What do you consider an inactive staff?

Discussion in 'Member and Staff Management' started by Superboy, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    What do you yourself consider to be inactive staff?

    I have 2 admins who essentially basically log on whenever they feel like it and often times will disappear for a couple of days at a time(even more) and I'm left wondering...what happened? did they quit? Are they still alive? In Jail? LOL

    I notice with my website EVERYTHING or Most things can't ever go right at the same time. if the members are not being active and just hanging in chat, then things with my staff are fine. However, I am so proud of my community as so many inactive people or barely posters have really stepped up and they have actually went from 300-400 posts to 2000 posts in the past 2 months. Idk what happened but i am glad that has improved and I am really proud of my members.

    If Staff members are not doing much of anything, then things with my members are going great.
    I understand that I and the rest of the community are teens and we can be a finicky and moody age group but the quality of my staff really annoys me.

    Some staff members are super active posters, engaging with the community and actually take the time time to do something.

    and then others essentially log on whenever I guess they think 3-5 days of inactiveness is enough and i am labeled an ass for wanting simple things like communication and consideration to be considered.

    I am on vacation in Mexico and i have not been able to just be a teen and enjoy my time here. I'm worried about post count, members being approved, potential drama happening, site issues, etc etc.

    I wouldn't have to worry about that stuff if i had a consistent staff. And i feel like when people see staff being lazy, it makes the other member's feel the same way.

    So my question is
    1. What makes an inactive or useless staff memebr to you all?
    2. Would you, given my situation above, try and work with them or what?
     
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  2. cpvr

    cpvr Regular Member

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    Well, I consider staff inactive if they haven't let us know anything in the staff absences board, and haven't posted anything in 2 weeks to a month. I remove them from staff and send them a message. If they have time to come back, I allow them to do so. But staff that just lurk and not do anything, that's also considered inactive to me. All staff members should put ion an effort to keep the community flowing. At least, I think so.
     
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  3. Eric Lyon

    Eric Lyon Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

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    I normally expect staff members to either post a "won't be on a while" thread in the staff room so everyone knows and we can cover their area(s) or at least send administration a private message explaining what's happening so we can personally cover their area(s) till they get back. In the event no thread is created and no other contact methods were used to inform anyone on the team, we normally start to worry about them within the 3 to 7 day mark.

    We have an agreement when members are accepted as a staff member that they will at least try to login once per 24 hours (even if only for a few minutes) just to clear up any reports that may have occurred in their forum(s). A few of our staff sometimes only login once per 3 days but we let it slide since they do tend to get everything caught up when they login. For situations that require immediate attention, a Member Services Representative or Admin will take care of the situation and not make anyone wait till the staff member returns.

    On the 7th day we send a PM to the staff member asking if everything's ok. On the 14th day we send a pm reminding them of their duties and agreement as a staff member. On the 21st day we put it to a vote (if applicable) or either member services or an admin temporarily removes them from the team till they get back and can explain the situation.

    If a staff member keeps contact and lets us know what's going on, even if they are going to be out for a few months due to an operation or other life altering event, we'll keep them on the team and cover their area's till they get back.

    GOOD Communication is of the utmost importance between staff members. It's this communication that helps everything run smoothly. I think it's VERY important however that the Administrative / management / Member services / Super Mod staff members remain as active as possible every day. Those positions serve as catch-all's when other staff don't perform and they assist in pulling the weight to keep things running like a well oiled machine.

    In short, if you have upper management staff that can't pull the weight or show up less than other staff, it's time to think seriously about your staff structure and start the re-organization process. As painful as it might be to have to re-assign a friend to a more fitting position they are better suited for in order to get someone with more of a management background and skill set, it's something that has to be done and can't be overlooked. At the end of each day, while we enjoy our community time on the forums and laugh with one another, you have to still be able to separate Business from Pleasure. Your forum is still a Business Model! - It's a delicate balance between business and community - Both are just as important to insure a forums success.

    That's just my opinion anyways, amongst millions of others.

    Eric lyon
     
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  4. businessgal

    businessgal Regular Member

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    I would consider staff members inactive if they went several days without posting at all. The exception to this would be if they told me that they needed to be away from the computer for awhile. I would also consifder them inactive if they went more than 3 or 4 days without signingn in unless they were hired to work only part-time or had otherwise notified me.
     
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  5. oman

    oman Regular Member

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    I would consider an inactive staff member someone who goes away, without letting an admin know of their absence as experienced on the forum I used to be an admin on. It is a difficult situation because you have the rest of the members questioning where the person is which makes the forum look bad, and then after you make them a registered user, they come back and want to be a staff member again.

    I guess you just gotta decide what works best for you.
     
  6. webaficionado

    webaficionado Regular Member

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    An inactive staff member, to me, isn't one that just isn't posting. Staff members are supposed to do more than just post. What about moving threads, editing posts, banning members, etc.? I always make sure to check the moderation log before PMing a staff member for his/her inactivity. I care about posts too, but I wouldn't cut someone off the staff just because they haven't posted in a while.
     
  7. cpvr

    cpvr Regular Member

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    Same here, I'd rather see them doing something rather than nothin at all. Some of my staff member take breaks because of school or work and I allow it because they put in a lot of work and help keep my community stable. They also help with posting of threads and replying to current topics.
     
  8. Finish

    Finish Regular Member

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    If a staff member has barely posted for a month, or has taken extended leaves, then that staff member is inactive. I like to take a month to judge a staff members inactivity before deciding to pass that role onto a member who could be more active. There's many things to take into consideration. Sometimes life gets rough and people become more busy. Most of us have a job and it's healthy to maintain a social life. These things cut into the time that could go into dedicating ones self into a forum. It's always great to have personal contact with your staff members so you can say "Hey, I've noticed you've been a bit inactive lately, why's that?".

    Lately a few of my staff members have been a bit inactive, and I have been considering demoting them, but I have to remember the roles they have played in this forum, and the amount of dedication they've put into it, and that I should be cutting them some slack.
     
  9. @xijailbreakx

    @xijailbreakx Regular Member

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    I personally regard 5 days as AWOL on my own forum. We have a staff absence noticeboard set up for staff to communicate with us if they are unable to cover their duties and most of our staff now uses it if and when they need to. In the past we have had staff members who haven't contacted us, from which we have then demoted them, only to have them message us a day later asking why they are no longer staff.

    I also consider non-posting as inactivity. It is important for staff members to keep their areas not only tidy, but fueled with discussion. On my main board, this is not the case as all moderators have full moderation power across the board, however they do partake in community discussions.
     
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  10. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    I actually JUST demoted two of my Moderators and to be honest I feel great about it. I am not pissed off or annoyed by their lack of action and initiative or lack of overall concern because they are no longer staff.

    I have spent over a year with these people...I discuss the issues with them, then they make promises and do better for a day or a week or two, then they go back to their same behavior.
    I get mad and stressed, they do the same thing and then go right back to their same behavior.
    One girl was sorry(and I believe so) and actually took accountability for her actions(or lack thereof) and made sure I understood that she does care but it probably would be better if she stepped down(though she felt bad that she was disappointing me)

    The other girl, of course was on the defensive, had excuses for everything and a Bunch of BS.
    What bothers me about her is the absolute lack of communication. If you have things going on, let me know so I can know not to just assume you don't give a damn. She claimed she was SOOO BUSY and had things going on that she wasn't able to reply to any of my posts or messages I sent her(SHe usually 90 percent outright ignored them), though I pointed out she does seem to have time to address other posts directed towards her.

    I am sad about the first girl but she is sticking around as a member so it is all good...the second girl, I am going to be honest, I just felt as BS and it wouldn't surprise me if she left nor would it truly bother me tbh but I know she is friendly/popular with a lot of members so I hope she stays on for them.

    @Finish Idk what your situation is but it sounds slightly similar to mine. The second girl(we'll call her Sasha) was an instrumental part. Our site went through a time where the staff was literally crap and she and another girl had came onto the site around that time. I was stressed out beyond belief and literally overworked but Sasha and the girl she became good friends with really did have my back at the time and took a lot of pressure off my back.

    Problem is, while that is great and I am eternally grateful for it(I am and I made sure to let "Sasha" Know this), I can't keep living in the past and in the present, she is abysmal and in the future I don't see it getting any better.

    SO I guess my advice to you, would be, of course be grateful and happy with their progress and dedication they gave your site...They deserve the thanks but don't do like me because I spent all of 2013 and 1/3 of 2014 so far using the excuse "Well they have put a lot of time and dedication in the site IN THE PAST" because I could've and should've demoted them way back last summer but I didn't because I was holding onto what they had done in the past. Best of luck with that!
     
  11. GTB

    GTB Regular Member

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    How much is going on at your board, Sehun? I mean, if your forum is quiet for the most part, not much is getting posted overall, then staff will get bored and it's part of the reason why I don't get why forum owners take on staff when not needed.

    They won't stay sitting about on your forum all the time if nothing much is happening.
     
  12. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    Well I think for me vs the majority of AT, for starters is my age...I am 18 and I thus run a site geared towards teens & young adults(14-22)
    So of course my staff are around the same ages I am (14-18). ...I sometimes wonder if age of my staff/members plays apart of it, but then I am apart of other sites
    with members even younger than my youngest member(13) and they have no issues.

    The problem is them not visiting the forum...They do that daily actually. The problem is getting them to do ANYTHING once they are there.
    The staff will sit in chatbox all day while there is stuff to be said and done on the forum as well as tasks off the topic.

    It's a pretty active site, thankfully, so it is not so much them being bored or anything...something is always going on, so boredom is not an issue.

    Lazy & uselessness, however, is an issue.
     
  13. GTB

    GTB Regular Member

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    Sounds to me like you answered your own question, disable the chatbox for a while and see what happens.
     
  14. Superboy

    Superboy Most Likely, I'm Insane.

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    @GTB
    oh no, I know that has been the problem for awhile now.
    But considering I have to compete with Skype, FB, etc etc that is not the smartest move.

    I've tried in the past..it had an adverse affect.

    I rationalize the chatbox as more like "as long as they are here, then they are more likely to post in the forums vs being on FB, Skype or setting up their own chat and not posting at all on the forums."
     
  15. @xijailbreakx

    @xijailbreakx Regular Member

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    When I first began running my forum, I had little experience with running a professional community and over the last three years I've learned a lot, particularly about how my staff are picked. "Back in the day", we had application forms that allowed members to apply and you'd get the same applications time in, time out, yeah you'd get one or two decent ones (who'd get the position) but you'd then have to deal with the inevitable "why wasn't I promoted?" messages.

    Nowadays, we analyse the community and handpick the active/favored members, then from that shortlist we check how long they've been a member (and for how long they've been active), and how professionally they act on site. I now have two very professional moderators, one of which was taken on only a few weeks ago. I also have two administrators who help me run the site, of which one was brought on to the staff team by this system. We no longer get asked why x member wasn't promoted upwards thanks to this.

    We also run a shoutbox on our forums, and using it does mean the forums see less activity but you can see the benefits - there's much less LQPs, and we see more members actually visit the site - people want to be able to get their message across as fast as possible. A shoutbox doesn't work on many genres of websites however - it does work for us. Another great thing about the shoutbox is being able to change the notice to highlight either important threads such as announcements, introduce new sections, etc. It allows us to discuss upcoming changes to the site in ease too.
     

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