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MAD

Unresponsive Staff

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What do you do with staff members that seem to lurk and do nothing on the forum? Don't RP? Don't voice opinions when the rest chat about plans for the site? Do not seem to do any of the duties everyone else have been doing? Some of them might pop in every now and then in the staff chat to say hello, but some don't even peek in their heads... 

 

I've had these issues before and not sure how to handle this.

 

I've contacted said people, and have stated that they do not need to feel obligated to stay on the team, especially if they have other real life things going on. They're always welcomed back if they feel ready, but they respond saying they are fine and can do it... But nothing has changed.

 

I'm worried because we've been through staff changes in the past, and this is more than one person in the team doing this (honestly only one and a half mods that are active out of four). If we change again it might look bad to the members...

What do you do in situations like this? Have you been through something similar?

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@Arceus and @Garmr are 100% correct! I just went through this myself at one site - at another the Co-Admin just quit in a tiff - but at the others, my co-admin just did nothing. No posts, no talking with others, no plotting, planning, etc. I can deal with that out of a regular Player. If they haven't committed to any active scenes and are not engaging and we've done everything to encourage them, then they can just hang and lurk.

 

It's different with someone holding the rank of staff (Mod, Co-Admin, etc.). They need to be doing the job they were given, engaging with the Players, making an effort because they also represent your site!  

 

Demote them, you do not have to boot them from your RPG unless they go nutbunnies on you. Make sure to take all their accesses to sensitive areas and Admin permissions away and then demote them, then tell them!

 

Hugs and best of luck @MAD

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Hey, I’m in a similar situation with my own board!  Seems like a common predicament.

 

I have a two-person team, which I suppose changes the dynamic, but for months now, my co-admin hardly ever logs in, hasn’t posted, isn’t plotting with me or anyone else, doesn’t help advertise or really do anything board-related without my prodding.  This bothered the living hell out of me for a minute, but I’ve since decided to just let co-admin, who has expressed a desire to remain on staff, do co-admin’s thing.  I still like co-admin personally, and if they want to show up and make themselves useful, more power to them and bonus to me, but at this point my abiding expectation is that, should I want the forum to stay open, I’m going to be doing all the things -- unless I bring somebody else on board.

 

From that stance, it makes no earthly difference to my workload if co-admin is still listed as an admin or not: as long as they’re doing nothing and not actively working against me, we’re golden, and there remains a wide-open door for them to find a second wind at some point and organically re-commit to activity without a lot of to-do – a possibility which I feel becomes significantly less likely if I demote/boot them.

 

Obviously this may not work as well for those who are less conditioned than I am to not expect anything from other people (not as pessimistic than it sounds, honest!).

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@gist also makes a very valid point. So, yes, it does depend on your disposition and how the site members might be perceiving your inactive / unresponsive admin. Unfortunately, in my situation, I just got really frustrated by having a co-Admin (my sites are small so there was only two of us) that did nothing except hold a title that could have gone to someone else that would do the work!

 

Category 1: There are some amazing RPers out there that make amazing staff people.

Category 2: However, there are a few that want the title because they feel it exempts them from certain things (rules).  My inactive co-admin was in the latter group.

 

Fortunately, there are more from the first category than the second! I did not add the third category, those that are better at RPing than staffing and those better at staffing than RPing.

 

Lots to consider! Having been in the same predicament, I do not envy you the decision you have to make!

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33 minutes ago, Stormwolfe said:

Unfortunately, in my situation, I just got really frustrated by having a co-Admin (my sites are small so there was only two of us) that did nothing except hold a title that could have gone to someone else that would do the work!

 

Oh, yeah, totally -- I imagine my own thoughts on the matter might change if I had access to people I knew to be proactive and reliable and who were jumping up and down begging for admin responsibilities for some reason (we have very laissez-faire rules; there's no real getting-around-the-guidelines benefit to being on staff).  But from where I'm standing, it's apples for apples: current co-admin, basically a known quantity, vs. going through the effort of trying to dig up somebody else who's likely to behave the same way.

 

You're in a good spot if you can successfully re-fill an administrative role, I think!

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I had been in this situation various times, and my response depended if I knew what happened with those unresponsive people. In some cases, I suggested them to retire from staff and take care of their priorities (not demoted per se, which is forceful). In other cases, I had let them remain on staff and I gave them a sort of hiatus from duties, doing them myself, because I knew that keeping them on staff while they were going through a personal Hell was good for their morale. If I told them to resign, it would have been perceived as being unneeded, unwanted, in a time which was difficult for them. So I prefered to do all the tasks alone without changing their colours.

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As a staff member, I usually pull them to the side try to figure out what is wrong, and give them an official warning of the consequences of not performing these actions (demotion to moderator or removal from staff entirely).

 

In my experience, most people are just embarrassed to say "I'm done with staffing!" And welcome an out, so even if you say "Do you still want this position?" They might say "No. I just dont have time right now!!"

 

In regard to the concern about members, I don't like when staff aren't active. If the admin aren't in the cbox daily answering questions and posting at least once a week, I... lose faith? (Over enthusiastic admins also rub me wrong, so I might just be fickle about this?) But yeah, like others have said, no one is going to freak out about you changing staff as long as the site is still running steady.

 

#bootem

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I've been in the varied positions on all sides on this. As said before, pull them aside (discreetly) and talk with them. Some people just aren't comfortable openly admitting there is personal things in their real life going on. Don't make it a committee meeting no matter what is discussed. If they choose to continue on, then give them a length of time to show they will work or do more than they are doing. If not, demote them. I wouldn't just boot someone if they are posting with others because that isn't fair to the others. Chances are, if they don't notice the demotion they aren't noticing much. Again, set amount of time and then boot. 

 

Admins/Owners sometimes have to make the tough calls even with friends. It happens. It sucks. It doesn't make friends. It does get you respect though. I try to be fair in my dealings with everyone. No one is above anything, including myself. That's how I work. My decisions are also in the best for the writers that are there on the forum. It's not always about me. It's what's best for those that keep signing in/checking in/posting day to day. Just my humble thoughts on the matter.

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I've definitely been in this position, and was reluctant to demote them because they were (and still are) my friend! But at the end of the day, like others have said, if you're noticing it then your members are too and they're frustrated with it as well.

 

What I would suggest is that you set some staff goals. Your team needs to be doing x, y, and z, and if they're not then they don't need to be on staff. I wouldn't say that they shouldn't be on staff, because chances are you don't want to run this person off the game completely. But be clear in your expectations and what you need from your team. If they're not able to do that, that's ok - just be a member. You've appreciated the help they've been able to give thus far, but you need to go in a different direction. It's extremely stressful when you're expecting to have a whatever-man-team and then end up doing all the work yourself. This is the exact behavior that causes mental anguish in the workplace that makes people quit their jobs. So don't put yourself under more stress - get this person/these persons off your staff team!

 

It won't look bad to your members - if anyone says something, you just need to tell them that you're looking for the right fit for a well-oiled machine! Some teams just don't work and that's ok. This is a hobby and as long as your members are still having fun and this staffing issue isn't out in the open, I 100% promise they dgaf. 

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I want to update the situation, but want to leave the thread open for more discourse on this subject. I'm sure more people have experienced this before (as evidence in the above posts) so if others can impart their wisdom I'm sure others that are currently going through this see this thread and will find it useful. 

 

I had spoken with this user various times (before posting this thread) privately. It's the only way they responded. In the past, they would let me know how busy they were with life. I would understand and ask them to take a break from staffing since they were so busy. They were always welcome back but they could just be a member until things settled down. The thing is they didn't even RP... By the time I posted this thread it was a deserted account I was dealing with.

 

After a few responses here I decided to message them again. I always began by asking how they were and waited for a response, except this time one never came. After a few days, I took the advice posted here, demoted the accounts and left them a message letting them know that I hoped they were alright, but for now maybe member was best for everyone involved.

 

I'm not certain if this was because what had happened with the staffer I had demoted, but another staffer that had been absent began to show more life again. Now more than ever we needed to band together and help each other since our active mod is leaving us come January. I know it's some time away but we all need to pull our weight since it's not fair for the active mods to carry all of it. I've also asked to leave me some things to do (because of our time zones they get to all the things before I have a chance to), and I think that has helped. For the first time, we all reviewed an app together and it was really nice (they are so much better at it than me lol).

I'm lucky with the current staff I have. They've been wonderful. I  hope that by the time our active mod steps down, and continues as a regular member, we find someone else with the same love and dedication we have for the site.

 

Everyone here has been immensely helpful. I cannot thank you all enough for the great advice. 

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