So you've probably noticed the changes we announced a little while ago in regards to the new activity policies we announced for moderators and administrators. We figured it'd probably be best to give a little detail rather than just throwing it down and leaving it at that.
As you've probably noticed, there's a few staff on the team who aren't really around as much. This isn't necessarily their own fault, as this can be because they might be dealing with personal issues, burn out, college, school work or they might even be on holiday. Up until now, we've been quite generous with members of staff and their activity, but it's time to change. We want to have a staff team that actively engages with our players, that knows what happens on the servers as well as what happens within the community. If you're only visiting the forums once a week for 5 minutes, that doesn't always tell you what's going on, and with administrators especially who are expected to vote on topics that directly influence the shape of the server, it's difficult to vote without being around to know what shape the server is in to start with.
Before this policy change came into effect, we only had one requirement to activity. As long as you met the quota of hours per month that we laid out, you would be fine however we didn't have many ways to enforce this properly and as a result, a lot of staff members slipped under the radar when they went inactive, so eventually it just became a waiting game for that member of staff to become too inactive that they were eventually demoted after warnings, and whilst that wasn't a horribly bad system, it definitely needed work, so when I joined the SA team, amongst advice from other administrators telling me that this was a problem that needed a solution, I discussed this with the other SA-HR, @Overlewd, and after a while of planning it out, we made the policies we have today!
But Night, what are these policies?!
Good question! These policies differ for administrators and moderators. We'll start with the policy for moderators since that's the easiest one there is.
Following the three strike system, a moderator should aim to get 20 hours per month on the server. Failing this, a strike will be issued. If three strikes are issued, then the moderator will be immediately demoted to veteran (assuming they're senior moderator). A strike can expire assuming the moderator is able to meet activity requirements for 2 consecutive months.
If a moderator warns us ahead of time that they aren't able to meet the activity requirement, assuming that the reason is fair and isn't repetitive, the strike for that month will not be issued however this won't count as a consecutive month towards expiring a strike.
For administrators, the policy is the same wording as above, except with their additional duties kept in mind as well:
An administrator should aim to achieve 60% of all monthly staff review polls voted on. This follows the same three strike rule, however instead of immediate demotion to veteran, the administrator would be demoted to senior moderator. These strikes are separate from activity strikes, and expire in the same fashion as well. . Exceptions to this policy can be made by HR, however since it's not difficult to vote on staff review polls, this will be kept in mind when determining whether a reason is valid or not to count as an exception. Any member of staff demoted by this policy is able to reapply to their position after a cooldown. If they're successful in reapplying to the role, they'll return with 2 strikes (either activity or staff review, whichever they were demoted for) to prevent the situation from repeating itself.
But Night, what about the administrators who have other positions in the community?
If an administrator is spending a lot of time outside of the game in their role, this would naturally be taken into account when deciding whether they've done enough work in that role to compensate for the missing hours. For example, if I've spent 4 hours or so organising events, doing graphical design and writing threads, in order for me not to receive a strike for that month, I would need 16 hours in-game.
What about the superadmins and even the owner?
Seeing how our responsibilities, for the most part, lie outside of the game, we're not included in the scope of either policy. We'll aim to meet the requirements where we can but we can't gain strikes through this system.
Are developers included?
Yes and no. Developers who are only developers aren't included in the scope of this as it would be down to Dev Management for them to handle, but Developers who also hold either moderator/administrator privileges are included in that yes, but would be placed to developer only.
How do HR keep track of this? Surely it must be difficult...
We already post end of month recaps to both the moderators and the administrators, with a breakdown of which staff member has done the most player reports, hours in-game, posts on the forum and all sorts. Using these statistics (as well as a wonderful little table made by @Doctor Internet), we're able to keep track of staff members who don't meet the requirement. Look how nice it is!
What if someone's really struggling? Can HR help them at all?
Of course we can! We have complete discretion over the two policies. It's in our interest to work with the staff member rather than trying to shove them out because staff members can be difficult to replace, especially as you end up higher in the team. We can grant exceptions to people if the reason is good enough, although this exception will almost always be an exception for the current month rather than on a continuous basis unless there's extenuating circumstances.
Is it just superadmins and the owner who are immune to this policy?
No. There's currently two other people who are immune to this policy, @Burnett and @Doctor Internet because these two are critical to Limelight both as a business and a community. Burnett helps to maintain our security infrastructure and ensure that services are secure, as a result he needs the access to look after them and that means he's best placed as an administrator. Doctor Internet, as you're likely aware by his development blog posts and his dedication to his role in developer management, helps coordinate our development efforts alongside @Faustie, as well as helping to maintain critical Limelight services and infrastructure as well. Whilst they're immune from this policy, they're both expected to try and achieve the requirements where they can but they won't accumulate strikes either.
What do HR aim to achieve by putting these policies in place? Is it not just words?
You're right. It is just words for now, but these words give us strength to address the issue of activity much better than how it was before when this policy didn't exist. You'll see these words slowly turn into actions in a few months time, where we're then given the means to address the staff members who aren't meeting what's expected of them. This should in turn help to increase the staff presence on both the server and the forum, engaging with our community and being aware of what's happening.
So I hope that's provided a nice insight into how our new activity policies work. I guess only time will tell whether this move was good or bad, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Here's to the first HR blog of (hopefully) many. As always, if you've got any questions, feel free to shoot Overlewd or myself a message and we'll try our best to answer them. Peace out, take care all.