How do you manage your Staff Team?

Discussion in 'Management' started by Yazzeh, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. I have a few questions/a discussion for those of you who have run sites, are running, are on staff, or just plain have an opinion. I know every site requires different roles and activities to help their site run smoothly, but what are some behind the scenes methods that can be used to make it flow efficiently?

    • What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    • Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    • How strict are you with your staff team?
    • Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    • How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
     
    • Themselves. And the love of the game, I like to think. They do get extra character slots, but that's really the only staff perk.
    • I find that if you're clear with what's expected of the staff, things get done. If you're not you end up with 1-2 people who do everything and a bunch of people who just float along and enjoy the work of the rest.
    • Not very. I do get pushy if responsibilities go unfulfilled for a constant period of time, but that usually means a conversation about time and involvement and I've never really had a bad parting. They've always been quiet resignations from people who honestly knew they weren't living up to expectations.
    • We have a series of posts that have to happen IC on a schedule that staff handle. I've found that posting threads for the events that lay out the minimum expectations works really well and keeps everyone on task.
    • I usually just talk to them. It's almost always something like life reared up and is gnawing on them. It might be as simple as them taking an LOA and the second-in-command stepping up to fill their shoes while they sort it out. Sometimes it does come to them stepping down. But generally it has always seemed to be a mutual decision unless it's a matter of the player idling out of the game completely. On at least one occasion it came down to a person reliving themselves of a number of characters and really zeroing in on a few to get the workload manageable again.
     
    Elena likes this.
  2. What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    They are passionate about the site and want to see it succeed. If they are not passionate, then they should not be a member of the staff team in the first place. People who just want the title are bothersome.

    Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    Staff roles help more in my opinion because you can see who is pulling their weight and who is doing nothing and remove those who do not contribute. It also allows staff to do jobs that play to their strengths without other people taking them and leaving them with something they're not confident in.

    How strict are you with your staff team?
    My staff have to be active on the site, more than members, and they have to be involved and doing their duties. If they're not doing anything they get one warning before I demote them again. I'm fairly strict, but I also hold myself to the same standards.

    Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    I find the best method is just to ensure that every staff member knows what is required of them. What duties do they have to perform? How often should they be active? What powers do they have when it comes to member interaction? Clear guidelines are always the best method.

    How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    I remove them. I don't care if you've been staff for ten weeks or ten years, if you've been warned and you're not pulling your weight, then I will find someone who will do the job properly. Your past is not an indication of your present, if you're not doing the work NOW and I've warned you NOW then you're no use to me now. It sounds harsh, I know, but I don't want to be left running a site myself or I wouldn't have staff.
     
    Elena likes this.
    • What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    I'm pretty picky about who I let on staff. We look for members who are active on the site, who go above and beyond what is expected of a member (And that's just to post and have fun with their friends) and we give these members a chance to be on staff. We put them on a probationary staff position for three months and see how they do. Most of the time they thrive and love being part of our team.
    • Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    They do help. It helps delegate some of the work evenly and everyone loves to help each other if needed.
    • How strict are you with your staff team?
    I have a thread about staff rules and protocols, they get one warning. They HAVE to follow this. I tell my team that they are the face of the community. How can we have an awesome and fun community if members hate the staff? I've been on enough poorly run sites to know that staff members are suppose to be friendly, fair and approachable to make a site a success. We are no better than anyone else on site.
    • Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    We discuss everything with other, when we have to "watch" a member we post it and the reason why so everyone else know. We do a lot to keep each other on the same page so there's no confusion.
    • How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    Like I said, they get one warning. I've had to get rid of a few staff members because of that. Some are mature enough to handle it and others not so much. But that's life right? Can't make everyone happy. You just have to do what's best for your community and your members. Even if that means letting go someone that isn't giving them all they deserve.
     
    Elena likes this.

    • Love of the site. On mine, staff get 1 voucher per month of activity (in which they do their job). For example, a skinning mod might get 1 voucher if they make a skin in a month. Etc. But those are just additional benefits. I would give any member the same type of incentive for putting work into my site. But I think the primary drive for a staffer should be devotion to the site itself.
    • I like roles, but I'm a Virgo. I crave organization.
    • I think the term 'strict' is often misused. I expect my staff to act like adults, and be role models for the community, but I don't have specific rules for them to follow other than the ones that apply to everyone. I think upholding the rules should be done in such a way that people know that you are both a friend but to take you seriously. Realistically, RP is for fun. You turn it into a job, and try to pretend to be some kind of big boss and chances are you're going to lose out on staff, and members. So show the respect you expect to get in return.
    • I like to promote group chats whilst still having one on one friendships/convos with the staff.
    • Give them time. Usually when this happens, they are going through something. Showing a little patience and willingness to work with them is key. If they slack for a while, have a chat with them. Suspend the benefits (if any) they get for being staff. Eventually demote them if it persists (for 6+ months) because they obviously don't have the time to devote to the site. Let them know they can reapply to be staff later on when they have the time etc.
     
    Elena likes this.
    • What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    They know my expectations and that a community doesn't function properly unless the Staff do their jobs to the best of their abilities. If members see the Staff not doing their job, caring about the community, or participating then neither will they.
    • Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    Having roles delegated seems to get more accomplished and things accurately handled in a timely manner.
    • How strict are you with your staff team?
    There is a thread containing Staff guidelines. Every individual on my team knows my expectations and what should happen if they are not met. I'm not necessarily strict, but I want things done a certain way.
    • Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    Having guidelines and expectations clearly stated, having a one-on-one conversation to check how things are going and if they have any questions especially when they begin, monthly Staff check-ins, and a Skype chat.
    • How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    It makes no difference to me tenure on Staff or who the individual is. If you have to be reminded to do your duties more than once, or you're absent with no posted LOA or a message to me directly, then you will be removed. I do not believe in playing favourites with Staff personnel and they should be held to a higher standard than the member.
     
    Kiwixpop and Elena like this.
    • What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    Most staff want to do their job to be important, to have power. Others are just friendly and want the site to run well. You really want to look for the latter group of people to make staff because they will be consistent and not cause too much trouble.
    • Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    Making more specific roles helps once you get a lot of traffic on the server. You don't want your moderators trying to do everything, stepping on the toes of each other, and not roleplaying because they have too much to do.
    • How strict are you with your staff team?
    I am stricter with staff members than I am with regular members. I believe if you are to be staff, you should be held accountable to a stricter degree because you are a reflection of what the ideal member should be.
    • Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    Weekly check-ins/meetings in forum/chat. This helps keep things up to date and ensures that the staff are active. It also helps to prevent a lot of problems before they become big. Communication is the best tool.
    • How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    Communication, talk to them at first to see what the cause is. If there doesn't seem to be a cause other than simple slacking, warnings will be issued. Lastly, removal of power. People who aren't willing to do the job aren't worth too much energy. You can always find a replacement if you have members.
     
    Elena and Kiwixpop like this.
    • What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    They love the site and want to help it be successful. They get a different colored name and a little profile badge, but that's it, no real special perks. I try to avoid people who want the power of staff, because it always goes poorly. We make a policy of not having staff applications or making anyone who asks to be staff part of staff. Our staff is invite-only, basically, because anyone who actively wants the job wants it for the wrong reasons.
    • Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    I think so, yes. It defines expectations and makes it clear what duties they're expected to do, and what level of responsibility they have.
    • How strict are you with your staff team?
    I don't know what's meant by "strict". We have member guidelines and staff guidelines, and people are expected to follow those. We are a site that is mostly older people (20s to 30s, though some are younger) so it's just not necessary to be strict with staff. I think this also ties in with the point I made in question 1. You only get asked to be staff if the current staff knows you well, decides you might be a good fit, stalks your account activity for a while to be sure, then invites you.
    • Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    We have monthly task reporting threads in the staff board with what is essentially a to-do list for each member. Also keeping in touch over some chat system, like discord or FB messenger, because it keeps everyone in the loop.
    • How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    They're removed from staff. I try to have several convos, and we also have a hiatus system where as long as you let us know you'll be gone for a bit then it's fine, but people who aren't doing their job eventually are removed from the staff team. Nicely, of course.
     
  3. What motivates staff do their job/assigned task?
    Moderation and administration of an RP site is very rarely a paid job. If you do this work, it shouldn't be because of money or direct profit. A mod/admin of a certain section should be there because it's something they love to do, if it's a certain section of lore/RP, they should be there because it's a section they love to work with.
    Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    This ultimately depends on the style you wish to convey. If we had a more loose setting and a less defined theme, then less moderation would inherently occur. But since we favor a cohesive style, a site can flourish with more diverse staff.
    How strict are you with your staff team?
    I am honestly not strict at all, which lately a lot of people I need to get a bit more strict.
    Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    I believe direct chat systems such as Discord help a forums moderators and admins run almost smoothly, as it does the same with its RPers. There are no delays of messages, and there being one discord instead of smaller faction based ones, prevents miscommunication from a mass standpoint.
    How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    Moderators are trusted people of the site, but they're still people, and sometimes people lose interest. Sometimes when confronted they will apologize and admit that they are distracted or are becoming apathetic, sometimes saying they will let themselves be replaced if need be. However some people grasp the position even as they lose its influence, and do not improve, whether it be out of malicious nature or just pure incident. Regardless if they have no improved it's best to remove them, and if they're reasonable, they will understand. Do not make a spectacle of it, reassure them that this is no punishment and they're always welcome around, but the role needs an active person.
     
    Elena likes this.
    • What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    • Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    • How strict are you with your staff team?
    • Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    • How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    [/QUOTE]

    1. For the most part, when approaching a potential staffer or moderator, I try to clearly as possible explain to them what their job is going to be, and make sure that they are ready for that workload.

    2. Staff roles are a godsend. Splitting up duties, sharing them, or letting someone who's really good at this vs someone who isn't. It's important to make sure people helping you don't feel overwhelmed. I've made google doc tables for mod duties in the past for this reason. So my mods know what I expect from them and what should be passed on to me to handle.

    3. The more responsibility you hold as a GM, the more strict you need to hold yourself to the rules, IMO. Mods are always to be the best example of what gameplay should be in a group.

    4. The google doc of duties, as I mentioned before.

    5. If a Mod/Staffer suddenly can't cut it, if they're being cooperative I'll speak to the others to see if we can offer some reprieve from duties, while also making sure the staffer in question knows that we're working to help them out. If all else fails, replacement has to happen and they should understand that from the moment they're made a mod/staffer.
     
  4. What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    To be on the staff, you already have to show an interest in helping the site. If you lose your interest, I will ask you to step down. Staff should be people who love the site just as much as they love the roleplays.

    Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    I give everyone job duties. They have clearly defined goals that need to be met to keep the site going. It helps to give them things to do and to show I appreciate their work.

    How strict are you with your staff team?
    I'm very loose with my staff team. Most of them people I know and trust so I know they'll do their job correctly.

    Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    Having a clear system of accountability helps a lot with my site. We write and log everything we do and why. We make sure people don't 'double tap' and talk to the same person of the same issue twice. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

    How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    I demote them. If you can't keep up with staff duties and you've been talked to about it, you don't need to be on staff at all. If you aren't here to help, then you don't need to be here.
     
    • What motivates staff to do their job/assigned task?
    • If a staff member doesn't have a intrinsic enthusiasm to help the team, the site and it's players... it's usually not a good match. That's why we let staff members apply themselves, rather than approach them. While yes, we try to create a fun and encouraging atmosphere, in the end, it has to come from inside. If something is wrong, I hope people come to me, or another staff member so we can solve it but if the flame doesn't burn in their own core... It usually doesn't work for very long

    • Do staff roles seem to help? Or does more of a free for all get more done?
    • Staff roles are a must for me. Else you get the story of Everybody thought Somebody would do it and Nobody did it.

    • How strict are you with your staff team?
    • Depends on what is going on, if they communicate with me about their issues and their history. I do hold my staff team to a higher standard than a regular member.

    • Are there any methods or systems that have helped your team run more smoothly?
    • Communication, communication and more communication. I tell them what I expect and they do the same. We try not to let issues fester, and we all dedicate ourselves to our respective tasks. We help one another where needed.

    • How do you handle a team member that has previously been a great staff asset, but is now slacking, despite having been a part of a conversation to get them to do better again?
    • I talk to them first and explain carefully where I think they're lacking. If that doesn't work, I suggest they take a break. If they're harming the team or the site, however, I will demote them with the note they're welcome to rejoin once they've solved whatever issue they have. I've done this in the past and will do so in the future. It may sound harsh, but I can't have people be a drain on the team and there's only so much I can do for people.
     
  5. I find my staff motivate themselves more than I can. Staff who genuinely love the site won't just motivate themselves, they'll motivate you too. Or at least, that's what I find.

    Putting people in roles that suit them does help, if you're going to have roles. Each of my staff have a particular job that they've been assigned based on what I see their strengths are. One staff member who is really good at knowing what characters are out there, and loves welcoming people is assigned to replying to "splotter" pages and suggesting ideas not just for his own characters, but for the characters of other members as well (and tagging them) he's our Connections Mod, and it's a job that works for him---and the site.

    Staff roles help narrow that focus and give everyone a sense of their own responsibility on the board, but I do have a bit of a free-for-all in that all staff can sort/review applications, carry out global mod duties, all that sort of thing. It's a nice balance, I find.

    We don't really have a system. We're friends and get along well, my co-admin is my BFF IRL and between us we get things done.

    As for that last one, that's always tricky. Because I'm quite close with most of our members, and staff especially, I try to make it clear that there's no shame in stepping down if they're not coping with the workload. I'll love them all the same... and sometimes it's nice just to be part of the community without that responsibility. Ability to dedicate time to a roleplay comes and goes, and I respect that. Sometimes the staff member that isn't at the top of their game now, will be in a few months---and giving them that time to step back, get back on even ground, and move back up to the staff team when they're ready is all they need.
     
    Elena likes this.
  6. With my roleplay, some staff roles and responsibilities come with character titles such as professors, heads of houses, and department heads. I find that by laying out the expectations of each group each term and what needs to be done keeps everyone on task and the school moving forward. The Governors (admins) and I are a little different. Three off us hold various positions we pick up where others lapse and bounce ideas off each other. When it comes to being strict with my staff I set due dates for the end of term tasks but other than that no. DIscord is a MAJOR life-save for communication and helps everyone in the long run. When it comes to staff that isn't meeting expectations I message than and explain what I see and give them a chance to explain themselves. Then we work on a plan from there, the other admins and I try to be as accommodating as possible, within reason.
     
    Elena likes this.
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