The gloves are off: the media has reported that AT&T is suing Verizon over the company’s “There’s a Map for That” ads with the claim that the spots mislead customers as to AT&Ts overall coverage area, representing only 3G and not wireless coverage overall. While this news is not unexpected, it does come on the heels of disappointing earnings and sluggish customer growth for Verizon as the wireless giant struggles to compete against AT&T and their exclusive deal with Apple and the iPhone. Does this signal a modern day War of the Roses?
Advertising and consumer sentiment aside, we took a close look at how each company’s employees rate their leadership and the organization, and Verizon has a very slight edge over AT&T, although neither company can boast about high numbers of 5-star reviews. Despite outward appearances, based on anonymous reviews these communication giants are suffering from a lack of communication with their employees.
In comparing the CEOs, Verizon’s chief executive Ivan Seidenberg’s 41% approval rating and 26% disapproval rating gives him the advantage in this round. AT&T’s head Randall Stephenson’s approval rating is lower than his disapproval rating – 29% approval, 35% disapproval – which is never a good sign for those at the top. However, employees note that Stephenson does get credit for Apple’s exclusive deal to sell the iPhone, although his management since leaves something to be desired.
The company ratings are on par with each other – both receive a “neutral” rating – Verizon has a 2.9 and AT&T has a 2.7. What is especially telling is how similar employee reviews are regarding the positives and negatives working at each – including the great benefits but lack of communication or focus on employees themselves.
According to Verizon employees, the strategy and layoffs hamper day to day productivity, but the opportunities for training and additional education reflect positively on the company:
Account Manager, Atlanta, GA: “Too much focus on day to day results vs long term strategy and planning.”
Anonymous: “The health plan is great. The training opportunities are great. If you are a self-starter and competent, and meet your deadlines, you are not micro-managed.”
Marketing Manager, Irving, TC: “Hang on to your seat, because there will be a layoff every 6 months. The environment is becoming progressively more cut-throat and less collaborative.”
Systems Analyst & Programmer, Tampa, FL: “Good health package, annual performance based bonus, large and stable company that has its’ hands in everything, they have tuition assistance and also give you full access to a multitude of free elearning courses.”
AT&T employees are somewhat less satisfied with senior leadership, but most reviews note that benefits and advancement opportunities are a boon for the communications company:
Executive Director, Los Angeles,CA: “The people of AT&T are good, decent, hard working, dedicated people who deserve much better than what they’ve gotten. There is horrendous senior leadership at the top.”
Manager of Staff, Redmond, WA: “Upper management doesn’t seem to have a grasp of what is happening at customer level. Resources, promotions and decisions often based on manager to manager relationships and not on sound business reasoning.”
Retail Sales Consultant: “Pay is excellent, training is very helpful, Amazing benifits and compensation!!… They take care of their employees.”
Anonymous, Chicago, IL: “Job Stability, Lure of working with a Fortune 100 company. Good Leadership.”
IPTV Network Analyst, Irving, TX: “Professional advancement and training is top notch. Achievements are recognized, and innovation is encouraged.”
Neither company wins this battle, nor is there a clear front-runner in the ongoing wireless war. We’ll be keeping a close eye on employee sentiment as the lawsuit continues to grab headlines.
If you work inside either of these companies, let us know what you think.