How might we...
increase effectiveness of career conversations with managers and peers?

An HR and training team at Mozilla had spent a lot of time developing Career Level Guides (CLGs) for its employees. They wanted help rolling them out in a fun, engaging way — that would also encourage folks to use it. People Rocket was engaged to help make this happen.

We know that HR changes cause concerns over jobs, promotions, pay, and more so it can often be a sensitive topic. So we knew it was essential that we were mindful of how we introduced them.

How We Did It

The primary objectives of the workshop were to help the participants get clarity on Career Level Guides. Getting there required getting everyone on the same page on the vocabulary. There’s a range of words that appear in development documents like a CLG, such as “competency” or “capability,” which mean different things to different people. (Not much use in a CLG if no one agrees on the definitions of the terms in it!) 

Step one was defining and mastering the vocabulary. Everyone needed to be speaking the same language to discuss, and then be able to teach others, about the CLGs. As a group we defined a common dictionary. The process unlocked a range of discoveries into how people had been thinking about terms.

From there, we used personas and external examples of a character to start practicing using the guide. By using a fictional character, it took the emotion out of the activity, allowing participants to think about the change in a less personal way. After that we scaffolded the managers practicing using it on themselves and imagining how the guides could be used for conversations with others. 

This type of training is based in an explore before explain pedagogy that focuses on mastery. 

The results
Codesigning a people-powered guide.

By the end of the workshop, the participants didn’t just have a better understanding of what the CLGs were and how to use them in their own work. They were also able to see that personal development isn’t just about the individual. And CLGs have more uses than they originally thought.

Our approach allowed them to recognize all the positive possibilities associated with the CLGs rather than getting bogged down in the ways they made them feel anxious. 

As one participant noted at the end, “I used to think that personal development was very individualized, but now I realize that it is a community team effort that individuals in this room are going to help me grow and develop.”

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