Receptionist Turnover High? Tips on Improving Retention

Receptionists are the backbone of any business, as they are often the first point of contact for clients and create lasting impressions. It is concerning when high turnover rates are observed in this role. According to industry reports, the annual turnover rate for receptionists in various sectors can reach 20% or higher. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind high receptionist turnover and offer tips on enhancing retention in your organization.

 Calculate Your Receptionist Turnover Rate

The first step to improving receptionist retention is to determine if you have a high turnover rate. Calculate your turnover rate by dividing the number of employees who left during the year by the average total number of employees. If your turnover rate exceeds 20%, it is higher than average. Remember that the national average turnover is already considered high. Analyze the reasons behind this and take necessary measures to improve retention. There can be several reasons behind high turnover among receptionists, such as low salary and benefits, a lack of growth opportunities, poor management, and inadequate training. Additionally, the repetitive nature of the job can lead to boredom and disengagement. Identifying the primary cause in your organization is essential to address it effectively.

Assign Appropriately and Perform Tasks

In some cases, receptionists may feel undervalued and unappreciated because their assigned tasks are not challenging or aligned with their skills and abilities. However, if a person is assigned to manage a job for which they are not trained and lack knowledge, it can quickly become overwhelming! As an office manager, ensure all tasks are appropriately and equitably assigned and performed. Providing additional incentives and recognition, such as employee of the month, will also show appreciation to your employees.

Hold Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are instrumental in finding out why your receptionist turnover rate is so high. Hold an open and honest conversation with departing staff, asking them why they are quitting and their views on their tenure at the company. You can also ask them about their experience with managers, training, and any challenges they faced. This feedback can help you identify problem areas and take corrective measures to improve retention. Here are some example questions that can help you gain insight into your company.

  • Were employees informed ahead of time about changes?

  • Did you feel in control of your workload?

  • Did management care how you felt about your work?

  • Was management open and honest in dealing with employees?

  • Did management have the ability to solve major administrative problems?

  • Was more emphasis placed on the quality rather than the quantity of the work?

  • Did you have a clear understanding of what was expected of you?

  • Were employees eager to come to work most of the time?

  • Was the office environment between employees and management comfortable?

  • Name three things we could do to serve our employees better.

Ensure Thorough Training

Your business should invest in training opportunities for all the employees, including your reception and administrative staff. Ensuring thorough training in problem-solving, customer service, and communication skills is essential to give your receptionists the necessary tools for success. Make sure you incorporate ongoing training sessions to keep your staff updated on new procedures and policies and refresh existing skills. Read our blog, 5 Reception Best Practices.

Provide a Supportive Work Environment

Receptionist turnover can directly result from toxic work environments and lack of support. As an office manager, it’s essential to foster a supportive work environment that staff can thrive in. Implementing employee assistance programs and offering support will help staff feel valued and respected. Managers who are stressed can pass it on to subordinates unknowingly. Thus, ensuring the workload of managers and their team is manageable should be a top priority.

Turnover can be a significant issue for any company; your business is no exception. Retaining competent, motivated, and skilled receptionists is crucial to customer success and administrative efficiency. Office managers and HR can improve retention and increase the longevity of their front desk staff by calculating turnover rates, assigning appropriate and challenging work, holding exit interviews, providing thorough training, and ensuring a supportive environment. Engaged and motivated reception staff will be an excellent foundation for a healthy and successful business.

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