Tricky, tricky is this one. I have seen a lot of folk pick friends and/or their spouse to help run the site. What a big disaster this can be! Sure they're your BF4E (Best friend for ever), or L4L (Lover for life), but the reality of it is that if they're not into it like you are, then be prepared to do all the work while they slack off. And trust me, they know they can slack off because they know you won't call them on it out of fear that they might call the whole friendship/relationship off! These lovers or friends will tell themselves that they didn't want to run the stupid site in the first place and that they only did it because you asked them to. This now gives them reason to slack off and act like a pure bum, while leaving you frustrated with their lack of help.
I've also seen so many Mods and Admins have wars among themselves; some follow and enforce the rules, while others don't. This sends a clear message to your members that you and your team of leaders are a hot mess. Your members will soon learn who's the 'Nice' Admin/Mod (Meaning, the one that slacks off the most and lets them get away with everything), and who's the 'Mean' Admin/Mod (The one that sticks to the rules and follows them through).
-Mod Center Ideas:
When creating a Moderator Center for you and your staff to post in, be sure to categorize your topics. This is to cut down on clutter and makes it easier on you to catch up on reading, instead of reading scattered topics. You can categorize them like so:
-'Administrator' is Just a Title:
Oh goodness, you don't know how many times I have seen people self appoint themselves as 'Administrator' just for the power, control, respect and fame, but they want nothing to do with responsibility or accountability that also comes with this title. These jerks will either tune out or always claim to be 'busy' and basically leave all the hard work and their slack for their other Moderators to pick up and clean up. I have seen low ranking Moderators self appoint themselves as 'second-in-command Administrator' just to keep the site running properly. These low ranked Moderators will be the ones doing all the hard work around the site, while their so-called leader will be M.I.A . And it'll just be a matter of time before members will see this and crown the low ranked Moderator as the real Administrator. Here's how it goes: Who ever does the most interaction with members, logs on the most and cleans the site up the most will be the one known as the 'Administrator', regardless of their given title.
I have even seen where the immature Administrator had the nerve to get ticked for finding out that the members no longer respect them, but the low ranking Moderator instead. And this is when the power struggle for control now happens. Meaning the Administrator won't give the hard working Moderator proper access to do their job more efficiently out of fear that they'll take over...What?! Uh, newsflash! They've already taken over!! DUH!
Look, it's quite simple: If you're not going to do your job as the given Administrator, then don't get mad at your Moderator when they take over. You gave them control because you wouldn't take it. You weren't consistent in laying down the rules and running the site, so they did it for you. You might have thought you were getting off easy by letting them do all the hard work until it backfired and blew up in your face, and it's now their site, not yours. And now you're trying to get it back by playing immature mind games (And cue the power struggle!).
It's not about playing immature games and trying to take on more work to let everyone know you're the boss. It's about understanding what your job is, and doing it respectfully. It means doing work on your site and issuing out jobs and chores for your Moderators to help. It's about being consistent, being responsible for your actions, being reliable and accountable, listening, remaining humble and not fearing to change. Doing this will let every one know who's in charge without having to flash your title, or shout from the top of your lungs to remind people who you are; your actions should do that for you.
-Dealing With Naughty Moderators:
Now, there are some good Administrators out there that's doing a good job, and Yay for them! However, they might be stuck with some not so helpful Moderators that seems to be doing more damage than good. It's not easy confronting people, and it sure as heck ain't any easier if that person is your friend or spouse. So, here's the deal: How do you confront a Moderator about behavior you're not fond of? The answer is:
1. Setup clear rules and guidelines of what you expect from your staff.
2. Pay close attention to the troublesome Moderator.
Now, because you have such clear rules of what you expect from your Moderators, you now just have to pay close attention to those who aren't following them. Such as:
This behavior isn't fair, and if you noticed that they've done these things more than once, then you can confront them in a PM about this matter. Remain clam and polite when confronting them. First, praise them on the behavior that you are fond of them doing. Let them know that you appreciate the good things that they are doing and how you like having them around (This just softens the blow). Then go into how you have noticed their 'naughty' behavior from observation, not word of mouth (If one of the Moderators or members have complained about one of your staff members, then don't bring them up. Leave out name dropping, don't turn this into an ugly dramatic mess. Let that person remain anonymous for peace reasons.)
For example, if this Moderator is always 'busy' when you ask them to do something, then point this out in the PM. Let them know that it may just be a coincidence, but point out the pattern you have observed and how it could look suspicious. Let them know that you're all for teamwork and having other Moderators help each other out, but that you feel that it's becoming a little lopsided since they haven't been picking up any slack from the other Moderators. In the end, give two options: Either they start picking up the slack, or you have to let them go. If they want to start ranting on and spewing that they were busy and didn't have time, and blah, blah, blah. Just let them know that you just wanted to bring this matter to their attention, that was all (Smile). Basically, you're bringing this to their attention as a warning to let them know that you're aware of their behavior and not fond of it. Because if they start back up with this same behavior, you now have another reason to either confront them, or give them the boot. My point is that you need a helping hand, not a Moderator with 1,001 excuses for why they can't help.
Just keep in mind that this isn't about condemning your staff, or trying to make them feel bad, it's just about pointing out unacceptable behavior that you're not going to tolerate, regardless of their status with you. Remember that you want to try and treat all members and staff members equal.You and your staff should remain unbiased towards each other and their fellow members. Remember: Naughty behavior is naughty behavior no matter who it's coming from.
Cause' I gotta say, I have seen so many members complain about favoritism being shown among the Admin and Mod staff, and injustice being shown to anyone who's not apart of that group. And once this happens, you can pretty much sum the site up as a hot mess. Don't tolerate and justify a crooked, rude or lazy staff member just for fear of losing them. Don't have Mods Vs Members mentality. When you call bad behavior like you see it, regardless of what their status or rank is, you'll be respected for that because you're now running an honest, pure and unbiased site. And I gotta say, it takes some real guts to run a site like that. And that's the kind of site you should aim for.
-Your Job as an Administrator:
I've given out rules for your Moderators, but what about you? What do you follow? I mean, what's really expected of you? Well, how about I give you a summed up list of everything that is expected of you as an Admin. Here are guidelines an Admin should follow: