Upgrading Giveth HR - Work Agreements, Termination and Intra-WG Governance

A few critical gaps have been identified throughout the rapid expansion of the Giveth DAO, I’d like to propose some changes that will help us have a more clear path for judging our salaried contributor’s performance and creating clear standards and processes for dealing with issues with contributors as they arise.

big props to @freshelle @WhyldWanderer @Griff and @karmaticacid for the intial feedback!

Developing Standards for Buddy Reviews

The Work Agreement (WA) should become the focal point of a buddy review. The Reviewer should use the Reviewee’s Work Agreement as the talking points for a review call. Regular Contributors should use what they have agreed to contribute and the hours they have promised to contribute as the base metrics for their performance. The Reviewer is not there to necessarily critique but rather to pose questions, cause reflections, observe and record. If there’s a clear discongruence between a work agreement and the work the contributor is doing they need to either revisit their work agreement or revisit the way they actively contribute so the work agreement aligns with the work being done. Salaries should be consistently disclosed on work agreements since they provide important context in the relationship between hours worked and the type of work done, with the compensation received.

Work Agreements should have a copy stored in an ipfs link, allowing it to be universally available, uncensorable and change resistant.

A loose set of questions should be developed based on work agreements, reviewers are required to ask and record responses but can also add in any flavour they wish to personalize their buddy calls. The work agreements should be open during the buddy call. Questions that should be added to the already established buddy call review questions:

  • Average hours worked per week
  • Which working groups they are contributing to
  • Hours spent working in each working group
  • Deliverables/tasks completed for each working group
  • If they would make changes to their WA or leave it as is
  • ???

Iterating on Work Agreements

A contributor who wishes to update their work agreement can do so at any time, however it must pass a governance vote. This is invaluable for contributors who would like to break into new working groups, expand their talents and serve the org in greater capacities. This is also useful to keep contributors and their work agreements aligned. There must be, however, some sort of consensus and feedback process between the contributor and the org/working group so that the right people are doing the right work. Updated Work Agreements must pass a DAO vote on the nrGIV DAO. If a contributor wants advice on their updated work agreement they are invited to make a forum post, however it is not mandatory. In general, the advice process will almost always improve the chances of any proposal passing a vote. Work Agreements Including Iterations will be tracked by the Governance Working Group. The WA document should be linked in the DAO vote and changes made should be outlined either in a forum post or in the #governance channel on the Giveth Discord.

Creating Channels for Critical Feedback

Ordinary Critical Feedback

A Typeform template will be created for any contributor at any time to send feedback regarding another contributor, typeforms will be tracked in a database managed by the Governance WG and Gravity. This typeform will ask questions relevant to the contributor under review’s performance, work ethic, behaviour. Feedback will be passed on, anonymously, to the contributor’s buddies who will present it on the subsequent buddy review.

Escalated Critical Feedback
For more serious feedback that needs to be escalated, we will have a space in the typeform where the submitter can indicate whether the contributor in question should have their work agreement terminated based on their typeform feedback. Going this route would open a Gravity case, allowing for important feedback to be worked through in a productive manner. This is the first signal to a contributor that potentially they need to improve their work. This is also a requirement in order to escalate to a Termination of a Work Agreement.

Terminating Work Agreements

A reasonable amount of time after an Escalated Critical Feedback has been submitted, the submitter can call for a termination of another contributor’s work agreement. This can only take place minimum 1 month after an escalated Critical Feedback, up to a maximum of 6 months afterwards. A vote is created on the nrGIV DAO to terminate their Work Agreement. If this vote passes this contributor will have their regular payments discontinued and access credentials revoked from all Giveth systems and platforms. Context for termination will be provided by Gravity inside the #DAO channel on Discord, Gravity will also help facilitate any discussion.

*In future systems I would envision this process also involves the proposer posting collateral in the form of GIV, which would be forfeit in case of the vote failing. Technical validation pending…

Intra-Working Group (WG) Governance (Step 2)

As Giveth scales we’ve quickly realized that some governance processes don’t need to take the bandwidth of the entire org. We need to create scoped governance systems so that working groups can govern themselves and make collective decisions for issues that affect only it’s contributors (Big props to Willy and ShapeShift for the inspiration). We can do this using our current DAO tools - using the nrGIV DAO we can add in more voting apps, agents, finance apps, voting tokens to create independent voting and fund management systems for Working Groups that require scaling up. Effectively we can create sub DAOs that can be observed and engaged with, under the same parent DAO.

Minting WG specific voting tokens will allow WGs to have independent token-weighted voting that is separate from nrGIV tokens. Distributing voting tokens among WGs I suggest should be 1 contributor, 1 token with perhaps the WG lead having an extra weight of 3 total voting tokens, given their extra insight into the workings and nuances of the WG. A standard 5 day vote duration should be used (this cannot be changed once set), Quorum and Support Required can be dictated by the WG wishing to create their sub DAO within nrGIV. nrGIV tokens would not have voting weight inside a WGs respective voting app. Minting and Burning tokens as contributors shuffle in, around and out of the WGs can be done via normal token-manager functions.

The UI would feel something akin to Discord, seamlessly checking in on channels and interacting if you have the right permissions/tokens. I believe this can be carried out via EVM-crispr. A lot of testing will have to be done to make sure we don’t wreck anything crucial in our DAO but I’m pretty confident this can be done with Aragon Apps.

Once we implement this second step we can transition many of these processes to scope them to working group decisions, alleviating the sometimes unnecessary overhead of the entire org being called to make decisions.

Iterating Work Agreements (Step 2)

Once we have unique sub DAOs for WGs requiring extra governance controls we can modify the structure of work agreements to include a breakdown of hours spent working for each WG and the requested compensation for their contributions. When a contributor chooses to modify their WG they can of course choose to go through the regular advice process via the forum and instead submit a vote to the WG relevant to the changes they are proposing to their WA. This process will requires changes or additions relayed via a forum post or via Discord to the relevant WG channels. The WG will have its own voting app on the nrGIV DAO that these votes are submitted to. Current work agreements will need to be modified to match these updated requirements. Contributors need to have an approved work agreement within a WG in order to receive compensation from it.

Terminating Work Agreements (Step 2)

A fundamental change of this component will be that instead of terminating an entire work agreement, we can remove a contributor from a WG, thus ending any compensation agreements and revoking relevant credentials to the WG. Any contributor from a WG can propose this, given they meet the aforementioned timing requirements relative to escalated Critical Feedback. The DAO vote will instead be scoped to the relevant WG instead of the entire org.

Big props to @willy and Shapeshift for the inspiration for this system.


Praise Mitch for this great proposal! I support this much needed upgrade on work agreements.

I think one of the important clarifications needed here is the disclosure of individual salaries. This forum post had a majority feedback on not disclosing the salaries and instead, have an overall budget for each working group. This governance call also had some similar responses. Maybe this needs more discussion and a vote so we can move forward with this new process.


If the goal is to decentralize HR and all processes than moving in the SubDAO direction makes sense.
At Design WG we’re already working on a doc that gives complete insight into how design at Giveth works, same thing mentioned @WhyldWanderer for Community Circle.

What we need to do is create a streamlined, transparent and clear process for any person that has interest to work at Giveth is guided from the first step. They need to fully understand what to expect before they sign the agreement.

I see that all elements from this proposal (HR, Gravity, WG’s as SubDAO’s) glued together.

In order to have transparent agreements (accessible by anyone from Giveth, maybe not publicly available) we also need to define rates based on the roles, or define how we reward contributors (this should be public info).
WG DAO’s should also align their contributor salaries with the budget the WG is getting from Giveth.


Giveth is radically transparent and open source, we always say that. I believe we should hold up to this when figuring out the best way to handle this proposal.

I shared an example on Discord of how Buffer handles transparency with employee salaries Transparent Salaries | Buffer
and how they calculate it
The Next Evolution of Transparent Salaries: Our New Remote-First Formula and Updated Salary Calculator

If we set the foundation in a similar way, decide on the formula, make it transparent, even go a step further and disclose our treasury and WG budgets and all that, then I think we can continue implementing the processes outlined in this proposal.


Great idea marko! I think having some sort of salary standardization will help us go a long way as we continue to scale. I think dealing with our current work agreements should be priority and then creating structure for new ones would come after.

Some of the points you raise around treasury and WG budgets the blockchain already takes care of without any extra overhead.

I have heard comments from @Griff about how to make salaries transparent but not tweetable - there is some existing functionality on discourse and discord that we could use.

We can create a new category on the forum, locked for users only with the staff role and we can dedicate it to Work Agreement discussions. Forum posts in here can be referenced by DAO votes but would not be accessible by forum users who do not have the staff role. If we see the need for more channels for discussion we can also create a @unicorn role locked channel for work agreement discussions.

New hires who are not yet staff can have their first WA’s posted by the governance circle.


I agree that Marko’s suggestion is great and would be a good start to have some salary standardization. The reference shared was based on annual salaries. We must also take into account the hourly and part-time contributors and how their rates will be “standardized”.

Yes, this should be prioritized. I think salary standardization comes with roles standardization. We should be able to identify the roles for each WG. Most of the new contributors’ roles are made as they come in. I believe there should be a discussion/call for each WG with the WG steward and go through every agreement to help identify these roles.

It’s great to know we have this function in discourse. Thanks for looking this up, Mitch! I just wonder how new hires would be able to participate in the advice process or addressing feedback on role proposals if they won’t be able to see the forum post.


I was digging a bit more around discourse - we can actually create user roles/groups so we’re not limited to a single staff group.

We can create two roles with two role locked forum categories
a forum category called New Work Agreements - accessible by a new-contributor and the current-contributor user groups
a second category for Work Agreement Updates accessible only by current-contributor

When a new-contributor has their WA accepted they receive the current-contributor role allowing access to the second proposed category.

The simpler alternative is we give all applicants and current contributors a contributor role which would give them access to a singular Work Agreements forum category.


Begin development of the HR upgrade?

  • Yes! Let’s try it out.
  • No, I have concerns/questions and will leave a comment.
  • Abstain

0 voters

The first step we are taking to start this new process is updating the buddy review questions.
There are 3 typeforms to be created.

  1. Contributor Self-Review and Giveth Feedback
    To be filled out by each contributor and will be shared to their buddy (reviewer) for further discussion during their quarterly buddy review.

  2. Work Agreement - Buddy Review
    To be filled out by the buddy (reviewer) during or after the buddy review. Buddies must fill out this form to record they’ve conducted reviews consistently (at least every quarter), and to have one place to gather and document each buddy review discussion.

  3. Contributor Feedback
    To be filled out by contributors who want to give feedback (positive/negative) to a fellow contributor. This is open for all. This form pertains to the ordinary and escalated critical feedback as mentioned above.

Here’s the link to the questions for each form: Giveth - Buddy Review Questions - Google Docs. Your feedback on this would be appreciated! We hope to start the buddy review call with using these forms by end of March as part of the first quarter review for 2022.

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Thanks @mitch for putting this proposal together and pushing forward on it. I have some things I like, and some thing I don’t.

I really like:

  • contributor feedback forms
  • self-review & feedback w/ buddies

I really don’t like:

  • transparent salaries
  • lack of clarity around distinction between Giveth agreements and GM agreements and how they intersect or not
  • our WGs as they are

Everyone interacting with this post so far do not even have work agreements with Giveth and are employed by General Magic. Isn’t part of the reason GM exists to have privacy around salaries? What about the question of region, needs, skills, other opportunities wrt salaries? Where’s the distinction? Who defines what is fair?

I honestly think our WGs need some redefinition. We decided on Circle initially and set WGs in terms of skillset… but this doesn’t really make sense in practice. Having groups form around products makes a great deal more sense… For example… if I depend on a particular designer to complete tasks for a particular project… and they end up being very slow, or difficult to work with… we should be able to remove them from the product WG and sub in another designer… This makes a lot more sense then the dispersed skillset-based WGs we have now… which tbh were never meant for organizing work, but were rather created to group people together based on skills.

If WGs were built around products, it would be a lot easier to determine if a contributor is adding value to that product or not… The way we have it now is not scalable because the borders are blurred.

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Absolutely some valid concerns!

I think transparent salaries come part and principle with what we’re building and what we expect of projects on our platform - Transparency of funds.

There is a ton of confusion around Giveth and GM and I did not wish it this way, but I think there is a solution. Many GM contributors are involved in many projects but alot are mainly involved in Giveth. If GM is requesting funds from Giveth we should have clear work agreements that detail a particular contributors contributions to Giveth, the hours they expect to spend working for Giveth and the compensation they are asking from Giveth. They might have a separate work agreement inside the GM org but I think a contributor’s relationship with Giveth should be clearly defined in any case. This should add some much needed transparency to the already occuring payment requests from GM.

In terms of general salary transparency we will have role locked categories in the forum which will allow work agreements to be viewable only by current contributors - transparent but not tweetable. I have my reservations about this semi-transparent system but this is the compromise I propose based on feedback.

There is also plenty of room to adjust WGs and redefine them to make more sense, hopefully rethinking how we define our working groups will allow for more mutual observation and better contributor feedback!


YAS QUEEN. I think this will help a lot. We put those agreements under “current contributors”? Or a separate category?

What about… making like a “minimum rate” for a particular role? Or “standard rate”? And having those be transparent. Then when it comes to the individuals, there can be some discussion or modification within agreements with either WG leads, buddies, or some “trusted” group of salary people. Perhaps salaries are negotiable and the negotiation occurs between the individual and this “salary board”… salary board including relevant people like Freshelle who does budgeting, Griff who does a lot of overseeing, Ahmad who does hiring… maybe throw in some WG leads… And then that group needs to agree… rather than having transparency accross the board.

Yeah… I mean, I really think that if we move forward with this we can structure calls & WGs around products. I think this is what @MoeNick was suggesting since the beginning.


Let’s stick them under current contributors so information is consolidated - Maybe make a note in the WA that this is part of a contract between GM and Giveth.

I think having benchmark salaries is a good idea but will take time. Perhaps standardized salaries in tandem with a working reward system would make for discepencies between standardized rates and exceptional contributors who do high quality work and go the extra mile.

I don’t like the idea of relegating things to “trusted” groups because its not an elegant decentralized solution and feels like another layer of hidden centralized information controlled by a select few. There’s an opportunity to explore what a decentralized solution could look like for HR and I think the culture of Giveth is strong enough that it’s worth creating open avenues of communication and to see what happens if we really try to build something that breaks the mould in this domain.

In regards to reforming WGs I would leave that initiave to those who wish to take it, the second phase of building intra-WG governance will come a bit further down the line anyway.


Having small groups responsible for certain things is not “centralized”. Decentralized means there is no single point of failure. Having a group of people in charge of dealing with sensitive information like salaries protects individual privacy, and if any one is unavailable, there are others… To make the practice of choosing these people even more decentralized, we can have a nomination process & maybe even a snapshot vote. We can even have that as some kind of WG that is also subject to the same review/feedback process as other WGs.


Following the Governance Call March 28, 2021 we dived a bit further into the question of salaries on Work Agreements.,

There was little support for showing salaries and stronger support for keeping them delegated to a working group who can disclose salary information on a need-to-know basis and can handle negotiating salaries between contributors and Giveth.

Moving forward in this direction I would propose then adding salary management to the tasks of the Governance WG, information can be kept in a spreadsheet or whatever manner seems most efficient. Work Agreements go up to forum and DAO without salaries on them. Salaries are also not disclosed during buddy review calls. We should focus on having rigorous detailing of tasks each contributor plans to make to each WG.

The Governance WG (or whatever WG is chosen/created to handle salaries) should have the ability and bandwidth to raise the flag when a work agreement is being updated and there is an issue between the salary requested and the work the contributor is proposing to do. This can be expressed either during the advice process or during a DAO vote.

WDYT @freshelle @karmaticacid @markop @aabugosh ?

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If this is a solution to move things forward, then I have no objections.

I’m still proposing that we try to achieve the salary standardisation, which will allow us full transparency.
I commented about that here Upgrading Giveth HR - Work Agreements, Termination and Intra-WG Governance - #4 by markop


Thanks for this Mitch!

I think there needs to have some sort of actual voting/consensus regarding the issue on not disclosing salaries and having this salary management WG. Maybe a poll here and let people vote, especially the current paid contributors since only a few people are speaking up. It might be helpful in assessing if we move forward with this or not. Also, this would make it official as part of the HR process, and for them to be informed on the next steps and changes in their WA.

Should this move forward, I agree on your proposal, @mitch. To add, I’d like to propose the following documents each contributor should prepare or have:

1. Role Proposal
A google doc (create a template) to be shared in the forum for advice process and DAO for voting. This outlines the WG they contribute to, list of tasks and % allocation of their total time for each WG (this is necessary in computing budget/cost for each WG)
Governance WG (60%)

  • Task 1
  • Task 2
  • Task 3

Platform WG (10%)

  • Task 1

Communications WG (30%)

  • Task 1
  • Task 2

2. Work Agreement
This is the confidential document which includes list of role/tasks, salary information, and terms of the agreement. This will be signed by the contributor and a representative from the “salary management WG” to have a certain doc which either party can use to enforce the terms thereof. As a suggestion, using openlaw.


I think the main issue I have with it currently is that we don’t have enough standardization that would easily allow us to come up with that formula for now (taking into account experience, living standards, contribution etc.). My main objection is related to recruitment and hiring, as it can make negotiations more difficult (and sometimes we need to make exceptions, which could be transparent but those exceptions should be accounted for in whatever formula we end up with).

I like the working group idea, because it allows us to formalize this process a bit more, and standardize things first, and then that working group can discuss what level of transparency they’d be comfortable with after they discuss ways to create “salary bands” that are fair


I like this proposal of a document with this format.

Okay so let’s keep it simple and get some consensus.

  • Option 1 - Disclose salaries on Work Agreements, have them in a section of the forum viewable only by contributors. Work Agreements are used openly in Buddy Review Calls.

  • Option 2 - Disclose salaries on Work Agreements. However Work Agreements and thus salary information is managed, negotiated and disclosed by a WG committed to handling this task. Role Proposals are created as a separate doc that details distribution of time spent and tasks within the different Giveth WGs, without salary information. Role Proposals are used in buddy review calls.

What’s it gonna be then, eh?

  • Option 1 - Disclose Salaries and have them viewable by contributors
  • Option 2- Salary info held by a dedicated WG. Use Role proposals for reviews instead.

0 voters

Please correct me if I misunderstood some of the ideas captured.