How to Implement Standard Operating Procedures

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How you deliver the message depends on the size of the company.
How you deliver the message depends on the size of the company. (Image: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Standard operating procedures are essential to ensure a business runs smoothly and effectively. It ensures that employees tackle standard tasks in the same manner, and that the company is consistent and accurate. Furthermore, standard operating procedures make sure that employees are performing their job safely and correctly. Communication skills are required to effectively implement standard operating procedures. The size of your company and the procedures you want to implement will determine how you communicate them to your employees.

Evaluate the target audience for these operating procedures. If the procedures apply to a small group of people, a group meeting works best; if they apply to the entire company and it’s a large company, a mass email or newsletter might get the word out faster. Alternatively, arrange a meeting with department heads and managers and inform them of the new procedures. Ask them to inform their groups and departments of the new procedures.

Be concise. Explain what the new operating procedures are and how they differed from the old ones. Explain the purpose of implementing new procedures. Describe how the new procedures will improve the business and how it will affect the employees. For example, it may take up more of their time or affect how they do their jobs.

Arrange training sessions or one-on-one sessions if the procedures are complicated. It is worth putting in the time to make sure that everyone fully understands the new procedures.

Tell employees how to follow the procedures, don't ask. Let them know that you or other managers will be monitoring their ability to implement the procedures. Give them incentives for tackling the new procedures by reminding them that the new procedures will improve their ability to do their job.

Ask for feedback on the new procedures. Often, procedures are implemented to improve an aspect of operation. No one is more familiar with the pros and cons of the procedure than those who use it directly. Get their feedback to ensure the procedure is effective.

Make the instructions accessible. Publish the procedures on the internal web, send out email reminders and provide a hard copy for employees.

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