Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in one word can be considered as the navigator of your organization. SOPs refer to a set of guidelines which are followed by every organization to operate; from administration to finance, facility to operations, you can create an SOP for every business function. Why? Let us check out.
Easy Training to Employees
When we speak about training employees, we have to cater to product and process training of new employees and also arrange for refresher training to existing employees or employees who are underperforming. Now a question may arise in your mind; a trainer is going to provide training then what is the significance of an SOP?
SOP is important because we can remember what is said at most for 10 minutes. Moreover, if people are assured of a written document then they can concentrate more on what is taught than being busy in scribbling down notes. If you want to ensure fool-proof training mechanism engage a consultant who can provide you training in this regards.
Structure to Follow a Daily Routine
A well-written SOP contains diagrammatic representation in the form of flowcharts, annotated illustrations, maps, and charts.
This helps employees perform daily routine efficiently as any time they face a problem they can refer to these diagrams to under the exact process flow. To make life easier for your people, take a print out of the same and pin it in front of their desks.
Moreover, an SOP brings in predictability in their jobs. They can improve their skills on each task which in turn improves their performance.
Process to Check Quality
Every customer has a certain level of expectation from the goods or services for which he is paying.
If there is an SOP in place you can employ a quality team to check whether the quality of goods and services is at par, as per the guidelines mentioned in the SOP.
By following the SOP on regular basis and with effective feedback errors will surely reduce. This not only ensures enhanced customer satisfaction but also prevents duplication of work. Because if there are variations then re-work is required, which is both times to consume and cost intensive.
Conduct Transparent Performance Appraisal
Using SOPs you can frame the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your staff. A job description should revolve around the SOP as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) contain key pointers related to the work that has to be done.
When the productivity of an employee is gauged on the basis of the SOP that has been provided to him/ her, the probability of an unbiased performance appraisal is much higher.
Need a better view of how you can link SOP with performance appraisal? Get help from a consultancy who are experienced in framing SOPS and in an implementation of the same.
Seamless Replication of Process
When you are expanding your business across locations, you need to inform your mission and vision to each and every employee based at these locations; which is not an easy task.
When you frame an SOP it is just not guidelines to perform a job but a document which speaks about your expectations from the employees, your mission and vision about the business.
So SOP helps every branch to operate in the same way, offering the same quality of service to your customers. It is also easier to track the performance of each branch based on their compliance to the SOP.
Quick Delegation of Work
Are you on leave due to some urgency? Anyone can act as a backup if you have an SOP in place. Following the process map and the guidelines mentioned in the SOP, any work can be done right at the first time, with very less chances of errors.
But not all businesses benefit from a similar kind of SOP. It depends on the people who will be using the SOP, on the business owner and on the customer requirements. Some tips which can help you get the best SOP for your organization/ team.
• Collect Customer VOC (Voice of Customer) – Any business runs around the expectations of its customers and hence an SOP should have guidelines which adhere to customer VOC.
• Update Regularly- Change is the only constant thing in life; this theme is not different when we speak about businesses and customer expectations. So capture customer VOC on regular basis (through calls and surveys) and update the SOP based on the same.
• Ensure Adherence- As per common human psychology, we always do not want to follow guidelines, rules, and regulations. So at the beginning, you may face challenges in getting your team follow the SOP. Keep a watch and make certain that the SOP is followed stringently.
So whether to enhance the qualification of vendors, ensure efficient handling, storage and issue of raw materials and safety of manufacturing operations, whatever be your requirement, resort to an SOP. Engage a consultancy who can frame an SOP, spread the awareness of your team members and enable a strong relationship between your employees and clients.
Benefits of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
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Chief Operations Officer