An SOP (Standard/Standard Operating Procedure) is a basic guide that gives you information about how an organization or company runs or operates. I was first introduced to them when I was in the military and word as an administrative support specialist.
The book/guide was a wonderful and useful tool that told you all sorts of information about the organization. Everything from working hours down to the dress code in some instances. It culminated much of the information in the guide from other sources and served as a general breakdown about what to do and how it should be done.
When I switched over to the private sector, I sometimes found that a written SOP was not in place. Sometimes, some of the rules were passed down by word of mouth and at other times, it seemed like they were being made up on the spot or real time as a solution was being contrived.
Do you have an SOP for your organization? If not—it might be helpful to develop one, even if you are a one man/person operation. It may help save time and resources should your organization grow, or you bring in subcontractors or temporary workers to supplement your workforce. They could quickly learn the basic operation of your organization and get familiar with expectations.
SOPs can be simple or complex. In either case, a few inclusions should be considered.
- Brief Background about the Organization
- Principals of the Organization
- Organizational Chart
- Nearest Exit; Where to go in case of evacuations; and where to meet.
- Hours of Operation
- Emergency Contact Numbers
- How to handle customer calls and complaints
These are a few things to consider, but there are many other things that could be included. However, just having these few items available for your staff could save time and assist in the flow and smoother operation of your business. Would you like an eBook expounding on this topic or help putting an SOP together? Let me know!