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The Importance of Visitor Pre-Registration: 3 Tips to Get Your Organization on Board

As employees return to the workplace post Covid-19, visitor management is evolving to meet new norms and higher standards. Changing demands in the visitor process, such as health guidelines and capacity restrictions, have resulted in organizations implementing more compliance requirements throughout their visitor workflows — many of which are here to stay.

Visitor pre-registration is an important part of visitor compliance and a process that all organizations should embrace. To be effective, it should include the expectation that employees also adhere to your organization’s pre-registration workflows. Even before the pandemic, you might have had a hard time incentivizing employees to pre-register visitors in accordance with your standards. But with offices reopening, it is essential that your entire organization is involved in ensuring a smooth and compliant visitor experience.

Plan, Pre-Register, Prepare

The pandemic has highlighted many things — pre-planning is now essential for any activity, whether a restaurant reservation or an office visit. When it comes to visitor management in workplaces, a key element of planning is the pre-registration process.

In a survey from a recent HID webinar, over 56% of participants considered ‘unprepared visitors or employees’ the biggest challenge in their lobby. The survey response highlights why implementing and enforcing a pre-registration process is so crucial to the visitor management experience and compliance with internal or external mandates. Here are our top three tips to empower your employees and avoid the unprepared visitor problem:

  1. Use the Right Tools

If it’s difficult for employees to comply with your visitor management standards, they simply won’t, or they will take shortcuts that degrade security. So make it quick and easy for them to comply with the right tools. We know that new processes can be tricky — especially if those processes add time — so solutions that increase efficiency, are easier to use, or reduce the number of steps result in higher rates of compliance.

Employees not completing pre-registration for their visitors is a common occurrence, resulting in visitors being greeted by receptionists or standalone kiosks with no record of an upcoming visit. Generally, this happens because the host employee forgets to enter the visitor information into the system ahead of time or makes an error when they do. In this type of situation, the employee typically sets up a calendar event but fails to add the information in the visitor management software portal.

An effective tool to automate this process and reduce required time and effort from your employees is a visitor management solution that registers the visitor directly from Outlook, Google or another calendar application — eliminating the need for an additional step. Automating this not only ensures that the visitor is correctly pre-registered for compliance purposes, but also results in a smooth, organized experience for your visitors. Learn more about HID WorkforceID™ Visitor Manager’s  calendar integration here.

  1. Enlist an Ally

Reminding numerous employees to carry out required processes is a tough job. So why not find an influential ally among your leadership team to help share that message and act as a champion for pre-registration? That person should have influence in your company, such as a security director, an administrator, someone from HR or from your facilities department or even a CEO. They should agree that pre-registration is important and can help with organizational compliance.

How can this be done? Once you have identified an influential ally, speak to them and explain the benefits of the process you are implementing. Share how the pre-registration process promotes security, and when visitors arrive without a formal invitation, it takes longer to check them in and causes preventable delays.

What can they do? Here are just a few ways they can help reinforce your pre-registration message:

  • Post about the importance of pre-registration on your company intranet /Slack /Teams
  • Co-sign pre-registration reminder emails
  • Agree to using their name when explaining to employees the reasons for using the pre-registration process
  1. Communicate Effectively

People in your organization need to know exactly what is expected of them when it comes to inviting and hosting visitors. Communicate your expectations for pre-registration and other visitor processes early and often, so your employees are always informed of what they should be doing.

What methods are you currently using to let people know what is expected of them? Perhaps brief updates are given at a monthly organization information meeting, or you are posting on your company’s intranet. Consider the ways in which your employees best gain information and how impactful certain methods are. This could be asking managers to remind their teams of new processes, giving pre-registration reminders at weekly meetings or sending concise emails to outline the requirements for incoming visitors. See what improvements can be made in your communication strategy to help your employees be better prepared when hosting visitors.

Explore how one company transformed its visitor management strategy using the return to work transition here, or read our eBook on the future of work here.

Kate Kim brings over 15 years of experience in access control and visitor management spaces. For the last five years, Kate has provided product marketing and product management leadership for HID Visitor Solutions and the EasyLobby SVM product. Prior to joining HID, she led a global team responsible for card access and front lobby support across a variety of environments at Target Corporation. She is based in Minneapolis, MN.