Prom, guild leader of the Keepers of the DarkSide [KDS], shares his tips for creating and managing a guild.
- Recruit people that believe what you believe
- Find your ‘Why’
- Why do you want to have a guild?
- What do you believe in?
- What are your goals?
- Establish the infrastructure for communication (i.e. website, forum, Discord, TeamSpeak, etc.)
- Share your values in writing in the communication channels
- Establish a recruitment procedure and make sure to apply the standards of your values. Start recruiting through a recruitment post, an in-game recruitment message and social media.
Small guild: Aim for a membership size in the 30’s. This will provide 10-12 people online to do activities and will allow for easier bonding. It will take a few months to establish your core of five to 10 members. This is where you’re most likely to find reliable officers.
Medium guild: Continue recruitment, keeping the balance to no more than 30-40% new recruits. Allow time for integration and bonding. Your target is 100-120 members maximum. A larger membership will change the group dynamic and a complex structure system will be needed.
Large guild: Establish a structure, sub-units of your guild. Establish a core officer per responsibility: recruitment, politics, internal affairs (inside guild drama handler), field commanders for small to medium guild group action, logistics (chain of resources and crafting). As guild leader, your job is to help those officers work together.
Always start with ‘why’
You maybe be able to do everything on your own, but it’s always better to delegate and share the burden. Before you give responsibility, make sure you explain why the job needs to be done and offer to explain the how if guidance is needed.
The good: You may get an even better solution than you had in mind, and your task handler has the feeling of contribution and cooperation
The bad: You may not get what you asked for, in which case you either did not explain why and how well enough or the person was not suited for the job. In my experience, it’s usually the first reason.
Always support your officers
If one of your officers has made a decision, support it. Unless there is something terribly wrong, than it’s better to work with the new situation than to contradict it. Reversing an officer’s decision will undermine their authority and maybe their self-confidence, thus losing you a potentially good officer.
If one of your officers makes an actual mistake, discuss it with them privately and work with them to find a livable solution.
Never point fingers
Never reprimand a member, let alone an officer, publicly. If you do so, most people will become defensive and look for excuses rather than understanding the wrong and finding ways to avoid it next time.
Don’t avoid issues, they will just pile up and increase the tension. Take the bull by the horns and address the issue on a general level. People will usually get the message.
If you need to reprimand, speak to the member/officer in a private chat and do the reprimanding there. Keep it civil. Always think about what you want the outcome to be and work towards that. Staying calm and civil is the best plan for achieving your goal.
Love your people
You are going to spend your online time with people, not pixels. Take good care of them and they will respond in kind.
Never make the same mistake twice
We are all humans, we will make mistakes. What really matters is to learn from them.
Always keep it fun and constructive
Prepare a strategy for encounters and set the expectations according to your guild’s values, but bear in mind that it may not go according to plan. You may have a bad day, the fight didn’t go your way, etc. Focus on the experience everyone gained and not on the actual outcome. Point out the lessons learned and how those can be applied in the future. This will bring some of the morale back and give people a goal on how to improve.
You are here to serve
It is the responsibility of each member, and officers even more, to help everyone else have a better game experience. To paraphrase the words of JFK, “Ask not what your guild can do for you, but what you can do for your guild!”
What are your tips for great guild recruiting and management?