Volunteers and employees gap/Draft

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This document aims to summarize all existing gaps the community (volunteers and paid-staff) have identified. Also some possible solutions for each problem.

Please do not edit this page without permission. Your feedback and comments are welcomed on the discussion page.

People join mozilla as employee but don't know how we work, our values or our volunteer community


Currently paid-staff is growing fast, and a lot of people is joining Mozilla Corp. with no knowledge about who we are, what our values are or how to work with the rest of non-paid community.

Also we already have a lot of people hired that unfortunately share this problem. This is understandable because Mozilla has to grow and took people from different worlds, corporate ones are not used to work in this way.

Since employees invest more time on the project, they are more likely to get in charge of decisions that affects the whole community, and for that reason this is important.

Proposed solutions

1. Orientation process for new hires but also people already on-board that need it.


  • What's Mozilla? Where do we come from?
    • Understanding the past to understand the present and develop the future.
    • Why Mozilla is an open organization
  • Multimedia
  • Mozilla values (open web, open source), manifesto.
    • Why are they important?
    • Decisions ideally are made based on them.
  • Mozilla community as a combination of paid and non-paid staff
    • Mozillapedia (see Mozillians list) to help keep a record of cool things and awesome people from our past, make it easier to stay in touch with the history.
    • Multimedia:
    • Volunteers, who they are? what they do?
    • Employees, who they are? what they do?
    • Communication between paid staff and community, How communicate each other?, How can support each other?
    • Working together, no distinctions.
      • Develop or contribute to a project inside mozilla where volunteers and employees work together as equals.
    • Mozilla Reps program.
    • Global goals and overview.
      • What are the goals we want to accomplish this year?
      • What are the current ongoing projects?
    • Activities between paid staff and community members
      • MozCamps, Why are important?
      • Share experiences between employees and communities
      • Make activities between new employees who had not community experience and community members.
    • Documentation

2. Announce new hires to the whole community and introduce them to local communities.

If a new hire speaks a language fluently, introduce him to the local community that speaks that language too (via local mailing list and/or (video)meeting if possible).

Also show him how this community works and who is working on it.

Create a task force volunteers and paid-staff hybrid to help welcoming new hires.

Some community members "change" how they work with their community after being hired


Some volunteers after being hired, reduce their participation on their past volunteer work or community. Manager play a key part here, they should be aware of these problems and give time to employees for applying the solutions.

Proposed solutions

1. Transition plan for their past activities as part of his orientation period.

If some previous work can't be maintained anymore, write a transition plan to let other volunteers take lead on them during his first weeks as employee.

Volunteers should document how to do jobs so they could be easy to replace if they has to leave and have an apprentice (this has to be applied on the volunteer and community side).

2. Spend part of their working time doing what they used to do.

Allowing employees to spend "office time" (15%?) working on other activities inside mozilla related (or not) with their current work.

Communication and working together


There is a gap between how employees and volunteers currently work. Monthly/Quarterly goals are not open to everyone, work weeks are not enough open to key contributors and timezones for meetings are sometimes a problem.

Also there are a few areas where volunteers work as part of the teams.

Proposed solutions

  1. Everything that is open to employees should be open for key volunteers (Mozilla Reps and others).
  2. Better communication of meeting notes, format, categorization...
  3. Team members should be invited to work weeks regardless of their employment status. Dates and goals should be public and open from feedback from anyone.
  4. Always think "everyone is remote" and discuss things as open as they can be. If there is no need to be private, do it publicly.
  5. As much discussion as possible should happen async, on mailing lists/blogs. eg real time meetings shouldn't be used for announcements or introducing a new topic, that should happen on list, where initial discussion happens, then the discussion can be finalized at meeting where all the feedback can be weighed.
  6. Always use UTC for meeting times.
  7. Work on the Contribute Conversion points and implement them on as many teams as we can.
  8. Find a solution or workaround for employer-volunteers laws that concerns some teams.