Developing SOP, Job Descriptions and Employee Evaluations An S 426

Developing SOP, Job
Descriptions and
Employee Evaluations
An S 426
Spring 2007
Developing SOP
Standard operating procedure (SOP)
– Purpose –
If it is written to fulfill only that purpose efficiently
and effectively, it becomes a valuable quality
assurance tool
Developing SOP
– Ground rules for developing SOP
1. Make them short and to the point
2. Make sure the person who uses the procedure is a
customer – not the expert
3. Develop procedures that can be read and used under
4. Use a simple numbering and identification system
5. Place procedures where the users can get to them
Developing SOP
– Procedure writing process
1. Look at the job
2. Organize information
a. May use a flow diagram to establish sequence of
b. Integrate with manuals and regulatory standards
3. Write down the information
4. Make sure the procedure is usable, accurate, has the
right level of detail and fits general guidelines for
5. Get it in the users’ hands
Developing SOP
– Guidelines for writing procedures
1. Use short sentences
2. Use active voice (e.g. “turn the switch” instead of
“the switch should be turned”).
3. Be direct – tell the reader what to do
4. Use short words
5. Do not use abbreviations or acronyms
Developing SOP
– Guidelines for writing procedures
Be consistent with terminology
Do not assume the reader knows something
Put steps in right sequence
Use headings to help organize things – helps to find
10. Use 1, 2, 3 – not one, two, three
Developing SOP
– Problems to anticipate
1. Do not put the actions in the notes column
2. Clearly mark any warnings or cautions – use bold
print or highlight
3. Put warnings before an action step, not after
4. Do not put multiple steps in a paragraph – separate
so they are visible
5. Include emergency steps and highlight them
Developing SOP
– Problems to anticipate
6. Use specific ranges, not plus or minus some value
7. Do not require calculations to use the procedure –
putting them in notes is useful
8. Make sure you have included the flow-down of any
upper level requirements into the procedure
For example – the BQA policies for storing,
handling and administration of medications and feed
additives, need to flow-down into the procedures for
applying these policies
Developing SOP
– Good labor essential
Cheap labor often very costly
Working conditions and housing (if provided) may be as
important as wages in keeping good employee
Developing SOP
– Be sure employee knows:
1. rules governing the overall operation of the cattle
operation and the rules for his particular job so he knows
who is precisely expected of him
2. his: exact wages
opportunity for advancement
retirement benefits – social security, etc.
health program–workmen’s compensation, etc.
vacation time
bonus or incentive payments, profit sharing
Developing SOP
– Selection of employees:
Probably key to healthy labor environment
Developing SOP
Consider –
recommendations by people already employed
recommendations by past employees
recommendations by lot supervisors and foreman
following interview
require resume
consider age relative to position wishing to fill
consider farm and rural background
consider number of previous jobs
consider prospective employee’s priorities – salary,
interest in position, etc.
consider previous training – sometimes may know
too much for position
Developing SOP
– Hire good employees by following these 4 steps:
Know yourself
Know your business
Know the good and bad of the job
Sell the opportunity of working with you
Developing SOP
– Communicating with employees
To be sure consider the following:
1. Regularly visit employee’s work area, giving them
chance to talk with you
2. Inquire how things are going – performance of
equipment and machinery. Show an interest in
his/her work.
3. Ask questions which cannot be answered “yes” or
“no”, giving them a chance to talk.
4. Encourage employee to talk in private when a
question or problem is personal in nature.
5. Take action quickly and then provide quick feedback
when you have agreed to check into something.
Developing SOP
To be sure consider the following:
6. Ask follow-up questions to help an employee get to
the real point of concern.
7. Be aware of signs that someone wishes to talk to you
about something but is either too shy or reserved to
make the first move.
8. Listen when employees talk. Don’t interrupt. Ask
questions or make a comment when employee has
9. Use language the employee will understand when
visiting with him/her.
10. Provide help and encouragement to an employee
who has partially thought out an idea so proper
credit is given.
Developing SOP
To be sure consider the following:
11. When necessary to reprimand or correct an
employee, do it in private. Explain your position and
listen to theirs and then consider asking them to help
work out a solution.
12. Make a “big deal” out of it when an employee does a
particularly good job. Do it publicly.
13. Explain to employees why their work is important
and how it relates to the total job being performed.
14. Indicate to employees future plans, changes that will
be made and why, operating problems, etc.
Developing SOP
Counselors (i.e. Consultants)
Insurance agent
County extension director
Area livestock specialist