If your business experiences challenges in its operations, implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) can effectively solve many of those problems. This blog will help you understand more about SOPs and explain some of the reasons why you would need one. In addition, it will also provide you with some tips on how to write an SOP.
Standard Operating Procedure is a process that an organization has documented to ensure effective performance of tasks and activities. These written instructions would allow everyone in the organization to follow and know what needs to be done and how to do it. In most cases, the CEO would have to make all the decisions in a starting company and tell the employees what to do.
Still, as the organization grows, the management won’t make all the decisions in every aspect of the company. Hence the management would need to write SOPs that would take over and act as their managing word. People use the SOPs to improve their businesses in terms of their development, operation, legal affairs, and finance – to name a few.
Standard Operating Procedures are written in different formats depending on the organization and its industry.
Why Would You Need SOPs?
SOPs do not guarantee the excellent performance of the business. However, it will ensure that your business has a structured quality system that will help you govern all the business processes. Generally, it will also motivate the organization’s culture. Here are more reasons why you would need to have SOPs in your business.
Reduced Errors in the Business
Once the manager has written all the instructions, any individual in the organization will know what is expected of them by following the instructions provided in the SOPs. In such a situation, there are fewer errors, especially in a large organization where the management can’t supervise every individual. Having a proper SOP will provide reliability, efficiency and improve the overall business functionality.
One of the main motives of having standardization in your organization is the consistency of the business. All employees would be able to carry out all the business activities in a specific way, thus reducing any problem that may arise from the service or product offered. You will be conducting standardized processes in your business.
Communication is also an important reason why you would need SOPs in your organization. With this standardization in place, you will communicate with your employees on what you expect from them by providing them with the necessary instructions.
Reduce the Training Time of a New Employee
Hiring new employees could be a bit challenging to a business since it can distract its activities. However, whenever there are new employees, they can quickly adapt to the organization’s culture since the SOP can guide them on how they are supposed to be conducting tasks. SOPs would significantly save the training time of the individual since they would already have read the operating procedures.
It Will Improve Working Safety
Having the rules and regulations set in place will provide your employees with all the health and safety information that they necessarily need to perform a task. Some people might choose to ignore the safety protocols that they need to follow while doing their work. Hence, it is essential to train your employees to stick to these standard operating procedures to follow the safety rules. In addition, the procedures would also ensure that tasks are conducted in a manner that would not harm someone else in the organization or the community at large.
Your employees might also not know how to respond to an incident, for example, in case there is a fire outbreak. Hence, using the standard operating procedures will guide them in such a situation, and your employees will respond to the incident correctly.
When writing down the procedures for your business, you might discover some holes that reduce the productivity of your business. This is because as you write down the way people need to perform activities, you can tell if they conduct their duties wrongly.
Tips of writing a fantastic SOP
Wondering how you would write an effective standard operating procedure? Here are some guidelines that would help you.
Test Before Documenting
It would be necessary to make sure that the procedures you want to put apply to your business. Hence, you need to test the steps you want to take in your business to ensure they will be effective and positively impact your organization.
Do Not Make Assumptions
When writing an SOP, make sure you have given out well-detailed instructions to your employees. Do not assume that the staff is familiar with a concept you want to put across.
Involve Your Staff
It would be inappropriate if you would not involve anyone else from your business when writing a standard operating procedure. You need to select some people such as the HR team to help you write one. This is because they can help in the writing by communicating some of the factors that need to be addressed by the SOP. You will need people familiar with every sector of your business so that your SOPs can cover all the sectors effectively.
Make It Interactive
The SOP is a document that everyone in the organization will need to read and understand. It should not be a lengthy document full of text. It would help if you made it readable to your employees. You can use images and videos to make it more effective and less complex to comprehend.
Do Periodic Reviews
Making changes in the business world is natural. Especially in today’s era, many businesses need to keep on making changes to meet their customers’ satisfaction and be competitive in the market. Hence you should always review your SOP at least once a year to keep up with current trends and changes for it to keep developing.
As we have seen, having standard operating procedures in your business will indeed be beneficial to your business and its activities, such as employee training and delivering better customer services. Hence, do not hesitate to make one for your business if you want a more synchronized and effective operation.