Line or Discord can be helpful, but we don’t use any outside communication…We occasionally have to have the discussion as an alliance re whether we care if people are lazy. All we ask is that people let us know if they will be gone, and some don’t. Demoting people gives them a wake up call that you’re serious.
As co-leader, I work best as “good cop,” promoting people to elder if they play hard for two weeks and encouraging those who do well. For us it works best to have another leader play “bad cop” & give warnings. The one time I tried “bad cop” because the real one was in the hospital, one player rage quit and the alliance as a whole felt like I was going to kick everyone out. I think it felt like their mom was turning on them all of a sudden! I apologized and the alliance now affectionately calls us good & bad cop…and gently reminds me if I get too “harsh.” (My harshest still includes pleases & thank yous).
“Bad cop” got out of the hospital, gave a few warnings, kicked three more people out, and made room for some great players:. 1 newbie, 2 mid-level, and a high scorer whose previous alliance didn’t chat or teach her anything!!! (Players like that have a huge growth curve!!)
As others have said, don’t be afraid to prune dead wood. Make your alliance a friendly, welcoming place that people miss when they’re away. You will attract good, long term players who want to work as a team to be great. Follow your own rules so the ones who fight don’t get discouraged.
All the best to you! I know it was scary for me to trust the process…