Are Standard Operating Procedures Useful?
This is the title of a short article by Ferando Diaz, DVM, published in the Farm Journal's MILK magazine, February issue, p 12.
He emphasizes the finding of a study involving 248 dairy farms:
- 34% of the farms using SOPs did not have SOPs available in writing.
- 48% of the employees did not have free access to the SOPs at all times.
- 70% of the dairies did not use SOPs in their training program.
- 63% of the farmers did not check the validity of their SOPs on a regular basis
- 44% of the dairies did not involve employees in the creation of the SOPs
"In my experience, to overcome these issues, bilingual SOPs should be available to every worker in common areas and posted in the areas where the tasks are performed.
In a successful dairy management program, SOPs are the main tool for training and retraining employees.
Moreover, SOPs should be updated frequently with inputs from employees, managers and farm advisor.
In conclusion, SOPs can be a great system for improving employee performance when they are efficiently implemented."
Dr. Diaz and I are on the same page. Make 'em and use 'em!