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Incentives at GitLab

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The following incentives are available for GitLabbers. Also see our separate page on benefits available to GitLabbers.

IACV Target Dinner Evangelism Reward

Since reaching our iacv targets is a team effort that integrates everything from making a great product to providing top notch customer support and everything in between, we reward all GitLabbers (not just the Sales team) for every month that we reach our IACV Targets. The incentive is 100 USD to each team member for the purpose of evangelizing the GitLab story. You may use the incentive at a restaurant of your choice. Enjoy!

Discretionary Bonuses


  1. Every now and then, individual GitLabbers really shine as they live our values. We especially like to celebrate the special moments that exemplify the behavior we want to see in all GitLabbers.
  2. We recognize this through the #thanks channel, and sometimes also through a discretionary bonus.
  3. Anybody can recommend a discretionary bonus for a Gitlabber to the GitLabber's manager for a $1,000 at the exchange rate.
  4. We are fixing this amount at $1,000 thoughtfully and purposefully. We want the focus to be on the value and the behavior, not on the perceived monetary impact to GitLab. This is about recognition.
  5. A general guideline is that 1 in 10 employees might receive a discretionary bonus each month. This can vary greatly as we don't give out bonuses just to hit a quota, nor would we hold one back because a certain number had already been awarded.
  6. There is no limit to the frequency with which someone can receive a bonus. If someone deserves a bonus a day after being nominated for one we should do a second one.

Process for Recommending a Team Member for a Bonus in BambooHR

Any GitLabber

  1. Write a 1 sentence description of how the GitLabber has demonstrated a specific GitLab value in their work.
  2. Email or Slack that sentence to the GitLabber's manager, suggesting a discretionary bonus, and set-up a 15 minute Zoom meeting to discuss your proposal.
  3. Remember that the manager may or may not agree and has full discretion (with approval of their manager) on whether that person gets a bonus. Don't forget that you can also use the #thanks channel to recognize people, as well.

Manager Process

  1. Login to BambooHR.
  2. Select the team member you would like to give the discretionary bonus to.
  3. In the top right hand corner, click Request a Change.
  4. Select Discretionary Bonus.
  5. Enter in all applicable fields in the form, and then submit.
  6. In the Comments to Approvers field in the request in BambooHR, include a 1-sentence justification that details how the GitLabber demonstrated one or more of our values in this specific instance.
  7. Submit the bonus request to your manager for approval.
  8. Once approved, you must copy and paste the 1-sentence justification into the GitLab Company Call agenda and recognize the GitLabber on the company call. Remember, a discretionary bonus is for recognition so make sure to take this final step. The Company Call agend is the public record of how people are living up to the GitLab values every day.

Approval Process:

  1. The Manager's Manager receives an alert from BambooHR and can approve or deny.
  2. The request is then sent to the People Ops Admins for final approval and to confirm that there is a 1-sentence justification comment in the Bamboo record.
  3. Once approved, the request is sent to the People Ops Analyst to process the bonus in the applicable payroll and notify the manager via email.
  4. Notify Payroll of the bonus.
  5. Per the email from People Ops, the manager will notify the team member of the bonus and announce on the company call. The manager announces the “who” and “why” of the bonus. The team agenda item should include the 1-sentence justification of the bonus.

Top Team Member

  1. A Top Team Member (T2M) exemplifies the GitLab Values beyond of the team of people they directly work with.
  2. Each quarter People Ops will request managers to nominate a team member who is not on their own team to receive the T2M award. All team members can submit nominations, but just ping your manager in the issue to upvote.
    • The request will be sent on the 5th of month and nominations will close at the end of the day (EST) on the 10th. The prize will be awarded on the 15th or the following business day (if on a weekend). The People Ops Analyst will tally the nominations. The decision will be finalized by a review committee made up of the Chief Culture Officer, CEO, CTO and the VP of Product. The executive team member of the winner will confirm the award to ensure there are no pending performance issues.
    • Nominations should focus on efforts and explain specific situations that represent any of our values.
    • The T2M award will be announced on the Company Call to recognize the team member and posted on the culture page.
  3. The award will be an item from our GitLab Store.
  4. Takeaway from this reward program: reward the cross-functional collaboration behavior that we want to encourage.

GitLab Anniversaries

To celebrate a GitLab hire date anniversary, People Ops will send a shout out on the #celebrations channel on Slack.

Real Examples of Real Team Members Who Received Bonuses for Doing Great Things

Referral Bonuses

Chances are that if you work at GitLab, you have great friends and peers who would also be fantastic additions to our Team and who may be interested in one of the current Job Openings. To help us grow the team with exceptional people, we have referral bonuses that work as follows:

  1. We want to encourage and support diversity and frugality on our team and in our hiring practices, so we will offer the following referral bonuses once the new team member has been with the company for 3 months.
    • Any great candidate that is referred and hired will earn a GitLab employee a $1,000 bonus once the new team member has been with the company for 3 months.
    • We will offer a $1500 referral bonus for hires from Rent Index less than 0.7.
    • We will offer a $2000 referral bonus for hires to teams with "underrepresented groups". "Underrepresented groups" may refer to women, people of color, Hispanic/Latino people, veterans, or others, but it may also be defined differently from department to department and is subject to change as those departments grows more diverse. People Ops will confirm the bonus amount when it is entered into BambooHR.
    • If the new hire is from an underrepresented group as defined above, the higher amount will be paid to the team member for the referral.

Exceptions: no bonuses for hiring people who report to you, and no bonus for the executive team (VP and above).

People Ops will process the bonus.

Document a future bonus in BambooHR

  1. Go to the employee who referred the new team member in BambooHR
  2. Under the "Jobs" tab
  3. Under the "Bonus" table, click "Add Bonus"
  4. The bonus date is 3 months from the new team member's start date
  5. Enter the bonus amount, dependent on above
  6. Enter the bonus type to be a Referral Bonus
  7. Enter a note stating that this is a future bonus (this will be changed once the bonus has been paid)

Notification to Process a Bonus

BambooHR will send an email to PeopleOps on the date that the referral bonus should be paid for processing through the applicable payroll system. If the team member is a contractor, send them an email (and cc Finance) to invoice the bonus. Once the bonus has been processed, change the note in BambooHR to denote the referral bonus has been paid.

Visiting grant

GitLab is an all-remote company with GitLabbers all over the world (see the map on our Team page. If you want to visit other team members to get to know them, GitLab will pay for your travel expenses. You don't need to work on the same project or team, either, so long as you discuss work for at least part of the time you're meeting. GitLab will pay for flights, trains, and transportation to and from the airport, up to a total of $150 per team member that you visit and work with. Before booking any travel using the travel grant budget please discuss your proposed travel with your manager. We encourage team members to utilize the travel grant, however in some cases i.e. a team member has performance issues related to their role the visiting grant would not be applicable.

Note that lodging, meals, and local travel while visiting are not typically covered for anyone as that wouldn't really be fair to those being visited. It may be acceptable to cover a meal, however, if the meeting is pre-announced to other people in the region to encourage as many of them to attend as possible and there are four or more GitLabbers attending.

There are many regular meet-ups of GitLabbers in many cities. We have a shared calendar to view the schedule. Subscribe to it, make use of the visiting grant, and join meet-ups near you (or far away!).

Douwe and Robert took advantage of the visiting grant when they traveled to 49 different colleagues in 20 cities, in 14 countries, on five continents, in 6 months. Inspired by them, Dimitrie went on a similar journey and provided a great template. Also, check out tips on working remotely while abroad.

To claim the grant, include a line item on your expense report or invoice with a list of the team members you visited. The expense report may be submitted during the first month of travel or up to 3 months after your trip has concluded. That said, if it's more frugal to book and expense your travel further in advance, please do so.

GitLab Gold

Every GitLab employee can request the Gold tier for In case an employee has separate private and work accounts on, they can request it for both. This incentive does not apply to groups owned by GitLab employees (Group-level Gold features such as epics will not be available for Gold GitLabber personal accounts, for instance).

In order to request this benefit please open an issue in the internal services issue tracker. Make sure to adjust @username in the issue title.