Receptionist Safety Procedure Checklist for any Industry

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A receptionist safety procedure checklist is important because receptionists are usually the first person that visitors see when they enter your facility. Your company counts on the receptionist to handle anything that comes through the front door. A receptionist juggles many tough responsibilities throughout each day. One of the most important is serving as a “watch person” for anything that might threaten the safety of employees and guests. Incorporating a receptionist safety procedure checklist gives receptionists the knowledge to protect your organization against any security threat they may find themselves facing. The receptionist is a company’s first line of defense when it comes to office security. Does your receptionist know exactly what to look for in identifying a potential security threat?

What you Should Add to your Receptionist Safety Procedure Checklist

How to spot “red flag” behaviors that immediately give clues that someone intends harm, property damage, or any other violent intent.

Having all receptionists trained as “aggression first observersallows them the ability to spot the indicators of emerging aggression. This training could help them guard against the threat of violence. While the installation of high-tech security equipment will help make your business safer, no technology solution is 100%. Security gurus will tell you it is vital to be aware of the tell-tale warning signs potential assailants display before they carry out their intended violent act.

What are the Types of Aggression?

There are two different categories of aggression that people fall under who commit violent crimes; Primal aggression and Cognitive aggression. The first category is primal aggression, which is the primal instinct of fight or flight and is fueled by adrenaline. Criminals ruled by primal aggression are often driven by panic or rage. Generally, violent offenders in this category are easy to spot. Most would consider primal aggressors to be fueled by stress factors that would be perceived as being motivated by frustration, threat, anxiety, or fear. This adrenaline induced anger typically represents a progressive loss of self-control. For example, the disgruntled employee throwing a temper tantrum in the lobby after being fired would be considered a primal aggressor.

The second category is cognitive aggression, which is characterized as conscious and deliberate aggression that is intent driven. The cognitive aggressor is more calculated in their attack. They crave a more focused and strategic desire to complete the mission of violence. These types of aggressors plot and plan their revenge with tactical precision. Typically a cognitive aggressor is hard to identify if you do not know the warning signs. The cognitive aggressor may seem very calm or almost detached. Many scholars say these type of aggressors are the most dangerous. This is the person that will become the next random shooter or terrorist.

Moreover, both types of aggression consist of nine different stages. Each stage is a precursor to the next and gives you the ability to get out in front of the situation if you trained in spotting these behaviors.

Every business should have a visitor policy, even those that serve the general public.

The specifics of the policy will differ depending on the industry. However, some sections of the visitor policy will be universal.  For instance, all policies should clarify authorization procedures. Make sure it is clear who in the office has the authority to approve office visitors. According to your company, this authorization can be carried out by the office managers, the receptionist, or anyone else designated who has the ability to admit a guest.

Your visitor policy should also include information about which office areas are open to guests. In general, varied levels of restricted access beyond the lobby is a common workplace practice. Furthermore, companies should keep a record of visitors in the office at all times. A visitor sign-in procedure, including the request for proof of identification, is crucial for knowing who is in your office in case of an emergency.

Many companies also choose to clearly identify workplace visitors via printed ID badges. This is a cost-effective and simple approach to easily recognize a guest in your facility. Visitors should be accompanied by an employee at all times while in the office. Company policy should state that visitors shouldn’t be allowed to wander around on their own for both security and safety reasons.

Proven strategies for diffusing angry visitors or coworkers before a situation escalates.

When dealing with angry people, learning how to diffuse a tense situation is a crucial skill to possess. It is easy for a receptionist to get frustrated when they are confronted with an angry person. If the receptionist doesn’t know how to react in such situations, the wrong response can easily make the situation worse. The receptionist safety procedure checklist for dealing with angry people will help mitigate the already tense situation.

When dealing with angry people, the receptionist should be aware of the different types of anger. Everyone knows what typical anger looks like. However, people can cover up the visible signs of anger but contain fury under the surface. This type of subtle anger is called passive aggressive. Below are the six common anger types that receptionist may face when dealing with an angry patron. The receptionist safety procedure checklist that your company assembles will assist the receptionist in spotting these different types of anger.

Spotting the Different Types of Anger

    • Passive Anger – The indirect expression of hostility, such as through procrastination, stubbornness, or sullen
    • Volatile Anger  Violent behavior or angry verbal outbursts that are grossly out of proportion to the situation.
    • Chronic Anger – An episode of anger may dissipate quickly and harmlessly or evolve into a murderous rage.
    • Vengeful Anger – Desiring vengeance; vindictive: Characterized by or stemming from a desire for revenge
    • Incidental Anger – Anger triggered by an unrelated situation, promotes unethical behavior.
  • Empathic Anger  This type of anger is felt in a situation where someone else is being hurt by another person or thing. It is possible to see this form of anger as a pro-social emotion.

Emergency Response Procedures all Receptionists Should Know

A Receptionist Safety Procedure checklist should consist of the following:

  1. How to handle angry patrons
  2. Tactics potential intruders may use to slip past you and how to stop them
  3. Emergency response processes and procedures of the company
  4. Understand contact procedures with emergency personnel, including police
  5. How to master the basics of security

Still Unsure About a Receptionist Safety Procedure?

Contact us for more information to make the best decision for your receptionist safety procedure. or 800-533-7201 M-F 8-5 pm CST

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