IRC office hours/Office hours 2013-01-28

[17:59] <@Ironholds> alright, we all ready?
[18:00] <+MissGayle> I'm down with starting. :)
[18:00] <@Ironholds> MissGayle, community. Community, MissGayle. Community, don't bite MissGayle, I'd quite like us to keep her. MissGayle, don't bite the community, there will be paperwork and theoretically you're meant to be the respondent, not the source ;p
[18:01] <tommorris> hey MissGayle
[18:01] <@Ironholds> So, is everyone aware of what the Chief Talent and Culture Officer does? ("no" is an acceptable answer ;p)
[18:01] <+MissGayle> I rarely bite. :) Hello and good morning!
[18:01] * jps waves
[18:01] * Denny_WMDE ( Quit (Quit: Leaving.)
[18:01] <Avruch> Maybe an overview? Sounds like chief of HR to me ;)
[18:01] <duh> hi, and no i dont :/
[18:02] <jps> there's a detailed bio at but it omits the ordained minister part
[18:02] <@Ironholds> duh: that's okay, neither do I!
[18:02] <@Ironholds> One of the candidates explained it to me in the office on the way to her interview
[18:02] <+MissGayle> I'm happy to chat about that - and how it's evolved since I started the role. I think a lot of the fun of it has been balancing the combination of .. hold on, just got kicked out of the conf room I'm in.
[18:03] <jps> also an "official blurb" at
[18:03] <@Ironholds> 'I'm here to get good employees!' 'please don't fire me'
[18:03] <@Ironholds> MissGayle: okie-dokes :). I think an explanation would be a good start.
[18:04] <+MissGayle> Alright - moved. Right. So HR is one of the functions I cover - that's all the basics of hiring, on boarding, recruiting, off boarding, personnel policy. What I love about this role is that the scope moves beyond traditional HR.
[18:05] <@Ironholds> (on- and off-boarding, for people not versed in HR talk: 'welcome to the job, here's where the coffee machine is' and 'so you're leaving, did you not like the coffee machine?')
[18:05] <+MissGayle> So it's a lot about being a strategic partner to the other leaders in the organization, to think about organizational growth and lifecycle and maturity, and how we evolve as a system to better fulfill our mission - and we've got growing to do, not in terms of size, but in terms of our processes.
[18:05] <+MissGayle> Yeah - off boarding is negotiating exits, but I also do all our exit interviews so I can find out what we need to improve on.
[18:06] <+MissGayle> I took the C-level team out last week (we're trying to find a different name - I think we're running with "senior leadership team" right now, but open to suggestions) for a 2-day annual planning kickoff retreat…and we talked about how as organizations grow, with increased specialization, there tends to be need also for better and in some ways, more subtle integrative mechanisms.
[18:07] <tommorris> I hate to bang on about one of my hobby-horses but on-boarding and off-boarding? Given we're an international movement, any chance we could cut down on jargon and use more natural, human terms.
[18:07] <+MissGayle> These are some of the conversations I love having. And the culture piece is a big one - I think part of my role there is making sure our employees feel valued, and it's very much one in process, that this is a healthy place to work.
[18:07] <tommorris> MissGayle: ^^
[18:07] <+MissGayle> Thanks, Tom. Do you have suggestions? I'm open to it.
[18:07] <@Ironholds> tommorris: you've just not shifted your paradigm ;p
[18:08] <tommorris> 'Induction' and 'Exit'. ;-)
[18:08] <@Ironholds> MissGayle: I always think of on-boarding as 'induction'
[18:08] <@Ironholds> snap
[18:08] <+MissGayle> Like…umm…Welcoming and exiting? I'm fond of assimilation, but it's a little Borg-like
[18:08] <jps> maybe even "hiring" and "departures"
[18:08] <+MissGayle> I'm open to using Exit. I'm iffy on Induction - is that a Brit thing?
[18:08] <@Ironholds> MissGayle: quite possibly!
[18:09] <tommorris> Yep. But it's used pretty widely.
[18:09] <jps> "hiring" is used at
[18:09] <marktraceur> "induction" brings to mind secret societies....which seems even less like the movement :)
[18:09] <+MissGayle> Well, we refer to hiring as the process of getting someone TO the foundation, and then there's the process of getting someone familiar with the Foundation which we need a different name for.
[18:09] <@Ironholds> I like the idea of assimilation. You have joined the WMF. You will be assimilated. Your knowledge will be added to the collective. And you get a tote bag!
[18:09] <duh> TINC ;)
[18:09] <+MissGayle> OOH - that just made induction slightly cooler - though simultaneously less appropriate. Sorry - old fascination with the Knights Templar and the like from RPG days. :)
[18:10] <@Ironholds> (MissGayle is a massive nerd. Bears excrete in arboreal areas.)
[18:10] <+MissGayle> Or we could just go with Orientation. We ran our first orientation program in November! That was a big step, and I'm pleased. We filmed it all and we're trying to put it online. Like so many things, it's a first iteration with room for improvement, but we did it!
[18:10] <Isarra> Borg is good. Wikimedia is the collective. Join the collective.
[18:10] <@Ironholds> orientation works :). anyway; I think we may be getting away from the point.
[18:11] <@Ironholds> unless the number 1 question from editors is 'what can you use instead of on-boarding?'
[18:11] <tommorris> Indeed. I don't want to monopolise the discussion, just provide a little nudge away from jargon. It'd be nice if the WMF could set the standard on this kind of thing.
[18:11] <+MissGayle> What else I do is try to mediate conflict and friction points in the organization, and help people deal with personal and work challenges they have.
[18:11] <+MissGayle> Oh, I agree completely Tom - and love being called on it, so please keep doing that.
[18:12] * Nicole_WMDE (~androirc@wikimedia/nicole-ebber) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:12] <tommorris> Okay, here's a question. What are the current plans for ensuring the staff understand the culture and politics of the community better?
[18:12] <tommorris> Other than having Ironholds shout at them when they fuck up.
[18:13] * @Ironholds grins
[18:13] <@Ironholds> I do not shout at them. I educate them.
[18:13] <@Ironholds> With loud words.
[18:13] <duh> Wikipedia 101, taught by Prof. Ironholds.
[18:13] <tommorris> That's what you call the thing you did with the razor blade...?
[18:13] <+MissGayle> That occupies a fair bit of my time. And I sometimes help with more major crises, helping people navigate them. I'm facilitating and developing a 9-month leadership development pilot program, and we're mid-way through. It has half of the Directors in the org in it, and we help them differentiate between adaptive challenges and technical challenges. Tech challenges you can apply expertise to, and adaptive challenges have to do with complex syst
[18:13] <+MissGayle> and people - and the latter is hard. Those are the majority of challenges I deal with in my role.
[18:13] <@Ironholds> tommorris: oh, no, that's a glasgow kiss. Different thing.
[18:13] <marktraceur> duh: Only one of the many courses Ironholds offers.
[18:13] <@Ironholds> MissGayle: good explanation, I think :)
[18:14] <Isarra> That is a lot of huge words.
[18:14] <@Ironholds> so, first question from tommorris: What are the current plans for ensuring the staff understand the culture and politics of the community better?
[18:14] <@Ironholds> marktraceur: that and con law 101.
[18:14] <ragesoss> half the directors... so, a controlled experiment?
[18:14] <+MissGayle> So the first step was having Philippe, James, and the aforementioned Oliver take on orientation modules.
[18:14] <Isarra> Whats a leadership development pilot program?
[18:14] <+MissGayle> Yeah, they were willing to be my guinea pigs. :)
[18:14] * @Ironholds bleats
[18:15] <@Ironholds> Maggie_Dennis also handled a module, I would note :)
[18:15] <+MissGayle> it's a leadership development program that is an experiment for this organization - we're not a typical org so a lot of programs aimed at supporting and developing leadership at for-profits or MBA types really don't work for us
[18:15] <+MissGayle> She did! And she's awesome.
[18:15] <+MissGayle> Thank you.
[18:15] <+MissGayle> That's a first step. We have a lot more to do so I'd welcome suggestions on that.
[18:16] * jvandavier_ (~jvandavie@wikimedia/jvandavier) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:16] <jps> require employees to do one noticeboard request per week
[18:16] * Nicole_WMDE (~androirc@wikimedia/nicole-ebber) Quit (Client Quit)
[18:16] <+MissGayle> I brought together a bunch of community folks to do a focus group around that, and we had suggestions like integrating a "community awesome" element into our monthly metrics meeting. Our All-staff had a specific segment led by Victor highlighting profiles of community awesome.
[18:16] <Isarra> So what's a leadership development program?
[18:16] <@Ironholds> jps: define 'noticeboard request'?
[18:16] <@Ironholds> Isarra: basically going 'we have these managers, lets see if we can teach them additional, applied management stuff'
[18:16] * jvandavier (~jvandavie@wikimedia/jvandavier) Quit (Ping timeout: 255 seconds)
[18:16] * jvandavier_ is now known as jvandavier
[18:17] <Isarra> Applied management stuff?
[18:17] <tommorris> Have you considered setting up some kind of informal mentorship programme? A group of experienced editors that staff can just chat to on IRC or Skype or whatever to learn the ropes. I'm perfectly happy to give staff half an hour of my time to show them the sort of things that Wikipedians do, and answer the sort of 'political' questions they have about how the community operates.
[18:17] <@Ironholds> which is not to say they're not good managers :). But everyone can be better at their job. MissGayle, for example, could buy me a pony named ruffles.
[18:17] <tommorris> I'd rather they ask me a dumb question than some important thing the Foundation is working on gets shot to bits because someone fucked up in terms of community relations.
[18:17] <Isarra> I don't think that would be better.
[18:17] <jps> Ironholds: pick one request from anything on and respond to it at least once per week, even if the response is "not sure; good question"
[18:17] <+MissGayle> a leadership development program helps …well, basic context. A lot of the people who manage other people often haven't had a lot of experience doing so, and are often thrown into these roles without a lot of support into that transition. Even if they've been managers for awhile, there's actually a fair bit of complexity to the role.
[18:17] <@Ironholds> well, you're not ruffles
[18:17] <@Ironholds> jps: except we cannot pay staff to edit :)
[18:18] <+MissGayle> How do you get to learn how to do well at it? Some of it is on the job, some of it is reading or talking to other managers, but how do you systemically help people be better at it? (and that's also part of creating the experience of a consistent org culture)
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[18:18] <jps> responding to noticeboard requests isn't editing articles; no different than any WMF account weighing in
[18:18] <duh> Ironholds: i think jps has a good idea though, it would be nice if there was a staff member that looked over WP:VPT once in a while just to make sure no bugs aren't going unreported to bugzilla or such
[18:18] <@Ironholds> jps: AN/I? ;p
[18:19] <@Ironholds> duh: there is; Andre, our bug-wrangler :)
[18:19] <@Ironholds> jps: WMF accounts can comment on things which are within $staffer's job.
[18:19] <Isarra> ANI would help them better understand the community.
[18:19] * tommorris thinks staff members answering ANI requests would cause more pain than it solves.
[18:19] <jps> absolutely, but I know brion and his colleagues already keep a close eye on VPT
[18:19] <+MissGayle> Scrolling up to read stuff I missed typing..
[18:19] <Isarra> It would also be like sending them to die.
[18:19] <duh> resolved worksforme :)
[18:19] <@Ironholds> there tend not to be many Ops requests on requests for page protection
[18:19] <jps> Ironholds: that is my suggestion and I'm sticking to it
[18:19] <+MissGayle> i did, actually, Tom. I talked to Phoebe about it at one point. Huh - but the IRC thing you suggested is new and kind of cool.
[18:20] <@Ironholds> jps: okay. your suggestion is legally and/or practically impossible ;p
[18:20] <@Ironholds> MissGayle: a lot of staffers use IRC already, after all.
[18:20] <+MissGayle> I love that, actually. Tom, would you like to be part of a pilot community-interaction IRC mentoring channel? :)
[18:20] <@Ironholds> maybe we need #wikimedia-crossover-fanfic
[18:20] <+MissGayle> I used to write fanfic…when I had time… :p
[18:20] <tommorris> MissGayle: sure.
[18:20] * Avruch (c0f02996@wikimedia/Nathan) Quit (Ping timeout: 245 seconds)
[18:21] <tommorris> MissGayle: remember, this channel is logged. Don't link any embarassing teenage fanfic. ;-)
[18:21] * qgil_ (~qgil@ has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:21] <+MissGayle> I have to think about how to make it sustainable, not just for you, but for others...
[18:21] * qgil (~qgil@ Quit (Ping timeout: 252 seconds)
[18:21] <jps> Ironholds: that's absurd. Opinions on noticeboards are part of the essential functioning of the community. Have them add a disclaimer that they're not representing, if it's a problem
[18:21] <+MissGayle> Backscrolling again...
[18:22] <@Ironholds> jps: you want us to pay staffers to, what, express an opinion on...a block discussion? whether a page should be protected?
[18:22] <Isarra> Mandate that staff get involved in a wiki? That seems wrong somehow.
[18:22] <jps> supporting the healthy functioning of the community should be part of the responsibilities of everyone in the Foundation
[18:22] * Danwe_WMDE ( Quit (Read error: Connection reset by peer)
[18:22] <@Ironholds> jps: sure. which is grand, and nice, and great, and if the WMF starts getting involved in a granular fashion in community workflows we lose our legal protection :)
[18:22] <tommorris> jps: I look forward to staffers mandatory editing on Russian Wikinews.
[18:22] <@Ironholds> this is a non-starter so it might be more productive to move on.
[18:22] <tommorris> Oh, wait, I guess you probably meant English WIkipedia.
[18:23] <tommorris> Wikipediacentrism strikes again.
[18:23] <jps> Ironholds: yes, if that's what they want, although I'd hope they'd pick the most backlogged noticeboards
[18:23] * Avruch (c0f02996@wikimedia/Nathan) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:23] <@Ironholds> jps: okay. you're not getting the point :). Lets move on.
[18:23] <jps> yes, let's
[18:23] <@Ironholds> so, tommorris, you cool with some sort of mentorship group (or the exploration of the possibility) as a 'what's next' on this front?
[18:24] <@Ironholds> (me, I think it would be very helpful)
[18:24] <duh> +1
[18:24] <+MissGayle> One of the areas I think is really sensitive is WMF people "overreaching" or misrepresenting. It's a hard one we're still figuring out - though I do think that overall Foundation/community relationships IS something the entire Foundation needs to work on. Methodology for that, I will leave to wiser people than myself….Personally, I am worried I would totally screw up if I had to comment on a noticeboard right now.
[18:24] <Isarra> All users starting out worry about that.
[18:24] <tommorris> Ironholds: sure, am up for that. so long as it doesn't involve Sue Gardner calling me at 3am bellowing "HALP HALP I BROKE TEH WIKIZ!" at me. ;-)
[18:25] <jps> MissGayle: maybe you would, and maybe relations would improve substantially if you got enough practice that you wouldn't be worried
[18:25] <+MissGayle> Which isn't to say I couldn't learn, but the ongoing balance is also between the core pieces of my job, which is pretty time exhaustive, and the "I'd like to do that" elements… so I'd have to balance sufficient practice.
[18:25] <@Ironholds> tommorris: oh, she has Maggie_Dennis and me for that :D
[18:25] <Isarra> People learn by trying, and helping new folks to try tends to make the helpers look on those folks more favourably...
[18:25] <+MissGayle> Agreed.
[18:25] * jorm (~bharris@wikimedia/jorm) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:25] * Thehelpfulone waves
[18:25] <+MissGayle> And I'm a huge advocate of learning. This whole role has been a giant learning experience.
[18:25] * Tpt_ ( has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:25] <+MissGayle> Hello THO! :)
[18:25] * jorm (~bharris@wikimedia/jorm) Quit (Remote host closed the connection)
[18:25] <Thehelpfulone> tommorris, I like your informal chat idea and I'm also happy to volunteer for that
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[18:26] <+MissGayle> Awesome. :)
[18:26] * qgil_ (~qgil@ Quit (Ping timeout: 252 seconds)
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[18:26] * jvandavier (~jvandavie@wikimedia/jvandavier) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:26] <jorm> urgh.
[18:26] <+MissGayle> Backscrolling again …
[18:26] <+MissGayle> Hi Jorm!
[18:26] <Isarra> I'd be happy to stay away from said chat and avoid scaring people away.
[18:26] <+MissGayle> Isarra, I've found your comments really helpful so far.
[18:26] <jorm> grrr. I thought this was starting at 10:30
[18:26] <tommorris> so, MissGayle, I have more questions. Do the Foundation provide HR support to chapters? If, say, Wikimedia UK or Wikimedia Canada or whatever were trying to hire someone, do the Foundation provide support in terms of hiring advice and so on.
[18:27] <tommorris> (I say this, having sat a while back on an interview panel for WMUK.)
[18:27] <Isarra> MissGayle: Thank you, but I had breakfast.
[18:27] <jps> jorm: I'll pastebin you my scrollback in /msg unless anyone objects
[18:27] <jorm> that would be great, thanks.
[18:27] <duh> its a publicly logged channel i thought?
[18:27] <tommorris> jps: it's office hours. they are routinely logged and put on meta. no problemo.
[18:28] <Isarra> That said there will be community members who will be outright hostile if given the opportunity, so dealing with that may be an issue.
[18:28] <Bence> I've asked MissGayle for HR-related advice in the past re. Wikimedia Hungary
[18:28] <+MissGayle> We don't. It gets tricky because it may fall in the same category as the trickiness of providing legal advice. That said, a lot of times when a community member, chapter or not, has a question or wants advice related to interpersonal stuff, I'm generally happy to speak to people if I have capacity for it. :)
[18:28] <jps> jorm: will self destruct in 10 minutes
[18:28] <jps> oh, right, this is logged anyway
[18:28] <+MissGayle> Bence!! :) I enjoyed that conversation, and am happy to have conversations like that.
[18:29] <jps> okay, well, halfway through. Can we please talk about pay now?
[18:29] <+MissGayle> It feels a little less like WMF HR advice to me and more because I like helping people deal with situations they have, and my domain expertise happens to be HR and systems and strategy.
[18:30] <@Ironholds> jps: all due respect, I'd like to allow maybe one more question, if that's okay?
[18:30] <Bence> in a perfect world it would be great if more knowledge/skills transfer could happen between WMF and chapters
[18:30] <Avruch> I don't know if this came up earlier, but is "Culture" in the Chief Culture Officer more about the culture of the WMF, or Wikimedia in general?
[18:30] <jps> Ironholds: is there a question queued up?
[18:30] <@Ironholds> I know pay is an important issue, but we've spent a _lot_ of time talking about it (office hours with sue, mailing lists, email, on-wiki) and I'd like to make sure we're not overwhelming things.
[18:30] <@Ironholds> jps: there is now ;p
[18:30] <@Ironholds> Avruch: excellent question!
[18:31] <+MissGayle> WMF - creating a healthy work environment here at the office. I DO think the two are interconnected, like I can see the ways that WMF culture is deeply connected to and influenced by Wikimedian culture.
[18:31] <Isarra> Cross-project culture, outreach culture, internal culture?
[18:31] <+MissGayle> I think (I have to look) that we're like 44% Wikipedian.
[18:32] <@Ironholds> although I bring the mean up somewhat ;p
[18:32] <tommorris> MissGayle: are there WMF policies around disclosure of material to, say, ArbCom? I'm thinking of the disclosure by Philippe in the Fae case last year. which struck some as appropriate, and others as not quite kosher.
[18:33] <+MissGayle> You may be interested in this. When we did the culture survey, we talked with WMF employees about what they said made a good WMF leader: Mission-driven, Authentic, Empowering/Motivating, Not Corporate, Open & Transparent, and Community Facing are the top 7.
[18:33] <jps> tommorris: I wonder if the non-disparagement clause of the NDA applies to that
[18:34] <+MissGayle> I think that falls more under Geoff and Legal, Tom, because I don't have a good answer for you on that one.
[18:34] * tommorris isn't interested in arguing the rights or wrongs of it, but strictly what the policy is for things like that in the future.
[18:34] <ragesoss> Ironholds: by getting non-Wikipedians fired, or converting them to Wikipedians?
[18:34] <@Ironholds> ragesoss: by being extra-Wikipedian. Or, extra-stereotypically Wikiepdian ;p
[18:35] <Avruch> Seems like any disclosure policy would govern private or confidential information, anyway, which I don't think was an element of the Fae thing
[18:35] <ragesoss> :D
[18:35] <+MissGayle> That was a complicated situation that I'm not even going to try to wade into here. :)
[18:35] <Avruch> Probably best :P
[18:36] <+MissGayle> I have SOME sanity. ;)
[18:36] <+MissGayle> Though I did joke with Katie Horn at some point about having a san loss counter up on the 6th floor...
[18:36] <Avruch> Hold on to it with both hands, or it won't last
[18:36] <+MissGayle> (Cthulhu reference)
[18:37] <jorm> i have some cthulhu dice up here that track sanity.
[18:37] <jorm> i think.
[18:37] <@Ironholds> haha
[18:37] <jorm> danese gave them too me long ago.
[18:37] <@Ironholds> weirdly, I'm actually wearing my Cthulu t-shirt today
[18:37] <@Ironholds> "Welcome to Innsmouth: WHERE THE FISH ARE ALWAYS BITING"
[18:37] <Avruch> nerd alert :P but before you go MissGayle, tell us what MUDs you played! ;)
[18:37] <+MissGayle> Those of us who go into the mental health profession usually have had questions about it to begin with. :) My friends tell me that I'm so crazy, I'm sane making. I never quite trust people who tell me they're totally normal.
[18:37] <Isarra> Wikipedians are normal.
[18:38] * qgil_ (~qgil@ has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:38] <Isarra> They insist it loudly sometimes.
[18:38] <ragesoss> Every one of us.
[18:38] <ragesoss> In unison.
[18:38] <jps> Let's talk about mental health. What do we know about whether there are problematic aspects to the WMF culture?
[18:38] <@Ironholds> with staring, childlike, glowing eyes.
[18:38] <@Ironholds> that's how you know we're normal :D
[18:38] <+MissGayle> I was more of a MUSHing girl - adminned on some and even learned to code! I think a lot of mine are defunct.
[18:39] <Isarra> There are always problematic aspects. If something is to work, it deals with them, but they are still there.
[18:39] <+MissGayle> Let me say a couple things on pay briefly and I'm happy to talk about mental health components because it's an area I also care a lot about.
[18:39] <@Ironholds> okay, lets handle the mental health question (although I don't think 'mental health' <-> 'problematic aspects of culture') and then pay.
[18:39] <@Ironholds> ah, wrong way around ;p
[18:39] <jps> I'm convinced the two are related
[18:39] * protonk (~protonk@wikipedia/Protonk) Quit (Remote host closed the connection)
[18:40] <@Ironholds> hey, I was insane before I got here, thanks.
[18:40] * anomie is normal when he stands perpendicular to the floor, does that count?
[18:40] <Avruch> Intersection of normal and mental health questions, raises the question of how the WMF will over time manage interactions with Wikipedians that might have mental health challenges.
[18:41] <@Ironholds> Avruch: in my experience we normally hire them
[18:41] * @Ironholds rimshots
[18:41] <Avruch> lol
[18:41] <@Ironholds> okay, I'll sit in the corner now. MissGayle? :)
[18:41] <anomie> Ironholds- I was thinking the exact same thing...
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[18:41] <Avruch>
[18:41] <Soapy> hi protonk
[18:41] <protonk> hello
[18:41] <jps> I think the culture is steeped in peer pressure, elements of which discourage people from complaining about their level of recognition, compensation, and results in the sharp confidence decay shown on the top questions at
[18:41] <@Ironholds> hey, protonk!
[18:42] <+MissGayle> We pay above average, in the 55-75th percentile of non-profits in SF Bay Area (i.e. we pay more than 55-75% of them). We run just under the 50th percentile of for profit TECH companies in SF Bay Area - and the difference here shows up more in some places like Legal. This is pretty well known. We pay entry level engineers more on the low end of the %, but they can move up nicely with strong performance. Overall, we are slowly getting more
[18:42] <+MissGayle> competitive - and I see it as a 2-3 year arc beginning with some adjustments we did last annual review cycle to get us more to the mean. We also have a better benefits package than most non-profits, and is very, very competitive with for-profit bay area tech companies (not including stock option and bonuses because we don't do those.
[18:42] * @Ironholds offers the traditional salute of data nerds
[18:42] <Isarra> I think the culture needs more nerf guns.
[18:42] <+MissGayle> I disagree with you heartily on that JPS.
[18:42] <+MissGayle> Isarra - we had a nerf gun fight at our holiday party!! :)
[18:42] <protonk> Hi. Mostly lurking.
[18:42] <jorm> i agree with gayle's disagreement.
[18:42] <+MissGayle> Have you met our staff? They're pretty darned opinionated and outspoken! :)
[18:42] <Isarra> MissGayle: Excellent.
[18:42] <@Ironholds> I agree with jorm's agreement with gayle's disagreement.
[18:42] * Eloquence (~Eloquence@wikipedia/Eloquence) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:43] <+MissGayle> And it's one of the things I love about them.
[18:43] <Isarra> Also, yeah, I agree with Ironholds's assessment of... etc...
[18:43] <jps> MissGayle: I assume that 50th percentile figure ignores equity participation. What evidence is there that peer pressure isn't the cause of confidence decay?
[18:43] <Isarra> As a community member.
[18:43] <+MissGayle> I don't know what you mean by confidence decay.
[18:43] <jorm> wait, what?
[18:43] <jorm> you can't prove a negative, jps.
[18:43] <+MissGayle> And I can't provide evidence that peer pressure isn't the cause of anything. :)
[18:43] <+MissGayle> But I also can't provide evidence that the ongoing construction noise isn't the cause either!
[18:44] <jps> "We have extremely competent people in key positions" drops from 85% to 40% in two years
[18:44] <Isarra> How much would fixing the walls cost?
[18:44] <jorm> cripes, i'd put money on the construction noise over everything else.
[18:44] <@Ironholds> indeed :?
[18:44] <@Ironholds> ech. indeed, jorm
[18:44] <Avruch> speaking of construction noise, I was in SF last week first time ever, and couldn't find the WMF :(
[18:44] <@Ironholds> jps: sure. do you remember my comment on that a couple days ago?
[18:45] <@Ironholds> Avruch: oh no! in future, let us know; we tend to be happy to see editors :)
[18:45] <@Ironholds> well, I wouldn't, I don't work there. but.
[18:45] <+MissGayle> Part of the problem is that we didn't ask the same question year over year, so the comparatives between the two years are loose at best. I used a different survey than my predecessor, so we have to see how it looks when we equalize out.
[18:45] <Avruch> the 140 block of New Mont. was one big construction site
[18:45] <jps> jorm: proving a negative has nothing to do with it. If there is a reason for your assertion that peer pressure doesn't cause the vast difference in Glassdoor results and what we see on mailing lists, then what are the alternative hypotheses?
[18:45] <+MissGayle> YES! We like editor visitors.
[18:45] <jorm> seriously. i love showing editors around the offices. give them barnstars.
[18:45] <Isarra> Avruch: Theres no sign. That doesn't help.
[18:45] <jorm> methinks you put too much value in glassdor.
[18:45] <+MissGayle> Ditto.
[18:45] <jorm> glassdoor.
[18:45] <@Ironholds> the first time I visited the office I got dropped at montgomery street instead of NMS with no map
[18:45] <jorm> glassdoor is a "i just got fired and now i'm going to go bitch about it" site.
[18:46] <+MissGayle> Also, the survey was anonymous. No one was asked about their level, gender, etc.
[18:46] <@Ironholds> and ended up spending 40 minutes wandering around the FiDi going 'aaghh.'
[18:46] * Isarra hugs Ironholds.
[18:46] <jorm> or "nobody saw how big of a genius i am and always disagreed with me and i never got my way so i quit and now i'm bitching"
[18:46] <jps> MissGayle: well, why were there no questions about pay on the Engagement Survey -- you knew it was the top complaint on Glassdoor when you were designing it, right?
[18:46] <Isarra> I got lost trying to find the hotel, but at least it meant the office was findable. >.<
[18:46] * Avruch_ (c0f02996@wikimedia/Nathan) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:46] <+MissGayle> But what we DID do is provide a high level correlation code to the 3rd party vendor (blind) to do the analysis.
[18:47] <+MissGayle> I didn't design the survey - we had 3 focus groups with employees from different areas.
[18:47] <@Ironholds> Isarra: I did that too. I was AIMING for the hotel but couldn't find it, so in the end I went 'sod it' and went to the office on the grounds that someone there will know where I'm meant to be.
[18:47] <jps> jorm: the employees marked "current" on glassdoor are verified by email. I assume fired employees lose their .org email?
[18:47] <+MissGayle> Who gave input on the things they wanted to see in the employee engagement survey.
[18:47] <marktraceur> Isarra: I did that too, first time...I came out of the BART and then realized I had no idea which way was north. Took me a few minutes to figure out what streets I was on.
[18:47] <+MissGayle> And we used that data, plus some stuff from best practices, to design it.
[18:47] <@Ironholds> jps: er. sorry to be the one to point this out
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[18:47] <@Ironholds> the email was verified when the glassdoor profile was made
[18:48] <@Ironholds> this could have been 'between them deciding to leave and them leaving' :)
[18:48] <Isarra> Ironholds: I take it you didn't go on a sunday on a long weekend. >.<
[18:48] <+MissGayle> I also do all our exit interviews.
[18:48] <jps> MissGayle: if nobody was asked about their demographics, then why do you have eight demographics pie charts on the respondent population at the beginning of the slide deck?
[18:48] <@Ironholds> Isarra: naw, I tend to come in on a Wednesday. Although I usually work weekends in SF
[18:48] <Avruch_> I'll be back in 2 years when my conference returns to SF, there better be a sign by then :P
[18:48] <@Ironholds> and then MissGayle comes in on a Monday morning and has to poke me with a stick so I get off the couch in the collab space.
[18:48] <Isarra> Perfect timing for warhammer, eh?
[18:48] <Isarra> XD
[18:48] <@Ironholds> indeed
[18:48] <Thehelpfulone> jps, where's that report that you took a screenshot of?
[18:48] <Isarra> Whats this collab space?
[18:49] <+MissGayle> Because the 3rd party vendor who compiled the data used a table HR gave them to figure out demographics retrospectively, without identifying information.
[18:49] <@Ironholds> Isarra: big open area on 6th with the projector screen by sue's desk
[18:49] <jps> Ironholds: I believe you are mistaken. Glassdoor verifies employees who claim to be current when they submit reviews.
[18:49] <Isarra> Oh, heh.
[18:49] <Isarra> I shot darts into that space. That was fun.
[18:49] <@Ironholds> jps: yes. So, they had an email account when submitting
[18:49] * Avruch (c0f02996@wikimedia/Nathan) Quit (Ping timeout: 245 seconds)
[18:49] <jps> Thehelpfulone: Gayle has permission to distribute it to anyone who asks for it, but there is some question about whether it can be published
[18:49] <@Ironholds> again: this could mean 'they are current employees' OR 'they posted this after being told they were fired but before leaving' OR 'they posted this after deciding to leave but before leaving'
[18:49] <Eloquence> much as I love jps, are there other folks who have questions for gayle & hr?
[18:50] <@Ironholds> time periods in which they have email accounts :)
[18:50] <jorm> oshit it's the boss
[18:50] <Isarra> Is Gayle secretly a Troy?
[18:50] <Isarra> Troi?
[18:50] <jps> Eloquence: are you trying to suggest that MissGayle should not answer my specific questions?
[18:50] <protonk> Tory?
[18:51] <Eloquence> jps, meh
[18:51] <jorm> i'm actually not sure what your specific question is anymore.
[18:51] <Isarra> Must... resist... urge... to hug random guy I don't know...
[18:51] <jps> Eloquence: I have a question for you. Have you read ?
[18:52] <jps> Eloquence: or have you been able to find any recent secondary sources which agree with your interpretation of Dan's work which he specifically disclaims there?
[18:52] <jps> has anyone?
[18:52] <Thehelpfulone> jps, what do you aim to achieve with all these links to random articles in here, on mailing lists etc?
[18:53] <Avruch_> I'd be interested to know what concrete problem you are trying to address with all the questions about compensation.
[18:53] <Thehelpfulone> ^^^^^^
[18:53] <+MissGayle> OH, there was one about mental health variables. I wanted to say that this environment is particularly high in complexity for its size. We have a staff of approx 130, with a complexity of scale that is more typical for much, much larger systems, and also a level of visibility and scrutiny that's particularly high. There are a lot of people who are fiercely smart and who are mission driven - and as I said in relation to Aaron Swartz, that can
[18:53] <+MissGayle> combination can be hard for a world that is sometimes pretty brutal. There are a lot of variables I think about, but that's one of them. I did a talk with some of the managers a couple weeks ago about symptoms of depression and other mood disorders, because we all need to be watchful and create a supportive environment.
[18:53] <+MissGayle> Okay - reading back again.
[18:53] <jps> Thehelpfulone: I think the Foundation should base decisions on which is one of their largest areas of concern on at least the same quality sources that we consider most reliable when sources conflict
[18:54] <+MissGayle> Isarra - I wanted to be Troi when I was 12. :)
[18:54] <@Ironholds> jps: largest areas of concern to you :)
[18:54] * tewwy (~tychay@wikimedia/Tychay) Quit (Quit: tewwy)
[18:54] <Thehelpfulone> jps, per Ironholds, who in the Foundation has these concerns?
[18:54] <@Ironholds> Every staffer who has commented opens the same way
[18:54] <@Ironholds> which is 'hey, I LIKE people giving me more money, but...'
[18:54] <jps> Ironholds: "attracting skilled individuals for hiring" is identified as a specific improvement need in the Engagement Survey results
[18:55] <Avruch_> Obviously jps disagrees, but I really don't think compensation practices are among those things that can be effectively crowdsourced.
[18:55] <+MissGayle> It is - and we get some /great/ people applying for our roles! Just as an example, the way the new Legal team is shaping up, which historically has the largest gap honestly between SF market rates and what we offer, is going to be pretty awesome.
[18:56] <jps> MissGayle: my question remains: Why were there no questions about satisfaction with pay on the Engagement Survey, and will you please correct that omission in a follow-up truly anonymous survey?
[18:56] <jorm> i don't know that i have ever been in a situation where someone *else* is arguing that i need to get paid more.
[18:56] <jorm> and i find myself disagreeing.
[18:56] <Eloquence> heh
[18:57] <Maggie_Dennis> jorm: +1 :)
[18:57] <Avruch_> inorite
[18:57] * Fluffernutter (~Fluffernu@wikipedia/Fluffernutter) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:57] <+MissGayle> +1 too :)
[18:57] <jorm> not that i wouldn't turn it away. i'll take ALL the moneys.
[18:57] <jorm> but i measure my job satisfaction differently.
[18:57] <+MissGayle> It was 1) anonymous and 2) survey was designed based on what employees wanted to see it in :p
[18:57] <Avruch_> jps: I could do with more pay. Can I give you the number to my corporate HR office? :P
[18:57] <jps> I don't know if I've ever been in a situation where I've been trying to help an organization where employees confidence in their key peo�ple and ability to attract and retain talent falls 40% after two years
[18:58] <+MissGayle> well, partly, many of the questions were based on things employees wanted from the focus groups, and then some were from best practices in those surveys
[18:58] * ragesoss thinks staff should get a bonus every time someone give them a barntar.
[18:58] <@Ironholds> jps: how much time have you spent helping organisations? :)
[18:58] * tewwy (~tychay@wikimedia/Tychay) has joined #wikimedia-office
[18:58] <@Ironholds> ragesoss: do personal barnstars count?
[18:58] <@Ironholds> because if they do, watch my GA count fly upwards :D
[18:58] <jps> Ironholds: plenty. You can google me.
[18:58] <@Ironholds> so, my hypothesis for the decline in satisfaction, yet again: nothing to do with competence.
[18:58] <duh> the real motivation behind designing the wikilove extension :P
[18:59] <@Ironholds> we hire brilliant iconoclasts from different walks of life, with different ways of solving a problem. Inevitably two perspectives will meet on one problem, disagree, and both will walk away going '$name is an eejit'
[18:59] <@Ironholds> that's nothing to do with competence of the participants, it's simply the inevitable result of having an office of mad scientists :D
[18:59] <jps> MissGayle: I'm sorry, but there is simply no way you could have those eight demographics pie charts specific to the respondents and have responses not be personally identifiable.
[18:59] <@Ironholds> so, yes, I am not suprised to find eejit-suspect-levels increasing based on number of opportunities to solve a problem increasing.
[18:59] <Eloquence> Ironholds, I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about ;-)
[19:00] <@Ironholds> Eloquence: of course :). On that note I've almost finished that lead-to-gold ray you asked me to make.
[19:00] <jps> MissGayle: and "what employees wanted to see in it" was even less anonymous given your comments from September
[19:00] <@Ironholds> Eloquence: on an unrelated note completely, Garth Ennis, Y/N?
[19:00] <Maggie_Dennis> jps, did you see Gayle's earlier note that "the 3rd party vendor who compiled the data used a table HR gave them to figure out demographics retrospectively, without identifying information."
[19:00] <jorm> Garth Ennis: eh.
[19:00] <jorm> one trick poney. Read Preacher and then done.
[19:00] <@Ironholds> jorm: pretty much. Or The Boys.
[19:01] <@Ironholds> then move on with your life. but it's a good one-trick ;p
[19:01] * StevenW (~StevenW@wikimedia/steven-walling) has joined #wikimedia-office
[19:01] <jps> Ironholds: then what explains the 45% drop in satisfaction with recognition?
[19:01] <+MissGayle> I sometimes don't remember what I said last week, much less last September. :) What did I say about the focus groups?
[19:01] <Eloquence> Ironholds, n so far. happy to check it out though
[19:01] <@Ironholds> Eloquence: no need, I have it covered.
[19:01] <Eloquence> :)
[19:01] <jorm> "recognition" is not the same as "money"
[19:01] <@Ironholds> jps: maybe we're just not good at recognition! But it's not the same as cash moneys.
[19:02] <@Ironholds> recognition for me? 'I get namechecked at monthly metrics'. 'my boss tells me HIS boss thinks I don't suck'.
[19:02] * Eloquence appreciates jorm, thereby increasing his satisfaction with recognition by 15%.
[19:02] <@Ironholds> 'people come up to me and give me a tattoo'. Looking at jorm and Siko ;p
[19:02] <jps> I wasn't asking about the definition of recognition, I was asking why satisfaction with it falls 45% after two years
[19:02] <jorm> yeah, that tattoo thing was fun.
[19:02] <@Ironholds> it was!
[19:02] <jorm> because the size of the organization doubled.
[19:02] <@Ironholds> next time I'm in town I'm getting a colour piece.
[19:02] <jorm> because in doing so, we don't know everyone anymore.
[19:03] <@Ironholds> jorm's hypothesis seems plausible.
[19:03] * James_F is now known as James_F|Away
[19:03] <@Ironholds> it's kind of hard to namecheck people in monthly metrics these days without making it 8 hours long.
[19:03] <jorm> and we had to stop doing weekly gatherings where these recognition things happened cross-organization.
[19:03] <ragesoss> which two-year period are we talking about?
[19:03] * Jamesofur|away is now known as Jamesofur
[19:03] <@Ironholds> alright, it looks like we're about at the end of our one-hour limit :)
[19:04] <@Ironholds> MissGayle, you want to continue for a bit or do you have some place to be?
[19:04] <tommorris> Ironholds: I once was namechecked by Tim Berners-Lee on stage. The rest of my career is now on an inevitable steady decline from that peak. ;-)
[19:04] <Avruch_> show off
[19:04] <Eloquence> tommorris, thanks for your posts to the openstreetmap list btw. those were very good.
[19:04] <jps> The fact remains that Dan Pink's own statements refute Eloquence and Sue's interpretation of his work, as do all the most recent secondary peer reviewed sources. The culture of peer pressure for austere salaries is abundantly evident here. Failing to ask about pay was a profoundly serious omission when it was the top complaint on Glassdoor.
[19:04] <@Ironholds> tommorris: David Allen Green and most of the WaPo editorial staff, and yeah, pretty much :P
[19:05] <jps> ragesoss: prior to November, 2012
[19:05] <Eloquence> MissGayle just lost her connectivity
[19:05] <tommorris> Eloquence: no problemo. they tried to drag me into the Strategy Working Group, but I had to point out that my interest in OpenStreetMap was wandering around with a camera and a GPS, and occasioanlly fiddling in a text editor, rather than getting dragged onto another mailing list. ;)
[19:05] <jps> MissGayle: may I quote from your email when I asked you whether you knew of any research supporting paying below market?
[19:05] <@Ironholds> alright, I have to check out too, it looks like
[19:05] <Avruch_> did Gayle or Erik say that they would ask about compensation satisfaction on a future employee survey?
[19:05] * gyoung (~gyoung@ has joined #wikimedia-office
[19:05] * gyoung (~gyoung@ Quit (Changing host)
[19:05] * gyoung (~gyoung@wikimedia/gyoung) has joined #wikimedia-office
[19:05] <@Ironholds> (editor engagement meeting)
[19:06] <@Ironholds> thank you to everyone for your questions, and to Eloquence, gyoung, jorm et al for their answers
[19:06] <@Ironholds> and to Isarra for her dadist interludes ;p
[19:06] <gyoung> Sorry!
[19:06] <@Ironholds> *dadaist
[19:06] <duh> thanks for doing this :)
[19:06] <gyoung> Net died - but now I will actually say good bye :) And you're welcome. Anytime.
[19:06] * +MissGayle (~gyoung@wikimedia/gyoung) Quit (Read error: Connection reset by peer)
Session Close: Mon Jan 28 19:06:31 2013