If ten people in your team performed the same task in the workplace, would they each achieve the same outcome? Would the task take them the same amount of time, be of the same quality and achieve the same results for your internal or external customers?
For all-too-many organisations, the answer to this question is no. There would be variation, defects, and confusion, all of which are surefire signs that there is an issue with either your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or the way they are being enforced.
What are SOPs?
SOPs are designed to communicate the best-practice way of completing an everyday process or procedure in your organisation, from how to raise an invoice to the way in which a machine should be operated. Although often simple, they are important to the successful and safe operation of your organisation, allowing you to ensure high levels of quality across the organisation.
For any SOP to be effective it needs to:
Be accurate and best practice for your process
Be easily accessible so that they can be revised when needed
Be communicated clearly and concisely
Be engaging and in a format and language that meets everyone’s needs
Convey the negative consequences that could occur if the SOPs are not followed
Be accompanied by training, where necessary
Have a knowledge and understanding check in place
Why are your SOPs slipping?
Most companies appreciate the importance of investing time and effort in identifying the most effective way of completing a task and then defining this process as SOPs. This is often best achieved through thorough and structured methods, such as Lean Six Sigma. However, the same time and effort that is invested in identifying the best practice, is rarely invested in the communicating and monitoring of these SOPs.
In most cases, SOPs are delivered as unengaging word documents that are given during an induction period. They are then, unsurprisingly, left in the training folder for the rest of the individual’s employment. In some of the more positive cases, a one-off training session of these SOPs may be given but this is often in an unstandardised way by a manager who has their own preferred way of doing things. The employee’s knowledge of these SOPs is never checked, aided or monitored, and they are certainly never performed.
The solution for your SOPs
Here at 100% Effective, we use a far more effective way of delivering SOPs. One that is engaging, efficient and effective. The solution we use is eLearning.
By harnessing the power of eLearning to train SOPs, both 100% Effective and other companies see Standard Operating Procedures communicated effectively. This results in a thorough understanding and successful application of SOPs, which of course means all the benefits of SOPs can actually be achieved – decreased variation; increased productivity; higher quality levels and more satisfied internal and external customers.
To illustrate how eLearning achieves this, let’s return to the above list…
For any SOP to be effective it needs to:
Be accurate and best practice for your process:
Before the development process, an experienced SOPs eLearning development team will be able to help you establish effective SOPs that truly work for your organisation.
Be easily accessible so that they can be revised when needed:
eLearning means that employees do not need a training manager to be available to redeliver the training. Instead, their SOP training is available 24/7 and anywhere in the world.
Be communicated clearly and concisely:
Good eLearning developers are experienced in developing your content into modules that educate quickly and effectively.
Be engaging and in a format and language that meets everyone’s needs:
Tailored to your team and consisting of mixed media formats, eLearning suits almost all learning styles. The courses can even be as advanced as to include different languages or for the learner to tailor the training to their function in the organisation.
Convey the negative consequences that could occur if the SOPs are not followed:
Through interactive eLearning, your team can not only practice applying SOPs in a safe, virtual environment but also experience the consequences of failing to adhere to SOPs.
Be accompanied by training, where necessary:
SOPs eLearning is a way to not only communicate your procedures without relying on the training abilities of managers but an effective way of training without the associated costs of face-to-face training.
Have a knowledge and understanding check in place:
Monitoring the progress of SOP training is easy with eLearning. Management can see who has completed their SOP training, measure the understanding levels of employee and are therefore able to address any areas of concern.
How can 100% help?
At 100% Effective, we are both eLearning developers and Business Improvement experts. As such, we are in the perfect position to not only develop an effective online training programme but can work with you from the very start to help you establish SOPs that are really are going to get results.
With our Lean approach to bespoke eLearning development, development of SOP eLearning is much more affordable than you may imagine. The cost is even more appealing in comparison to the savings your company can expect from finally establishing the SOPs in your organisation which will undoubtedly increase standards, quality, and customer satisfaction.
If you are interested in SOP eLearning development and would like more information about how it could work for you and your organisation, then just get in touch. And for even more inspiration on how you can use bespoke eLearning to benefit your business, click below to watch our webinar in which I reveal the endless possibilities of eLearning.