Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are a part of every organization. SOPs are processes that outline the procedure of performing a task. SOPs allow companies to hire anyone with the right qualifications as they can do the job as long as they follow the standard procedure.
Standard operating procedures are valuable tools for streamlining tasks and ensuring efficiency.
On the other hand, some SOPs can become rigid and slow, especially if other firms develop better processes for doing a task. Certain strategies can transform your SOPs and make them more proactive and productive:
Make SOPs Searchable
The SOP manual at many firms is a thick leaflet with hundreds of pages. Some employees spend up to two hours a day looking up company information.
Most employees prefer shorter SOPs and would like to access them whenever necessary quickly. Therefore, consider using certain tools like Solarwinds that you can find at this page to make your firm’s standard operating procedures searchable.
Employees can search for the SOPs they need to use for a particular task and do so efficiently instead of perusing the entire SOP manual. It will save time and ensure they can focus on more critical tasks.
Putting SOPs In A Central Location
When writing SOPs, you should ensure that all who use them can access them, and the best way to do that is to put them in a central location.
Unfortunately, most companies only give their employees Standard Operating Procedures during employee orientation, and that is it.
Even if they were to glue them against the wall, they would quickly become damaged. The best solution is to use certain tools to ensure that the SOPs are in a central location, particularly a digital one, where anyone can access them.
Cloud storage is an excellent idea as the SOP manual will be accessible by anyone with access to the cloud, but it will also be secure.
Use A SOP Template
An SOP manual contains thousands of minute details, which can be time-consuming and cumbersome to create depending on your organization’s size, industry, and scope of operations. Moreover, you may have to create different SOPs for different organizational roles.
It would be better to build on the work of your predecessors. Therefore, consider using an SOP template to create SOPs productively.
The template is an excellent starting point for organizing and describing various tasks. You can find different templates that provide you with different ways to craft SOPs. Find the best way for your company and use the suitable template.
Develop A Distribution and Training Plan
A standard operating procedure should not be left abandoned in a drawer, on a shelf, or a hidden file on a computer. For SOPs to work best, you should regularly remind employees of them, which you can do by instilling this in your company’s mission and vision.
You can use it to develop a distribution plan which enables employees to see the SOPs as often as possible.
You can also develop a training plan which every member of the organisation can use when joining and can be adapted to them. Such a plan ensures that employees are constantly aware of the correct procedures, which increases their chances of using them.
When you improve your SOPs, you can easily use the platform to distribute the new SOPs as opposed to printing thousands of pages of manuals and sending them manually to employees.
Certain software can help you take a proactive approach by implementing regular retraining, which is particularly important for high-liability areas or areas where the standards and regulations change often.
Drafting and maintaining optimal standard operating procedures is a daunting challenge. The ways above are ways you can help make your SOPs more proactive and productive. Test them and see the results they have on your organisation.