Running a community is a time consuming task. A task which is virtually impossible to do so on your own. For this reason you probably already have some good people around to help you out with this. If not, what are you waiting for?! While you are telling players to stop RDMing you could be working on something more important. It goes without saying that some tips might be more useful than others since each community has its own methods and uhm.. quirks. So, here are a couple of (general) tips on how to manage your staff team.
Recruit yourself some staff members on the double
As mentioned in the introduction, go look for competent staff members. Say you are just starting out. One of the first things you should do is get in contact with your core players and see who might be suited, and willing of course, for becoming a member of your staff team. By having people handling player moderation for instance, you can focus on other, more demanding tasks. Besides that, players who get promoted to a staff rank are motivated to helping the community grow.
Imagine working on something important and constantly getting PM’s from players requesting your help. This slows down the progression on whatever you were working on and drains your energy within no time. This again can have effect on your overall motivation.
It goes without saying that you will still get your hands dirty in some good old kick/banning action.
Banning players. The less you do it, the more impact it has when you do so.
Good staff members are a scarce resource
I always used to go by one rule. Never ask for moderator/admin status. There is a difference between offering to help and requesting admin powers to perform action X. Someone asking for a certain rank instantly signals “admin abuse” in my book.
Finding new additions to your staff team can be tough. Since the staff team represents the community, you want them to treat players fair, maintain a neutral stance and be helpful to newcomers.
Besides having a staff application system if you choose to use this method of recruitment, always keep your eyes and ears open. Try to spot the active players who are helpful in chat and act mature (most of the time). They are most likely suitable to fill the position.
Maintain a clear hierarchy
By having set tasks for each rank within your staff team this will prevent confusion and limits miscommunication between the ranks. Maintaining a clear hierarchy also helps motivate your staff members to achieve “a rank up”. Besides that, it’s also easier for the players/members to identify your staff members and know who to contact when they have questions.
Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks
As a owner/super admin or whatever you want to call it, it’s always scarry to delegate tasks. Imagine if they mess up or hell, break the server, right?! The more on edge you are, the more likely they will make mistakes. Keep your cool, explain what and how they can do a certain action and then delegate the task to them. This can be actions such as restarting the server, performing an update/wipe or handeling player reports and the almighty ban hammer.
By delegating important tasks to your team they will feel appreciated (as they are) and more involved with both you as the community itself. This in return also leads to more respect from both the players as his fellow staff members.
Listen to your staff
They are in direct contact with the players (more than you), so listen to them. They will provide you with how the players are experiencing your server and what their wishes are. Besides the information regarding the players, you also need to take feedback from your staff into serious consideration. Nothing is more dangerous for a community than disgruntled staff members. This can lead to mutiny, admin abuse, leaks and a massive drop of player numbers.
Nothing is more dangerous for a community than disgruntled staff members.
Be thankful and transparent to your staff
Lets face it, without your staff team the community would not be the same or let alone, exist anymore. This is something that gets forgotten from time to time. When a member of your team makes a mistake don’t be a schmuck about it. Instead, explain what happened, how to prevent it and that it doesn’t matter all that much. This person is helping you and your community for free. You are dealing with people, keep that in mind.
Credit your staff team from time to time and if the community is having a good period (financially), be sure to reward them once in a while. You will get appreciation and respect in return. That is more valuable than a couple of donations.
You are dealing with people, keep that in mind
Speaking of finances, be open to at least your staff team when it comes to the communities finances. Being open to your entire community is another great way to build up trust. If you are running the community under a registered business this might not apply, but still would be appreciated by the community.
Don’t let people “donate to get admin”
Really?.. Check out a previous Weekly Vent article I wrote on this subject. I’m not a fan.
Most importantly, have fun!
We’ve all had those days where you were unable to play on the server due to server wipes, game breaking updates, rdm-ers, hackers or that good old community drama. With proper methods and a large enough staff team, you are able to “play” the game once in a while.
At the end of the day you are all just a bunch of people running/moderating your community within a game. Have fun, that’s why you created the community in the first place right?