Welcoming and hosting guests is certainly one of your tasks. When you are hosting foreign guests, you have to take care of particularities, e.g. coming from different religious beliefs, such as Ramadan for Muslims. Here are a few tips to help you to avoid making any mistakes with your guests.
Welcoming international visitors, looking after visitors, and the protocol of gift giving
Our world is constantly and quickly changing, as is the job of the assistant. External factors like globalization, the opening of Eastern Europe, fusions, catastrophes like 9/11 in the US, the war in Iraq and the financial crisis require deep changes from us all. Organizations have to be flexible in order to adapt faster and better to their environment. According to the saying, “who does not move with the times, will be left behind”, this affects all departments in the company, including the office manager and the assistants.
Globalization and its consequences
Developments in the environment of a company, changes within the company, and management trends change the position of an employer’s assistant. The assistant helps management reach the company’s goals despite dealing with dynamic and tense external factors, which also includes changes and reacting to environmental perceptions.
Environmental factors can be divided into different categories:
For this purpose, you can use the DESTEP categories. This may help you to remember the various environmental factors:
D demographic changes
E ecological changes
S societal changes
T technological changes
E economic changes
P political changes
Of course, a flexible organization is better able to adapt to the environment. In this case, organization means all employees as well as “the structure”. In change processes, the flexibility of all involved persons is extremely important, as well as keeping employees informed, and communication lines and decision-making lines open. Increasing flexibility strengthens the company
Hosting and presents
Welcoming and hosting guests is certainly one of your tasks. When you are hosting foreign guests, you have to take care of particularities,e.g. coming from different religious beliefs, such as Ramadan for Muslims or the prohibition of pork for Jews and Muslims. Here are a few tips to help you to avoid making any mistakes with your guests.
►The greeting: inform yourself before the visit how to properly address your guest.
►Staff information: inform all in-house employees when and where the guest of honour is going to arrive and how to properly behave during the visit to avoid awkward situations. Therefore, you should also inform colleagues who are not directly in touch with the guest.
►Taking their coat: by all means, you should take the guest’s coat in the entrance hall, so that the guest does not have to walk through the offices in their coat. Unless the guest is frail or infirm, you should not help take off the coat or jacket; rather, you should take the coats and hang them up in the designated area.
►Gifts: when you are hosting guests of honour, it is common to offer them welcoming presents. It is easy when your company produces or trades something, as this can be used as a present. If you have no idea what to offer, it’s best to ask the guest’s secretary for the guest’s hobbies or interests.
►Who is going to whom? If the guest is being led trough the building, you should walk next to the guest. The guest is on the right hand-side of the host. In narrow hallways, the VIP goes in front. If the guest is at your offices for the first time and does not know the way, you should go in front. “May I walk in front to show you the way?” This also applies to stairways. The host opens doors that are in the way, holds them open and lets the guest walk through first.
Autor: Sibylle May
Übrigens: Unseren Fernkurs Internationale/-r Management-Assistent/-in können Sie 30 Tage kostenlos und unverbindlich testen.