Managing your workplace guests effectively requires a robust visitor policy. If your organization didn’t have a policy in place before the pandemic, now’s a great opportunity to build one from the ground up. If it already had a policy, you can bet it’s time to update it. Not only are more guests coming into the workplace, there are also more regulations in place related to health and safety. Not to mention, these regulations can vary from location to location. The last thing you need to worry about is permitting guests on-site on a case-by-case basis. With an effective workplace visitor policy, you can manage guests at scale across all of your organization’s locations. You’ll also be able to localize your policy for each of your offices to comply with regional regulations. We’ll show you how to do that, starting with training your employees.
Step 1: Use an enterprise-grade visitor management platform across your organization
Your workspace management software should help you standardize your visitor processes across locations and deploy them to new sites. It should also be able to handle personal identifiable information securely, collect the necessary information from visitors to meet compliance needs, and maintain a single system of record of your visitors’ information. Think of your technology as a way to enforce your guest policies at scale in a streamlined and compliant way.
Step 2: Train employees on your visitor policy
Present the policy in a live company-wide training. This training should include a run-through of the policy, example scenarios, and a Q&A session. You should also include a training on your workplace visitor policy during employee onboarding and make it available to folks on-demand. If you’ve updated an existing visitor policy, be sure to call out what has changed. Be sure employees understand the details of their local visitor policy. Send a note to employees at each location—via email or a channel like Slack—that summarizes the regional differences. A few bullet points that cover A) what the differences are and B) the reason behind them will be sufficient.Following the training, send employees a summary of the policy, any action items required of them, and a link to where they can find the policy.
Step 3: Store the policy in a place that is accessible to all employees
On that last note, your workplace visitor policy should live somewhere that’s easy for employees to access. They should be able to find it in just a few clicks on their computer. You might store the policy on your company’s shared drive or intranet. Ideally, it’s in a web-based format that’s easy to update. This will ensure there aren’t outdated versions of the policy floating around, which will cause confusion. Remember, the easier folks can find it the more likely they’ll be to reference it. It’ll also reduce the number of one-off questions your team receives about the visitor policy.
Step 4: Regularly remind employees of your visitor policy
Don’t be afraid to repeat messages. Repetition works. Be sure to make the following clear in your reminders:
- The fact that your company has a visitor policy
- What it entails
- Why it’s important
- Where folks can find it
New employees are far more likely to follow the policy if they see that it’s standard practice across your organization. And the first step in accomplishing that is achieving broad awareness.
Step 5: Announce any updates to your visitor policy
Be sure to send out notifications over your company’s communication channels when you make changes to the policy. Notify folks across different channels, including an all-company meeting, if possible. Here’s what the internal announcement should include:
- What’s changed
- Why your company made the change
- Who the change impacts
- When the change goes into effect
Keeping employees in the loop will reduce the mistakes they make when inviting guests on-site. It’ll also help minimize pushback on the changes because employees will understand the reason behind the changes.
When it comes to creating a workplace visitor policy that’s effective across your entire organization, remember: simple is better. Rather than creating a custom policy for each of your physical locations, you can scale a single policy across your organization and make location-specific changes as needed. Finally, make sure the policy itself is clear so employees can follow it. This means writing it in clear, concise language and including examples and instructions throughout. The clearer your policy, the more effective it’ll be at keeping folks safe and happy on-site.