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Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Written By: Vidhi Gogari on July 17, 2011 11 Comments


Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are a set process formulated by an organization. The main agenda behind generating an SOP is to bring down the process for any particular function that will have to be followed by an employee of the organization irrespective of the situation. Here, we shall broadly talk about SOPs in HR. As we are familiar with a few HR functions like Recruitment, Selection, PMS, Compensation and Benefits, Learning and Development, etc; SOP is useful to all these functions. SOPs play an important role in successful human resource management. A well-crafted and implemented SOP can have beneficial effects for large and small companies by facilitating successful communication between employees and management.

Every organization hires employees from time to time and it becomes a tedious job to take all the employees through the working pattern of the organization every time a new employee joins the organization. So to make this a little simple for the employee as well as the organization there is an SOP to the rescue.

In layman’s term, SOP will give step to step, detailed procedure to be followed in case of recruitment, PMS, etc. The employee cannot make any addition or deductions to these procedures without prior consent of the authorities. The employee is expected to follow these steps precisely as mentioned in the SOPs.

There are very few organizations in India that follow an SOP or maybe even know what an SOP is. It is not a cakewalk to generate an SOP for a large or even a small organization. Every aspect that goes into the functioning of the organization has to be considered aptly. A miss in any function will turn the entire procedure meaningless. This is because if the employee generating an SOP fails to notice any minor pattern, it will tend to get neglected when it is to be implemented. The process of generating an SOP is time consuming, so at times organizations also look into outsourcing this task.

There are ideally 8 steps to generation of an SOP. These steps are mentioned on a very broad basis. These can be classified as follows:

1. Identification of the purpose:

It refers to the purpose for which the organization has decided to generate an SOP

2. Identification of functions:

All the functions of the HR department that need to be covered. This also includes the sub-functions of every mentioned function

3. Research and Drafting:

The employee or team generating the SOP will have to make a thorough research of all the mentioned functions and prepare a rough draft

4. Approval:

The employee or team need to get the draft approved from the HR head or reporting authority. In case there are any suggestions or changes, the same need to be done and a re-approval needs to be taken

5. Final copy:

The final copy of the SOP should be generated with the signatures of the approving / reporting authority

6. Communication:

The SOP should be communicated throughout the HR department to ensure that the employees in the department understand the SOP and will follow as and when required

7. Feedback:

The team / employee generating employee should take a feedback from the employees in the department. In case of there are any suggestions they should be considered

8. Implementation:

Finally, all the employees are expected to implement the procedures precisely as mentioned in the SOP

It is not a set procedure as to how an organization will go about generating the SOPs but once generated the SOPs need to be followed devotedly.

The SOP once generated should be reviewed by the HR department from time to time. While generating the SOP there should be a clear mention of the review period, yearly or once in 2 years, etc, depending on the size of the organization or the market it belongs to. The organization might also consider reviewing the SOP in emergency situations, like change in the economic or financial circumstances of the country or organization itself.

The below mentioned steps act as a checklist of the HR functions that can be considered while generating an SOP:

1. Pre-Recruitment Process

a. Receipt of requirement of manpower from various department heads.
b. Scrutinize them and take approval from concerned authorities if the post is new.
c. Prepare a recruitment budget and CTC for the employee and take approval.
d. Select the appropriate Recruitment process.

2. Recruitment Process

a. Prepare Advertisements etc for the recruitment.
b. Scrutinize and shortlist the applications received.
c. Send interview call letters/mails as required.
d. Conduct Interviews through panels.
e. Preparation of offer letters as required.

3. Joining Formalities:

a. Administrating Joining formalities.
b. Pre Employment Reference checks.
c. Preparation of Appointment Advice and intimating the same to other departments.
d. Preparing and entering new hire paperwork.
e. Coordinating to get Employee ID Cards.
f. Handing over the new hire to the concerned HOD/Manager.
g. Preparation of Job Profiles co ordination with HOD/Managers for new posts.

4. Employee Personal File Maintenance:

a. Opening new file and Closing the Resigned employee’s File.
b. Make sure all Employee files are maintained safely with care.
c. Make sure all personal records are available in the files.
d. Periodic Personal File Auditing.

5. Employee Data Base:

a. Keeping Track of Knowledge Management Software.
b. Maintenance of HRIS.

6. Confirmation Formalities:

a. Intimating the concerned HOD/Manager about the due dates for confirmation.
b. Conducting Confirmation Appraisals.
c. Coordinating for Skill Gap Analysis.
d. Coordinating to set Quality Objectives for each job profile.
e. Ensuring updating of the existing Job Profiles.
f. Processing the Confirmation.

7. ISO Compliance:

a. Ensuring all the updating of the ISO documentation and HR Formats.
b. Learning and enforcing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
c. Facing the Internal and External Audits, accountable to enforce the correctional actions.

8. Statutory Compliance:

a. Handling PF and ESI formalities and coordinating with other departments.
b. Handling Apprentice Training, Submitting Periodic Returns to Board.
c. Submitting other returns to the labor Department as per Shops and establishment Ac

9. Learning And Development:

a. Conducting Induction Learning for new hires.
b. Learning Need Analysis based on Skill Gap Analysis, Appraisal Feedback and suggestions.
c. Coordinating External and Internal Learning Programs.
d. Maintaining Learning Records.
e. Analysis of Learning Feedback.

10. Performance Appraisal:

a. Prepared the new Appraisal Form.
b. Educated employees about self-appraisal.
c. Provided inputs to HOD’s for Appraisals.
d. Prepared Appraisal Letters.

11. Employee Relation:

a. Having formal and Informal counseling with employees.
b. Prepared Event Calendar of monthly recreation to motivate employees.
c. Handling Corporate Medical Insurance.
d. Processing required letters on employee’s request.

12. Report Generation:

a. Generating and analyzing Employee Attrition Reports, Training Evaluation, and Manpower Status.
b. Weekly and monthly recruitment reports
c. Report generation of Pre appraisal, Appraisal and Post Appraisals.
d. Salary Details Reports to Accounts Department.
e. Reports as per the HOD’s request.

13. Exit Formalities:

a. Administering Exit paper work including all statutory requirements.
b. Conducting Exit Interviews.
c. Preparing Exit Interview Summary.
d. Giving post employment reference for relieved employees.
e. Processing File to Accounts Department for final settlement.

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11 Responses to “Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)”

  1. Juke on: 24 January 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time studying much more or figuring out more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.

    • Vidhi Gogari on: 25 January 2012 at 5:46 am

      We are glad that the information ha helped you…
      Thank you!!!

  2. Khurram Hameed on: 30 January 2012 at 1:54 pm

    An excellent article. will contribute a lot for training & development of HR Managers. Great effort & well done. keep it up.

  3. Blossom Grennay on: 11 July 2012 at 5:45 am

    Employee relationship is very important because it maintiains a healthy and more productive working environment. ‘**”. Warmest wishes health supplements article

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