What Your SOP Should Include
To create a standard operations procedures manual (SOP) you will need to include instructions and step-by-step information on how to complete every single task and job that you have within your company. In addition, the manual should include information about human resources, job descriptions, how to get paid, and so forth. Anything that an employee or contractor needs to know how to do needs to be inside the SOP.
In essence an SOP manual is a group of individual SOPs for each separate job or function within your company. So, first create step-by-step instructions on how to do every single job within your business. For instance, “How to post a new blog post” as well as what should be in the blog post. If your company has guidelines about what type of information an employee or contractor can put in a blog post, it should be noted in the SOP.
Each section of your SOP should include the purpose of the procedure, a description of the procedure and how to do it. A summary should be included with warnings and issues that have been identified, as well as which contractors or employees are responsible for the procedure and what equipment is required to do the procedure correctly. Lastly, there should be a step-by-step with photographs if necessary on how to do the procedure. Include contact information in case there is a problem with the steps or the user finds the steps do not work.
As you write your SOP, make sure that you test out the instructions for accuracy. Include a section for each job function within your company. Inside the SOP you can include directions to contractors and employees on how to call in sick, how to clock in and clock out, and what to do in case of an emergency. By including every aspect of each position within your company, your SOP will be complete. It can be used for training purposes as well as ongoing use by anyone needing to perform any task within any job function.
By having a complete SOP for any contractor or employee to use when performing their job, there will be fewer interruptions, and fewer problems with poor quality work. Therefore, the more you include in your SOP the better.
* List all job titles in your business
* List all responsibilities for each job title
* List the tasks needed to finish for each responsibility
* Create step-by-step directions to do each task within a job title
* Add in warnings, problems, issues to consider
* Create a contact for each if something goes wrong
Compile all of these mini-SOPs together with a summary introduction and conclusion for each section, with a table of contents. It’s nice to add in the beginning of your SOP manual some background information about your company and an organizational chart. This will help new people understand how each piece of the puzzle fits and round out your SOP. Store your SOP manual online so that there is easy access for all personnel, whether contractors or employees.