SOP Full Form: What is SOP?: An SOP is a set (Group) of step-by-step instructions (Some times protocol) compiled by an organization/institution to help the worker to perform complex routine operations. The Purpose of SOPs is to achieve efficiency, quality output (O/P), and uniformity of performance while minimizing miscommunication and failure in compliance with industry regulations.
An SOP should always be written to keep the reader (user) in mind. It should follow the five things- Clear, Complete, Concise, Courteous, and Correct.
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SOP Full Form
SOP Full Form is Standard Operating Procedure.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is written in such a way that step-by-step instructions explain how to perform a routine activity in task. Employees must complete them accurately every time so that the business can stay consistent. Standard Operating Procedures help maintain safety and efficiency for the following departments:
- Sales and customer service
- Employee training
Standard Operating Procedure should be the basis of training any new employees. They should be updated every year to remain relevant to the current needs of the organization.
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Need of Standard Operating Procedure
Here are some reasons why your business needs standard operating procedures:
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1. Saves Time and Money
When the same type of task is completed in many different ways, it will always take a longer time to complete. Having a standard operating procedure in place makes this process smooth so that employees can get more done in less time.
2. Provides Consistency
Having a standard operating procedure in place ensures that business processes are being carried out correctly, regardless of who is operating.
3. Improves Communication
Standard operating procedures make your employees’ jobs easier because they no longer have to guess how they should do their jobs. And they shouldn’t try to remember when they first got hired, trying to rack their brains to remember them.
4. Allows you to hold your employees accountable
How can you evaluate your employees if they don’t have written standards in place? Without standard operating procedures (SOP), employee evaluations become a matter of personal opinion (Which is happening in some new institutes), which is hardly fair to your employees.
5. Creates a safer work environment
When employees do the same thing in completely different ways, it’s not only inefficient, but it’s actually a liability to your business. Standard Operating Procedures ensure that employees perform their jobs in a safe and consistent manner.
How to Write a Standard Operating Procedure?
Now you know what standard operating procedure is and why you need it. However, you may be wondering how you can actually build your own. Standard operating procedures require a lot of planning and preparation before you can even begin writing a document.
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The following are five steps to follow when building your own standard operating procedure:
1. Develop a list of your business processes
To begin, managers talk to their employees about the duties they perform each day at their jobs. This would allow them to start creating a comprehensive list of processes that require standard operating procedures.
From there, you can review the list with your managers and look for any redundancies (Duplicacy). This list will serve as a starting point for creating your standard operating procedure (SOP).
2. Plan the process
In this step, you have to decide on a format for your process. Would you like to make this a step-by-step guide or workflow diagram? From there you can create a template. You must also decide how your standard operating procedure will appear to your employees. Will you have a written copy posted or will a copy be available online (For easy access)?
3. Talk with employees
Now that you have your list of processes and you’ve created your blueprint, you need to talk to your employees. This is important because you may not fully understand the process until you speak with people who actually do it on a daily basis. Simply speaking with the management is not enough.
4. Write and review the process
Once you’ve spoken with your employees, immediately add your notes to the template. From there you can once again review your standard operating procedure with employees and get input from your managers. You should also determine who will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining standard operating procedures.
Keep in mind that all of your standard operating procedures should be read in the same way, while still clearly describing the functions of each area of your business.
5. Maintain the process
Your job is not finished after the standard operating procedure has been written! For it to remain relevant and useful, you must maintain and update it at least once a year surely.
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A written standard operating procedure not only tells your employee how they should do their job, but it also lets them know why. When you explain to employees why tasks are done a certain way they will be more likely to get them done.
Standard operating procedures are time-consuming to build for the first time but the benefits are well worth it. And they’ll save you a lot of time and frustration down the road.