Christopher Bowyer, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
Over the past several months we have been making some modifications to our security and accessibility procedures and processes. One piece that has resulted is a definitive need for policies related to visitors of the building so that our tenants know what to expect in certain circumstances. Our elevator and stairwells are locked to visitors and we do not have a convenient location to place a concierge or security guard, thus our staff takes the brunt of validating the purpose for a visitor coming to the building, escorting and/or allowing access to visitors.
Do any of you have established policies currently in place that you have found work (or others that do not work) for visitors coming to your building for meetings, delivery personnel such as UPS/FedEx or for visitors who simply want to meet a representative of one of your tenants?
Jimmy Martin, Facilities Director, Chicago Literacy Alliance
We have a unique situation in that our main entrance, an elevator, opens directly into our space. There’s no holding area for visitors, so we’ve honed our process over the past year and a half to structure and control guest entry. We’ve found that a combination of a dedicated personal presence, in our case a community manager & coordinator, and a digital visitor kiosk have handled these needs quite well. Without a dedicated person or persons to receive and direct visitors, things would quickly devolve into chaos.
When a visitor arrives, they’re acknowledged and greeted. The guest signs in on our iPad and, if the person they’re here to see is in our “employee” list, that person gets a text message notification their guest has arrived. This also automatically creates an adhesive name badge that shows their name, optionally a photo and the name of the person they’re here to see. The system we use, Envoy, is very customizable, and I can’t recommend it enough.
The visitor badge policy is only as good as its enforcement, however. The iPad setup wouldn’t work terribly well without our welcome team ensuring all guests go through the process. Guests generally get it when they come in, though, and once a policy is established and well enforced, people respond pretty well to the structure.
I don’t know the specifics of your facility or the kind of guests you receive, but I’m guessing a dedicated physical presence plus a digital check-in would be a good start.
Misha Palin, Citizen Engagement Laboratory
We have a reception area but to cut down on our receptionist having to manage guests we signed on with iPad Receptionist which recently changed to https://thereceptionist.com/ (Found out about this through NCN!)
Pros:+people walk in and see they need to sign in+it’s fairly self explanatory +our receptionist doesn’t have to run around looking for people much of the time+it sends a text and email to the person who the guest is coming to see+it provides a report of people who are in our space+if you get the package it comes with a frame for your iPad so someone wouldn’t just walk away with it.
Cons: -It has a delivery option but most delivery people don’t expect to have to use it…so if our receptionist isn’t there, they still wonder around looking for someone to sign for the package.-if someone isn’t paying attention to their phone or email then they don’t know the person has arrived and either they are left waiting or the receptionist has to go find them anyway.-not everyone feels comfortable signing in electronically.
Things we wish it would do:>collect emails for event lists easily>mass text option in case of emergency