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What’s All This Buzz About Standard Operating Procedures?

by Soft2share.com

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are instructions written step by step to determine routine activity. For a business to remain consistent, the employees are required to complete SOPs in the same way, every time. These operations facilitate efficiency and safety in departments like:

  • Employee training
  • Financial
  • Legal
  • Productions or operations
  • Sales & customer service
  • And many more

For a standard operating process to help employees, it should not be vague or confusing to read. Instead, it should be easy to understand, brief, and have simple steps to follow. Besides informing the employees about safety, a good SOP should train new employees and get updated yearly.

Why Should Businesses Have Standard Operating Procedures?

Does your business currently use SOPs? Here are some of the reasons why you need them:

1. Saves time and money

When the same task is completed in several different ways, it takes longer to complete, and it can fail to be efficient. Having your employees rely on standard operating operations streamlines the entire process, thus saving you time and money.

2. Consistency

With a standard operating procedure, you will always have flexibility in your business regardless of the employee working. If you have numerous employees in your workplace, consider having an SOP to have flexibility.

3. Allows you to hold your employees accountable

If you do not have written standards in place, it is challenging to evaluate your employees. It is harder to determine how they are working, their effectiveness, and whether you can rely on them. You do not have to rely on personal opinion because you can hold your employees accountable depending on how they work or execute their duties or responsibilities.

4. Improves communication

With a standard operating procedure, employees have clear guidelines on how to perform their jobs. Ergo, this improves communication, thus improving efficiency and quality of work from your employees.

5. Creates a safer working environment

When employees complete their tasks in different ways, it leaves a lot to chance. For instance, injuries and accidents, which can incur extra costs. However, when you have laid straight steps to be followed in every task, all job functions will be completed efficiently and safely.

Some people have a misconception that standard operating procedures will make the businesses rigid and inflexible. This is not true because there are numerous benefits why every business should adopt SOPS. However, there are specific procedures you should follow when writing an SOP. They include:

  1. List business processes – inquire the duties of all your employees and then start determining their roles and responsibilities
  2. Plan the process – you can either choose between a workflow diagram and a step by step guide when deciding the process. To make the right choice, determine the process that your employees will understand or relate with ease
  3. Talk with your employees – without speaking with your employees; it is challenging to decide on what everyone wants. Do not rely on the management only because your employees have a say, and they cannot be ignored.
  4. Write and review the process – while considering the list of business processes, plan, and your employees’ opinion. While the SOP will describe different functions, it should read the same way.
  5. Maintain the process – after writing the SOP, remember to update it every year to remain relevant and practical.

As you can hopefully see now, standard operating procedures should be the lifeblood of any company that wants to be successful. To get a head start on your competition, check out this SOP app that is simple to use and has a marketplace with a bunch of pre-made SOP templates that should help you hit the ground running.

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