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On today's Up To Speed, see how our Compliance and Ethics teams help employees handle tough situations.
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On today’s episode of Up To Speed, Katie was joined by Greg Harris and Steve Helvin from the Compliance and Ethics group. They shared the following updates.
The Compliance and Ethics group
The Compliance team’s mission is to protect Verizon - and individual V Teamers - by creating a culture of integrity and accountability. Within Verizon Compliance, this group works with V Teamers at all levels to understand the legal and ethical risks we face across the company and around the globe - using non-legalese language that anyone can understand.
“I’m incredibly proud of Verizon’s culture,” said Greg. “Our values are on display every day here on Up to Speed. We see Hans dedicate Verizon to social responsibility and racial equality. Our leaders operate with an incredible level of transparency. And the Compliance team also sees what goes on when our leaders aren’t in front of a camera - the moments when they make difficult choices that reflect our values.”
“But a true culture of integrity needs to go deeper than the senior leadership team,” Greg pointed out. “We need V Teamers - all 130,000+ of us - to recognize ethical challenges and make the right choices every day.”
Christy Pambianchi discusses the three types of ethical situations when it is important for each of us to speak up in her recent article Integrity Matters.
An unexpected “gift”
Terry Shank, a Network Engineer in the Oregon territory, has worked for Verizon for 35 years. He was recently having lunch with a vendor about the potential of extending contracts when the vendor congratulated Terry on his birthday and slipped an envelope in his pocket. “It’s our gift for considering us for the work.”
Terry later found the envelope contained $1,000 which made him very uncomfortable. He told his boss and they contacted the Ethics office and explained the situation. As Terry expected, he was told to return to the money. He was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to work with the ethics office. “It was a very good experience. It made me feel good.” said Terry.
Terry urges V Teamers approached by someone offering anything that could be considered a bribe to tell their supervisor. “It’s not only the company’s reputation at stake. It’s your career. The money is not worth losing your job,” said Terry. “There are people that can help you.”
Steve Helvin, who worked with Terry on this case, points out that folks who work in the Ethics office like himself understand how difficult it can be to raise concerns, and that when you do “your matter will be handled appropriately and with common sense.”
Khurram Gore, Associate General Counsel, was working with a group of college students at his alma mater, Stevens Institute in New Jersey. The students were taking a platform that they had created related to rockets and using it to create a business that would help companies and academics do microgravity research. “They reached out to me and asked if I would like to join their advisory board,” said Khurram. “I checked with Ethics and everyone was very excited for me.”
“This was such a cool thing to be able to look into,” said Steve. “We have an attorney who is going to be on the board of a rocket company! Of course we want to permit that. It's a win for everyone if we can get to a 'yes' that's within the guardrails of our integrity standards.”
How to contact the Ethics group
The Ethics team is available 24/7, anytime you need them, worldwide. You can reach them at email@example.com, by phone, on the web - and you can contact anyone in the Compliance organization directly any time.
In September, the Compliance and Ethics office will be releasing the 2020 Code of Conduct training, which focuses on privacy and information security--along with topics like conflicts of interest and social media guidelines.
Today at 3 PM ET/12 PM PT, tune in to the next episode in our #Next20 series which you can watch here. Centered around the issues that will define the next 20 years, #Next20 conversations feature up and coming and established changemakers talking about the inspiration behind their action.
In this episode, Sibile Marcellus from Yahoo Finance hosts a two-part panel on how small businesses can rise up and rebuild with visionaries Kezia Williams, CEO of the Black upStart, and Elizabeth Gore, co-founder of Hello Alice, as well as small business owners Lyndsey Brantley, CEO of Camellia Alise, and Michelle Swittenberg, co-founder of BRWL Studio.
Hope to keep your Edge
To keep the learning going all summer long, check out the latest additions to the MyEdge and Leadership Edge summer playlists. MyEdge has a new conversation with Eli Brueggemann, the musical director and composer for Saturday Night Live. And in the latest installment of Leadership Edge Radio, Bart Bailey of Courage to Care shares how empathy and an appreciation for humanity can positively change the world.
That’s it for now. Until next time, you’re up to speed.
If you have any questions, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for a transcript of the webcast.
Reminder, tune in to Up To Speed Live tomorrow at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT.