Conversations with regards to compensation are an important part of being a people manager. This page will take you through information and recommendations to effectively manage and guide these conversations. If you’re ever in doubt or have a question, don't hesitate to reach out to your aligned People Business Partner..
Please make sure to review and understand the following content with regards to Compensation at GitLab:
Starting FY22 Total Rewards will be providing Total Rewards Statements outlining the Compensation package: cash, equity, and benefits. We recommend reviewing this letter before the conversation and use the letter as preparation to communicate exact approved figures.
Communicate the increase face-to-face over Zoom. As a manager, this is an opportunity for you to have a conversation with your team member about their compensation, potential increase and/or equity refresh grant. Having the conversation over Zoom allows for you to have a dialogue with your team member (versus just sharing the number or percentage) and allows you to pick up other information like tone and non-verbal cues which can tell you more about how someone is feeling.
Communicate the change at the beginning of the meeting. You want to give the team member time to ask questions and discuss their compensation change. Avoid trying to rush to communicate at the end of a 1:1 meeting.
Try to clearly explain the reasoning behind the compensation change. As Compensation differentials are related to performance, the preparation done for the Performance factor conversation could also be useful in explaining the "why". It is also recommended to review the Annual Compensation review page for all considerations that go into compensation reviews.
Protect the confidentiality of other team members by avoiding saying things like “everyone else received less than you” or “you were the only team member to get a discretionary increase.”
Avoid blaming others (For example: “I would have given you more but management didn’t approve.”)
Avoid making future promises (For example: “In the next review, I will get you a large adjustment.”)
The FY22 Total Rewards Statement includes a section on unvested equity shares. You and your direct report can use the compensation calculator to review the total potential value of these shares. This is an important piece of the overall Total Rewards package at GitLab and we want to make sure team members have visibility into the potential value. This video is great to share with your team members when discussing the potential value of equity; it is also embedded into the compensation calculator linked above. It is important to note that all team members may perceive equity value differently based on their local tax implications, country of residence, or other factors.
This section provides and overview of potential compensation conversation scenarios with recommendations on how to approach and navigate these conversations. Scenarios are broken out by compensation topic: cash compensation, and equity refresh program.
Cash compensation is discussed during our Annual Compensation Review cycle.
Eligible GitLab team members will be reviewed for a refresh equity grant once per year at the same time of the Annual Compensation Review, aligned with the process on this page. Refresh grants use a formula to determine the range of stock options a team member may be eligible for in that cycle based on their current role/grade. The equity ranges per role can be viewed in the compensation calculator. Below we have outlined guidance for managers on having the conversations regarding the equity review as part of the Annual Compensation Review Cycle.
This program is subject to change over time and updates to any program elements will be reflected in the handbook.
Managers should leverage the Total Rewards Statement for communication which outlines the number of stock options that were approved by the board for the FY22 Equity Refresh. Definitions on the Total Rewards Statement explained:
A team member has received an above range amount of equity at hire/as part of a former process and/or their equity levels are aligned with market: "With this equity review process we heavily rely on benchmarking data and our equity ranges to ensure our compensation (cash + equity + benefits) is aligned with market. At this time due to [EXAMPLE] you will not receive any additional equity. We review our equity as part of our Annual Compensation Review process and your compensation will be reviewed again at the next review cycle."
Although informing a team member that they are not receiving additional equity is a tough message to deliver, managers should have this direct conversation. This is directly aligned with our transparency value. We want everyone to know why they may not have received an adjustment and give them the space to ask questions.