Importance of Front office

Reception
Front Office

Being a big company needs a reputation to be maintained, its not about the boss’s personality, it’s about the aura and feel when someone visits your office for the first time.

The trigger for this write up was from the article , on linkedin yesterday,read on by clicking

The gentleman in the above mentioned article had been for an interview and was waiting for his turn in the front office. Most likely due to unprofessional conduct on part of that company HR , despite three hours wait , the interview did not happen. Now the three hours wait in front office must have been a lesson and good insight into companies morals, ethics, discipline , employee happiness and code of conduct. All this is directly related to reputation management in terms of impression gathered by person waiting in front office and word of mouth spread of experience in front office as perceived by the visitor.

Let me also share another example , which happened personally with me some years ago. I had an interview scheduled with a reputed builder whose office was situated in the annex of a reputed leisure club. I happened to be accompanied by my elder daughter who had been recently appointed to INC and was very excited with the code of conduct of employees therein. So we reached the builders office, and informed the receptionist, that I have an appointment with HR for an interview. The interview was for an senior position and hence it was expected that HR would have informed front office about the same, since I was the only candidate that day. However the receptionist , insisted , to tell her what post , I have applied for and how etc, do I know the HR and so on and so forth. Then she asked me to have a seat and wait. Hereafter it was a lesson of most – what not to do , was happening at the air conditioned beautifully crafted reception(Front Office), despite camera’s been available probably no one was monitoring at HR/Admin/EDP level.

As I was waiting with my daughter in the reception, firstly the receptionist was not fluent in english, and her talking pitch being high was creating unwanted chatter at the front end. She had got her tiffin and wanted it to share with office boy, who insisted that in AC environment we should not eat. Then another buddy came and was showing her a video clip on whatsapp and they were giggling aloud.Then her personal phones started in marathi concurrently intercom calls were happening most of them missed. Whenever any employee came to check why calls were not being received, she was giving trivial excuses like had gone out , or was on another call etc.

Imagine a prospective buyer, or a group of investors visiting the same office and seen such conduct , would they have invested. Anyway then , I reminded the lady about the time and my interview schedule, herein she called up the HR and then asked me to visit him. There was a office boy sitting there, but he was on his mobile so, I was told to go one floor down and ask for Head HR office, when I reached down , it had a security access card system to enter, and the card was with the office boy, hence had to come back to take the same…….., finally had my interview and tried my best diplomatic skill to indicate to HR that front office needs training to hone their skills.

As me and daughter walked towards the car , she said dad please do not take a job here, the front office story tells the weakness of management and lack of accountability in this company. I could just say, how true. The point herein is with my 27 years experience and my daughter’s few days experience with a top class corporate, both came to the same inference about the company, just by being at the reception for a while.

So to conclude , it would be appropriate to say front desk is the mirror of your company conduct and an important factor to reputation management. Therefore it is pertinent to place skilled and able staff in the frontdesk , who are by conduct and mannerism able to further reputation of the company and make everyone visiting, feel important and provide a happiness factor.

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