Tips for Standard Operation Procedures (SOP):

  • A systematic workplace creates a healthy working environment with clear expectations for the management and employees.
  • An effective SOP should be created by a connected and traceable work process.
  • SOP should be executable and fit into organization to avoid unnecessary expenses and hiccups.

Retaining talents is the most needed and important asset for businesses. However, difficulties in recruiting and retaining talents have become a huge challenge for companies nowadays.

In fact, by implementing proper standard operation procedures (SOP) in an organization, we can create a healthy and systematic working environment for all.

It helps to boost productivity as well as sales performance which makes the employees willing to stay and grow with the Company together steadily.

  • Main Issue: High Employee Turnover…

There is a client of ours who majors in printing business, and is facing difficulties in keeping their employees with them. Even when there are new joiners, they quit the job frequently which causes the management to lose their mind.

The high turnover rate has led to the fact that the vacant position will only be filled with new joins and lack of progressive development regardless of the new joiners’ working experience and position level. This will not only affect the daily work operations, but also cause low return on investment (ROI) for the business.

Employees seek personal value and purpose at work. As for new joins, it is expected that their work contribution level will be determined based on the wages and benefits offered by the Company since they are still getting familiar with the Company’s culture and practices.

The Company sees the employees as an investment and it is certainly one of the best investments they could do. However, the investment cost will be getting higher if the learning period for new hires is getting longer. Nonetheless, proper training for employees should be provided as they are one of the main driving forces for business growth.

The client is facing the issue that the newcomers will not stay with them longer than 6 months, or they will quit right after picking up their skills in the Company.

After repeating the training process for new joins several times, the management finally decided to jot down the work procedures so that the employees could learn them as soon as possible in order to reduce workload.

  • Derivative Issue: SOP is written but not fully implemented

Documenting the work procedures could fasten the learning process as long as the guidelines are clear and well written. It helps to standardize the work process indeed but it will be useless if the management is not implementing the SOP.

The client had previously sought out ISO Quality Management Consultants to help them set up operating procedures but the problem is they are unable to implement within the organization.

After careful review, we found that the written operating procedures are not fully based on the client’s business needs and workflow. The client thought they just needed to improve the work process by engaging our service but in the end we needed to start all over again.

  • Solution: Adjusted SOP for higher productivity

To ensure effective operating procedures, it is only feasible after proper review of the internal work process is done.

We spent about 24 working days setting up and fixing the standard operation procedures (SOP) for the client, which included the full Process Scope of the business.

We break the processes into several groups, which included:-

  • A group to process quotation, order checking and confirmation
  • Process order, printing production and material handling, quality control management
  • Stock inventory management, procurement
  • And more

The processes covered in each group are not long and each role could work independently. However, the groups are linked and connected to each other to ensure the finished product could be delivered to the customers timely and smoothly with consistent results.

The groups work like a chain as they are buckled together to form a smooth and stable workflow. We also revised the organization structure when formulating the standard operation procedures so that the Company’s mission and goals are clear and effective.

  • Outcome: Stable and effective operations

The client conducted an internal survey within 3 months after implementing the work procedures in the Company. The employees gave their honest feedback saying they feel that the Company is operating in a more systematic way.

The employees have gradually gained confidence in the management along with the overall improvement within the Company as they could take the guesswork out of day-to-day operations and help ensure that the processes, policies, procedures, expectations associated with their jobs are clear as compared to the past.

The Company’s stability will also boost employees’ willingness to contribute their service within the organization and the standard operation procedures documented will be useful as a basis for new joiners training.

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