SOP stands for standard operating procedure. SOP compliance helps any business improve and maintain the quality of its products and services. Turnover costs are usually consequently lower, and product liability and safety are easier. Some industries face mandatory SOP compliance as standard federal regulation. If you need help with this, then SOP consulting is available.
Why Don’t Employees Comply with SOP?
Do you ever have trouble with employees who don’t follow standard operating procedures? There are several reasons why this happens, but there are also multiple risks to a business when it does.
- The company might have to stop operations if key employees aren’t working.
- A business might have an incorrect sense of its own security since departmental inefficiencies are hidden easily.
- The organization might keep employing individuals that produce substandard work quality.
- The business might find itself not able to implement necessary innovations.
Inability to See Its Effects
Employees not in customer-facing roles might not understand how their work impacts the final products or services. For instance, rough handling of packages in a warehouse might upset customers later.
The Lack of Training
Employees who don’t get enough training when they start might get in a habit of doing things wrong early in their employment. The role of supervisors becomes crucial here.
Too Complicated Procedure to Implement
Tasks that are burdensome or complicated might prove to be moments when an employee decides to take shortcuts without any consideration of the potential consequences.
Accommodation of Customers’ Wishes
Some employees might stray from SOP in order to make a customer happy. They’re willing to do whatever it takes to get a client’s business and make sure they are satisfied.
Disengagement from the Operation and Company
Some employees might feel totally disengaged from the company and its values. It’s up to management to instill organizational values in employees so they have pride in what they do.
7 Steps to Maximize SOP Process Adherence
Making sure there is adherence to SOP in your business is easier when you follow the right steps. A consultation can help you see how to make this happen, so schedule it now.
#1. Set a Clear SOP and Boundaries
Once you know how to write standard operating procedures, make sure you set SOP regulations in your business.
- Write in easily understood language;
- Keep the company core in mind;
- Set boundaries for unique circumstances.
#2. Train Employees on the Value and Processes Around Your SOPs
Effective SO training isn’t just about reciting procedures out loud or blasting out emails and memos. The best results often come from targeting training to the learners. Interactive opportunities for hands-on learning should include questions and answers. SOP adherence is better when they know why they’re doing something.
#3. Create the Better Inter-Department Link
When only one department is responsible for SOP enforcement and compliance, that department has an unfair burden respective to the rest. SOPs should link every department so that everyone is working in a collaborative fashion with one another at an organizational level. Accountability and transparency should be the norm at every single level.
#4. Make SOPs Highly Visible
Employees that see SOPs more often will follow them more often. Consider both analog and digital versions of your materials. Posters and laminated cards around your workspaces are tangible tools of communication, but you should also put your training materials on your company intranet for accessible reference as well. Make everything easily available.
#5. Embed SOP Compliance Tools in Operations
Ongoing monitoring is crucial to improving SOP compliance. That monitoring needs to happen at multiple levels if it is to be successful. One level is the employee level where SOPs might honestly matter the most. However, it also has to happen at the managerial level. Fortunately, you can use a lot of digital tools in order to monitor the levels of adherence to the SOPs of your business.
What should you look for in technology solutions for SOP compliance? There are two features in particular that can prove essential to have access to.
The first is a digital checklist. This feature means employees only have to open phones or other devices so they can fill out a dedicated questionnaire regarding the relevant tasks given to them by the admin. Then, they can answer these questions based on their training.
The second is an admin dashboard. Here, daily reports can be viewed in detail through a user-friendly format. You can quickly see particular teams, departments, or individual employees who are not in compliance with SOPs so corrective actions can be taken.
#6. Keep Your SOPs Up-to-Date
Standards change over time, and new SOPs are necessary to keep up with things. They’re also an opportunity to take advantage of new ideas and technologies. Updating your SOPs might seem like a recurring pain, but it’s a chance to keep your company moving in a perpetually positive direction.
#7 Weave SOP Compliance and Continuous Improvement Into Your Culture
Your employees should be always encouraged to embrace the SOPs of your company. However, you should also be open to their feedback and implement any suggestions of theirs you can. Feedback from frontline workers is essential. Incorporating it promotes their buy-in to the system.
SOP matters are serious for any business looking for consistency and efficiency. If you need help with any of this from SOP experts, then please contact us as soon as you can to find out what we can do for your business.