We all have a fantasy world. Mine has Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). In fact, the words Policies, Procedures and Plans make my mind wander off to explore the infinite possibilities…
Wait? Aren’t standardization and infinite possibilities on opposite ends of the spectrum? Oh no, my friends. In fact, I’d argue they’re dependent upon one another!
Now, I could create a checklist (a really long checklist) of all the ways SOPs can help your business or organization, but have a look a these seven and we’ll meet down below.
- Increased efficiency. When developing SOPs, you might discover similar, sometimes downright nonsensical, tasks being performed by several people. Crazy!
- Employee satisfaction. If there are opportunities to streamline, your employees can probably pinpoint them. Get them involved in the improvement process.
- Accelerated on-boarding. Organized SOPs can allow for independent training and peer coaching. This leaves managers to manage.
- Accountability. When policies and procedures are undocumented, it’s hard to hold anyone accountable. This can lead to big trouble for your business or organization.
- Contingency planning. People leave. Don’t let them take all of their knowledge with them. It’s YOUR knowledge, after all.
- Cost savings. When your processes are streamlined, your business saves money—it’s that simple.
- Customer satisfaction. If your employees don’t know what is expected, your customers will receive an inconsistent experience. Not good.
Now do you see possibilities? You have happy employees providing excellent service to repeat customers. Your office is humming. Your managers are managing. Your revenue is increasing.
Where did your mind just wander? Perhaps that new product line you’ve been dreaming of? An office celebration? More clients? New boat? Hey, it’s your dream.
It won’t be easy, but neither was getting to where you are. And if writing technical documents doesn’t make your eyes twinkle, consider outsourcing the project.
Would you want your surgeon to be “winging it”? Standard Operating Procedures are GOOD!
Shannon Vasko is a natural born planner with a passion for strategy and integrated communications. © MI Compass Services