Our Respect campaign encourages everyone to ‘Respect Yourself’, ‘Respect the Community’, ‘Respect the Environment’ and ‘Respect People’.
Respect in all its forms may be something that you don’t often think about. Yet, it is crucial for developing effective relationships at college.
We recently heard from members of our Estates team, who spoke about the importance of feeling respected at work.
Now, members of our Front of House team – the first point of contact when people come into the College – share their views on the subject.
Concluding our mini-series is Shona Taylor, Front of House Assistant at Kilwinning.
Shona began “When I read the previous Respect blogs on members of the Estates Team, I thought to myself ‘what would I have talked about?’”
Shona has been working as a Front of House team member for almost three years and cites interacting with people as one of the biggest perks of the job.
She said “I try to treat everyone with respect and be as professional as possible when visitors come to the College.
“Nine times out of ten, I am respected back. The only reason that it’s not ten is because sometimes, with certain people, you get the feeling that in their mind we’re not important.
“However, we are the frontline and it would be nice if all staff remember to keep us in the loop, for example when they have visitors coming in. If they have a visitor coming in at 10am, they might think ‘that’s fine, I’ll go down to meet them at 10am’. But what if the visitor comes in early?
“I appreciate that staff can be caught up in other things, but it just doesn’t look professional for us not to be aware of who’s arriving. We like to be prepared and have the visitor badges ready.
“Generally, most students treat me with respect, as I do them. They are usually courteous when they come to us. The only slight concern is when they are congregating around the reception area. It would help us if they could tone it down a little.
“Bad language can be problematic at times. I don’t think they mean to do it, they are just talking to their friends, but it does create a bad impression when we have visitors waiting.”
Shona believes communication is the key to achieving a respectful working environment.
She said “My kids are in their 20s and if I ask them to phone someone to find out some information they’ll respond ‘why wouldn’t you just Google it or e-mail the person?’
“We’ll sometimes have students phone and just say things like ‘Funding?’. ‘Funding, please’ would be an improvement! This might just be down to students not making regular phone calls but we all need to communicate better.”