Monday, February 9, 2009

The Guild Guide: Promotions

So having looked over the last few posts we are getting to the end of the series. We do have a couple more topics to take a look at though. Today I want to look at the subject of promotions. I know the one thing that drives me up the wall as a guild leader is when someone new comes into the guild and their first question is "can I be promoted?" This just drives me insane. Someone is in the guild for mere minutes and already wanting a promotion, but it does bring up a good topic of how do you decide on promotions? What constitutes a good guild member who deserves to be promoted? Well let's break this subject down some and attempt to answer the question of who should be promoted and when should they be promoted.

Who Should Be Promoted?

I cannot speak for all guilds, and I will not try. I can however, speak from the viewpoint of a guild leader and offer some insight into my thinking on the subject. So who should be promoted? Well, I am going to assume that this person who is asking me has already followed the instructions on our guild website and registered on the forums and thus is entitled to be promoted to the first level within our guild. At this point it is time to explain to this guild member what it is that we, as a guild, look for in our members.

The first part of the conversation will involve connecting the member with the proper officer that will be handling their development within the guild. In cases where there is no officer assigned, this will fall to either myself or another senior ranking officer. Once I am sure the member knows who their direct report is, we will attempt to explain what will earn you the opportunity for promotion. The thing that I look for, when considering a promotion, is going to be the level of participation within the guild. Does the member help the guild by contributing to the bank? Has the member offered to assist other guild members when they needed help with a quest or an instance? Does the member show up to participate on guild crafting days? I will look to the individual officers for feedback on the activities of the member as well. Does this member only participate when I am? Does the member talk negatively of other guild members? Does the member complain openly about getting no help? Does this member use the resources available to them from the guild website before complaining about not understanding how to accomplish a quest? Has the member reached out to their officer to ask questions or assistance? Based upon this information, I will decide if this particular person would qualify for a promotion.

When Should a Promotion Occur?

So for the sake of the topic we will say that the guild member in question has been meeting what we like to see out of our ranks. So when should we promote the member? Some guilds I have been a part of will promote immediately, while others rarely promote anyone. I prefer to do promotions on a more regular basis. I typically prefer to do a promotion (other than the initial rank) once a month. This breeds some consistency within the guild and allows members to not wonder if they were going to receive a promotion. Another aspect I look at is the actual rank of the member. If you are at an initial rank, then just doing the bare minimums of what we expect from our guild members will help you in reaching that next level. If you are a veteran member then a little more will be expected from you. It is really the little things that will help with a promotion in my eyes. Perhaps some insightful information left on the forum or crafting gear for low level characters.

I think the underlying principle that you want to have established with any guild is consistency in how you make a rank promotion available and then staying true to those things. Managing a group of people is a difficult task at any job, but managing a group of people who have freewill and no incentive to follow orders is impossible to do if there is not a game plan laid out and guidelines that state if you do this action then you will reap this reward. Rank promotions fall under this thought process simply because it gives a reward for following the rules. Sure there are benefits to just learning to use the proper resources, as this will make you a more stable player who knows how to find information on their own, but receiving recognition for doing so is an important process for many people. It is through utilizing things such as rank structure that you help to improve not just the guild, but also the members of the guild. You give them an identity within the guild that says I worked to achieve this rank and for some people that is motivation enough. I think of rank promotions much the way that people work so hard to get the achievements in WoW now. The rank within the guild does nothing for your gameplay, much the same as an achievement does not make you a better player, it just allows other players to know that you did something and have received the recognition from doing that.

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