Friday Five: Five Ways Guilds Can Help Their New Members Integrate

New member! Parachuting in! Handle it!

Earlier this week, I talked about how hard it can be to be the new kid in the raid and guild. Although the bulk of the responsibility for getting to know folks does, inevitably, come down to the new member, there are still some things guilds can do to make transitioning in a lot smoother. And thus, today’s five:

  1. Have a guild application that can illuminate the applicant’s personality and interests.
    Those former applicants are your new members. If you have a hard-working guild application, current guildies should feel like they’ve already gotten to know the new member a little bit, which will make it a whole lot easier for them to start making friends in your guild.
  2. Have a welcome committee.
    Seriously! You don’t need to bake them a fish feast, but have an officer or a friendly guildie welcome the new member to the guild. They can also point the guildie to any members-only resources on your forums, talk about the trial process (if you have one), and show them where to find the Vent/Mumble server information. Sort of like having someone walk you around the office on your first day of work.
  3. Clearly spell out guild policies and procedures on your website.
    What’s your raid sign-up and seating process? When do trial members attain permanent status? Who can take what items out of the guild bank? And for that matter, are items from the guild bank free, or at a fraction of AH cost? These are all things that a new member probably wants to know, but doesn’t know whom to ask (or if asking any of these might set off someone’s hot button.)
  4. Be friendly!
    A guild with gchat that only consists one one-upping or worse yet, silence, doesn’t give your new member a warm welcome. You’d think this would be an obvious statement, but believe me, many guilds are not only not especially friendly to new members, I’ve seen guilds wherein new members join and walk into a hotbed of hostility from folks who are concerned they might usurp their raid spot.
  5. Plan social events that can help new peeps get to know the old guard.
    Depending on your guild’s interests, this can be retro raids, scavenger hunts, group completion of holiday events — whatever reflects your guild’s personality. The point is to have the occasional event planned that allows for conversation, and that can be open to a wide spectrum of your guild community.

What are some of the tactics or activities your guild engages in to make new members feel welcome?

2 thoughts on “Friday Five: Five Ways Guilds Can Help Their New Members Integrate”

  1. BONUS 5:
    One of my guilds would ask new joiners what their favorite movie is. I’m not sure if that is specifically a great question to ask, given how many people didn’t seem to have a favorite movie, or who liked pretty terrible movies and were subsequently heckled. Ahem. But I do think having some sort of standard greeting or fun fact question is a great, easy way to start building that sense of community.

  2. We kind of have a similar practice to point #2. The guild policy is “we won’t let you into our guild if we wouldn’t let you into our home,” (and they mean that literally, because there’s an in-person guild party every year), so before someone is invited to the guild, they are asked to get on vent with an officer and mostly just chat.
    They explain kind of where we are in raiding, give you some history and info about the guild, and kind of get an understanding of where you’re coming from. I thought it was an excellent way for them to get some background on us and it made me feel super welcome.

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