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visitor management
August 10th, 2020

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Visitor Policy Template

Visitor management is essential to the health and safety of every organization. Having established processes around checking people in and notifying employees of a visitor’s arrival protects your workforce and ensures a positive experience for your guests. But what exactly should your process look like?

To help you put together a successful visitor management policy, we reviewed the best practices from several leading organizations. Here are four things they all had in common.

4 visitor management best practices

1. Ensure security is a top priority

As a tech leader, you’re tasked with protecting your company from unauthorized visitors who may want to steal data or access your network. You also have a responsibility to keep your employees safe from anyone who may want to cause them harm. To do this efficiently, you need the right kind of technology.

Tech giant Intel would know. The company employs 20,000 people in Oregon alone and about 50,000 nationwide. Asking receptionists to manage a security watchlist for a workforce that large is virtually impossible. To protect its workforce, as well as the data and ideas within its workspaces, Intel is rolling out a facial recognition program that will help identify so-called “high risk” individuals who are considered serious threats. Intel will keep employees’ facial data for two years after they leave the company and will save all visitors’ data for 30 days. Any visitors denied access would have their facial data stored for as long as 30 years, according to an article by Oregon Live.

While the controversial move may not be something you’d want to deploy within your company, it’s an important lesson: protecting all your most valuable assets — from your people to your product — should be your visitor management policy’s primary objective.

2. Create a visitor experience separate from the primary workspace

Google’s company culture and perks are perceived as the quintessential Silicon Valley experience. People travel from around the globe to set foot on the search giant’s Mountain View campus, snap a photo with the Googleplex T-Rex, and catch a glimpse at what life is like inside the massive glass walls.

With so many visitors milling about its grounds, the organization keeps its security tight. Visitors can’t enter buildings unless they’re escorted by a Google employee — but many don’t even need to go inside. With rentable bikes and publicly accessible parks and retail spaces, there’s plenty to see and do without bothering receptionists.

Other big tech companies have followed this trend, as well. Apple also recently opened a public visitor center that shares a common aesthetic with their headquarters. Guests can enjoy coffee on a roof terrace or shop in the official store, all without jeopardizing employees’ safety and security. Similarly, Facebook, Salesforce, and Microsoft have all created separate areas just for visitors.

3. Use wayfinding signage

Sometimes, your company will need to host people who need to use your workspace — like clients or employees traveling in from different locations. To ensure they can quickly find a workstation, conference room, or the colleague they’re visiting, leading architecture firm NELSON provides interactive wayfinding signage

In addition to quickly finding the person they've come to see, visitors can see which workspaces are available and book them directly from interactive displays. This easy-to-use technology streamlines the visitor experience.

4. Communicate with guests before their visit

One of the best ways to streamline the visitor experience — for guests as well as your receptionists — is to ensure visitors understand your check-in process before they arrive.

The U.S. Army, as you might expect, has this procedure down to a drill. Instead of letting people show up unprepared, the U.S. Army at Fort Campbell provides full visitor check-in instructions on the organization’s website. You’ll find everything you need to know before you arrive — from how to obtain a parking pass to which credentials you’ll need to enter the property.

This way, access control personnel can quickly and easily check in visitors upon their arrival. It also eliminates the frustration and disappointment a visitor might feel if they didn’t bring the right identification.

 

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How a visitor management system makes it easy

A good visitor management system allows you to pre-register guests, check them against your security watchlist, and automatically notify hosts of their arrival. It also stores all their important information on a digital, cloud-based platform for contact tracing or compliance purposes.

During a time of widespread concern about employee health and safety, having a secure, efficient visitor management process is more important than ever. By creating an effective visitor management policy and using reliable technology to support it, you can confidently welcome employees and guests to your organization.

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