Helping Your Front Desk Succeed: 7 Tips For Effective Receptionist Performance Evaluations

Apr 8, 2024 | Blog, Front Desk, Healthcare

41% of employees leave their company due to a lack of learning and development opportunities.

(McKinsey & Company 2022, “The Great Attrition”)

Your receptionists play a pivotal role in shaping your business’s customer experience. Their performance and effectiveness can determine whether customers return to enjoy your services or choose not to visit more than once.

Conducting receptionist performance evaluations is crucial to customer satisfaction and retention. These reviews are critical in assessing your front desk operations and identifying areas for improvement.

However, employee reviews can actually diminish performance up to one-third of the time, as highlighted in a study by the American Psychological Association, a finding that remains relevant today.

This begs the question: how do you conduct a receptionist performance evaluation that is actually effective?

Here are 7 tips to help you:

Tips For A Fruitful Receptionist Performance Evaluation

Give Constructive Feedback

Telling your receptionists their weaknesses is one thing — showing them how they can improve them is another.

Your front desk staff will make more substantial improvements when you explicitly outline what they need to work on and how they can develop those skills. To achieve optimal results, provide balanced, constructive feedback that acknowledges both their weaknesses and strengths.

According to a 2023 study by the Great Place To Work Institute, up to 69% of employees are more likely to improve if they receive recognition for their performance.

Expressing appreciation for the strengths that your receptionists have makes them feel that they’re on the right track to improve despite their shortcomings.

Encourage Self-Assessment

“Know thyself” is a mantra that applies well to employee performance.

While you can give meaningful recommendations to help your front desk staff, the best feedback they can receive is from themselves. You need to remind them to assess themselves regularly based on guidelines you can provide.

To initiate your receptionists into self-assessment, use a conversational approach and avoid being imposing with your feedback. Encourage them to share their thoughts about your feedback, and then motivate them to regularly assess their performance on their own.

Some of your front desk staff might be unfamiliar with the idea of self-assessment, often because they lack a conversational partner to discuss their self-evaluations. This presents an opportunity for you to engage with them, offering a platform where they can express their insights and allowing you to offer feedback and direction in response.

Implement Personalized Training Protocols

General training protocols may be efficient, but personalized training allows your receptionists to improve even more meaningfully.

There is no “one-size-fits-all” front desk training. What works incredibly well for one receptionist may work poorly for another. To properly train all your receptionists, balance general training that covers fundamental skills (e.g., check-in process, call handling, patient care planning, and patient information management in healthcare) and workflow processes with personalized protocols that dive deep into each receptionist’s strengths and limitations.

Personalized training extends beyond addressing individual skill gaps in your receptionists’ abilities. A 2023 Zippia report on employee training reveals that 45% of employees are more likely to remain with a company that invests in their professional development.

When you double down on your staff’s improvement, you also double down on their engagement and retention.

Catch Up On A Regular Basis

69% of businesses only give performance reviews annually or bi-annually, according to FOLKS in a 2023 article.

Conducting performance reviews only once a year is ineffective, as many circumstances can surface that affect a receptionist’s performance. At the bare minimum, you should be reviewing performance every quarter so that you have sufficient, timely data to assess your staff.

In addition, you must meet with your staff regularly (once a week or month) not only to catch up on their performance and workload but also on how they’re doing in general. Touching base on a regular basis gives you insights into factors that you may have been unable to notice otherwise from an annual or quarterly review.

Give Feedback Frequently

On top of catching up with your receptionists routinely, provide feedback to them every time the right opportunity arises.

According to a 2017 study by Adobe on performance reviews, a whopping 80% of employees said that they prefer to receive immediate feedback rather than wait for annual performance reviews because it benefits their performance more.

Your front desk staff constantly wonders how they’re doing and whether it’s enough. Without clear, regular feedback, they may become anxious and detached from your business. By giving your receptionists feedback on a regular basis, you remove their anxiety and motivate them to be more productive.

However, don’t constantly monitor their work and give feedback right away, as this is considered “micromanagement,” which displays mistrust. Instead, share your comments or suggestions at an opportune time (e.g., near the end of their shift, during downtime, or occasionally when they’re on break).

Explain Performance Expectations Clearly

In the heat of work, some performance expectations may become vague or forgotten altogether.

Though your receptionists can perform solely according to the scope of responsibilities in their job descriptions, they may not understand clearly what is expected of them in their line of work.

Without clarity on performance expectations, employees can become disengaged from their work. Expectations are crucial not only as a baseline for their work but also as a reminder of the impact and value of their roles on your business.

To explain their performance expectations clearly, occasionally ask them whether or not they know what is expected of them. Engage in a conversation with them about their current stance on their work, then clarify their performance expectations and why their work matters. Your receptionists will come out of the conversation motivated and engaged, knowing their impact on your business.

Promote Collaborative Improvement

75% of employees find collaboration “very important,” according to a study by the Queens University of Charlotte on workplace communication — and what better way to foster collaboration than by improving together?

Effective teamwork involves sharing goals, not just in terms of quotas but also development. Your receptionists share the same goals and challenges, and through that connection, they can work and grow together.

Promoting collaborative improvement need not be systematic or formalized. Simply encouraging your receptionists to be open with their feedback about each other’s performance is already effective while promoting camaraderie.

Support Your Receptionists In Achieving Success

As their leader, you must take the initiative to guide your receptionists to succeed, not only in line with your business goals but also with their professional development. You’ll find greater success when your receptionists work knowing that you invest in them, as they will, in turn, invest in your business.

Do you want to truly maximize your receptionists’ performance? Consider transitioning your current front desk team to live-streaming virtual receptionists. WelcomeWare offers intuitive front desk check-in software service solutions that not only enable your receptionists to cover multiple locations remotely but also measure their performance for continuous improvement.

Unleash your receptionists’ full potential

Discover how your front desk team can cover multiple locations simultaneously with WelcomeWare

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