Original Date: 07/25/2005
Revision Date: 09/12/2006
Best Practice : Learning and Development Program
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ Learning and Development Program has evolved into one of the most diverse learning and advancement programs in industry today. This program allows Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems to promote qualified individuals from within the company to fill key roles. The continuing investment in educating and training its employees contributes to the company’s low employee turnover rate of less than 4% and is one of the main reasons Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems is an industry leader.
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ (NGES’) management initiated a development philosophy for its employees as demonstrated by the Learning and Development Program. This program has been revamped and has changed dramatically within the last four years with the addition of “Leading One Northrop Grumman,” “Employee Development Framework,” “Visibility to Key Talent” (within the company) and the “Workforce Development” and “Continuing Education” Programs. NGES’ development philosophy has a strong sector commitment that promotes a shared responsibility between the employee and management. Individual development is tailored to meet strategic business needs and focuses on an employee’s strengths and desired career paths. All employees are held accountable for their development, and the plan is noted in their appraisals. The manner by which an individual learns best is taken into consideration when choosing a training or development path from more than 80 available options. Development parameters are set at a minimum of 24 hours of training for managers and 16 hours for all other employees, with a development budget of $500 per employee. This commitment has been proven by an average of 20.7 hours for managers, 19.3 hours for all other employees, and a $6.4 million tuition-only investment in the NGES workforce in 2004.
The “Leading One Northrop Grumman” Program was designed to create a common leadership culture within all divisions of the company. This program includes targeted populations of managers from many levels as well as program managers, high-potential employees, and executive leadership.
The “Employee Development Framework” Program is designed as an integrated system to identify and address development needs and priorities. A comprehensive portfolio of courses and initiatives with tailored programs for the entire workforce is available on the Intranet and through Human Resources.
Visibility to Key Talent” is a new initiative that was originally offered to 900 Leadership Development Process individuals and then expanded to project management personnel. This program consists of a profile of each employee selected and includes their work history, education, experience, credentials, program management experience, development initiatives, languages, specialties, and other pertinent career information. When a position opens or a new project is launched, a database search of qualified current employees is performed to find the best available candidates. With the program’s success to date, it is expected to be expanded even more to cover employees in other sectors of the company.
Workforce Development” is one of the most diverse of all the Learning and Development programs offered at NGES. Participants are the future managers who will make the decisions for the next group of employees. This program has a learning resource guide of 70 business and behavioral courses in finance, international business, radar concepts, personal effectiveness, leadership, communications, and a diverse choice of other courses to meet employees’ development needs. The program also offers technical training for engineers, operations technical training, and e-Learning, with more than 2,000 computer-based training courses available anytime, anywhere.
Continuing Education Programs” are set up in conjunction with local schools and universities that include a School of Continuing Professional Studies (Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Loyola). These studies can take place on-site or be after-hours courses and are offered as a masters of science in systems engineering or technical management or as a masters degree in electrical engineering.
The low employee turnover rate at NGES can be attributed to the diverse learning opportunities available to NGES employees that enable them to remain current in the latest technologies, offering the opportunity for improvement, higher education, and the ability to advance to positions of greater responsibility in their respective jobs..
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