While creating a workplace visitor policy isn’t exciting, it is important. Think of it as a roadmap for creating a consistent, high-quality, and secure visitor experience. A solid policy will ensure your guests feel welcomed and prepared for their visit while safeguarding your space and everyone in it.In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to create a workplace visitor policy. We’ll explain why keeping an up-to-date policy matters, what you should include in your policy, and how to scale it across your organization. There’s a lot to go over, so let’s get started.
What is a workplace visitor policy and why is it important?
At a high level, a workplace visitor policy is a set of rules that states who’s allowed onsite, when they’re allowed to be there, and which parts of the workplace they can access. In some cases, a company may have a unique policy for each of their visitor types. For example, a healthcare company might have separate visitor policies for patients and job candidates. Having a workplace visitor policy in place is important because it helps to:
- Keep everyone on-site safe: A visitor policy clearly states who can and cannot enter the workplace. If someone doesn’t meet your criteria for entry, your team can take the proper steps to ensure they’re not allowed onsite—keeping your workplace secure and giving everyone onsite peace of mind.
- Stay compliant: A visitor policy will standardize the process for entry. This ensures your company collects and securely stores everything you need from visitors to remain in compliance with the latest local regulations.
- Create a consistent visitor experience: A visitor policy serves as a reference for workplace teams to ensure they provide a consistent experience to every guest onsite. This means regardless of who’s working at the front desk, you can be sure your visitors are welcomed onsite according to your company standards.
- Save time: A visitor policy ensures your team won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time someone visits the workplace. Instead, they can follow the guidelines outlined in the policy, saving them time and effort.
What should you include in your workplace visitor policy?
Now that you know what a workplace visitor policy is and why it matters, let’s talk about how to create one. Whether you’re building a visitor policy from the ground up or refreshing an existing one, you should include the following sections:
- Who can invite workplace visitors: This section should clearly outline which teams, roles, or individuals have permission to host visitors onsite. For example, a law office may only allow lawyers to invite visitors onsite since their workplace primarily serves as a space to meet with clients.
- Who is and isn’t allowed in the workplace: This section should specify who can and cannot enter the workplace. This might include certain individuals or entire groups. For example, your workplace may welcome job candidates, vendors, customers, and contractors, but may not be open to family members or friends of employees. Or, you might have a list of specific individuals who are allowed onsite and anyone not on that list should be flagged.
- Document signing: This section should outline what documents, if any, visitors need to sign before they arrive. This typically includes non-disclosure agreements or waivers, and may change depending on the visitor type. It may also include completing any safety training necessary before coming onsite.
- Visitor rules and procedures: This section should outline what your team should inform guests of prior to check-in. It’s common to include information such as:
- Where they should sign in (e.g., at the front desk)
- Hours they are allowed onsite
- Areas of the workplace they can and cannot access
- How to access the WiFi network
While visitor policies may vary by location, region, or industry-type, they should all contain this general information. If you’re refreshing your workplace visitor policy, consider the sections above and decide what to add.
Scaling your workplace visitor policy
If you oversee more than one location, you know how challenging it can be to standardize your visitor policies and procedures across your organization. Using a visitor management system (VMS) will help you standardize at scale while also meeting local and regional requirements. Here are some of the benefits of using a VMS to scale your workplace visitor policy:
- Easy expansion to new locations: Configure your account settings once and scale it to new locations. This helps to avoid multiple, lengthy setup processes in each location while still enabling you to customize your settings based on each location's requirements.
- Global dashboards: Access visitor data and invite details for each of your locations to see who’s authorized to be onsite for each of your locations.
- Remain compliant across locations: Easily export visitor data for any location, for any day or date range. You can then manage your visitor data for compliance or record-keeping purposes.
In addition to implementing a VMS, be sure to socialize your visitor policy with your employees. This will help you iron out any issues, such as sections that need further clarification, before expanding to new locations. It’ll also increase the likelihood of folks actually adhering to the policy, making it more effective.Start by ensuring your employees are aware you have a workplace visitor policy. Send out an email to the employees the policy pertains to let them know the policy exists, why it was created, and where they can find it. Next, schedule time for a short training to go over the specific sections of the policy. This way, employees can ask questions and ensure they understand how the visitor policy impacts them. Finally, make updates to your policy based on the questions and conversations you have with employees to ensure that it’s clear before expanding it to new locations.—While creating a workplace visitor policy may not be the most rewarding part of your job, it’s up there among the most important. Ready to get started? Following the tips laid out above will help you build a visitor policy that ensures your guests feel safe, welcomed, and prepared for their visit, while also protecting your workplace and employees at all times.