Can’t do without – why SOPs matter in business

Rules, policies, and procedures

Rules, policies, and procedures define how an organization and its employees do business and behave in everyday situations. A most widely known policy is the safety procedure in case of fire or other emergencies: it protects its people and organization.

code of conduct

A code of conduct is a reference document for large organizations that sets out principles on how to do business ethically and sustainably. And there is more. Different sets of documents describe how to go about work in detail. While codes and policies define basic principles and expectations that apply to all employees, procedures and instructions serve people with specific tasks in an organization.

«SOPs serve people with specific tasks in an organization.»

standardized ways of working

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) lay down the exact steps of how to complete a task. To manage growing organizations and streamline how work is getting done, SOPs ensure that industry standards and laws are met by adhering to standardized ways of working.

SOPs help organizations create consistent high-quality goods through the transparent documentation of the repeatable steps involved to complete a task. Thus, SOPs have an imminent impact on a business’s success.

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«Keeping SOPs current is the main challenge as they grow in number.»

Here are some requirements of SOPs that need to be considered :

Content management

Who is the owner of the document?
What happens if the person leaves the organization?

SOP creation workflow

SOP creation requires the input of multiple people within the organization. It takes a team to write the policy. No matter if on location or remote, it is a challenge to get all involved leaders to meet.

Audit trail

For both internal and external audits, approvals and employees’ discussion indicate why and how the policy was implemented. Tracing where the initiative occurred, how a document evolved, who was part of the process are indicative elements and are helpful for reviewing policies.

Version control

Ensuring that employees are always accessing the most current version of the document is called version control.

Accessibility

Besides assuring that all employees have access to all documents, design considerations on different devices equally come into play.

Training management

Apart from the content of an SOP, training management aims to ensure that the right people read SOPs of relevance to them. To assign and track training, learning management systems are a valuable resource.

Digital compliance systems are the backbone of today’s compliance efforts. While there are many systems on the market to choose from, we invite you to explore EQS Policy Manager of our partner EQS. For the German explainer video, please click here.

P.S.

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