Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Guild Guide: Officers

One of the first things I found, as the guild grew, was that I needed assistance with the day to day running of the guild. The thing I was unsure of was exactly how and who to promote to officer positions. When the guild was originally established the officers were my friends that I worked with, but when the guild started growing, some of those same individuals no longer played and there was other members who were highly active. This left me with a great questions.

How many officers do I need?

The first thing you learn, when running a guild, is that even though people are playing a game, they tend to play at different levels of intensity. So the very first thing you have to do is decide how many officers do you need? This can be accomplished through a couple simple questions.

What type of guild are you desiring? PVP or PVE?

If you are going for PVP then you will want to appoint officers who will embody that aspect of your guild and also help in the organization of whatever type of PVP you plan to participate in. If you are big into battlegrounds, then looking at an officer to organize battleground groups and also keep track of participation would be a good thing. If you plan to do world PVP as well, such as raiding enemy towns, then you may want an officer who will take this responsibility on for you as well. Let's say that the guild grows and you want to organize arena teams, then why not have an officer who has the sole responsibility of arranging members based on skill and equipment? So there are three officer positions that you can have.

If you prefer to become a PVE guild then taylor your officers to those needs. Most guilds that raid will establish a raid leader. This is a pretty important position to establish as this officer will be responsible for several things such as selecting members for raids, checking gear for those members who wish to go, organizing and scheduling raids, and also learning the raids and knowing the strategies that prove successful. (On a side note, this officer may wish to have raid assistants who will help with these areas.) If you have a leveling guild, then perhaps having an officer who coordinates instance runs could be a useful tool.

The most important part of having officers is to make sure they are doing something and that they contribute to the guild rather than hurt your guild. If you have an officer in charge of instances but you see members constantly requesting runs, perhaps you will need to have a side bar with the officer to inquire why there is nothing scheduled? Those are not fun conversations for anyone, but if you have a goal you must hold your officers accountable. This also led me to ask another question.

Who deserves to be an officer?

This is even a harder question to answer than how many officers do we need? The trick to this is look at your guild roster. Ask yourself this question. If I needed help to do this task, who would step up? That then will give you your answer for basic things. The problem you run into here is going to be that what if you have a level 80 and level 65 who you feel would both equally do the job, then what do you do? Flip a coin! No, that would not really be beneficial. May be funny, but definitely will not help you out. If this situation arises, ask yourself what the officer position will be in charge of. If you are trying to fill a raid leader position, then how can a 65 perform this job when the vast majority of the raids are going to be 70 or higher? That answers that question, by default the 80 would be the right choice for the officer. However, what if it was something like an officer in charge of organizing instance runs? There is a lot of content that a 65 could have knowledge of. This would be a decision then based on who has more experience with the game.

So great, now we have officers! What the hell do I (the guild leader) do?

Well, just sit back and relax. Have a drink and watch the growth! Yeah right, that is not going to be the case. Dealing with your officers is even more difficult than just selecting them. You have to set goals for the officers to achieve. The trick is the fact that this game is voluntary, so how do you motivate someone to meet a goal? Well, the approach I have taken is trying to get the officers to set their own goals. The success rate at this point is somewhat horrible. Sure we have had officers do some things, but it is amazing how much more complaining they do rather than actually working to improve whatever area they are in charge of. So what do we do in a situation like this? We reevaluate how to motivate these officers. Remember that each person is different and what makes them tick is also different. So try different approaches. Some officers may just need you to step in and tell them what the goal is. Other officers may be just lazy. This then becomes a more serious issue that you will need to deal with at a later time. Some officers may just need you to step in and give them the "encouragement speach" to help motivate them. Whatever the situation is, you will ultimately still be the guild leader and have to monitor these officers and make sure that they do their job.

What happens if my officers just do not do the job?

Well, if it appears you have a glory hound who simply wants to have a title, but do no work whatsoever, then you will need to deal with this officer in a manner that will not self destruct your guild. Remember that even though the officer may not be working out great, you do not want to hurt the relationship with someone who was a great member of the guild, but a lackluster performer as an officer. So how do you accomplish this? I always prefer a straight forward approach. Many people in my guild refer to me as being an ass about stuff, but in reality I am very honest and open. I dispise any sort of guild drama and will cut it at the root of the cause, so the last thing I want to do is create some sort of drama by just doing a demotion and moving on. Well, that is all good you are thinking, but you didn't answer the question, what do we do? It is simple really.........COMMUNICATE.

Get the officer off on a one-on-one chat and ask them if there is something that is preventing them from doing their job. A lot of times people may not know what the hell they are suppose to do and do not want to ask out of fear of being rediculed for not knowing. Actually, this has proven true 99.9% of the time I have had to speak with my officers. What about the other 0.1% of the time? Well, that usually falls back to someone being lazy or just not caring about the position. For those rare occassions, I simply state what the position should be doing and ask if they are going to start doing this. If they respond positive to the satisfaction of what I am looking for, then I will give them some ideas on what to do and give them a timeframe to get this done. However, if they give a flip answer or seem to not care then I will explain the thought process behind my decision to demote them and after coming to an understanding (notice I said understanding, not agreance) I will then proceed to demote them and repost the position.

Okay, you said post, what do you mean by this?

Well, that is a great question, but we will answer this in a later post. It is definitely worthy of a deeper look. So we have so far seen the reason why my guild was founded, we have learned about the thought process behind naming a guild and the importance of it, we have seen that putting together a ranking structure is a good idea, and now we have added in some answers on selecting officers. Tomorrow we will answer the question regarding "posting" for positions as well as other information.

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