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How does a Standard Operating Procedure help in your workplace?

In our ever-evolving organisational environment, it’s more important than ever to achieve business goals swiftly and efficiently. With structured guidelines and frameworks in place, businesses can ensure that they’re taking consistent strides towards their core objectives for the continued success of their organisation.

To do this, businesses need standard operating procedures (SOPs). Thanks to their detailed steps and thorough roadmap, companies can remain sure that they’re kept on the right track with executing routine tasks in their business and being compliant with overarching standards and legislative requirements in their industry. 

There are several reasons why standard operating procedures can be invaluable to your workplace, from maintaining consistency in task execution to minimising error and assisting heavily with efficient onboarding and training of staff. The implementation of SOPs in business, therefore, has vast and varied applications.

In this article, we’ve delved deeper into what standard operating procedures are and why they are so helpful to you in the workplace, touching upon their benefits and how you should be creating an SOP that will work seamlessly in your organisation. So, standby to learn why SOPs are the secret to the success of your workplace.

What is an SOP?

Before understanding how using an SOP in business can be helpful, it’s first important to define what a standard operating procedure is. A standard operating procedure can simply be defined as a set of step-by-step guidelines outlining how an organisation can execute regular day-to-day operations. 

The purpose of standard operating procedures is to ensure that all of the essential details to complete a task are outlined simply, helping to summarise the best practices that need to be followed and taking into consideration wider business regulations and industry legislation. 

Why are SOPs important at your workplace?

Having a well-constructed and detailed SOP for processes in your business ensures that your operations are streamlined and your team is functioning productively. By outlining the exact procedures that need to be followed to complete a task in your business, you are helping to minimise the risk of error in your company. 

Without SOPs, team members may not be completing tasks consistently, which can result in mistakes and inefficient internal operations. As a result, standardising procedures by outlining SOPs can prove to be invaluable in improving productivity in your business, and ensuring that the quality of your goods or services is always to the highest standard. 

There may be signs you come across in your business that indicate that you would benefit from a standard operating procedure being implemented. These may include wasting unnecessary or extended amounts of time onboarding new team members or struggling to keep employees safe from accidents or injury. 

If incidents like these are occurring in your workplace, this should prompt you to reflect on your internal processes and realise that writing an SOP for a procedure, or several procedures, could help to streamline your operations and protect team members. 

From educational institutions to manufacturing businesses, a plethora of industries utilise standard operating procedures in their daily operations. So, consider what processes you need to be writing SOPs for in your company, regardless of the line of work you’re in. 

How a Standard Operating Procedure can help you in your workplace

Standard operating procedures can help in several specific ways in the workplace, ranging from improving safety to supporting employee onboarding and training. Here are some of the core benefits of SOPs, and therefore the most common ways that these guidelines can assist you in your workplace environment.

Improved safety

Thanks to SOPs, the safety of both employees and clients can be better protected. You want to ensure that your workplace environment is safe for all those within it and that your team know how they should complete tasks to eliminate safety hazards. Standard operating procedures should always include core considerations for the safety and well-being of people when completing a task, and so they can significantly improve workplace safety.

Creating SOPs that are dedicated to general safety within a workplace is a crucial yet simple way to help protect the health and safety of your employees and clients. Thanks to these SOPs, your workforce will know exactly how they need to behave in the workplace to reduce or eliminate any risks that they may encounter.

Simplified onboarding and training process

SOPs prove to be particularly useful when it comes to onboarding and training your new and existing employees. During the onboarding process, standard operating procedures can reduce the significant amount of time that would be spent explaining or demonstrating how to execute internal tasks. 

By providing a detailed SOP for new hires, which outlines your organisation’s rules and core internal processes, you can rest assured that all new members of your team have the essential information they need to integrate into your workplace successfully. 

For employee training, standard operating procedures prove to be equally useful in explaining how exactly new processes need to be executed. This reduces the amount of time that training with a team lead would take, as the training process is as simple as a team member thoroughly reading the SOP in question to learn how to complete these tasks.

Enhanced productivity

Given the structured format that SOPs take, it’s clear and simple for employees to complete an assignment, leaving little room for making mistakes or deviating from the task at hand. 

Because of this, as long as team members accept and comply with any SOPs implemented within the workplace, they will be more engaged with their tasks, leading to increased productivity. As time goes on, your team will grow more accustomed to completing these tasks too, naturally becoming more confident in their roles and therefore more efficient in executing tasks. 

If your employees are completing their tasks consistently to a high standard whilst using SOPs, this is a clear indication that your standard operating procedures are driving quality results and are helping you to obtain your overarching organisational goals quickly.

How do I create an SOP? 

SOPs are fairly straightforward to create, as long as you know the procedure to follow and the considerations that you must make to ensure they are comprehensive and clear.

The main steps to creating SOPs that are well-rounded and detailed are as follows: 

  1. Identifying the processes in your business that would benefit from SOPs
  2. Defining your scope: what are the needs of the business area for which you will be implementing SOPs?
  3. Knowing your end goal: what do you want to achieve from your SOPs being implemented?
  4. Speaking to your stakeholders: gain the input of those who will be using the SOPs, as well as any other critical members of your team, to get their insight during the development stage.
  5. Identifying your audience: know how you should be writing your SOPs in line with who will be utilising these standard operating procedures.
  6. Identifying your format: how will your SOPs be presented?
  7. Choosing or creating an SOP template: forming or selecting the skeleton structure for your SOPs. 
  8. Conducting your research: find all the information you need to produce successful standard operating procedures.
  9. Write your SOPs: the time to put everything you’ve researched into practice! 
  10. Test your SOPs and ask for feedback: get team members to use your SOPs and identify any issues or improvements that can be rectified or changed.
  11. Edit and improve your SOPs: keep testing your SOPs and gaining feedback before you reach a final version that you are satisfied with.
  12.  Apply the SOPs to your business and review them regularly: use your SOPs in your day-to-day operations and ensure you’re reviewing them regularly. This will ensure that they’re kept up to date with any changes that may occur in your wider business or government and industry legislation. 

There are three types of SOP formats, which you’ll need to know more about if you’re going to be creating an SOP for your business. No one format is better than the next, but you must decide which you feel best suits your business operations and team. These SOP formats are as follows:

  • Step by step: best for low-complexity SOPs which aren’t complicated and can be displayed easily. 
  • Hierarchical: also referred to as a complex SOP format, this is often well-organised and digestible in its structure. 
  • Flowchart: the SOP takes the form of a flowchart, creating a more visual way of understanding how to perform a procedure.

To learn more about how to write an SOP and SOP format, you can read our dedicated simple step-by-step guide on how to write an SOP

Do I need an SOP software as a business? 

SOP software can be an invaluable tool for your business. Standard operating procedure software is utilised to create, edit, access, and share your SOPs, storing them in one place neatly and conveniently. This allows businesses to have complete control over their SOPs so that everyone in an organisation can utilise them to their full potential. 

The benefits of SOP software for your business include that it allows you to manage your SOP documents easily, keeping them all in one place which can be shared easily with all members of your team. This enhances the collaboration and communication that you can have in your team about SOPs, with employees being able to offer feedback on changes that can be made to your standard operating procedures easily so that you can continuously improve them. 

Finally, SOP software can offer a big saving for your business. With dedicated frameworks and templates already created, you don’t have to worry about investing time, and therefore money, into writing SOPs from scratch. These templates also often undergo compliance checks, meaning you have the peace of mind that the templates you use for creating SOPs are compliant with regulations and requirements for your industry.

Are you keen to learn more about why you should use SOP software in your organisation? Why not check out our guide to the Best SOP Software and Tools to expand your knowledge on this topic? This article also evaluates the best SOP software on the market to help you decide which is most suitable for your business.  

Why you should choose Touch Stay to create your SOPs

The most important indicators of good SOP software are:

  • You can easily collaborate with members of your team to adapt and improve your SOPs.
  • Your standard operating procedures can all be stored safely and accessed easily from one place by all.
  • You have templates to hand which allow you to easily and quickly create comprehensive SOPs for your business. 

Here at Touch Stay, our accessible digital guidebook application offers all of this, as well as the ability for you and your team to create SOPs for anything and everything. What’s even better is that if you can’t find a template from our existing bank that is suitable for the SOP you want to create, you can either create your own visually engaging SOP or contact us to create one for you


Implementing standard operating procedures in your business is essential to maintain efficiency, consistency, and productivity in your workplace. Playing a pivotal role in helping you reach organisational excellence, you can ensure that your tasks remain streamlined and are executed to the highest of standards by your team members thanks to the consistent implementation of SOPs in your work environment. 

We hope that this article served its purpose in highlighting the importance of SOPs in the workplace, helping you to realise their full potential and hopefully influencing your decision to begin creating new, or updating existing, SOPs in your workplace. 

If you’re looking to see what standard operating procedures are all about, you can make the most of our free 14-day trial to get to grips with SOP creation and managing your SOPs easily and efficiently.