The Importance of Standard Operating Procedures

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Have you ever been given the dreadful task of having to create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)? Or ever wondered what the purpose of having them is?

According to Indeed.com, “Standard Operating Procedures can help businesses create consistent policies and strategies to complete its most important goals. Learning about these procedures can help you understand the processes at a company so that you can succeed in your career.”

The benefits of SOPs

As we reflect on the 2023 year and start looking into 2024, and as we start creating different goals for ourselves and our teams from a professional aspect, one goal that I have found to be very effective is creating Standard Operating Procedures. This goal doesn’t have to be given to one individual person; it is something that can be given as a cross-functional goal to everyone.

Even though writing standard operating procedures can be an extremely tedious task, they are something that should be on everyone’s priority list. As processes change and as different things get updated, SOPs should be evolving along with them.

If companies don’t establish defined standard operating procedures, it can be difficult to assign different tasks to employees as they might not be aware of the process or where to start. Here are some further benefits of creating standard operating procedures.

  1. SOPs help reduce training time.

Having standard operating procedures can help ease an employee’s training experience by defining how a process should be conducted. An SOP acts as a learning tool for employees in training, and a reference for fully trained staff who want to review a process.

  1. SOPs allow employees to transfer work more easily.

Employees take days off here and there for various reasons. Having written SOPs makes the process smoother when transferring tasks to other employees. Having these policies and procedures in place allows employees to complete processes with very minimal direction. Additionally, if an employee were to leave their position, having SOPs in place would ensure their work could be carried on by someone else.

  1. SOPs help to reduce errors and enhance productivity.

When writing SOPs, it is important to include as much detail and as many images as possible. According to the article Six Benefits of Written Standard Operating Procedures, “Written SOPs can take the guesswork out of day-to-day operations and help ensure that all your employees understand the process, policies, and procedures associated with their jobs. And because they provide clear, written examples of what is expected from employees, SOPs are also helpful when developing employee review or development plans.”

Time time-consuming but essential

Although creating standard operating procedures can be extremely time-consuming, there are lots of benefits to having them in place. Just because someone writes them once does not mean that they are done. It is important for these SOPs to continuously be reviewed on a quarterly basis as processes change all the time.

If at any point and time, you have any questions on how to write procedures, ask someone within your organization for help!

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