This question is mainly based for the pourpose of the yojimbo but can cover all other spots on Operations as well.
Each year we get a set number of indivuals who sign up for staff then when the convention rolls around roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of them do not show up to claim their badge leaving the rest to pick up the slack. This year we had an outstanding number of volunteers to help with this issue but we also had a very low number of Yojimbo who showed or signed up.
So.. With that stated. What do you plan to do to increase the number of staffers signing up and make sure thsoe who sign up report in regularly and show up for their positions?
Following up on Kylite's question:
What sort of response do you want in the case of someone who signs up as staff, obtains a badge, and then desert their duties? (Excluding of course, those who have some type of crisis and turn in their badge before attending to it.)
What (broad) steps will you take to improve communication during the convention in 2012?
What (broad) steps will you take in relation to bringing materials in to the convention, and taking them back out to the locker?
Hello gentlemen, allow me to answer your poignant questions regarding Operations and relate how I hope to improve the directorate in 2012.
One of the reasons why I created the Logistics department last year was to centralize Human Resources in Operations. While we had a serious delinquency issue with the Yojimbo specifically, my Logistics Manager and I tracked down as many of those folks as possible to find out why. Some were a lost cause: Dead E-Mail addresses mainly, but most were very communicative and related the typical unfortunate real life conflicts that plague all of us from time to time: losing a job or a loved one or facing an unexpected move were common amongst myriad, yet valid, reasons.
Being entirely frank, dedication to a volunteer organization with a low commitment threshold ($10 staff fee for first time recruits with an expected 16 hour workload) means that the list of "higher priorities" is bound to be larger for our membership than for even attendees who are paying at least double if not triple the cost out of pocket for an entertainment centered experience.
However, through my tenure this past year I found that within Operations there were specific individuals who served as go-to points for larger groups of staffers and recruitment pools. These people often provided crucial insight into the motives of staffers that were not putting in 100% or were completely absent. What I would like to see happen in 2012 is the formation of a tangible framework that networks these people together with the central leadership so we can more aggressively put the recruitment drive into as many communities as possible from day one.
Staff retention on paper seems to be an easier venture. I made a goal of creating a personal connection with as many of my staffers as I could during the convention, specifically seeking out those who were were pulling their load in addition to others' at times. One of Logistics' first jobs in 2012 will be to reestablish contact with these core people, many of whom also fit the bill of being one of those "community organizers" that were referenced in the last paragraph. In addition I want to schedule Operations wide meetings at least once a month. Several of the "Reg Parties," as they are so euphemistically called, turned into directorate wide organization meetings that proved to be highly effective. I think moving these meetings to a formal schedule will promote a more solid cohesive staff base earlier in the year that we can then translate into retention at the convention.
AWOL staff are never a fun subject to discuss but the issue indeed a valid concern so I will reiterate the policy Operations used during 2011. We do not condone nor accept Staff members deserting their duties. What this means in practice, is that a staff member who has been identified as delinquent will be approached by his manager, questioned about the nature of the truancy, and will have his badge pulled if a sufficient reason is not presented. While I will not go into details, this exact scenario came to pass during Kumoricon 2011 and we followed the procedure to its logical end without incident. As such I expect that the policy will remain for 2012 unless a better alternative is discovered.
In terms of fostering a more comprehensive communications policy for 2012 using the most generalized terms, I would say that using the manager mailing list to maintain ongoing objectives and topic discussions would be the first step in improving Operations' internal consistency. On a side note, Kumoricon 2011 was the first year that Operations had a management structure that was dedicated solely to the creation and maintenance of a centralized communications network at con. While we experienced several hiccups during the weekend, our team was quick to assess and resolve those issues in short order. Through debriefing my communications coordinator post-con, the most obvious improvement to the system would be locking in Nextel allocations earlier in the year so the phones could be programmed with more descriptive names instead of Prog 1 - 4 and Ass. Ops Dir 1 + 2 (BTW 1 and 2 were cut off so you had to by process of elimination figure out who you were talking to :/)
For those who are often trying to find corollaries between Kumoricon and other conventions I want to make this point as clear as possible: Operations does not lead locker organization or the transportation of goods and materials. At this current date we have been charged solely with supplying manpower to the Quartermaster, acting under the auspices of the Treasurer, who directs and leads the efforts to and from the storage facility. From that limited vantage point I can only stress that there will never be a point where more people at load in and load out is considered counterproductive.
I hope I have been able to answer your questions to a sufficient degree and welcome any further calls for clarification you might have.