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Using Processes and Standard Operating Procedures to Remove the Guesswork from Employee Performance

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 10, 2018

For true business success, it’s important to focus on the processes within the business to improve overall performance. Similarly, with an administrative focus, the core back-office part of the organization gets attended to which ensures everything keeps humming along.

Here are a few of the ways that using processes and standard operating procedures helps make employee performance more predictable.

Systemization Stops Staff Winging It

Creating reliable systems using a standard operating procedure (SOP) that provides clear instructions for employees to follow reduces random errors. Whether staff are sharing a desk, doing shift work, work from home or they’re a freelancer handling a few tasks on behalf of the company, when there’s an SOP to follow, confusion disappears. Staff have a reference to refer to and follow whether their predecessor still works for the company or not.

Standard Operating Procedures Protect the Business

Standard operating procedures protect the business from the loss of key personnel who take their working knowledge of the department’s systems with them. Whether they change companies, retire or are forced out, when there are detailed SOP’s, the company is covered.

Let’s face it, disgruntled employees are not going to want to train their replacement if they’re not leaving of their own accord. So, having a record of processes and procedures avoids a tense situation getting worse. New employees don’t have to learn from the departing staff how to do their job. There’s another way.

What Should Be Contained in a Work Instruction?

The work instructions for a role should break down each significant task to the actions required to complete it. Use the assumption that there’s no one present to teach the new member of staff or person with a fresh promotion what to do in their new position. Any documentation should be approached from this perspective while factoring in the likely experience of someone in the role, i.e. don’t teach them how to do things they should know already.

While documentation is useful, walkthrough videos are often the fastest way to get someone up to speed on how to complete a detailed or complex task. This is especially true for tasks that are completed on a computer without an offline or manual component to them.

Administrators Keep Back-Office Operations Humming

Along with standard operating procedures, the administrators in the business ensure important tasks get completed. Without these detail-oriented knowledge workers, pretty soon the company would begin to have operational difficulties. They dot the i’s and cross the t’s in the background and are only noticed when laying the law down.

A good example of administration in action is the role of a healthcare administrator. This is about leadership, maintaining ethics in the organization, making strong strategic decisions for the long-term gain, and measuring performance across the organization. When a healthcare facility lacks a healthcare administrator, it won’t be long before they run into difficulties because they’re like a ship without a rudder. Incidentally, studying the Boston College MHA opens the door to a career as a healthcare administrator which is emotionally rewarding and pays well too.

Combining the benefits of carefully chosen processes and reliable standard operating procedures ensures employees have what they need to push ahead with confidence. Backed by solid administration at the corporate level provides a solid foundation to ensure the company doesn’t drop the ball while looking forward towards growth. To be successful, a business must strike the balance between their administration, process management and support for their employees, so they can do what they’re being paid for. 

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