3 lessons in front of house good practice

30 May 00:00 by Nikki Dallas


Over the 14 years I have been recruiting in facilities management I am lucky enough to have visited and been shown around hundreds of buildings.  I have met facilities staff at the British Museum, MoD sites, Global HQ’s and schools and am continually impressed by the incredibly diverse nature of our industry and the great work done by people who work in FM.

Of course my first impression always comes from how I’m greeted by the front of house team, and so in this blog I thought I’d share my favourite three experiences from my visits.

1. Make your guests feel welcome

I have been lucky enough to travel all over the world and have checked into some very nice hotels. My greeting when visiting KPMG would not have been out of place in a 5 star hotel.  They were expecting me, I was greeted by a team of highly professional but approachable front of house staff my security pass was already printed, and I was shown to a waiting area and offered coffee and a newspaper while I waited, all the time being referred to by my name.

2. Slick systems, despite high security

When visiting a secret MoD site (I could tell you which one, but I’d have to kill you), security was of course intense and gaining entrance even onto the site was tough, let alone getting into an actual building. But even with intense security clearance and mobile phones being confiscated it was still a very positive experience.  The staff weren’t obstructive, they managed the intricate clearance procedures with grace and humour, and very slick systems and processes meant that within minutes I had gone through a security procedure that in other sites would have (and often does) easily taken 15-20 minutes. What can you do to simplify processes and make it as painless as possible for your visitors? 

 3. Use of fun technology to communicate a dry subject 

If you need to induct your visitors in your health and safety procedures, rather than presenting them with a dog-eared piece of paper why not hand them an iPad or tablet preloaded with a health & safety introduction to your building?  Rio Tinto does this and as a visitor I paid far more attention to this than to any other induction.

Of course not everybody can manage trophy buildings or work in shiny, new builds. But whatever the challenges of your particular site, there are still so many ways to improve the experience of visitors and your customers, and here I’ve covered just a few examples of what has really stood out for me. It can be the smallest of touches that can improve the visitor experience and yet so many people still get it.

If you have an example of a small (or large) change that you implemented, why not leave a comment and share it with your peers?  FM can be an incredibly lonely job, so let’s share ideas and see what we can do to help each other.