SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are a critical component of every business. They help reduce error, accelerate task completion, and drive operational efficiency. However, as you consider how to implement SOPs, it’s essential to know who needs a standardized process within your organization.
In this article, we will explore several business functions that require a defined structure to run efficiently and the important role that SOPs play in their success and productivity.
Risk Management and Incident Response
In the wake of the digital transformation, companies have adopted more cloud-based tech to help complete daily business functions. And since the pandemic, many organizations have transitioned to a fully remote or hybrid (part-in-office, part-remote) workforce.
This new way of working has dramatically increased the need for digital platforms to help facilitate communication and drive operations. So if an outage or cyberattack were to happen, it would bring everything to a standstill and cost the business a significant amount of money. Unfortunately, downtime costs continue to grow every year –– according to a 2020 study, the average cost of one hour of downtime has risen 30% since 2016.
In all these cases, it’s vital to set standard operating procedures in place to regularly manage the risk of leaks and outages, and respond quickly if a crisis does occur. SOPs should exist to regularly manage risk so that IT and security teams are equipped to identify, analyze and mitigate potential threats and reduce the chances of business disruption and cyberattacks.
Furthermore, if an outage or attack does occur, it’s critical to have incident response processes in place to contain the threat and minimize damage. A well thought out gameplan for every possible incident will help your team more quickly solve issues and protect the company.
Onboarding and OTJ Training
As your company grows, it’s crucial that your new hires are quickly onboarded and set on a clear path to success. According to research, organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.
To create effective onboarding, your training leaders need a reliable, repeatable process designed to achieve optimal outcomes. Therefore, onboarding SOPs are essential to fight employee churn and create a more positive workplace experience.
It’s worth noting that new hires are not a monolith, so a general onboarding procedure can’t be the only kind of SOP that exists. Most new employees need some specific on-the-job (OTJ) training, and managers should feel empowered to take the reins and teach effectively. To achieve this level of training efficacy, create specific SOPs for every team and specialized position.
Additionally, for B2B businesses, it’s worth considering client onboarding as well. The reason that your organization might onboard clients is to show them how to maximize ROI from your product or services. And in the same way that new hire onboarding helps retention, setting up a robust onboarding program for clients will help your revenue retention. It’s more likely that clients will stay with you if they better understand the value they get from the product, and you may have more opportunities to upsell to further boost your revenue. According to a survey of customers, 86% say they’d be more likely to stay loyal to a business that invests in onboarding content that welcomes and educates them after they’ve bought.
So if your B2B business offers a client onboarding program, SOPs for customer education are essential. Setting standard customer training procedures in place will streamline and improve the client experience, and ultimately, will impact your bottom line.
IT and Customer Support
A business runs on IT and customer support teams. Without them, necessary business systems won’t function and customers may churn if their needs aren’t met.
SOPs are necessary for everything that IT and customer support touch. It’s essential that a full SOP library for each team be created, since these departments are responsible for solving particular technical issues, troubleshooting, handling customer interaction, and escalating urgent service requests.
However, since your IT and customer service teams require such a large volume of standardized processes, it can be difficult to figure out how to implement SOPs for them. The best way to store, deploy and disseminate IT and customer service SOPs is through SOP management software.
The right SOP software will help you properly implement IT SOPs and automate service processes. The best platforms will empower your IT admins to embed SOPs directly into tickets and add step-by-step instructions within each ticket, so the process is straightforward for whichever rep is handling the request.
Additionally, if the solution includes automation, it makes it easy to set up procedural workflows that trigger automatically. Automation also makes it possible to set up approval chains and triage urgent IT fires or VIP customer service requests.
The HR department handles an impressive reach of important work functions. They manage the hiring process, company culture, workplace compliance, and workplace conflicts and incidents. With so much responsibility, it’s vital that clear, repeatable SOPs are put in place for managing such sensitive parts of a business.
You will probably want to meet with the HR team to understand all that needs to be covered, but here are some examples of SOPs you will probably need to create.
- Talent Search: Where and how to look, how to reach out and schedule interviews, how to handle in-house referrals, etc.
- Interview Process: Determining interview questions, any testing for certain positions, salary negotiations, etc.
- Promotions: If there is an internal position open, then HR must assist with the interview process, salary and title changes.
- Employee Onboarding and Compliance Training: This includes welcoming new hires and ensuring they are up to speed on company policies. Also, HR facilitates industry-specific training, disseminates legal information, and workplace compliance.
- Workplace Incidents: If there is a conflict between employees, disciplinary action, harassment allegations, or other sensitive issues that require HR handling, there must be solid processes in place to achieve a resolution.
- Employee Exits: When an employee gives notice, is terminated, or is laid off, HR should set standard operating procedures in place to interview exiting employees, ensure their employee equipment is returned, and their network access is ended.
SOPs Protect Your Company, Drive Productivity, and Boost Your Bottom Line
Standard operating procedures are important for the success of your organization as whole. Every department needs process to run more efficiently, and without standard practices in place, time is wasted, efficiency suffers, and revenue may be lost. To learn how to implement SOPs most effectively, check out DeskDirector SOP software for free.