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Recognition Toolkit

We should all be recognizing. We should all be recognized.

Every team and individual at Mozilla has their own unique way of recognizing contributors. Below, find some common recognition tools and also a worksheet for figuring out how to recognize appropriately. Feel free to add your own!

How do I know what kind of recognition is appropriate?

It can be difficult to know how to recognize contributors, particularly when you've been working with someone for months or years. Repeating the same form of recognition over and over loses its impact over time. This toolkit will help demystify some of the things that Mozilla uses for recognition as well as inspire new forms of culturally and individually appropriate recognition.

Another way to know is to use Mozillians. There is a new function on Mozillians that will allow you to see how contributors like to be recognized. Please refer to the function when recognizing in conjunction with this toolkit. (This function is currently in production and we will update with a link to screen shots when it's completed.)

You should always check in with people to make sure that they want to be publicly recognized. Best practices should be built within teams and communities revolving around the needs of your individual contributors.

Ways to Recognize

What Where When Description
Email Your email Anytime! This is easy, free and is often the most meaningful Send a simple email. Say thanks. Make sure you tell them the impact they had on the work or project and acknowledge what they brought to the process that was unique to them.
Lovebomb Occasionally, these are super fun and surprising! Don't use them exclusively, or repeatedly with the same person. Tell your buddies that you think they rock, are awesome and deserve a big ol’ love bomb. This app is a Hackasaurus experiment created by @iamjessklein and @toolness in 2011.
Monday Meeting Weekly Updates Use this to raise visibility of contributions. Make sure you ask the person if they want their real name shared publicly, or their online persona. Add your entry to the 'Friends of the Tree' or 'Introducing New Volunteers' section to recognize someone doing great work or a new contributor.
Handwritten Note Card Most MozSpaces have Firefox or Dino notecards. If yours doesn't, it's because they are being re-ordered. Personal notes serve as artifacts of thanks, and are more tangible than email. People usually save them and display them. Either standalone, or part of package with something else, write a note of thanks on a postcard or greeting card. The personal touch counts.
Gear Gearstore The gear top ten will tell you when to send gear Use this sparingly, when someone has really gone above and beyond. Show folks you care by sending them awesome Mozilla swag!
Badges Open Badges for Mozilla contributors link goes here Badges are most meaningful as representations of skills and experience achieved. Try to use them mostly in that context. Badging is an amazing way to make people feel good. Learn more about open badging and how it can support your community
Events Everywhere Be sure to check in with event organizers and also have a consistent way of deciding who comes to events When contributors are just so super awesome that you want to see them in person and hang out, you can invite them to an event! See the upcoming list of Mozilla Reps led events
About:Credits Everywhere This is for people who are moving our project forward in meaningful and consistent ways. This is not really appropriate for first time contributors. Add people who are doing awesome work to the Mozilla credits.

Fill out this application. Here's the FAQ!

Spotlight the Blogosphere, Email-land, video-world Feel free to highlight contributors on a one time basis Spotlight contributors in a blog post, in an email to a group, or on the about:Mozilla newsletter! Alternatively, spotlight contributors in a video spotlight!
Thank on Social Media twitter, facebook, tumblr.... This works best when it's from an "official" account, but raising the social profile of our contributors is always a great way to go. Thank a contributor on social media: twitter, facebook, tumblr, etc.
Sponsored Travel or Trip to HQ Mozilla Offices all around the World It's really best to focus on including contributors in your events and work weeks. Have very clear expectations about what the selection criteria should be. Sponsor a contributor to come to an event
Get Crafty the knitting needles of committed crafters Depends on how crafty the crafters are, but once or twice sending a nice craft is a lovely touch Give contributors an awesome Crafty gift, like the ones found here
Linkedin Recommendation or official certificate Linkedin, Mozilla offices For contributors who are looking to augment their resumes or have done the contribution for a certificate or university course Leave a linkedin recommendation for contributors with their permission
Leaderboard or Dashboard a new leadership or dashboard page Setting up metrics, leaderboards, and dashboards will help you keep track of volunteer commitment over the long term See guidelines on contributor dashboards at this handy link

Recognition Worksheet

Recognition is an art, not a science. Before recognizing contributors, please ask yourself the following questions:

1. Who am I recognizing? (a group of people, an individual?)

2. Why are they receiving recognition? Is it from me or is it from my team?

3. What kind of recognition am I choosing and why?

  • Have I checked their Mozillians profile to make sure that what I chose was what they wanted?

4. Is this form of recognition fair to other contributors doing the same thing?

5. Is this in line with our mission and the ways that Mozilla recognizes? (see above)

6. Does this fit in with conversion points? (link here)

Examples from across the organization of excellent recognition


While we honor all comments from the Mozilla community, what we are most interested in learning is what kinds of recognition are appropriate and inappropriate in your culture, community, and geographic location and are inviting comments only on the toolkit on this page. Recognition is not the same in all cultures, and we want to ensure that we recognize people appropriately as a global community.

Please tell us:

  • where you come from
  • what works in your culture
  • what would be an inappropriate gesture of recognition in your culture
  • if you can, please educate us as to why one form of recognition is preferred over another

Tips for adding comments:

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