the annual performance review process. Likewise, the leadership behaviors are also key to assessing potential in our annual 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 opportunities to support career growth and development for mentors and mentees. Our Vice President Mentor Program, launched in 2016, creates increased leadership visibility and business exposure of high-potential talent.

As the Northrop Grumman workforce evolves, we will continue to support knowledge transfer through formal and informal mentoring. In 2017, vice presidents will continue to mentor high-potential employees, and we will expand our mentoring programs to provide opportunities to develop our next generation of talent.

New Manager Program

Individual contributors promoted to manager, and newly hired managers and directors, complete the New Manager Program. The program provides information, tools and resources to clearly articulate expectations of leaders at Northrop Grumman. Coursework includes Leadership Characteristics, Northrop Grumman policies and legal and ethical obligations. In 2016, 1,209 managers completed the program.


We introduced a series of speaking engagements and learning labs to provide management with opportunities to improve effectiveness and team performance by focusing on Sustainable Performance, Best Culture and People Leadership.


In 2016, we launched the Manager Readiness Initiative that established the skills and abilities required for manager success at Northrop Grumman. We use this criteria to prepare, select and develop the best managers.

Executive Development

Our annual organizational leadership review process identifies and tracks high-potential employees. To further prepare and evaluate candidates for advancements, employees can attend a number of leadership programs including Strategic Leadership, Executive Leadership Cohort, Women in Leadership and Affinity Forum. Participants in these programs also receive one-on-one coaching and access to tools such as a 360 and executive assessments.

In 2016, we launched the Building the Best Culture program, which focused on driving awareness and advocacy for gender and People of Color inclusion through experiential learning and behavioral shifts. The program helps leaders develop critical inclusive leadership strategies, sharpen awareness of inequalities, awareness of unconscious biases and privilege and hone their skills to make a lasting, positive impact.

Professional and Technical Development

Through our annual survey and other communication channels, our employees requested more career development resources. In 2016, we launched several key initiatives to help all employees grow and develop their careers. We redesigned our Northrop Grumman Development Center, an online portal providing access to tools, guidance, and courses for professional and career development, to improve site navigation and offer more resources including thousands of online courses, videos and books available through the 24/7 online development portfolio. Additionally, we offered a career development webinar series that highlighted resources available on the Northrop Grumman Development Center.

Through the Northrop Grumman Development Center, employees can learn about key business areas by using our functional development centers. Functional development centers provide targeted experiences, exposure and education recommendations to help employees develop in and explore new opportunities in other functional areas.

Each functional development center is based on a job experience profile (JEP), which includes key capability areas critical to a specific function. The JEP serves as a guide for experience, exposure and educational activities to assist employees in identifying and accomplishing their professional development goals.

Our bi–annual Women’s Conference successfully brings together more than 400 female employees
Our bi–annual Women’s Conference, which we began in 2006, successfully brings together more than 400 female employees from all levels of the company to network, hear senior leaders discuss their unique journeys within Northrop Grumman and gain valuable insight into our strategy for sustainable top performance.