Introducing Skills Labs 2.0

What we have at Mozilla is one of a kind – we’re a fiercely passionate community of people creating beautiful products that users love.  Our inspiration and passion for our mission is contagious, and we want to attract and join forces with top-tier people to work alongside us who share that drive. We run on collaboration- connecting ideas and Mozillians from around the world-  and behind-the-scenes, the Recruiting Team is constantly working to find dedicated future Mozillians to help us reach our goals.


The next Skills Lab will take place on Thursday June 5th, 2014 from 8:30AM-10:00AM PDT. The session will include how to make your referrals successful, will create a time to check up on existing referrals, and will provide Mozillians with answers to their questions on the general Referral process as a whole. There is no RSVP required- just join the Mozilla_Recruiting Vidyo room and the IRC channel #recruiting.


The experience with Mozilla Recruiting reflects our brand and who we are. The process acts as our first opportunity to set ourselves apart from our competitors, who are also fighting for the same candidates on the hunt for their next opportunity. But the Recruiting process and a candidate’s impression of Mozilla isn’t just created by Recruiters or by the people who schedule their interviews- it’s also shaped by interviewers, by Mozillians like yourself.

The interview experience is a team effort between the Recruiting team and Mozillians- you could argue that to an extent every Mozillian is a recruiter. Mozilla Recruiting wants to be a transparent resource for Mozillians. We want to provide Mozillians with the tools in their toolbox to feel confident interviewing and to help us pull in the best talent to join the team. To solve for this, we created Skills Labs.


We launched the inaugural Skills Labs in January 2014. Conversations included [but were not limited to] how to balance cultural and technical questions, learning what not to ask during an interview, checking in on a referrals that had been submitted, and how to write interview feedback. Skills Labs took place in common rooms on-site in both Mountain View and San Francisco the last Tuesday of every month as well as remotely over Vidyo and IRC on the last Thursday of each month.

After the first three months, attendance began to dwindle and the questions began to repeat themselves. We started to realize that the Skills Labs that we were presenting to the organization were not exactly what Mozilla needed- and that we needed to take a step back and see what was not working.


After each Skills Lab, attending Mozillians were sent a satisfaction survey to give the opportunity to provide feedback on their experience. Questions in the survey provided insight to what was successful (and not-so-successful) about each lab, whether the attendee found value in the Skills Lab and would recommend attending the Lab to a fellow Mozillian, and also solidified metrics on virtual versus on site participation. Most importantly, the survey provided the Recruiting team with a greater understanding regarding what Mozillians expected to learn from attending a Skills Lab.

Diving into the nitty-gritty of the numbers, results were evenly split between Mozillians who wanted Skills Labs to be topic based and those who enjoyed the lack of structure and ability to ask questions on any topic on a whim. A majority of participation from Skills Labs during Q1 of 2014 was virtual (opposed to Mozillians who attended on site in a Mozilla office). Outside of the satisfaction survey, several international Mozillians reached out asking to have more sessions that were more accommodating of time zone differences, and several reached out saying they were unable to attend but would have loved to watch a recording of the session. 100% of attendees said that they would recommend attending Skills Labs to other Mozillians.

We’ve used the feedback to reflect on what we could improve to better serve Mozilla, and we’re ready to try a new approach-

  • Skills Labs will become virtual only [not on site at a Mozilla office]
  • Skills Labs will start at 8:30AM PDT to accommodate more of our internationally based Mozillians
  • The structure of Skills Labs will change, each beginning with a 15-minute brown-bag style, topic-based learning session from a member of the Recruiting team. The remainder of time will be spent as “office hours”, with the Recruiting Team available to answer any topic of questions on the Recruiting Process. Mozillians will also be able to suggest future Skills Labs topics to the Recruiting Team.
  • Skills Labs will be recorded and uploaded to the Recruiting MANA page for those unable to attend live. They will act as a future resource for those curious to learn more about specific programs of Recruiting, like the Referral program.


  • The schedule for Recruiting Skills Labs is posted here.
  • If you have suggestions for topics for these labs, please let them in the comment section or ping us on IRC #recruiting.
  • Want to be reminded about upcoming Skills Labs? Click here.
  • Interested in having your team attend an in-depth Interview Skills Training session as a group? Click here.
  • For direct questions, please get in touch with Michelle Marovich (IRC MichelleMarovich) or Rachel Berenbaum (IRC Rachel).

Global Wellness is alive.

This post is meant is a kind of wrap up, the third and final book in our trilogy. After a 3.5 month design process that involved 60+ people, the first iteration of Mozilla’s Global Wellness Initiative goes live tomorrow. The new program, unlike its predecessor, is available to all benefits-eligible Mozilla employees and offers everyone the ability to receive reimbursement for wellness-related expenses up to an annual maximum dollar amount. In addition, there is a general interest program element that will be designed in partnership our employees over the next few months (general interest programs might include things like corporate weight loss programs, Mozilla sports teams, and onsite nutrition and/or parent coaching.)

This new Wellness program feels right for our employees but not because it’s now available to everyone, but because of how it came to be. We blogged about the process here and here but think it’s worthy of one final note on the eve of go live.

Companies generally don’t design employee benefits with their employees, it’s simply not done. Programs that are not otherwise mandated by government are typically designed by benefits people along with insurance brokers and consultants. In many cases, Mozilla included, this is the very best way for organizations to make sure they have access to, and offer, the most competitive programs. In some cases doing it this way is simply easier.

But we are different.

Sometimes being different means things are harder and sometimes it means things take longer. In the case of transforming Health & Wellness into Global Wellness, it meant both. Designing a benefit with 60+ employees was nothing short of amazing.  Having done it effectively (albeit with bumps along the way), the Global Wellness Initiative that will go live tomorrow is shining example of what a truly participatory culture can reap.

The People Team would like to thank every person who contributed this program and to those who will continue to contribute.

TRIBE: Registration Updates and More!


Hello Mozillians!

So much amazing has happened since our last blog post. As of today, 259 Mozillians have started their individual journeys. 38 of us have completed all four sessions of TRIBE already!

The momentum of the TRIBE program is strong. Each month, we’re watching more and more Mozillians build self-awareness around their strengths and limitations,take responsibility for the outcome they create, and embrace failure as a key part of success. These skills, while important in life in general, also line up with how we measure performance/impact at Mozilla.

What’s more, we have some incredibly aggressive goals this year. If we are to be successful, we need to continually focus on how we work together. Our community is the bedrock of everything we do and the TRIBE curriculum exists to help us keep it strong and healthy.

And, we have lots of fun too! For those of you who respond best to data and results, here’s a quick overview… numerically.

TRIBE by the numbers:

417 chairs filled by Mozillians attending one or more TRIBE sessions…so far
259 people know how to play in outcome creating – go find them!
118 people this year have committed to finding a mentor
70 people know if they’re a Danger, Charm, Humor (or other) type and how they impact a room
35 stuffed animals were tossed to help tell a story
17 rolls of blue tape have been used to step over, shift perspectives or lead a marble to a team’s basket
15 workshops have been completed in the past 4 months

These aren’t just numbers, what these tell us is that there’s no shortage of people you can reach out to as part of your own tribe… and if you haven’t yet signed up for a session, there’s still time this year! We don’t want anyone left behind.


Speaking of sign-ups, the time has come to register for TRIBE sessions through the rest of the year. Registration will open on Thursday, May 1st at 2:30pm GMT / 3:30 BST / 7:30am PST

A couple of thoughts before you commit:

  1. Last Minute Cancellations: impact the whole TRIBE. We need a minimum of 14 people to host a workshop – if we have last minute drop outs, we will cancel sessions. Please make sure you can attend the dates you sign up for – don’t let your fellow TRIBEr’s down!
  2. Spread The Word: to local active contributors in your area or if you are a manager, reach out to your direct reports who are interested or you know would benefit this week. We have been asked to allow a few more days before registration opens so everyone has a chance to sign up – make sure you’re fellow Mozillians check their calendars now.
  3. Double Up: If you need to travel to attend TRIBE, we ask that you align your travel with a workweek or other business need. TRIBE is only two days, and we’re sure there are more ways to connect to other Mozillians while you are in town.

If you are interested in registering for a workshop, the schedule and links to sign up are located on our wiki:

What else is happening in the world of TRIBE? Here’s a glimpse into what we’ve been up to:

  1. Working With Others: the newest workshop added to our TRIBE curriculum. This session focuses on numerous skills including acknowledgement/recognition, creating a culture of accountability, and fostering team play. Looking for ways to work better together? This is a great place to start!
  2. Mozillian Co-facilitators Graduate: we have graduated some pretty Moz-tastic folks who will step in to co-facilitate future TRIBE workshops. So far, Anika Briner, Debbie Cohen, Mihca Anderson, Tristan Nitot and Amie Tyrrel are among the ranks. Additionally, Michelle Marovich, Matej Novak, John Slater, and David Tenser will round out our next round of graduates this year.
  3. Strengths Tool: our very own Blake Winton was so inspired after taking Awareness Of Self, he created a tool that lets Mozillians share their strengths with each other – it’s incredibly cool! Check it out and add your strengths to the mix here. Thanks Blake!
  4. Tribe Badges: Growth takes time and dedication, and that’s what TRIBE is all about. We thought a little recognition was in order for all our TRIBE participants so we have given out badges in to you all. If you have already completed any of our TRIBE sessions you should have receive your TRIBE badge via this week!

What’s Coming Up Next:

  1. Additional 2014 sessions: the TRIBE team is also looking at adding sessions. Stay tuned as we work through this.
  2. Scaling to more volunteers: though the program has always been open to active contributors, over the next two quarters we will look at more creative ways to involve more volunteers. This may be through additional sessions before Mozcamps or mini versions of our workshops held locally. We will reach out again soon to give more details on this.
  3. Open Badges: we are working with the Open Badges Team to get TRIBE badges included in this program. While we are currently giving out badges via, we are striving to ensure all Mozillians have access to badges for the program ( is limited with what it can do) and can share them publicly or on their mozillians profile. We have also heard from Mozillians that we should all be using more of our own tools – and this is one way we can do that.

That’s all from us for now. Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 1st – spots fill up quickly. If you have questions, you can reach us at or in #peoplepeople in IRC.

ami_ty on IRC
Organizational Development

Getting to Global Wellness

A few weeks ago, we blogged about our Guiding Principles — those intended to help us get to a decision about our new Global Wellness Initiative — and our progress thus far.  At the time, we believed we were on a path to a program that would honor these principles and satisfy the needs of the group (and the greater population by proxy).

And while we still believe that, we realized during our first round of feedback that our process was not going to allow us to move as quickly as we needed to.  For something as personal and emotionally charged as wellness, the channel for communication needed to move from an etherpad (which is inherently impersonal) to something more dynamic and human.

The second round of program iteration (where we also revisited the Guiding Principles) was a series of in-person, small group (10 people in each) discussions that took place over four days this past week. The group focused on our main objective — to create a program that, for the same cost, delivers MORE value to MORE people. This focus led us to a healthy, generative discussion and an agreement that “more value to more people”  was our new “guiding principle”.  At this point, we believe we have what we need to create something that will evolve into a successful program that works well for the majority of employees.

What will happen next is this. The People team is putting together a summary document to review with the working group to ensure a shared understanding of the outcome of our meetings. We are simultaneously creating the proposal, based this work, that we will eventually take to the Steering Committee who will approve (or request more information). Our goal is to have something to communicate broadly by early April even if the details / back-end infrastructure is not ready. The program would be retroactively effective April 1st.

More to come shortly.





Global Wellness Initiative Guiding Priciples

In January of this year, we kicked off a project, with a group of ~50 passionate employees, to help design a Global Health & Wellness Initiative for Mozilla. Our goal was/is to use a participatory process to deliver a v 1.0 initiative by the end of Q1 2014 guided by the following principles:

  1. The new initiative will be global – all MoCo employees will be eligible irrespective of family size, benefits enrollment, or country of employment.
  2. The new initiative will not be a cash program (i.e. individual submissions for reimbursements).
  3. The new initiative will be exclusively aimed at facilitating access to wellness, with an extensive definition of wellness defined by the working group – which will include individuals from across the project, not just the People Team.
  4. In the design, we will incorporate concerns of ease of administration, acknowledging and learning from the struggles people have experienced with the current program.

Over the course of several weeks, the working group converged on the assignment and amassed their suggestions, opinions, and resources on this etherpad.

With the end of the quarter now looming, the benefits team has spent a number of weeks reviewing the input, categorizing it, and producing an an early model of what our initiative could look like. Because it’s a first stab at organizing and formalizing the possible direction of this program, it is fragile.  We will ask the group for very specific types of feedback so we can course-correct, review, ship.

We will share the model here after we’ve shared it with the working group, as well as the process we’ll undertake to move it from v .01 to v 1.0.


Removing Roadblocks to Productivity

The People Team has spent a bunch of time defining our 2014 goals. As part of that process we reviewed our team’s core tenets – the guardrails that help us make decisions. While we agreed that all of our tenets continue to have meaning and importance, based on our learnings (and missteps) in 2013, earning the trust (being seen as trusted partners) of the people we are here to support emerged as a top priority for us for 2014.

Removing Roadblocks

To become a trusted partner, one of the first things we did during our planning session was to think about structure, process and systems. These are the things that, when running well, enable people to DO the work they are here to do. People-people tend to think in terms of how people feel about what they’re doing so this is a shift for us. What we know, from our own experience and through feedback, is that it’s hard to feel good about what we’re doing when there are roadblocks in the way.


Removing roadblocks to productivity (getting rid of the things that stop us from doing our best work) is a place where our team believes we can have the greatest impact this year.  As such,  this is where we’ll focus the bulk of our energy.

The purpose of this post is to share our approach to the “removing roadblocks to productivity” project/goal. While we’ve contained our plan to 2014, we are clear new roadblocks pop up all the time. We expect this process to become a rolling exercise rather than a point in time (we’ll be thinking about this as we move through.)  We’ll update this blog with progress in addition to our project wiki/roadmap.

Here’s are plan for now:

Phase one – Data Collection [March – April]

During the month of March, we’ll conduct a very short survey (3-5 questions) about perceived roadblocks to productivity, to better understand the ubiquity of various issues.

Phase two – Analysis [April]

Once the data has been collected, we’ll review it with a small group of internal stakeholders, looking for themes and areas where we can make the most impact. We will share the results internally.  Where we see a need to  uncover deeper insights and understand a spectrum of viable alternatives, we’ll consider follow up focus groups.

Phase three – Roadmap

From there we’ll develop our roadmap, It will be published to the People wiki here with clear call to action and participation opportunities.

If you have questions, please ping us on IRC #peoplepeople.



Dogfooding Data Privacy


Fighting for data privacy — making sure people know who has access to their data, where it goes or could go, and that they have a choice in all of it — is part of Mozilla’s DNA; doing good is part of our code.  In the context of our users, privacy is something most of us at think about daily and care about deeply.

“Individuals’ security and privacy on the Internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional.”  ~ Mozilla Manifesto (principle #4)

On January 28th, the world will celebrate Data Privacy Day — an international holiday intended to raise awareness and promote data privacy education. It is officially recognized in the United States, Canada, and 27 European countries.

As part of our own Data Privacy Day celebrations this year, we’d like to share our approach to employee data – something Mozilla treats with as much rigor and respect as we do the data of our users.

Our approach

To build an Internet where the individual is respected, we start with a culture of respect. As with user data, we believe the protection of your employee data is fundamental. Here are some examples of our commitment to Mozilla’s privacy principles as they apply to employee information.

The Summit

Privacy was an integral part of 2013 Summit planning. As you can imagine, coordinating a cast of thousands across multiple locations around the world involves a mountain of data.  The privacy side of event planning includes collecting and storing data securely, sharing it appropriately, and deleting it once it’s no longer needed.

As part of the process, links to our privacy notices were placed on data collection forms (visa requests, registration, etc.) and when we received access requests, such as who was in which city or hotel, we thoughtfully considered what to share and when to delete it.

And, do you remember the Summit App? We put that app awesomeness through the privacy, legal, and security wringer before it was set free. Our privacy team asked questions like which data will be saved beyond the Summit?  Who will have access? Where will the data be stored and for how long? Will it be aggregated or linked to a person?  Can users delete their data?  You may have noticed the Summit App even had its own privacy notice!

Safe Harbor

In 2013, Mozilla self-certified for the US-EU and US-Swiss Safe Harbor programs for employee (“human resources”) data. Safe Harbor [] certification is optional provided an organization adheres to these seven principles:

  • Notice – Individuals must be informed that their data is being collected and about how it will be used.
  • Choice – Individuals must have the ability to opt out of the collection and forward transfer of the data to third parties.
  • Onward Transfer – Transfers of data to third parties may only occur to other organizations that follow adequate data protection principles.
  • Security – Reasonable efforts must be made to prevent loss of collected information.
  • Data Integrity – Data must be relevant and reliable for the purpose it was collected for.
  • Access – Individuals must be able to access information held about them, and correct or delete it if it is inaccurate.
  • Enforcement – There must be effective means of enforcing these rules.

We renew our certification under this program annually and everyone who handles employee data as part of their job is required to attend Safe Harbor training at least as often.

Agreements with Vendors

A very important part of how we select vendors at Mozilla is by their ability to protect user and employee personal data.  We read their privacy policies, ask questions, and communicate our values and expectations. Once a vendor has sufficiently demonstrated that they can handle our data, only then do we launch formal privacy, security, and legal reviews.

Vendor reviews are launched using the Project Kickoff Form.  If you plan to use a vendor, and said vendor will handle personal data, this is the form for you!

What You Can Do (even if you don’t work on the People Team)

Many of us, even those not otherwise designated as an “employee data handler” (like the People Team), come into contact with this data through the course of our work (surveys, birthday lists, etc.) Here are some things you can to do help protect your own data and that of your co-workers:

  • Use encrypted email to transmit sensitive personal data to vendors and be sure to put “Mozilla Confidential” in the subject line [ – LDAP required].
  • Transmit only what you need to send, and nothing more.
  • Ask permission before you share, even if it “seems” harmless (cupcake surprises are fun – data surprises are not).
  • Don’t forward your email to an external account that may not have the same level of security.
  • Use a dedicated printer or secure (password) printing for documents that contain personal data (and don’t leave it on the printer).
  • Check to make sure your laptop is encrypted  [ – LDAP required].
  • Avoid the use of portable (i.e. easily stolen or forgotten/lost) devices, such as thumb drives, to store employee data.
  • Password protect your phone if you use it to access your work email.

Privacy Day is January 28th but for Mozilla it’s a lifestyle – we live it every day. Nonetheless, there will be cupcakes on the 28th so come join us if you can (cupcakes are also part of our lifestyle).

And, if you have any questions about any of this, please reach out to Stacy Martin (stacy at mozilla dot com), she knows a lot about privacy. Privacy geeks (might be all of us :), there’s lots more here:


Introducing Recruiting Skills Labs

Choosing the people we work with is perhaps the most important thing we do as Mozillians. We rely on each other for insight and creativity, to doing things we could never have imagined in advance, and to execute awesome on a daily basis. And, our culture is unique. It doesn’t work for everyone. Effectively recruiting Mozillians should be a nuanced and consistent process.

Over the past few years, the Mozilla recruiting team (that’s us!) has learned a few things that have helped us identify and ultimately hire many of the extraordinary people we work with every day. We’re guessing you have a few tips of your own.

Because we know that the very best outcomes happen when many people share ideas, we’ve created a Recruiting Skills Lab. These “labs” are dedicated spaces/times where Mozilla recruiters are available to coach and be coached on a variety of recruiting-related topics. The objective of these labs is to make each of us a more effective, efficient recruiter so that the caliber of the people around you, is always going up.

Labs will offer the opportunity for face-to-face discussions, practice, and story-exchange (believe me, recruiters have the best stories) on recruiting-related topics.

1.0 Interviewing Skills Lab specifics:

If you want to get better at recruiting, Skills Labs are a great opportunity for you to get 1:1 attention in a relaxed setting, and is open to interviewers at all skill levels. Labs are informal, so you can stop by any time during the Skills Lab window to meet with a member of the team.

During Skills Labs, members of the Recruiting Team will be available in common rooms both on-site in Mountain View and San Francisco as well as remotely over Vidyo and IRC to answer your questions about the interview process and practice skills.

Some examples of the topics for discussion and practice (but we’re flexible if there’s something you want to discuss that’s not here):

  • How much research to do on a potential candidate (and how)
  • How to balance technical and cultural interview questions
  • Understanding the value of behavioural questions and how to ask them
  • What not to talk about during interviews
  • How to reclaim the conversation when a candidate strays off-topic
  • How to write interview feedback that will enable faster decision-making

The schedule for Recruiting Skills Labs is posted here:

If you have suggestions for topics for these labs, please let them in the comment section or ping us on IRC #recruiting.

Want to be reminded about upcoming Skills Labs? Click here.

Interested in having your team attend an in-depth Interview Skills Training session as a group? Click here.

For direct questions, please get in touch with Michelle Marovich (IRC MichelleMarovich) or Rachel Berenbaum (IRC Rachel).

TRIBE in 2014

Hello Mozillians!

Welcome to the Mozilla People Teams first blog! Before we get to TRIBE, I wanted to give a huge thank you to Mardi Douglass who is the master mind behind creating one central, public place that Mozilla’s People Team will use to continue our efforts to share and be open.

This year we kicked off our beta program of TRIBE. If you haven’t heard about TRIBE, you’re in the right place.

TRIBE: which stands for Taking Responsibility In Being Excellent (shout out to Brett Gaylor who came up with the acronym like magic) is modeled after our LEAD program. We created LEAD as a developmental program for designated leaders at a Director level position within the Project. The program was incredibly successful and the rest of the organization were asking for opportunities to participate. We deconstructed the content from LEAD and created a 5 session program called TRIBE. Allowing us to bring consistent language, learning and tools to the broader core and active Contributors in the Project and ultimately the culture of Mozilla.

What We Did In Our Beta Year
In 2013, we just started to get our feet wet. We offered a total of 9 sessions and had a total of 217 Contributors that completed at least one session of TRIBE. We also launched a Train the Trainer program as a way to train Mozillians to be facilitators for for future TRIBE Sessions. Effectively handing the curriculum over to Mozillians to bring it further into the project. So far we have 4 Mozillians who have undergone rigorous training and will begin leading sessions in 2014. They will be joined by another 6 Mozillians who will step in to begin the process to facilitate in 2014 as well.

What Can You Expect In 2014
With so many Mozillians joining the team, you can bet we have some big plans for TRIBE in 2014. Our main goals for the program next year will be to:
  1. Develop the remaining curriculum for our last two sessions. Launching the first of those sessions called Working With Others. This session will focus on skills like acknowledgement and recognition, a culture of accountability, and fostering team play among others.
  2. Host at least 28 sessions globally next year, in either Paris, San Francisco or Toronto
  3. Scale the program to more core and active Contributors. We’ll be looking to partner with REMO and other community leads to help us.
  4. A registration tool that also allows participants to create profiles to track their progress.
  5. Kick off badges and other social tools that keep our TRIBER-s connected.
I’m In! Next Steps
If you can’t wait to get started, you’re in luck. Tomorrow, December 19th at 3:00pm GMT or 7:00am PST (for west coasters reading this today), we will open up the registration form. We decided to do it this way so all geographies had an opportunity to read this note, and review the schedule before we launched registration. Given how quickly slots filled up last time, we thought this gave everyone an equal opportunity to sign up.

Visit our wiki page for links to the sign up forms:

Remember, we require that Awareness Of Self be completed before you can sign up or attend and of the other sessions. The language and skills you learn in Awareness Of Self are fundamental to understanding and succeeding with the rest of the skills we’ll teach you in the remaining sessions.

Once you’ve completed Awareness of Self, you are welcome to take any of the remaining sessions in any order. We’ve made sure to kick off the first part of next year with several Awareness Of Self, so sign up early. If you have questions, you can reach us at or in #peoplepeople in IRC.

A huge thank you to: Debbie Cohen, Kate Roeske-Zummer , Athena Katsaros,  Tristan Nitot, John Slater, Anika Briner, Michelle Marovich, Viking Karwur, David Tenser, Dia Bondi, Matej Novak, Mihca Degele, Angela King, and Maya Barrow for doing one, many or all of these: creating curriculum, facilitating, leading from the back of the room, keeping us organized and stepping up to help continue our journey next year.

See you next year!
ami_ty on IRC
Organizational Development