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Why Standard Operating Procedures are Essentialby@dariasup
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Why Standard Operating Procedures are Essential

by Daria LeshchenkoSeptember 20th, 2022
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A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a set of instructions on how the tasks should be performed. 97% of SupportYourApp top managers consider SOPs to be extremely important. A well-written SOP helps unify the tasks so that the outcomes are the same across all teams. When the process is well organized, it results in higher productivity and higher ROI. The SOP can help reduce the number of mistakes made by staff and save time on employee training can lead to a significant increase in ROI.
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In the life of a business, benchmarking is an integral step in measuring company performance. ROI is used as a part of analytics and serves as a benchmark for shaping business strategies for the future. This enables companies to determine what marketing tactics are working and what areas can be improved. Reduction in the number of mistakes made by staff and saving time on employee training can lead to a significant increase in ROI. And this is where correctly written SOPs can help.


A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a set of instructions on how the tasks should be performed. It covers all the company operations. Whether it’s necessary to show job descriptions or manage entire projects, a well-written SOP helps unify the tasks so that the outcomes are the same across all teams.


Broadly speaking, an SOP takes a company's policies, goals and missions and makes them work. When the efforts and time invested in SOP creation meet expectations, it results in ROI improvement.


In a survey run among 15 SupportYourApp top managers, 97% consider SOPs to be extremely important. Based on the research, managers' feedback and examples of everyday SOP practices, we can outline the benefits and business impact of operating procedures.

In the Context of Maximizing ROI, a Well-written SOP can:

Reduce employee turnover

It costs businesses $4,129 on average to hire new talent, and about $986 to onboard the newbie. That means companies may lose up to $5,000 each time an employee leaves. Not to mention the damage that is done by losing an experienced employee. When all the processes in the company are well-structured through SOPs, it’s step one to create a positive workspace where more employees will be happy to work and stay with the company.


SOPs debunk any misunderstandings and are especially helpful for new team members, especially when it comes to communication with other departments. Every department should have a “Communication with … “ SOP, because if they don't, other teams should memorize or write down how to communicate with them.

Increase employee productivity

35% of employees say their company could invest more to improve the employee experience. 14% state to be completely disengaged. It's a business leader’s task to come up with solutions on how to inspire employees to work more productively. As employee engagement increases productivity to the tune of 17% higher profits per year, it will no doubt increase ROI.


For example, one of the marketing tasks is to create new articles for the website. It includes the participation of many specialists. The process looks simple, but there are so many other tasks inside of it. It can be easily suspended and abandoned on one of the stages. Thanks to the SOP developed specifically for the website articles creation, this process can be easy to track and all the participants know their role and deliver their part of the task timely and in good quality.

Streamline the processes

A well-written SOP can skyrocket teams’ productivity within a company.


For example, HR Probation Meeting SOP can help any HR department structure the procedure. This way, all the details are covered and processed on time. The same can be said about any HR or any other department’s process.


SOP can help a company to improve its client handover process. It provides a clear procedure and checklist of items. When the process is well organized, it results in higher productivity and better results.

Maximize time savings

With easy-to-follow SOPs and a simple updating procedure, teams can avoid time-consuming processes and start clocking up the extra minutes, hours, and days.


SOPs reduce time for excessive communication between task collaborators. They outline distinct duties for each team member, provide timely tasks delivery, and eliminate miscommunications between collaborators.


The most efficient SOPs can save a company's time and efforts on creating new company policies.  For example, our Equipment Purchase Policy is growing from the related SOP. Less time, less efforts — higher ROI.


Boost employee value

Each employee is of value to a company. But if those employees don’t know exactly what’s expected of them or how to follow certain processes, that value goes way down.


SOPs help newbies understand the process and follow it without any additional training. This significantly decreases the time of a supervisor. Moreover, it allows quick standardization and knowledge sharing.

How to Coin a Well-Crafted SOP

In the context of crafting an efficient standard procedure, “SOP” is a fancy business term for a “recipe”. And everyone knows — the better result you want to achieve, the better recipe you need to follow. What is more, professionals always have their secrets to share.

It might seem challenging to write an efficient SOP that would maximize ROI, but with the right approach it doesn’t have to be. In order to turn SOP into a smart tool, it’s extremely important to be strategic, as it shows the way and order.


A truly efficient Standard Operating Procedure shouldn’t only explain the process, it also needs to be:

  • simple to follow
  • super exciting for employees to make their work done
  • not too long

It's better to keep SOPs with up to 15 pages maximum. There is no need in competition for the longest and the most difficult document.

Tips on Making SOPs Work

If a state-of-the-art SOP is a “business recipe”, let’s add some final topping to garnish it right.


Find the holes

80% of top managers stated they experienced situations when the gaps in SOPs reduced their department productivity. It's essential to revise and update a company's SOPs. An up-to-date SOP is a strong tool that wins time and effort.


Motivate the colleagues to follow SOPs

73% of managers think the process of writing SOP by the team members motivates them to follow it.

Involve colleagues in writing SOPs. When being the author, one will obviously accept it more seriously and closely, learn the structure and remember the content.


Make your colleagues address the SOPs more often

Even a very well-written SOP appears needless if some colleagues from other departments prefer sending a direct message to Slack (or communicating any other way) rather than reading and following SOPs.

If a colleague makes a mistake, and it needs correction, ask the person to read the part of the SOP that explains it. Just drop the link to the operation procedure instead of long explanations on the topic.

Conclusion

With the right tools, you can centralize your SOPs in one beautifully automated system, train employees faster, and get performance insights at your fingertips. The outcome? No more lost productivity, and a way higher ROI.