The Standard Operating Procedure or SOP is designed to ensure that everyone within the company works up to the standard. By following the SOP, employees can deliver consistent performance, serve their many customers with similar quality services, and provide fast service. Therefore, it is necessary to improve compliance with this standard.
Why Don’t Employees Comply with SOP?
Although the company campaigns SOP adherence to its employees, it does not always work. Some employees may not follow the standard procedure despite the relentless campaign. When many employees in the company do not adhere to this standard, the company is at risk of:
- Stopping operation when key employees are not working.
- Having a false sense of security because departments’ inefficiencies are easily hidden.
- Continuing to employ people with the subpar work quality.
- Being unable to implement innovations.
It isn't easy to improve compliance without seeing the underlying reasons for such non-adherence. There are five main reasons for the non-compliance to the company's SOP, including:
1. The inability to see its effects on customers
People who work behind the scenes tend not to see their jobs' impact on the customers. For example, a warehouse employee may handle goods roughly when managing the inventory. As a result, they are not aware that customers are concerned about minor defects in the products.
2. The lack of training about the proper procedure
An employee may also not receive enough training at the beginning of their career. When it is not detected early, the employee will be used to working without the SOP guideline. Thus, the supervisor's role becomes very pivotal.
3. The procedure is too complicated to implement
At times, the company's SOP is too difficult to understand and implement in real life. For example, a task may consist of too many steps and take more time to complete. As a result, the employee may think of ways to create shortcuts without weighing its consequences.
4. The intention to accommodate customers’ wishes
An employee may deviate from the company’s SOP to accommodate customers’ wishes. They want to provide the best service for the customers, so they are willing to do whatever it takes to make those wishes happen.
5. Disengagement from the operation and company
It is also possible that employees feel disengaged from the company and its operation that they do not have the will to adhere to SOP. To improve compliance, the management has to work hard to instill its values in its employees. Thus, they will have a sense of ownership and pride in the company.
How to Improve Employee Compliance Rate to SOP?
There are ways in which a company will be able to improve compliance among its employees. The methods include:
1. Setting a clear SOP and boundaries
The company should intend to make SOP as a safe haven for its employees, instead of restricting limits. Its employees must understand that they will be alright as long as they are following the standard procedure. A good SOP needs to be:
- Written in a language that is easy to understand.
- Considering the business core.
- Setting boundaries about what can or cannot be done in special situations.
2. Creating the better inter-department link
It is difficult if the burden of the following SOP falls only on a certain department. This is why the company should make its departments work collaboratively with one another. The SOP should be designed so that each department is interlinked to one another,
3. Embedding SOP compliance tools in operations
To improve SOP compliance, continuous monitoring is a must. The monitoring must happen at employee and managerial levels for it to work successfully. In this era, there are many digital tools that can be used to monitor adherence to standard procedures.
Nimbly, for example, is an SOP Compliance tool that can boost the employees’ adherence to SOP. It has many features, and you can implement 2 of these features to perform this task:
- Digital Checklist; With this feature, employees only need to open their phones or devices to fill out a questionnaire about related tasks that have been provided by your admin and they only need to answer according to the real situation. If there are questions that are not up to standard, then Nimbly will automatically include them in the issue tracker feature, where this issue will be escalated automatically to the relevant department to be resolved immediately. It also helps employees to automatically generate reports day-to-day, so it will take less time and become more transparent.
- Admin Dashboard; You can easily analyze your operations performance in detail and are visually user-friendly. You are able to see what kind of issue is the most common thing to happen in your operations to your each user performance to identify which employee or department is not complying with your regulations so you can take corrective action plans to find the root cause and improve your employee productivity.
4. Updating company’s policies regularly
The data obtained from the Admin Dashboard Analytics can be used as a basis to update the company’s policies. It provides information on whether the implemented SOP is well-followed by the employees and how to improve the current standard procedure. Therefore, the company can grow in a positive direction. SOP is an important component in a company's operation for many reasons.
Non-compliance to this standard may put the company in jeopardy. There are many ways to improve compliance with SOP. Investing in a supporting technology like Nimbly will aid the company in the long run.