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The Importance Of The Receptionist In An Organization

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The purpose of this research is to get a better understanding of the importance of the receptionist to the firm. A receptionist is the first person a visitor comes in contact with when they enter the firm. The receptionist and the reception area give a visitor his or her first impression of a firm and sets the tone for his or her visit.

* To identify the duties, responsibilities and attributes of a receptionist.
* To identify the importance of the receptionist to JMMB.

Functions of the receptionist
* To receive and relay messages
* To meet and greet visitors or act as hostess to visitors.
* Making, confirming and cancelling appointments for managers as directed.
* Operation office materials, e.g photocopier and fax machine.

40 Springfarm Dr.

27 December 2010
The Human Resource Manager
Shop 19, LOJ Complex
Howard Cooke Blvd.
St.James, Jamaica W.I

Dear Sir/Madam

Permission to interview business
I am a student of the Montego Bay High School collecting the relevant data for my Office Administration School Based Assessment. I am investigating the topic “An Investigation into the importance of the Receptionist”. I hereby request permission to issue a questionnaire and observe your receptionist at work. I look forward to your favorable response. You can contact me at (876)-275-7158. Yours faithfully

Whitney Wright


The researcher gathered the information from the receptionist of JMMB, Ms.Fletcher with the use of a questionnaire/ interview. An observation checklist was also used. The receptionist was chosen randomly since the project was based on her work. The researcher chose to use a questionnaire because it would yield the best results since the receptionist will be able to write detailed information. The questionnaire consists of 8 questions; 2 were close ended which required one set of alternate choice while the other 6 were open ended, which allowed the researcher to obtain more information. The questionnaire was issued on the 29th of December 2010 and the question section section lasted for an hour. The researcher observed the receptionist greeting visitors, answering the phone, filing and using the facsimile machine .

The following questions were directed to the receptionist of JMMB.
* What are your duties and responsibilities?
* Which duties are you required to do most frequently?
* What are the qualities needed for your job?
* What are some of the records that you are asked to maintain on a daily basis?

* What are the equipment required for the receptionist area? * What attitude is expected of the receptionist towards the client?

Schedule of Activities

DATE| Activities| Comments|
11/11/10| Selected a suitable topic for O.A project.| This was done with the help of my teacher.| 17/11/10| Prepared questionnaire and had teacher check it over.| All necessary corrections were made.| 19/11/10| Typed questionnaire.| This was done at home.|

17/12/10| Collected permission letter from my teacher.| | 22/12/10| Went to a firm with a permission letter.| The permission was not granted.| 23/12/10| Went to another firm (JMMB)with permission letter.| The permission was granted.| 23/12/10| Interviewed receptionist with the questionnaire.| All questions were answered.| 29/12/10| Collected Business Forms| Easy to require because forms were readily available.| 1/1/11| Typed SBA| Done at home|

1/1/11 | Printed SBA| Done at home|

Regulations and Company Policies

One legislation the researcher was aware of while carrying out this project is the Maternity Leave Act. This law states that any female who has been employed continuously for fifty two weeks or more by the same employer on that date is entitled to maternity leave for 12 weeks for each pregnancy. A worker who is qualified for paid maternity leave is entitled to at least 8 weeks of pay. This is relevant to the topic being studied since the receptionist will create a lasting impression she would need time off from work to recuperate and being do her task again when she returns from leave. The researcher became aware of this law because the receptionist that was interviewed was a temporary replacement for the previous receptionist that was on maternity leave. ONE health and safety practice is the Occupational Safety and health Act. It addresses all aspects of the Jamaican workplace. Topics covered include elevators, ventilation, lighting, emergency exits, fire escapes and fire extinguishers. There are also detailed regulations about the operation of specific dangerous equipment such as drill presses, lathes, forklifts and welding equipment. Fines for non-compliance range from $25,000 to $250,000 for each violation.

ONE staff rule the researcher had to comply with is that the Human Resource department of the organization she be notified and give approval of any special events that would allow the employee to be excused from any form of their work.

Having completed this project one major accomplishment was that the researcher became familiar with the duties, responsibilities and attribute of the receptionist. The receptionist is the person in the company who is responsible for welcoming and looking after visitors to the firm. He or she is responsible for introducing visitors to the company personnel. The receptionist performs duties such as: * Keeping the reception register

* Preparing letters and other documents on the computer
* Performing records management functions
* Souring information on the computer
* Making, conforming and cancelling appointments
* Operating office equipment
* Taking and delivering messages
* Responding to inquiries and providing information about the company.

A receptionist is expected to :
* Be polite, respectful and friendly at all times with visitors, co- workers and managers. * Be helpful and tactful when responding to inquires in person or over the telephone. * Be calm and patient at all times even though visitors may be disrespectful. * Be discreet and not prone to indulge in gossip especially in the presence of visitors. * Be appropriately attired for the office by being smartly dressed and groomed. * Speak clearly, slowly and use correct grammar and pronunciation. * Be well informed about the organization, its history, goals and organizational structure. * Be professional- aware of the importance of his or her role to the organization.

The reception or hospitality desk is usually located close to the main entrance of the company. It should be the first place that visitors see and come in contact with. This area and those who work in it creates a lasting impression of the efficiency and effectiveness of the company and its business. This area is usually furnished with: * Plants

* Appropriate colour schemes
* Magazines, newspapers, brochures and news letters
* Lights and air conditioning or fans
* Wall hangings
* Tables and chairs
* Telephone system
* Refreshment distributor

ONE MAJOR CHALLENGE the researcher faced was finding a receptionist to interview. The researcher was given a permission letter by her teacher to visit an organization and view its operation. The receptionist was not tactful in anyway and very lackadaisical. The researcher was kept waiting for a while before she was attended to. She found her personal phone and face book more important that attending to her duties. The receptionist was not initiative in dealing with situations, she told the researcher that she was not sure if her manager granted permission for this interview after I double confirmed with the branch manager. The receptionist was not aware of many of the company’s policies or regulations. The researcher later found out from the manager.

ONE MAJOR PROBLEM SOLVING STRATEGY is that managers of firm should ensure the efficiency of the receptionist would be beneficial to the company. The receptionist should be tactful and imitative in dealing with situations. They should also ensure that the receptionist have all qualities required since her work attitude will have a fasting impression on the firm. Managers should train the receptionist for the job before giving the position so the business can be successful. Appraisals should also be carried out. One task that the researcher could have done differently was to done further research into the companies receptionist i.e internet or asking customers about her. This would make the investigation easier and would not cause the researcher so many challenges.

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