One way to drive consistent results and develop effective processes in an organization is through the use of standard operating procedures (SOP). These are documented processes put in place to make decision-making simple and to standardize predictable and repeatable tasks. SOPs essentially set a precedent for the right way to carry out activities within a company, leading to efficiency, consistency, and quality output.
SOPs are not limited; they can be set in companies of all sizes, across many industries. Keep reading for more information on the what, how, and why of the transformative powers of SOPs.
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT OF STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES?
57% of employees report not being given clear directions by their supervisors., and 69% of managers report they are not comfortable communicating with the employees in general. Standard operating procedures are a set of clear directions and promote effective communication. The simplest form of SOP documentation is a written list, but the most effective versions use SOP software to manage workflows and automation to ensure that nothing falls through the procedural cracks. The list of benefits derived from implementing SOPs is extensive and includes:
- Business-growing steps are outlined clearly so that the entire team can establish a routine to help scale.
- Without needing higher-up approval on every action, overall organization productivity, efficiency, and time-saving get a major boost.
- Onboarding new employees, contractors, and customers are done quickly, so those experiencing the organization both internally and externally have a positive and valuable experience.
- Reoccurring tasks can be mapped out, freeing up mental space and streamlining any sort of process, from onboarding to content management.
- An organization can deliver consistent results across the board, which builds client trust and a good reputation.
- The entire team does not end up relying on one particular person to make decisions and develop processes.
- SOPs ensure compliance and safety of the entire team when everybody abides by the same rules and no two people complete the same task in a vastly different way.
SOPs: Who are They For?
Standard Operating Procedures have a wide range of use cases. They’re popular in compliance-heavy industries, like manufacturing, restaurants, education, and many more, and at companies of varying sizes. Though a company of any size could implement SOPs, they are especially adept at delivering results for small-medium businesses (SMBs).
At SMBs, it’s common for the leader, like the CEO, to make most key decisions because there isn’t a massive corporate board to help like in larger companies. SOPs can take some of that decision-making burden off of leaders and provide smooth sailing without being affected by differing opinions.
SOPs also set the proper work standards that enhance accountability for employees and managers. Without these standards, it is difficult to judge someone’s work for reasons that make sense. It’s similar to a teacher grading essays without a rubric; they subjectively decide the grade of each paper without any set parameters to promote fair standards.
SMBs can use SOPs to solidify and streamline their processes and create more space to focus on scaling the business. Most departments benefit from SOPs, including IT, sales, customer service, and human resources (HR). That's why SMBs can use SOPs to solidify and streamline their organization-wide processes and create more space to focus on scaling the business.
Standard Operating Procedures: A Practical Guide for the Entire Team
SOPs help maintains quality and consistency throughout an organization and guarantee that the entire team is on the same page. Strong SOP documentation is essentially like a how-to guide for an organization that everyone can follow, and effective SOP software can take even the simplest procedures to the next level.
Ready to unlock the power of the process? Try DeskDirector for free to see what powerful SOP management and development can do for your business.