Being prepared for visitors at your plants can leave a lasting impression
Not long after I started working with Kathy, we had a couple less than stellar visits from customers and guests from Corporate. Data wasn’t prepared, food wasn’t ordered, and PPE needed to be gathered at the last minute, to name a few items that made these visits go awry. It begged the question, “If we aren’t prepared to host guests in our facilities, how can they trust that we are prepared to do much of anything?” Also, how awkward is it when someone has to leave the meeting room to find a bottle of water to offer a guest while the rest of the team is working on small talk, hoping said guest doesn’t notice the awkwardness?! It is, in fact, very awkward, and that is one of the many reasons we created the Visitor Checklist.
Kathy asked me to put something together to ensure consistency and accountability to the plant manager (or meeting host), when anyone visited the facility. It may seem to be a simple and intuitive thing to have, but if you don’t, it’s very easy to miss a valuable piece that could leave a negative impression.
The Visitor Checklist is nothing fancy but highly effective. It takes the “tribal knowledge” out of preparation and provides consistency across facilities. It ensures all tactical items for a successful visit are completed and provides key topics to include in an introduction presentation. We also took it a step further and added the guests’ names and company to the welcome sign to show appreciation for their time to visit us. Plus, how fun is it to see your name “in lights” when arriving somewhere?
Besides being prepared for the guests, we also included a plant-wide communication, so all employees knew who was visiting and why. We have learned that there is no such thing as over-communication, especially when going through a business transformation, so informing the team members at the site was imperative. It also allowed them to ask how the visit went and provide any feedback. When building a positive workplace culture, keeping the team involved in this manner goes a very long way.
Factories can be your best sales tool when giving plant tours. Having everyone on-site prepared and ready for a visitor can provide confidence and aid in receiving new business. Isn’t it amazing how a simple checklist can provide such positive benefits across the organization?!
Download an example of our Visitor Checklist below!
Stay tuned for more highlights and stories from the journey