Offboarding Guidelines

Need to let someone go? Is it just not working out? No problem, DAO Ops is here to help!

This guide hopes to give clear instructions and guidelines for leaders and contributors alike for what to do when offboarding is needed for a Giveth contributor.

Offboarding Contributors during Trial Period

During the hiring process an offer is made to the contributor containing the terms of their role requirement and if accepted they will begin their “trial-period” - This is often a duration of 2 months.

During the trial period contributors are expected to be punctual and responsive. They might not know much about how Giveth operates but they are expected to try their best and be diligent and communicative with everyone. They are expected to accurately report and estimate their working hours. We recommend the buddy have performance check-ins during this period, to give the contributor a constant feedback loop during their trial period.

A contributor on their trial period can be let go with relatively little headache. After their trial period it becomes much more difficult, and requires extra processes and feedback gathering to take any action.

As a leader within Giveth, it is during the trial period that you should be critical of the given contributor’s work ethic and behaviour. Here’s some questions you should ask yourself while assessing their performance:

  • How do they show up to the workplace, what’s their behaviour/attitude like?
  • Do they show initiative to take on tasks?
  • Are they available and responsive during expected work hours?
  • Do they take time to understand the organization’s processes?
  • Do they ask questions or explore how Giveth’s products or programs work (Dapp, GIVeconomy etc…)?
  • Have they been given clear requirements of what success looks like for their role?
  • Does the quality of the work they deliver meet the expectations of their role?
  • Do they deliver work on time?
  • Does the amount of hours they bill match their output (no time clock fraud)?

If you have ANY DOUBTS around the questions above you should consider two options:

Extend their trial period


Terminate their job offer (let them go)

“Hire slow, fire fast” - Ol’ Business Lore

Let’s cover the process for each case.

Extending a Contributor’s Trial Period

If you have doubts after the initial trial period and want to give time for a contributor to improve, you can request to extend their trial period to HR (Nico or Heather). The extension should be between 1-2 months.

You should gather your concerns into a clear concise format, referencing detailed, relevant examples of how the contributor has not met the expectations of their work agreement. Gathering peer feedback forms is also recommended, to give the contributor more context about how their work has been unsatisfactory. The HR team can assist you in gathering peer feedback.

Deliver your feedback and improvement suggestions to the contributor. Preferably on a video call, otherwise via a DM. Notify HR (Heather & Nico) of the trial extension when you are planning to deliver feedback. If you feel uncomfortable or want extra support during a call you can reach out to the Gravity team via a support request form or contact Nikola directly.

Listen to the contributor’s response, try to understand their perspective but also focus on what your needs and expectations are as well as those of the Giveth organization.

Come up with a plan of action with clear goals of what success looks like for the extended trial period. This should include some objective metrics (ex. increase donors by x%) and some actions to be taken (ex. organize events, etc.). This can look like a PIP, or a Professional Improvement Plan. We recommend the buddy have performance check-ins during this period, to give the contributor a constant feedback loop.

Monitor the contributor to see if the situation improves against their plan of action. If at the end of their trial period extension, you still have unresolved doubts and it’s clear they haven’t met what is expected of them, the strongest recommendation is that it’s time to let them go (terminate job offer).

Terminating a Contributor during their Trial Period

Inform HR that you believe the contributor has not passed their trial period and we should not hire them. Provide some extra context to the HR team. What are your unresolved doubts? What are some situations that caused you to come to this conclusion? How did they perform against their role’s requirements? The HR team will then inform the Stewards of the decision to offboard.

HR will reach out to the contributor in question, deliver their response and terminate the job offer for the contributor. You may also decide to deliver the decision to the contributor yourself.

Offboarding Contributors AFTER their Trial Period

A contributor who’s been around for a while or perhaps fresh off their trial period and you’re having some serious doubts of their work ethic, behaviour, quality or otherwise. Perhaps it’s worth considering if your working group, chapter or Giveth as an organization is the place for them to keep contributing.

As a Chapter or Working Group lead it’s your call on who you want to keep amongst your crew. However there are some processes to follow.

Issue a Warning

If you have concerns as a leader from one of your contributors the best first step is to gather peer feedback from others. Furthermore, gather screenshots of conversations that exemplify questionable work ethics or behavior. Thorough documentation will help illustrate the situation at hand. This will help to either validate or invalidate your concerns, you can ask specific contributors to submit peer reviews for the contributor in question and ask questions to peers who actively work with this contributor.

Contact HR and share your concerns, they may be able to help corroborate and investigate information using peer reviews already gathered.

“If you don’t document it, it didn’t happen”

To issue a first warning, it is best practice to inform HR and provide context. Once HR is informed, have a video call if possible with the contributor and share your concerns, communicating your expectations clearly. Listen to their response and take notes. Let them know this is their first warning and they have 1 month, up to 2 months maximum (at your discretion) to show improvement. Also inform any relevant chapter or working group leads of your warning issued.

You may also utilize the Gravity team and submit an escalated gravity case followed by mediation process. Where the two parties formulate a final solution. This process can take up to a 1-2 months, depending on deliverables. A clear professional improvement plan (PIP) should be created which includes suggested actions to be taken. Make this as objective as possible and include examples of the desired outcomes.

After 1 month, 2 months maximum (at your discretion) has passed, assess the improvements made, if any. If you’re still not satisfied you have two options available

Issue a second warning


Remove the contributor

The second warning should follow the same format as the first. If after the second warning you are still not satisfied with the improvements then the best course of action is to remove the contributor.

Removing a contributor

As a leader within Giveth, this falls on your shoulders to take responsibility for contributors within your purview. These are delicate and uncomfortable situations, but it is your responsibility.

Removing a contributor from your Chapter or Working Group does not mean they cannot contribute to Giveth anymore. If there’s an explicit agreement between the contributor and another Chapter or Working Group to provide work then they may continue providing value there. This may affect their salary or billable hours depending on the agreement with other Chapter or Working Groups.

If at least 1 warning has been issued and it’s been at least 1 month but no longer than 6 months since the last warning you may proceed with removing a contributor from your working group or chapter. This roughly falls in line with our previous guidelines.

The first step is to inform HR with relevant info such as:

  • If they are being offboarded from Giveth or only a particular WG or Chapter
  • When their last working day will be
  • Listen to their recommendations, if any, and then prepare yourself to confront the contributor.

Handling terminations is a delicate and challenging task. It’s important to approach the situation with empathy, preparation, and professionalism. Here are some steps and tips:

1. Be Prepared:

  • Have all necessary documentation ready.
  • Be clear on the reasons for the termination.
  • Revoke any administrative permissions or credentials they might hold, talk to DevOps to verify.
  • We also recommend to have a third person present during the call to bear witness. This is a really fragile moment and sometimes issues arise that can turn into “he said, she said.” A third person can minimize the potential of this experience and also provide additional emotional support.

2. Choose the Right Setting:

  • Have the conversation in a video call, if possible.
  • If you feel too uncomfortable ask a member of the Conflict Resolution team to be present

3. Be Direct but Compassionate:

  • Get to the point quickly but respectfully.
  • Do not go back on your decision
  • Express understanding about the difficulty of the situation.

4. Communicate Clearly:

  • Explain the reasons for the termination.
  • Notify them of their last working day
  • Avoid blaming or arguing.

5. Maintain Professionalism:

  • Remain calm and composed, regardless of the contributor’s reaction.
  • Avoid engaging in arguments or debates.
  • Actively Listen to the contributor and empathize.

6. Follow-Up:

  • Inform the necessary parties about the termination (HR, relevant Chapter & WG Leads).
  • Ensure a smooth transition of the employee’s responsibilities. This could include a checklist of all outstanding deliverables.
  • Offer them resources to help them find a new job elsewhere.

7. Learn from the Experience:

  • Reflect on the situation to understand what led to the termination.
  • Consider how to prevent similar situations in the future.

8. Respect Privacy:

  • Respect the privacy of the individual being terminated and don’t disclose unnecessary details to others.

Handling terminations with dignity, respect, and professionalism will help to maintain a positive work environment and lessen the risk of damage to the Giveth organization.

Thanks for reading this epic forum post

Shout out to @mitch for writing the vast majority of this post (tip of the hat :cowboy_hat_face:). And thanks to @aabugosh @NikolaCreatrix @Nicbals @Giantkin for their feedback and edits.


There’s a few things I don’t see in here, maybe they are in other processes or documents I haven’t seen like the buddy reviews, performance check ins / improvement plan, notification that the leadership has doubts on whether it’s a good fit.

Where do we ask the person who is struggling what’s going on with them, why they think they are not meeting their requirements, and what they need in order to succeed - did all that happen before reaching this Offboarding procedure?

1 Like

Thank you @Danibelle those are good points to clarify before offboarding. Maybe we can work out a bit clearer description of the advice process. I think we can separate them into one for the trial period and the other for regular contributors. I am not sure if this is still relevant noticing the big decisions being made at the retreat, but I see it like this and would like to hear your opinions:

A) Trial period - initiation phase
During the trial period, a newbie works directly with the WG lead and HR who ensures they are on track to meet the expectations, and if the buddy is not the WG lead, he/she helps with onboarding and emotional support. When the leader concludes that the contributor is not the right fit, ideally, he/she collects peer feedback forms filled by team members to bring more perspective before making the final decision, which then is discussed with and executed by the HR team.

B) Regular Contributor
Here the process can vary by category. Examples:

  1. WG offboarding. Described in the post above. WG lead has the first and last word and responsibility as the budget keeper therefore they can make independent decisions about who to keep in their working group but it should be well-reasoned and they follow the warning policy described above. The other version is negative team feedback (more than 3 contributors?) and low ranks (under 6) 2 buddy reviews in a row (6 months). Can be only WG-related.

  2. Escalated gravity case followed by mediation process where final agreements either weren’t possible to reach or were not followed. (This process can take up to a few months and has its archive and track)

  3. Serious violation of our Code of Conduct | Giveth Docs reported by a community likely by filling the gravity support request providing evidence. An Investigation follows and the final decision is assessed amongst core team leaders or even possibly took on-chain?! That’s a question. However, this is something we haven’t encountered yet as far as I know but can be considered.

  4. The Bear Strike
    This is when the offboarding feels like a surprise but sometimes it happens and usually it is caused by budget cuts. There are many parties involved in the advice process to ensure the choice is well-reasoned.

1 Like

I would amend this to always have a 3rd person present. It’s a really fragile moment and sometimes there are issues that arise during that moment that end up being a he said she said thing… good to have a third person that can bear witness to the event to minimize that potential experience.


Agreed! I’ll make the update.