It is rare today to find a company that does not have a statement of values, a mission statement or a published code of conduct to be found somewhere on its website and in its employee handbook. Verizon is no exception.
What makes Verizon different than many other corporations is that it puts its statement of values first and foremost in the public eye, making it practically a marketing tool. Not only is the Verizon mission statement, or credo, prominent on the corporate website but Verizon makes a YouTube video about its values on an annual basis.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Verizon's values statement encompasses service, customer focus, teamwork, integrity, performance and living up to its values.
Verizon Core Values
The company's values are listed in the Verizon credo, a 468-word statement included in the Verizon code of conduct 2019 and 2020. The credo is based on six fundamental principles:
- Service: The company has work because its customers value its high-quality services.
- Customer focus: Verizon focuses on customer needs rather than its own.
- Teamwork: Verizon embraces diversity and personal development.
- Integrity: The company adheres to sound business practices.
- Performance: Bureaucracy is an enemy to a large company.
- Values: Everything the company does is based on its values.
The credo ends with the statement, "We know our best was good for today. Tomorrow we'll do better." Employees and management alike have described the company's credo as being inspirational and empowering.
In the event that an employee, customer or member of the public finds the company is violating this credo, he can contact the company directly. Verizon ethics complaints are handled by the Verizon Office of Ethics and Business Conduct, which anyone can contact by calling its toll-free number provided on the Verizon website.
Putting Words Into Action
How a corporation says it behaves isn't always a reflection of how it conducts itself. It's all too easy for a company to develop a mission statement or a statement of values, laminate it and place it on the break room bulletin board, where it can be largely ignored.
In Verizon's case, reviews by employees on Glassdoor and other forums are largely positive. In 2020, it has a score of 70% on Glassdoor, with an approval rating of its CEO, Hans Vestberg, at 65%. Rival company AT&T has a company rating of only 57%, while its CEO has an approval rating of just 51% on the same website.
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is an international organization that monitors human rights abuses and tracks the policies and performance of over 9,000 companies in 180 countries. It has given Verizon a score of 80%, which is higher than the average of 73% among all other companies. AT&T, by comparison, has a rating of 71%.
Value Statements and Corporate Responsibility
This isn't to say that Verizon's conduct is always unblemished. In 2018, for example, the company came under fire when the Federal Trade Commission investigated Verizon for slowing down the data speeds of a California fire department, impacting its emergency services during a wildfire. While the company maintained that this was due to a customer support mistake, Verizon was criticized for allegedly coercing the fire department to upgrade to a more expensive plan.
However, since a similar incident has not been reported since then, one may conclude that, for the most part, the company does make the effort to live up to its credo. Compare Verizon's credo to the motto once famously used by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg: "Move fast and break things." While it's entirely possible for a company to say one thing about its values while doing other things entirely, a strong statement of values does provide employees and managers with a starting point.
- Verizon: Code of Conduct and Credo
- KelloggInsight: Does Your Company Actually Live Its Values?
- YouTube: Verizon: Verizon's Credo Through the Eyes of Our Employees
- Verizon: Your Code of Conduct
- Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Company Response Rates
- Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: Verizon
- Glassdoor: Verizon Reviews
- Glassdoor: AT&T Reviews
- Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: AT&T
- The Hill: Verizon’s California Data Throttling Offers Ethical Lessons for Companies
A published author, David Weedmark has advised businesses on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years and used to teach computer science at Algonquin College. He is currently the owner of Mad Hat Labs, a web design and media consultancy business. David has written hundreds of articles for newspapers, magazines and websites including American Express, Samsung, Re/Max and the New York Times' About.com.