Have you heard of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)? What are they, and why do some organizations have them? Lets explore 6 Reasons Why You Need Standard Operating Procedures.
Standard Operating Procedures are step-by-step guidelines that employees of your business can easily follow to get the job done right.
They optimize day-to-day tasks and operations, which leads to improved communication, consistency, and process performance. Simultaneously, they reduce mistakes and miscommunication, profit loss, and workplace challenges, including breaks in safety standards.
Those are some tremendous benefits, but you still aren’t convinced.
Reasons Why You Need SOPs
#1- Consistency and Standardized Processes
Lack of consistency in day-to-day processes can be a real problem. SOPs ensure that the tasks that keep your business running are done exactly the way you desire and keep things running smoothly.
When outlined in clear, concise language, SOPs help your company:
- Adhere to safety and quality control requirements
- Prevent error
- Create consistency in processes from start to finish
Consistency in operations and subsequent results leads to increased quality assurance and adherence to industry standards. The result? Ensured success of your business, and that is a pretty big deal.
#2- Seamless Onboarding and Increased Productivity
SOPs help new team members understand how things work in your organization, who is responsible for certain tasks, and how to complete them using the correct methods.
By utilizing SOPs, each new employee will:
- Understand their role and scope of practice
- Complete assigned tasks step by step
- Need less oversight and have fewer questions
When new team members grasp how to complete job tasks and can reference the SOP when they have questions, they ultimately feel more confident and secure. This leads to increased productivity right from the start! Furthermore, your organization will see an increase in employee retention and satisfaction because SOPs remove the stress of the unknowns and confusion in their role and responsibilities. Keeping great employees who are happy to be in your organization leads to less turnover.
#3- Improved Performance Management
When a task or process is done incorrectly, or the results are inconsistent, how do you hold your employees accountable if there is no existing documentation?
SOPs increase accountability and circumvent job performance being simply a matter of opinion. How? Each team member knows precisely what to do and how to do it, not leaving it up to what they think or what someone else thinks. With written processes, leadership can also identify where team members excel and where they need to improve.
SOPs serve as a means of:
- Creating efficiency in work
- Monitoring team performance
- Identifying areas of improvement
Performance management thus becomes simple, clear, and streamlined, and your organization works smarter, not harder! Your employees and leadership will thank you.
#4- Reduction in Error
SOPs are a great way to prevent errors and uncertainties in your day-to-day business operations. When tasks and processes are written out, employees can double-check that they are working within their scope of practice and handling their responsibilities correctly each time.
- A clear outline of job processes
- Clarity in job functions and who is responsible
- A more productive working environment
Mistakes and errors are avoided when each team member knows what they are responsible for and how to complete their work. Moreover, the team as a whole will function as a harmonized unit. With a reduction in errors, your organization will see an increase in productivity levels and sustained job satisfaction for each team member.
#5- Avoid Knowledge Loss
Without SOPs, what happens when an integral team member retires or moves on from a position? What if one of your longer-tenured employees who handles multiple roles and responsibilities suddenly is out on sick leave? Your organization takes a hit in key elements of knowledge and processes. Your team members are left trying to recall how to get things done or, even worse, feel that they need to guess how to do it. Talk about a recipe for disaster.
- Essential knowledge that needs to stay within the organization
- Process documentation, taking it out of a person’s head and onto paper
- Job fulfillment so when an employee moves on, onboarding is fast and efficient
With SOPs in place, your organization can avoid the knowledge loss pitfall. Your organization maintains trade secrets, the ingredients that make you, you. And if a team member is out on sick leave or vacation, your team still knows what to do and how to do it right.
#6- Assist in Growth
Is growing the business one of your goals? SOPs allow your processes to transfer to new leadership or new locations seamlessly. Maybe you want to open new locations; how do you keep them running authentically?
Insert SOPs, which will:
- Get things up and running faster
- Transfer knowledge to new locations and teams
- Allow your brand name to maintain quality and consistency no matter how many sites you have
Talk about efficiency, smooth transitions, and quality assurance! No need to fear growth when you have SOPs that outline everything needed to be successful and stay true to who you are.
Does your business have SOPs? If not, what is stopping you from experiencing the wealth of benefits that they provide you and your business?
SOPs provide consistency, increase productivity, streamline onboarding, reduce errors, improve performance management, avoid knowledge loss, and assist in growing your business.
If you do not have SOPs in place, now is the time to get started and watch your organization grow and flourish!
For more information on SOPs: how to write them, process improvement, and best practices, check out our other articles: How to Write Standard Operating Procedures, and 7 Best Practices for Standard Operating Procedures.
Do you have questions, or would you like assistance writing your company’s SOPs?