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Group Retention Guide

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Husky's Network
Los Santos Roleplay

Group Retention Guide

This guide is aimed for leaders & bosses in roleplay.
The term 'group' here means organisation, club, gang, business, etc.


Why do I play? What do I enjoy about the experience? What frustrates me?

These are the questions on the minds of players regarding the time they spend playing. You want your members to have a positive, supportive and inclusive experience no matter what their role or level of commitment.

It is important to recognise that each player has a set of expectations about their playing experience. These expectations are continually being challenged and altered as a player gains more experience and spends more time.

Players leave for a variety of reasons. Some are out of control, but others have occurred due a combination of certain experiences which have resulted in the player feeling like they have no choice but to leave.

By asking about and understanding your member's experiences on an ongoing basis, you are more likely to better manage problems as they arise and make sure a supportive and inclusive environment exists within your group or organisation, which will assist with player satisfaction and retention over the longer term.

The following guide will provide leaders with information, tips and advise regarding different retention ideas and programs that might suit your group and players.

2020-12-09_20-53-03.pngReasons why players leave

Players leave for various reasons, including:

  • time demands (such as work, family and personal commitments)
  • training demands
  • negative issues (such as tension between players)
  • authoritarian leadership (such as favourtism and feeling excluded)
  • new interests or new games
  • age

Your current group status

Work out the current position your group is in before trying any retention strategies.

Ask yourself the following simple questions:

  • Do you have a member retention issue?
  • Is it a member participation issue?
  • How many players have left in the last month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months?
  • Is there a common point where players leave in their time of service (for example, 1 week, 1 month, 6 months)?
  • Is there a common demographic that leaves (for example, young people, women)?
  • Does your group learn or know the reasons why people leave (for example, via exit interviews or informal discussions)?

Possible Retention Ideas

Retention can fall into many different areas. The sections below will give you some ideas about the key areas of consideration and what you may be able to put in place within your own group.

2021-05-02_19-07-42.png1. Teamwork and participation

The benefits of a well performing team and healthy internal relationships between players are essential for player satisfaction and retention. Some of the most common reasons why people leave are due to clashes with other players and/or negativity and tension within the server.

Healthy participation allows all members to be involved in a range of activities including social, training and other events.

Ideas include:

  • Combine basic and fun teambuilding activities with training nights: these do not have to be business-related (e.g. police), just activities that get players working together and building team relationships
  • Plan at least one social event per month
  • Try a social competion or training sessions with another group, such as races, or training with different departments
  • Have informal catchups, such as movie nights, social groups with other games such as Minecraft
  • Develop an interesting training program: this is particularlly important if activity is low and the group does not get together regularly

There is no reason a group cannot function like any other group by meeting once a month for catchups.

2. Leadership

Leadership is a key element of people management.

This deals with all aspects of motivation, communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork and group dynamics.

Leaders need to have an awareness of their own leadership style and understand the impact it has on their team environment.

Leaders need to rise above internal group tensions, favourtism, personality clashes and other issues which may be causing discomfort for certain players or affecting group functioning. They need to lead the group in a fair and non-judgemental way.

Ideas include:

  • Encourage leadership opportunities for players, such as planning events or programs for your group, or stepping up into a higher position and taking on a role while someone is away.
  • Conducting debriefing sessions after scenes to provide learning opportunities.
  • Encourage players to provide honest and constructive feedback on leaders. This can be eye-opening and provide a crucial understanding for leaders about how they are perceived and if there are any areas they need to work on to enhance their leadership skills. This can be undertaken by anonymous means and analysed by the leadership or command team.
  • Encourage players to seek training opportunities and ways to better their roleplay.

2.jpg3. Mentoring and buddy systems, and player inductions

The mentoring and buddy system are well-known and successful approaches to allow effective integration of new people into an existing group or existing players into a new role.

A new player gains the benefit of learning from an experienced player and building relationships with a number of other players.

Induction and orientation also allow a new player to feel part of the group and ensure they understand the group on a broader level. The player will understand what is expected of them, their role and make them feel comfortable in a group environment.

4. Player communication

The ways your group communicates and provides information are an important part of keeping the group connected internally and to the community. A communication plan is a retention tool in itself as your players are being engaged and kept in the loop with key information and updates.

Ideas include:

  • Use a range of different methods to reach most players (e.g. Discord, Forums).
  • Have particular players who are responsible for sending out certain types of information (such as meeting minutes, newsletter, updates, Lifegator, tweets, advertisements).
  • Always display information on your Discord.
  • Consider creating a club on the forums.

5. Player recognition

Recognition is important for the individual, the server and the community. Recognition encourages continued growth, involvement and development. It falls into two main categories:

  • Celebration and appreciation of your group in the community.
  • Appreciation of individual players.

Ideas include:

  • Celebrate achievements of the group and the individual.
  • Introduce a rewards scheme for achieving certain levels or tasks within the group.
  • Discounts on services and goods arranged through other groups or yours.
  • Get well, birthday and holiday cards to players.
  • A thank you to individuals from the leader/boss in public.
  • Acknowledge player's joining anniversaries.
  • Organise service awards for players.
  • Regularely promote players' work.
  • Highlight experienced players as Seniors: this provides recognition for their experience and knowledge and a go-to point for less experienced players needing assistance.

2021-01-06_18-58-41.jpg6. Community involvement

Maintaining a good connection between your group and the community is closely linked with sustainability. Your group's community profile and involvement has many benefits to the general functioning of your group, including the opportunity to tap into local resources, gain support and recruit new members.

Ideas include:

  • Start small so it's not too demanding of members' time.
  • Plan a calendar of events the group can be involved in and put it on display (use the Forums or Discord).
  • Place it on an agenda to discuss at your group meetiongs os it becomes part of your group's core business.
  • Appoint a player to coordinate community involvement or recruit someone from the community to undertake this role: you could ask friends of current members.
  • Market and promote your group's work in the community: when people can see, hear and read about what is involved in a group's work, percention change, which has a domino effect on other group issues such as recruitment, retention and attracting further support.


 If you are in need of further support for your group, feel free to reach out to the Administration team about how we can help.

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