Front Desk Receptionist Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

dynamic member of the management team of any office the front desk receptionist is the hub of organization in any office setting. Acknowledgement of the importance of this position has become increasingly important, as technology is proven a poor replacement for the real representation of a front desk receptionist, either by phone or in person. It is often said that without the support staff's presence in the office those they helps organize are unable to work, wasting time fielding questions that could easily be answered by the receptionist or administrative assistant and constantly looking for things which the support staff would easily be able to find.

Front Desk Receptionist holds a salaried position as a member of management staff of the organization providing service at the reception desk for, visitors, and staff. As the first face of the organization professionalism and efficiency are integral to the service of duties to the organization, staff and public. The specific responsibilities of the Desk Receptionists will be assigned by office GM but will generally include the following:

Represent the Office in every aspect of the job

Be thoroughly familiar with the policies and procedures of the organization.

Be able to make referrals to the appropriate person(s) and/or office, either by name or description of need.

As an integral member of organizations staff, work closely with every other members of the staff to ensure efficient and friendly operation of the front desk and the office in general.

Answer the desk phone and take message when appropriate.

Answer inquiries made at the desk.

Maintain the office keys and administer them as needed to official and appropriate members of the staff.

Register visitors and alert appropriate staff members to their arrival.

Monitor needs of those waiting within the reception area.

Complete tasks requested by the GM and others in need of assistance on projects and procedures, with realistic and achievable goals.

Assist in evacuation and/or other emergency procedures as requested.

Dress and act in a professional, courteous, and helpful manner.

Maintain confidentiality concerning information that may come as a result of being on duty.

Keep the GM and other staff informed of appropriate information.

The unquestionable importance of a front desk receptionist leads the manger to have a greater need for both an understanding of the position and also a greater understanding of the position within the work group.

The Importance of Communication Within the Organization.

It is a widely accepted premise that communication is paramount to the smooth running and growth of any organization, be it private or public. In fact the organization is completely disabled without effective communication, between team members and the public and company information. Where good communication reigns supreme the work group has all the information needed to responds to and administer the tasks of their jobs, and the growth and cohesion of the group. Yet, when communication breaks down the results are often missed appointments, lack of available information in the channels where it is needed, poor company performance, perceived or real, poor image and eventually customer and employee dissatisfaction.

Things are the way they are, and what they are, because of the way we talk about them. This includes the subject and practice of human communication. ... many of today's most pressing organizational and management challenges -- leadership, empowerment, shaping organizational culture, building effective teams, and managing change -- hinge on communication activities, and can best be understood and met in terms of communication and communicating. (Axley, 1996, p. ix)

The every day running of any business hinges on the ability of team members to communicate those things they deem most important to other team members. It is therefore important for every member of the team to recognize and properly channel such information to the proper team member. The importance of communication and knowledge are without question the most crucial issues in the everyday management of any organization, large or small and these issues become even more important in periods of change or transition. This is especially true with regards to conflict management, the most dreaded of all management tasks. For a receptionist it is important that most if not all team members trust his/her judgment on ensuring that intervention by them is necessary and when it is not. This trust must be earned but must be proven rather quickly for the transition of anew team member into the hub of the organization.

Most people, not just managers tend to underestimate the difficulty of effective communication. It is for this reason that all team members must be aware of one another's needs and job tasks as well as communication strengths and weaknesses. An effective front end manger, in the form of the front desk receptionist can recognize strengths and weaknesses and can learn to rely on such information to make informed decisions to strengthen the team and its job performance.

Overarching the entire discussion is the premise that most people and most managers seriously underestimate just how much hard work it is to communicate effectively, and that that perspective keeps them from being effective communicators -- which, for managers, means that they'll consequently be ineffective at leadership, empowerment, shaping organizational culture, building effective teams, and managing change. (Axley, 1996, p. ix)

The best use of communication involves the understanding of both obvious and subtle forms of communication, written and verbal as well as non-verbal or physical communication. AN example could be the ability of the manager to discern exasperation of any one team member through body language and non-verbal cues, that would demonstrate a need for increased support of that one member, for the growth and health of the team and the team's job task functions.

Team Design Management the Work Group

Work groups or teams are most effective in job performance when a task or overall goal is to large for completion by one member. Managing such teams can be difficult in that individual and professional abilities must be recognized through observation and proof within the history of the organization, most by the team leader, the manager. If the task includes a multi-faceted result many individuals may be needed to create closure or develop best practices for the completion of tasks. Groups are most likely to produce productive works when they are directed with effective communication, organization and the wisdom of a good leader/delegation coach. Effectively managing a work group requires a manger be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals in the group and have realistic goals for the completion of tasks by said group. The manager must also have an open door policy for suggestions by the group or individual members as to the best way to produce results, based on history or potential for change. (Deep & Sussman, 1997, p. 90)

Leadership Theories

There are many leadership theories available today, yet the most effective listing I have found of leadership techniques is available in Smart Moves: 140 Checklists to Bring out the Best in You and Your Team by Sam Deep and Lyle Sussman.

1. Maintain good relations with your boss. The health of this relationship is directly reflected in your ability to satisfy and therefore influence employees. Powerful leaders are those who get power from their bosses. You'll gain their respect and loyalty. You'll also learn more of what's going on.

2. Show your employees the qualities you want them to show you. Get the honesty, loyalty, sensitivity, thoughtfulness, decisiveness, flexibility, rationality, objectivity, initiative, and enthusiasm you want from subordinates by displaying these qualities yourself. Modeling is the most powerful leadership strategy.

3. Make your expectations clearly known. How else can you expect people to satisfy them? Never assume that subordinates know what behavior and results you expect of them. Never be afraid to tell them exactly what you want. Tell them before they do it, and as often as you can.

4. Use meetings to strengthen the team. Encourage participation and idea sharing. Keep the group focused on its goals.

5. Reward cooperation and hard work. Don't take good performance for granted. Reward it and you can expect to see a lot more of it.

6. Accept employee differences and take advantage of them. Not everyone can be a company star. Some people will prosper in jobs that cause others to stagnate. Just as you should treat each of your children as an only child, treat each of your employees as an only employee.

7. Give feedback to individuals regarding their contribution to the team. Do this objectively, honestly, and often. Make certain they know how well they are meeting your expectations and where they can improve.

8. Listen to employees. They will feel that what they have to say is important.

9. Hire team players No amount of training will convert an inadequate or alienated employee into a winner for you. Screen candidates carefully. Don't waste dollars trying to reform mistakes; leave that to your competitor.

10. Share your goals, visions, motivations, and reasons. Don't tell people what…

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