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Sara-Zorah

Mitigating staff bias?

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A complaint I continually see from former members is that they feel like there's a bias toward certain members (one former member basically said "staff either loves you or hates you") .

 

I don't feel like that's entirely accurate but I also can't deny that there are probably ways in which we can improve. 

 

How do y'all mitigate bias or the appearance thereof?


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I'm gonna be my usual blunt self here and kind of echo Dragon, I agree with all that up there, but also, if I personally have any reason to believe that my staff are acting in a biased manner, and I'm usually not bad at catching it early because I kinda have a sixth sense for these things lol, I can and I will and I have kicked them. I have an absolute, straight up, zero tolerance policy for this kind of shit. Because I'm not here to be running my site on nepotism. Because this is how discrimination starts. Listen, I got into a fight with Morrigan over behaviour that leaned even slightly toward being biased, I will not put up with it from anyone.

 

I may give them warning and a chance to shape up or ship out, but if they don't? They get shipped out. There is no excuse for that. I don't care who you do and do not like, you're not here to like or not like people, you're here to run a site, and this is the fastest way hands down to make me dislike you in under ten seconds. I do the same with people outside my control. There are a few admins I've had unfortunate brush with that treated me unkindly because they didn't like me and I don't tolerate it from them, so I don't tolerate it from my staff, either.

 

So that's how I mitigate it. I get rid of it when I see it. If someone doesn't like someone else, walk away from them. That is the only right response. You can feel however it is you feel all you want, but you keep it off the board. When it starts hitting the board, and I see it or people start saying it's happening not once or twice but frequently, then we've got a problem.

 

I think a big thing here to remember is that yes, sometimes people will cry "The staff just don't like me!" when it is not true, but that's clearly not the case here if many people repeatedly keep echoing each other. Find it and stop it. Whatever staff member(s) is/are doing it, make them stop now. It's already damaging your reputation, and you need to make it stop before it gets even worse.

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1 hour ago, Arceus said:

 So that's how I mitigate it. I get rid of it when I see it. If someone doesn't like someone else, walk away from them. That is the only right response. You can feel however it is you feel all you want, but you keep it off the board.

 

^^ that's how I personally handle it. There are players I don't care for on my board. I don't harass them or treat them differently than anyone else. Because we're all adults and should be acting like it. 

 

I asked because from where I'm standing, we do our best to not be biased, but maybe it doesn't look like that from outside of staffland, you know?

 

I'll talk to some of those former members and see what I can do better, then talk to the rest of the staff. 

Edited by Sara-Zorah
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1 hour ago, Arceus said:

Because this is how discrimination starts. Listen, I got into a fight with Morrigan over behaviour that leaned even slightly toward being biased, I will not put up with it from anyone.

 

This is why we have staff forums and discord channels because sometimes you need to get out of your own head or just rant it out without it leaking over into the actual member interactions.

 

9 minutes ago, Sara-Zorah said:

I asked because from where I'm standing, we do our best to not be biased, but maybe it doesn't look like that from outside of staffland, you know?

 

The truth of it is it obviously is biased outside of staff land. Sadly it can even be in the smallest of ways that aren't as noticeable as other things. Favor given to one member over the other more often times even though both players have equal claim. I know that The Draft is an arranged marriage site so this could be as simple as giving people "ships" they want over the people they don't like.

 

There are multiple different reasons that people can get this impression but take notice of the people that do stay. Note who (specifically in the staff) they play with more than most.

 

You'll likely weed out the culprits pretty easily.

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There are people on my own sites that I literally can't stand. I act professional on the site, but I ask these people not to contact me unless it's for a site reason, because if they contact me in a personal manner, I'm not going to be nice.


 

 

 

 

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There have been a lot of valid and useful points made here and I hope they help. Ultimately, it's important we are all only human and can be biased, flawed and basically sometimes you and someone else are just not going to like each other for whatever reason.

 

It doesn't make either of you the bad guy but from my own perspective it's really important to be able to be respectful to each other - I think of it like a working environment, perhaps due to my own life experiences - but for me it's about understanding that usually people aren't out to be mean, nasty, a dick or whatever they might be coming across as. We are all here due to a shared hobby so it at least means we have some common ground and even better if they joined your site there should be some more. They read your rules ( you hope)  so they know how your mind works. They liked your premise and setting and are at trying to be part of the community even if you don't get along. 

 

Remember there are always some positives mixed in there. Even for someone who is able to drive you up the wall and annoy you or just upset you. As long as you can remember that it should help with holding back that bias and just concentrating on treating them the same way as everyone else. 

 

I am a big believer in fairness. It's important that is Person A (whom you like) is treated this way, then Person B (whom you don't like) is treated the same way. It's good to have staff members you can share this with, sometimes to rant - it's far better off your chest than quietly seething, and also to check that you are being reasonable. 

 

One other thing you can attempt is speaking to the people who annoy you most, find out a little more about them. Perhaps it can build some more common ground and help everyone but at the end of the day you will know that you tried. 

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