Mar 29, 2023
The best way to get consistent results from your workers is to create and employ standard operating procedures (SOPs). These are documented step-by-step instructions for performing specific tasks. SOPs help avoid misinterpretation, confusion, or people trying to reinvent the task.
When you’re a manager or supervisor and training or overseeing new employees, you will be interrupted and distracted with unexpected issues. Using SOPs ensures that managers can train employees to execute tasks with the benefit of the experience used to draft those SOPs. This avoids managers and supervisors simply demanding outcomes and instead builds on organisational knowledge. Managers must think how to explain routine tasks that seem obvious to them but not to others and put this into a systematic approach.
Safety and Quality Assurance – when SOPs are well-written, it enables employees to clearly understand the task and to carry it out in a safe manner. It helps to reduce the likelihood of human error that often results in ‘unplanned downtime’ which, in turn, impacts productivity and has costly implications. SOPs can also be used for routine asset maintenance and repair.
Avoid knowledge loss – Standardised SOP’s help to retain the knowledge and experience of employees who have worked closely with a task or procedure over a period of time. Every organisation experience employee turnover, so it is imperative to maintain crucial production processes in the form of SOPS so that future employees can carry out the procedure or task in a methodical and safe way.
Standardisation – It is imperative that employees follow the same set of steps every time they carry out a procedure, so the very purpose of creating SOP’s is to establish a consistent and standard way of working. Following SOP’s ensures workers perform the same task in exactly the same way regardless of what shift they are on, or any other variables which may impact on the performance of the task.
Productivity and performance – SOPs help to provide a clear roadmap from A to B, which has a definitive start and end point. When employees follow a clear set of instructions, they are more likely to execute the task in a more productive way. SOPs serve as checklists to help maintain and ideally, improve productivity. It enhances productivity by eliminating guesswork, which may result in mistakes being made. Employees will be able to perform the task or procedure with clarity which will help improve performance and motivation.
Save the company’s resources – One of the most notable benefits of using SOP’s is their cost-effectiveness. It helps to optimise costs by reducing production downtime and reducing certain types of waste which may include inventory excess, excess processing, overproduction and defects.
Reducing Training Costs – If there are clear SOPs in place then it can help to reduce training time. They may not necessarily be a complete substitute for training, but documented procedures can be a valuable component in a new-starter induction. They can help a new employee work more independently, thus taking up less time from other colleagues within the team.
Please read our SOP Guide for more information = The full SOP Guide.