As an HR professional with over 30-years of leadership experience, I can tell you this pandemic has required more united action and swift response than any I’ve been a part of. Almost overnight, millions of people worldwide had to adopt a new way of working, and with many schools closed for the foreseeable future and many families now juggling daily caregiver responsibilities while balancing their professional work, or the stark reality of no longer having a place to report for work.
During this unprecedented period challenging the world’s health and economy, Verizon stands ready to support our employees and serve our customers - many of whom are part of the community of public safety and healthcare professionals that put their lives at risk every day. There are some clear themes that have emerged for us during this challenging time, and learnings around how brands and business leaders are using this new normal to communicate to their customers - and their employees - in new and meaningful ways. People first
This is an opportunity for companies to throw out the rule book and find new, creative ways to support their employees. Now is the time to fight hard for your people. Being visible, transparent and communicative is also vitally important. There's no room for hiding in this type of crisis when employees are leaning on their companies for direction. And, there's no excuse for poor communication when we have so many channels to foster a vibrant virtual community.
To keep our V Team even more connected and informed,Hans Vestberg, Verizon CEO, as well as other leaders in the company , host a live broadcast called Up To Speed. Our broadcast video series airs Monday through Friday at 12pm EST and is accessible not only to all of our employees, but also externally via Twitter and on our website. Responsible, mindful marketing
At Verizon, we quickly prioritized what's important and valuable to consumers during this critical time and carefully reviewed all elements in play to ensure we hit the right messages at the right times to keep our customers informed, involved and educated. For example, we focused on expanding our efforts to aid consumers dealing with work-from-home and shelter-in-place realities. We provided new relief offers to those customers including free access to educational apps
and free premium content. We also provided relief in the form of waived late fees, extra data and new low-cost internet options for those that need it most. We also entered into a partnership with The New York Times to expand access to the paper to 14M high school students
during this challenging time. Pay it forward
Small businesses are being impacted in extraordinary ways, which is why it’s more important than ever for companies and customers to help others get through the hardships being created by the COVID-19 crisis.
With this in mind, Verizon created Pay it Forward Live
, a weekly streaming entertainment series that includes music, gaming, comedy and more in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19. Pay it Forward Live gives all Americans an opportunity to help their favorite small businesses survive this unprecedented hardship. Understanding the toll of small businesses closing their doors to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Verizon will donate $2.5 million to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC).
To be sure, the lasting effects of this pandemic will linger and become a chapter in the next generation's history books. I hope the stories go beyond the challenges we faced, to include how we, as brand marketers and business leaders, showed up for our customers, employees and society.
Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer