Standard operating procedures (SOP) are often the difference between a functional organization and one that’s not. SOPs are useful in just about any industry, and you can get even more out of them by creating a standard operating procedure checklist.
Making your SOP into a checklist or integrating SOP checklists into other internal communication can help you take advantage of not only the benefits SOPs bring but also the visual impact of a checklist.
Get inspired by the SOP checklists below, and when you’re ready, start organizing your workflow and training processes by customizing our SOP checklist templates. You can get started for free today.
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What is SOP?
SOP is short for “standard operating procedures”, which are detailed instructions necessary to complete a job task. Most companies have several types of SOPs they use to ensure consistently high-quality work is being done.
What should be included in a standard operating procedure?
There isn’t one single type or format for SOPs, but there are some basics that should be covered regardless of the department, style, format or job function. Your SOP should always include:
- Procedure name
- Procedure summary
- Document ID number
- Most recent revision date
- Description of most recent change (if applicable)
- Reviews and approval
Ensuring your SOP document includes all of these areas helps provide accountability as well as version control so you can make sure outdated procedures are not being used in your organization.
What is a standard operating procedure checklist?
An SOP checklist is a particular format for standard operating procedures that arrange job tasks, functions or other processes in a checklist format. They are often included in larger SOP documents, but SOP checklists can also stand on their own.
Formatting SOP tasks as a checklist is smart because humans are naturally task-oriented and drawn to checklists. Marking off the tasks as they’re completed is satisfying to most people, and using the checklist format can help turn a procedure into a habit.
SOP checklist examples
SOP checklists are useful for just about every industry, job or individual task. Let’s take a look at some excellent SOP checklist examples to inspire you as you work to improve the training and employee development of your team.
Marketing SOP checklists
Marketing is a broad area, encompassing many methods of communication. It usually includes SEO and digital marketing, but for many organizations, event planning, sales and other tasks are folded into the marketing department.
Ensure that all technical aspects of your blog content are covered and keep the entire team up-to-date on procedures with a blog publishing SOP checklist. Include actual check boxes so team members can print out and complete the list.
Online content is more than just blog posts and articles. Make sure your organization’s image SEO is on-point with this marketing SOP checklist.
Use this monthly SEO checklist template as part of your marketing and advertising SOPs. Creating something like this for your organization will help make routine maintenance of your online content much easier and more organized.
Audit all the content on your site with this SEO checklist example. A document like this is particularly useful for training new team members, as it will help them commit certain tasks to memory.
SOP checklists aren’t just for small, individual tasks. Plan all aspects of your organization’s marketing with this digital marketing checklist.
SOP checklists are useful tools for organizing a product or service launch, and this example will help you keep a cross-functional team on track as you work through the necessary steps.
Though they took a bit of a hiatus because of COVID-19, in-person events are getting back to normal function in many parts of the world. Make sure your pre-event marketing is reaching the desired audience with an SOP checklist like this one.
Depending on your industry and the target audience for your event, the modern style of this pre-event marketing checklist may be more your speed.
Consider the simple blue-on-blue color scheme of this pre-event marketing checklist for lifestyle, wedding or parenting events.
Facilities SOP checklists
Ensuring your organization’s physical presence is safe, secure and effective for all team members requires initial setup work and ongoing maintenance. Take a look at these facilities SOP checklists that can help keep your office in tip-top shape.
As the saying goes, plan for the worst and hope for the best. Disaster preparedness is crucial in any company, and this checklist can help make sure operations run smoothly even in emergency situations.
The need to keep offices clean and safe was made abundantly clear during the pandemic, but workplace hygiene is an important concern at all times.
Tired of working around others and looking to set up your own home office? For most people, it’s not as simple as just putting their computer on a dining table. Use this checklist to make sure your home office is functional and inspiring.
Human resources & operations SOP checklists
Anybody who has ever started a new job knows that the sheer volume of information you must download in those early days is enough to make your head spin.
And that’s where HR comes to the rescue.
Consider these human resources and operations SOP checklists to help make sure all team members feel supported and effective.
Onboarding a new employee is more than just figuring out how much they’ll be paid. And if they don’t receive proper introductions to various aspects of the job, they might not be as successful as they could be. Use a new employee orientation SOP checklist to organize the process.
Consider this type of onboarding checklist if new team members in your organization will have a close relationship with their supervisor. This can help strengthen connections between team members.
Customize this simple new-hire SOP checklist like this with tasks specific to your business.Update the colors to follow your guidelines to reinforce your branding from the first day of someone’s employment.
Let’s take a look at another SOP checklist for human resources. This one is more suitable for smaller HR teams:
Small HR teams need things done as efficiently as possible, so one-person departments or other small HR groups should consider this abbreviated checklist that covers basic onboarding tasks.
New hires aren’t the only ones who need training or refreshers on important internal policies. Pretty much everyone needed guidance on setting up virtual meetings over the past year, and this virtual meeting checklist can help keep remote teams running smoothly.
The audit process is never a pleasant one, but by using this simple checklist, your team can provide the necessary information to complete the audit as painlessly as possible.
Training & development SOP checklists
In many organizations, staff development and training are done department-by-department. In others, training and employee development offices are tasked with improving the skills of team members.
Regardless of where these jobs are housed, it’s important for employees, supervisors, managers and executives to monitor professional development.
If your organization is considering a major promotion from within, consider having the team member conduct a self-audit to determine their leadership readiness with this SOP checklist for leaders.
All team members can benefit from at least annual assessments of their skills and what training they feel they need to perform at their best. Modify this healthcare training assessment questionnaire for your industry.
The ADDIE model is popular in instructional design, and this ADDIE model SOP checklist can help you develop useful learning modules for your staff.
Give your employees something to look forward to during the annual performance review cycle by gamifying their experience. Visualize their ratings in each area and offer them goals to shoot for in the coming year.
Building and maintaining relationships with coworkers can be difficult in normal circumstances, and for many people, poor workplace culture holds them back from being at their best. But for remote companies, that’s even tougher. If you have a fully or partially remote team, consider using this checklist to improve how it functions.
Facilitate effective, friendly communication between coworkers by sharing this peer-to-peer meeting checklist with your team. Encourage in-person and remote staff to use it so nobody feels left out.
In summary: Create an SOP checklist to keep your organization operating as efficiently as possible
Standard operating procedure checklists are useful tools for organizing new product launches or major initiatives, and they can help team members keep track of tedious or mundane facets of their job. In other words, SOP checklists are some of the most versatile visual communication tools your organization could have.
Start customizing one of our SOP checklists to help ease your workflow and training processes. You can start for free, or upgrade to download and enjoy other paid features.