Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are the recorded processes in place by a company to ensure consistent service and product delivery. While everyone may want to do the right thing, the definition of the right thing for everyone is likely to be a little different. It ensures that the way a task is performed is likely to vary depending on who carries out the task. If your company wants everyone to follow the same rules, then the rules need to be explained. The best way to do this is to document it.
Amy Quinones, Quality Control Manager, spearheads Premier’s SOP Process. “Here at Premier, SOP’s are essential to ensure reliable test data and documentation,” said Quinones. “They are used as both a training tool, and a reference for seasoned employees. This helps to avoid lost knowledge during personnel shifts.”
While these are the driving forces for Premier to utilize SOPs. Their functions and benefits may vary from company to company. Find more reasons to implement an SOP process into your organization below.
Consistency in the way an individual performs a task or activity is the number one reason for procedures. The more consistent a process is from person to person, the less likely it is that quality issues will occur. Written SOPs will take the guesswork out of daily operations and help ensure that employees understand their job-related processes, policies, and procedures. Just as they provide simple, structured explanations of what workers are supposed to do.
Improved communication is another reason to implement the practice of SOP’s. Operating procedures are revised with process improvements, and each modification requires new practice. Updating SOPs provides a method for informing employees of these process changes.
During quarterly and annual performance reviews, administrators may clearly identify employee achievements and convey problems through SOPs. When it comes to disciplining or firing an employee, clearly defined duties allow supervisors the ability to justify their disciplinary and dismissal decisions as opposed to vague job descriptions.
Well-written SOPs provide employees with clear responsibilities. They don’t have to rely on their memories or all the things that they learned when they first hired in their training. Many workers take a sick day here and there, but formal SOPs ensure a seamless transition of work to another worker in the event of an extended absence. Through explaining how to complete a task or plan, you ensure that any worker can complete the work with little guidance. It also helps when people move from job to job within the company. Knowledge and skills that may have gone unwritten disappear from the workplace. SOPs can give the best experience for new workers when older ones move on. Therefore, speeding up the training process and allowing the company to stay on an uninterrupted schedule.
While the process of implementing written Standard Operating Procedures may seem daunting for most companies, the outcome far exceeds the effort. Employees and managers alike will appreciate the structure, consistency and detailed communication that SOPs provide.
Article written by Morgan Hoover