Managing Different Types of Visitors To An Organisation
The way you welcome, identify and manage visitors on your site will depend on the purpose of their visit. Tweaking a one-size-fits-all visitor policy to reflect different visitor types will streamline your booking-in process and deliver a more positive visitor experience. For example, an interaction with a courier dropping a package off at reception will be pretty different from a job applicant arriving for an interview. Regular visitors can be fast-tracked through the check-in process, whereas contractors will require a more thorough procedure.
You’ll probably need to collect different information from different visitors – name, job title and checking in/out times are the most basic level of information required but some visitors might require a photo ID pass, health and safety video or even a non-disclosure agreement depending on the purpose of the visit.
We’ve shortlisted some common visitor types but your organisation might have its own unique examples.
General Appointments & Meetings
Most visitors will fall into a general category of business meetings, probably with suppliers and customers. In a post-COVID world it’s much more likely that a visit will be appointment-based rather than turning up unannounced. A visitor pre-booking feature helps streamline the check in process by pre-populating visitor details and automating host notifications. All visitor types will require a booking-in process that meets a number of basic objectives:
An Accurate Visitor Record – if you don’t have an accurate picture of which visitors are in your building at any given time, how can you manage them safely or professionally.
Security – some sort of visitor pass, will help employees identify legitimate visitors and spot unauthorised personnel on site.
Legal Responsibilities for Visitors – you owe a duty of care to all visitors under the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 (HSWA). As such, a visitor booking-in process should communicate information about any hazardous activities taking place in the premises, any safety rules and procedures the visitor must comply with. Steps should also be taken to prevent visitors accessing dangerous areas.
Emergency Evacuations - a key aspect of visitor safety is having a real-time evacuation list of all building visitors, so you can take an accurate headcount and alert emergency services if someone unaccounted for.
A Professional Image – finally, your booking-in process will play a big part in forming a good first impression with your visitors.
Contractors bring more risk into your site than a visitor as they will typically be accessing places and operations off limits to a normal visitor. As such, a contractor booking-in process may incorporate many extra steps to ensure arrangements are in place for the management and supervision of the contractors whilst working on site.
There has to be an appropriate liaison point between the contractor and employer and the communication of any safety information associated with the premises, operations and processes which may impact their activities whilst on site. Your contractor booking-in procedure can be tailored to address these requirements including mandatory checks, safety questionnaires and informational videos.
An interview is a two-way process, and the reception area is the place where both candidate and employer are making an important impression. Pre-booking in interviewees can alert everyone involved in the recruitment process that a candidate is on site – especially useful if the HR department has arranged for multiple candidates to visit on one day.
Visitor Management software can be very versatile and is often also used to track staff entering and exiting the building, so you know when a staff member has stepped out for lunch or an external meeting. You may need to provide ID card scanning at multiple exit points. Once again, tracking staff movements will ensure your evacuation roll call is up to date in case of an emergency.
School Latecomer and Authorised Absences
In addition to umbrella Health and Safety responsibilities, schools have an additional obligation to safeguard student wellbeing. Being able to track latecomers and authorised absences, such as dentist appointments, will keep the emergency roll call up to date and also record important attendance information.
In conclusion – not all visitors are the same and it can be helpful to have a visitor management system that can be easily adapted so that every visitor gets the best experience of your organisation for their particular visit.