What is a Front Office Supervisor?

The front office, or reception area, of a business is a place that is often filled with activity. Clients must be greeted, vendors must be directed and employees must be provided with help, and a Front Office Supervisor manages all of this. These individuals may be employed in a variety of industries, from hospitality to corporate.

This is a senior position that typically reports to the Manager of Operations or directly to the owner in a small organization. These leaders manage a team of administrative personnel, such as receptionists and administrative assistants. This job often requires a standard 40-hour week; however, businesses that are open 24-hours a day, such as hotels, may require their Front Office Supervisors to work overtime, nights and weekends. The demand for First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers, such as Front Office Supervisors, is growing by 8 percent annually. As such, if the Bureau of Labor and Statistics is correct in its predictions, 34,270 new jobs will become available through 2024.

 

Front Office Supervisor Duties and Responsibilities

A Front Office Supervisor wears many hats, and they differ depending on individual business needs. Managing a team of personnel, greeting customers and providing administrative assistance to the company’s employees are typically the most common duties of a person holding this position, including:

Customer Service

The front office is the first area customers enter when frequenting a business, and the Front Office staff are the first employees they encounter. Front Office Supervisors must ensure that the area is clean and acceptable to visitors. They must make sure that the people are comfortable, having access to a waiting area, magazines to read and are offered drinks while they wait. Customers must also be directed to their destinations once the employees they are meeting with are alerted of their arrival. These leaders must train their staff in the proper way to greet customers, making sure they do so in a timely and professional manner.

Administrative Tasks

Although administrative tasks that a Front Office Supervisor handles may not be the same from company to company, their team is typically responsible for answering phones and directing callers to the correct parties, answering general email correspondence, checking and distributing mail, collecting mail to be sent out as well as placing and picking up food orders. In some situations, Front Office Supervisors will handle accounting, especially if the business is small and there is no separate accounting department.

Management

As the title of the position implies, a Front Office Supervisor acts as the leader of the Front Office staff. As such, they assess department personnel needs, recruit and interview candidates (often working with the Human Resources department to accomplish this), train employees, assign tasks, provide continuous and objective feedback and perform performance reviews.

Office Maintenance

Maintaining the front office is the responsibility of the Front Office Supervisor, who not only works with the janitorial crew to create cleaning schedules, but checks the area multiple times a day to verify that it is acceptable to receiving customers. This individual will tidy up the front office, remove trash and clean up spills. They verify that the area is stocked with essentials, such as water, tea and coffee, as well as relevant publications that customers can peruse while waiting. In addition to this, they also manage supplies for the entire company, placing orders for kitchen supplies, such as utensils and plates; office supplies, such as paper and ink cartridges; cleaning supplies and so on.

 

Front Office Supervisor Skills

A Front Office Supervisor must fully understand the operations of the company, as well as the roles of individual employees in order to keep the office running smoothly. This knowledge is essential to promote a positive corporate culture and utilize company resources in the most appropriate ways.

Core skills: To hold a senior position in the front office, candidates are required to possess the following basic skills:

  • Computer proficiency
  • Leadership abilities
  • Communication skills, both spoken and written
  • Document processing
  • Filing
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail

Advanced skills: Many professionals build these skills over time, but applying for a job and listing them on your resume can be advantageous in securing employment:

  • Human Resources management
  • Accounting
  • Basic IT skills

Tools of the Trade: These tools are frequently employed by Front Office Supervisors:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Internet
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Intercom
  • Multi-line phone system

 

Front Office Supervisor Salary

First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers, such as Front Office Supervisors, earn a median yearly salary of $52,600, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10th percentile can expect to make a median salary of $31,800, while the 90th percentile makes $85,300. Employees who live in the District of Columbia, New York and Alaska earn the top average salaries, $71,300, $60,300 and $59,400, respectively.

 

Front Office Supervisor Resources

What does working as a Front Office Supervisor truly entail? These resources – books, groups and websites – will give you more insight into working in this position.

On the Web

International Facility Management Association – The world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for facility management professionals, supporting 24,000 members in 10​4 countries.

Facility Executive Blog – Covers all facility executive and management breaking news.

Facility Dude Blog  – A helpful blog from a company that maintains, improves and optimizes the day-to-day operation of billions of square feet of facilities across North America
On Twitter

@fmjtoday – Facilities Management Journal, a monthly magazine providing industry-specific intelligence to FM and property professionals in the private and public sectors.

@FMmagazine_au – This magazine is a leading news source for facility managers and allied property management experts.

@Hotelnonsense – Hilarious stories of a hotel Front Desk Clerk.

@frontdeskhq – Software designed to make the jobs of Front Office Supervisors easier.

Books

Front Office Management and Operations by Ahmed Ismail – This book introduces the concepts of organization, communication, ethics and policy within a hotel.

Front Office by P Abbott and S Lewry – This revised book provides a modern approach to front office operations and management using realistic scenarios.

Front Office Management and Operations by Linsley Deveau and Patricia Deveau– Describes the operations and procedures involved in managing the Front Office area.

 

Front Office Supervisor Help

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