Download Your Free Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template

Standard Operating Procedures will assist in operating your business. Documenting process in your organization will make a huge difference to its performance.

If you are searching for a free Standard Operating Procedure Template, it might be quite an onerous task to find a suitable one.

No doubt you could be searching for a specific manual based around what your business does. For example, if you own a hotel – hotel standard operating procedures. However, this is likely to be quite expensive if it is any good or just not suitable for your specific organization.


Free or not so Free?

Difficult to Find Free Relevant Information

Finding a free standard operating procedure template that is suitable for your business is going to be even harder. All we can suggest is to find a generic manual and tailor it to suit your business.

A lot of the free templates online are simple and basic and would need a significant amount of work to make them suitable for your business. Sometimes it could be easier to just start from scratch.

Heavy Customization Required

Remember, these types of templates and documents take a long time to develop. If you purchase a template, you want to be sure it is actually going to be useful for your organization. Either way you are likely to have to customize it to suit your specific team and processes.

However, consider Digital Documents Direct free download or consider our paid option (Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template) that has a lot more detail.

These templates will allow you to get started at least.


System Manuals can require a lot of work

Comprehensive and Complex

Generally, system manuals are very comprehensive. Typically a Standard Operating Procedure Manual is a very detailed document. It is unlikely you are going to find the exact type of document for your business.

However, you can use a template and save a considerable amount of time. There are particular tasks that are similar for most businesses regardless of their type and location.

These things you can replicate easily and save a lot of time and then leave the detailed customization to build as your business grows. We provide a free SOP manual template as a sample to our detailed version which you can check out. It is a basic version but you will be able to use it as a foundation for creating your own manual.

Of course, don’t hesitate to consider purchasing our detailed version if you want to save a ton of time building yours. It really will save you a considerable amount of effort.


What is Available Online?

Online Examples

Let’s take a look online to see what we can find and see if there are any useful options available.

A simple search for a Free Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template in Google brings up a range of results. At time of writing, this post, there were 335 Million results in Google. What a massive amount of information!

Google Search | Free Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template

Obviously there is going to be a lot of irrelevant information. A number of the top spots are dictated by some of the well know template websites. Let’s take a closer look at those and see if we can find a suitable option for finding a free SOP template. But before we do, let’s take a look quickly at the definition of a SOPMT. (Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template).


What is a Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template?

Positive Influence on Your Business

So firstly, what is a Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template? It is a document that runs your business. It could be very large don’t you think?

Big SOP book

I know ours is massive. It keeps getting bigger everyday. However, it is detailed and explains a lot of tasks for complex processes in our business.

If it was basic and simple, it would likely not meet the requirements of delivering our service to a high standard. We believe it should be detailed enough for our team to deliver their work to a high standard.


Search Results

Good Quality Online Options

OK, back to what we can find online. There are some good quality options available and some require a lot of customization and others will require less. It will be difficult to find something specific to your business particularly for free.

Option 1 – Digital Documents Direct

Our free standard operating procedure template is a snapshot of what our paid version includes. This template is only a basic version, however you may find it useful for your small business. You can read about our free sample on our sales page. Click the image below to learn more.

Check out our paid version if you require something much more detailed. It is full of standard operating procedures and includes all the detail which you can easily customize to suit your organization.

Option 2 – Smartsheet

The first website that pops up is Smart Sheet. This website has a lot of templates, however let’s look a bit closer at the detail.

smartsheet | Free Standard Operating Procedures Templates | digital image, accessed 27th November 2020 | https://www.smartsheet.com/standard-operating-procedures

This page above at smartsheet has quite a few templates to choose from and they are broken down into different industries. The templates look to be customized and suited to the task. There are a number to choose from including a Help Desk, Hotel Guest Luggage Handling, Laboratory and Warehouse Standard Operating Procedure Templates.

So if your business is any of these then you are likely to find something of value there. However, note that there isn’t a ton of specific detail in each template. You will have to put some effort in to make it suitable for your particular situation.

Also note – smartsheet is not completely free, although you can try their service for free and then pay if you want to continue.

Click the image above or go to their homepage here: SmartSheet

Option 3Word Templates Online

OK, the next one is Word Templates Online. This website has a lot of templates that might be suitable for your organization. There are also plenty of links to check out.

Word Templates Online | Free Standard Operating Procedures Templates | digital image, accessed 27th November 2020 | https://www.wordtemplatesonline.net/standard-operating-procedure/

If you scroll down a bit there is a definition of a Standard Operating Procedure and also instructions on How to Write a Standard Operating Procedure which is great.

Click the image above or go to their homepage here: Word Templates Online

Option 4 – Process Street

Taking a look at the next option it is Process St. This website shows a lot of detail about how to create SOP’s. There is a ton of information and also some good videos that are going to go a long way in helping you create your Standard Operating Procedures.

Process Street | Free Standard Operating Procedures Templates | digital image, accessed 27th November 2020 | https://www.process.st/sop-templates/

Process Street also have a list of customized templates for particular industries, so this is also worth checking out. There are numerous free templates available if you hunt through the text, although they are fairly generic.

Process Street is not free, however there are plenty of free resources on their site with regard to Standard Operating Procedure Templates that are worth checking out. You should be able to find some free generic templates.

Click the image above or go to their homepage here: Process Street

Option 5 – Template.net

Template.net has a bunch of templates available for consideration.

Template.net | Free Standard Operating Procedures Templates | digital image, accessed 27th November 2020 | https://www.template.net/business/word-templates/standard-operating-procedure-template/

There are a ton of SOP templates to consider. Some of them are blank and some of them are from other organizations. It might take sometime to wade through all the results, however you might be able to find something useful in there. All of these templates are free.


Different Types of Standard Operating Procedure Manuals

There are obviously many different types of SOP Manuals across many industries. For example, lets take a look at this example which below which explains the purpose of SOPs from aircraft manufacturers.

www.skybrary.aero | Types of SOP | digital image, accessed 29th November 2020 | https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Standard_Operating_Procedures_(SOPs)

You can see that in this example, SOP are instruction tools used to communicate how to operate the aircraft or abide by regulations.


Standard Operating Checklists

Checklists Mean Quality

If you don’t have checklists in your business you need to get them ASAP. It might seem pretty obvious, however this simple tool makes a massive difference to your whole organization. It is really the only way to ensure quality through others which is the key to building your business.

Quality is built around checklists. It’s not really rocket science. If you want high standards for your business you need your quality control to have a benchmark.

A benchmark is your checklists.

Checklists should be simple, easy to follow and step by step. Combine a checklist with a procedure and your quality system is looking pretty good – don’t you think?

Checklist Template Free Download

We use a lot of checklists in our business. They have become very useful to ensure complex issues are not forgotten and quality is delivered.

Team members may not like using them at first, however once they get used to them, the difference is dramatic. All of a sudden things will get done correctly. So if you have a quality control issue in your business, then you should consider checklists immediately.

Check out a simple checklist below. All it does is list out the tasks required in order. You as the operator of the business should have an intimate knowledge of the process required or at least a detailed understanding though other team members so you can assist them in creating the right checklists that ensure perfect quality in your organization.

Simple Standard Operating Procedure Checklist | Checklist Template

If you want to see what a checklist in Word format then we have created a link for you below to download it. It’s just a simple example of a checklist you could have for any task in your organization. However, feel free to use it as a base template if you need to.

What about Innovation?

SOP checklists are great for ensuring your core business is delivered each and every time to a certain standard. However, what about innovation, creativity and principles that may not necessarily have a tick box to complete?

It will depend on the type of business you have. So let’s firstly take a look at that and determine what your business is and what you are trying to achieve with it. It makes a difference on how you set your system up.

What type of business do you have?

A Simple Business

These types of businesses include small organizations such as a burger bar, coffee shop, takeaway or retail goods outlet. They are pretty simple. Get product from the wholesaler and sell it at a higher margin. There is not much complexity going on here.

Firstly, you may have a business that has a set product, set market and set deliverables. If you want an autonomous business, then this is what you should aim for. You then just need to keep on top of industry trends and the marketplace and ensure the demand doesn’t change.

A Complex Business

However, what if you have a business that is more complex? You are likely to need to innovate. Design, invent, create and deliver. A much more complex arrangement. How do you drive innovation through systems for these types of businesses?

Innovation can be a little more difficult to rollout throughout your organization. It comes back to culture, your team, their experience, their drive, their beliefs and how much they risk they take. Also, management and leadership from the top is critical.

If you cannot setup a system that drives innovation, then your business will stay where it is.

Build Your System Around Your Business Type

The question is – what type of business do you have and what type of business do you want?

A business that just produces income for you without you being involved or a complex business that you are fully immersed in, to change the world?

They are 2 different types and should be setup differently. A business that just produces income autonomously is likely to be a more simple business that has a core deliverable and focuses on this only.

A complex business will have challenges with innovation and creativity and therefore is likely to be the type of business where the operator or owner is fully immersed in the business. Thrilling stuff.


Sections of a Comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure Manual

Reduce Overwhelming Complexity

Business can be a complex beast. Even simple business can be overwhelming. Get online and you will be swamped with the massive amount of information on how to operate or structure your business. A lot of it is fluff.

Let’s get real though. Basically – you have a product or service and you sell it at a higher price than it takes to produce to make a profit. That’s it really.

However, what a 5 pillars of a business that should be at least the minimum sections of your standard operating procedure manual template? Let’s investigate those a bit further.

5 Pillars or Sections for Your Standard Operating Procedure Manual

Pillar 1
Product or Service

Pillar 2
Operations

Pillar 3
Human Resources

Pillar 4
Finance

Pillar 5
Marketing

They are 5 solid pillars you can operate your business around. Get those sections into your Standard Operating Procedure Manual and you are well on your way to creating a solid business.

Let’s take a look at these sections in detail.

Pillar 1 – The Organization and it’s Product or Service

Section Contents
You need to be clear about this one. What is your product or service? Is there demand for your product or service? This section of your SOPMT should be descriptive and outline all the products or services you sell.

It can also include all the general things such as company details and organization structure. Fun stuff!

Required Documentation
There is probably not a great deal of procedures and checklists required for this section. It in more explanatory and informative for your team.

Pillar 2 – Operations

Section Contents
This one can be complex. How to deliver your product or service and who is in charge of what. Get this large section of your SOPMT sorted and your business will be well on it’s way to delivering quality to your customers.

Required Documentation
Checklists and procedures required for this section. Checklists for quality control and procedures for how to deliver.

Pillar 3 – Human Resources

Section Contents
People are a major part of most businesses and therefore need their own section. This section should be about how to manage the human side of your organization. Easier said than done.

Required Documentation
Policies required for this section including expected behavior, entitlements and conflict resolution strategies.

Pillar 4 – Finance

Section Contents
Tax, profit, turnover, forecasting and all those great number games happen in this section. Don’t forget your professional advice from your accountant.

Required Documentation
Checklists and procedures required for this section also. Have tax requirements been met? Profit and loss reporting and a range of other reporting to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions.

Pillar 5 – Marketing

Section Contents
Marketing is an all important section and includes sales, customer fulfillment, satisfaction and delivery of what we say we are going to do. Not always easy when those operations guys want to do it their way!

Required Documentation
Finally, checklists about what needs to be done in terms of marketing, quality control and message control and procedures on how to deliver the marketing through all the relevant channels such as media, social media, website and other communication methods.

So there are 5 basic pillars to start your SOPMT off with. These pillars could be elaborated on further depending on your business.


Summary

So there are a few items to consider if you are looking for a free SOP manual template. Plenty of things to consider there and also don’t forget to check out Digital Documents Direct Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template if you need something more detailed.

If you have a small or medium business and are struggling or if you have just started your business we highly recommend you start on your Operating Procedure Manual now.

Put everything else aside for at least a day or two until you can get your system setup in heading in the right direction. This is a massive task however it will add a bucket load of value to your business.

Think about it This Way

Think about it this way. If you are wanting to sell your business in the future and you are not involved in the day to day operations, you potentially have a very valuable business.

However, if you are right in there everyday pulling all the strings and still operating the organization, it won’t be such an attractive buy for anyone, if at all.

This is all underpinned by your Operating Procedures. These things are not just there to make something look nice or gather dust on the shelf. They are there because they are the foundation of your organization and add significant value.

Get this right and you will either have a very good business that supports a lot of people and/or a very sell-able business.

Get started today!

Got any comments? Feel free to leave a comment below.

20 Free Essential Policy Templates for Your Team

Policies should be part of your Quality System. You can create policies for your business using policy templates. If you don’t have policies in your organization, chances are your team are running your business anyway they want.

Policies are essential to set the rules and guidelines of expected behavior. People are not perfect, and rules and guidelines are there to help them get through their day and through their work so that your business operates successfully.


What Are Policies?

So what are policies? Management Study Guide define policies as guidelines developed by an organization to govern it’s actions. See the definition below.

https://www.managementstudyguide.com/business-policy.htm

If you currently own a small or medium business, do you have any policies for your team to follow? If not, how do you manage issues when they arise?

Maybe you have a hands on management style and deal with each issue as it arises. However, as your organization grows, this will become harder to manage. It makes sense to have individual policies that assist you to deal with issues across your business.


Why Policies are Important for Your Business

You might operate a small 2 or 3 person business. Maybe you believe that policies for a business of this size are not relevant or practical. However, think a bit further into the future.

If you employ another person, if you don’t have any policies, you will have to explain everything to them over again. Waste of your time? Most likely when you can prepare a list of policies and have them ready to go into your quality manual system.

Relevance for Your Organization

You might think that a Corporate Responsibility Policy is not relevant to your business. However, what if your business grows? What if you start picking up some government contracts or significant clients? What if you need to respond to a tender and they ask for this information? If you have it already to go it is going to be a lot easier to apply for that contract.

A lot of professional companies want to ensure they are doing business with reputable businesses and if you provide them with professional information from day one, it is highly likely they will be impressed. Your business will operate more professionally and therefore have a better chance of securing more work.

What if something actually does go wrong between your business and your team member? Have you previously communicated the standards and expectations of the business before the incident? If not, you might have some explaining to do if the incident is serious.

So you can see there are many positive benefits of implementing policies in any business regardless of the size. It makes perfect business sense to get hold of some policy templates and activate these important documents into your business as soon as you can.

Policies Bring Many Benefits to Your Business

In summary, there are many benefits of having policies for your business.

Policies can bring in more work by presenting your business as professional.

They can show your team you are serious about business and expect them to behave appropriately.

Policies can set the ground rules for your business and make it easier to operate.

They can show your customers and clients that you are serious about delivering your products or services to them.

Policies help to get your systems in place and inform new team members when they start in your business.

It is certainly worth the effort to implement policies in your business as soon as possible. If you haven’t got any policies in your business then consider Digital Documents Direct policy templates and create your policies in minutes instead of months.


What Policies are Useful?

Policy Rules | Don’t Over-complicate Policies

There are tons of potential policies. You could have a policy for just about anything. Would anyone ever read them? If you swamp your team with information, chances are they will switch off pretty quickly.

However, if you have a searchable database for your business that holds all the relevant information, then your team will be able to search for any relevant topic or policy when the need arises.

So it makes sense to have policies for the important aspects of your business. Below we take a look at 20 essential policies that every business should have and a free description of each one. So let’s get started.


20 Essential Business Policy Templates

Let’s take a look in detail of 20 essential business policies that you might want to consider for your small or medium business. Below is a list of typical policies that may be important for your business depending on the type of business it is.

Some policies are crucial such as a Health and Safety Policy while others maybe not be as important for your business.

The key is to ensure you apply the relevant policies based around your team and how they work and behave.

Policy 1 – Anti Bullying Discrimination And Harassment

A crucial policy for any business, the aim of this policy is to provide a workplace that is safe and free from any forms of harassment for all employees, visitors and personnel.

Certainly any negative behavior can cause significant problems for any business so ensuring your team know what the rules are around their behavior is important.

Policy 2 – Cell Phone Usage

The aim of this policy is to provide employees with guidelines regarding personal cell phone usage within the workplace. This policy outlines the use of personal cell phones at work. Use of cell phones for personal use during paid working time does not uphold company aims and standards.

Policy 3 – Code of Conduct

Providing a positive work environment and an expectation that all employees will represent the company with integrity is an essential policy to have for any business.

Policy 4 – Corona-virus Covid-19

This policy ensures your organization is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees, contractors, and visitors.

Policy 5 – Corporate Responsibility

Operating in a responsible and sustainable manner is important for any organization. Social, economic and environmental responsibilities are integral to operating a business. The objective of this policy is to provide a guide for all stakeholders on the values which underpin the conduct of your business and your relationships.

Policy 6 – Discipline and Termination

Providing a fair and equitable work environment where all employees will be treated fairly, equally, and consistently is essential for creating a harmonious work environment. Each employee needs to understand the effects of their behavior and essentially the consequences if they continue to not meet the organizations standards.

Policy 7 – Drugs and Alcohol

To provide a workplace that is safe and free from any form of drug or alcohol abuse is something ever business owner should be striving for. Not tolerating any form of drug or alcohol abuse in the workplace is smart business and ensuring your team know this is a part of operating a successful company.

Policy 8 – Environmental

Is your organization committed to conducting business in a responsible manner by considering any potential risk to human health and the environment? Business activities have significant impacts on the environment and minimizing the impacts of your business leaves a legacy for future generations.

Policy 9 – Equal Employment Opportunity

Does your organization provide a workplace that is free from any form of discrimination? It makes good business sense to ensure your team are aware of providing equal opportunities for all. A diverse workplace is a healthy work environment and underpins the communities in which we work.

Policy 10 – Grievance Handling

Aiming to ensure that employees, sub-contractors, contractors, visitors, and management have opportunity to express grievances and have them resolved in a fair, equitable and prompt manner makes good business sense. Negative relationships and issues can dramatically impact on business performance.

Policy 11 – Health and Safety

A crucial policy for any organization, committing to the reduction and prevention of on-the-job accidents and illness should be one of the first policies a business rolls out.

Policy 12 – Incident Management

Incidents impact business in many negative ways. If they do occur, do you have a policy to address them? A detailed incident management policy should be descriptive and informative for your team to assist in managing the impacts from any incident.

Policy 13 – Internet and Email

Internet and email can cause significant issues if abused. Committing to providing a positive work environment and ensuring employees are expected to maintain proper usage of company resources, facilities, and infrastructure makes good business sense.

Policy 14 – Non Smoking

Providing a positive, healthy, and smoke free work environment is essential for any organization. It typically is expected that all employees will represent your organization accordingly.

Policy 15 – Privacy

The aim of this policy is to protect the personal information of the customers, clients, contractors, and employees of Company. Privacy is a major concern with the amount of connected devices. Does your business have a privacy policy?  

Policy 16 – Quality

Does your business consistently provide products and services that meet or exceed the requirements and expectations of customers? Quality is something that ensures your business will bee around for the future. Provide low quality work or services and see how hard it is to stay in business. 

Policy 17 – Recruitment

Aiming to attract and recruit the best possible candidates who will contribute to your organizations reputation and build on your existing business will allow you to build a quality company. Is your organization an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, physical or mental disability, or age?

Policy 18 – Social Media

Social media is a dominating force. Used incorrectly it can create major issues for your organization. Are you is committed to providing a professional and lawful media via all media channels which includes social media?

Policy 19 – Travel

The aim of this policy is to provide Company employees with guidelines regarding travel for business purposes. Travel for business can be a major part of your employee’s position description so have you provided guidelines for assisting them?

Policy 20 – Work From Home

The aim of this policy is to provide employees with guidelines regarding the range of leave and flexible working arrangements available and to assist staff to manage their work and personal responsibilities while working from home.


So there we go. 20 essential business policies for any small business. If you are looking for more detailed versions of the policies above them consider Digital Documents Directs policy templates.

Click any of the links above to read more or consider our Policy and Procedure Manual Template.


When are Policies and Procedures Useless

So, when are policies absolutely useless and a waste of time? The answer is – when they are not used.

Obviously, if you are going to create a bunch of policies and then stick them in a database or print them and hide them in the cupboard then you are just wasting your time.

The last thing you need are team members that are not interested in learning about your organization policies or deliberately ignoring them.

The Best Way to Get Your Team to Use Policies

As business operator, how hard is it to create and roll-out policies? It shouldn’t be that difficult. However it can be difficult to get your team to use them and refer to them. You as manager or business operator need to find a creative way to ensure your team use your policies.

Our Strategy

What we do in our business is we have a large searchable database that holds all policies and information regarding procedures and rules around our business. When team members ask a question, managers point them to a link in the policy and procedure manual. If they have any questions after reading the link, then they can ask their manager further.

This works extremely well. Eventually new team members understand that they should look in the policy and procedure manual first prior to asking questions. If they still can’t work it out then the business culture is to ask someone else and not be afraid of doing so.

The key to getting it to work correctly is the managers. They need to refer team members to the quality system every time. This also identifies any questions that may not be in the quality system and therefore can be added.

You cannot expect team members to read a massive amount of information daily surrounding policies. They may not necessarily need to. However if you as the manager or operator spot something that is being performed incorrectly or behavior that doesn’t meet the company standards, then it is time to pull out the policy or procedure and inform the team member of the expectations.

With the amount of information overload occurring everyday, a ‘live’ policy and procedure quality system is the only way to go.

Your Strategy

So what is your strategy? Do you have policies in your business and how do you get your team to use them correctly?

If you have a contribution to make regarding policies, then feel free to make a comment below. We would love to hear how you have been successful or unsuccessful in rolling out policies in your business.


A Detailed Policy Example

Below is a detailed policy example of a Cell Phone Usage Policy. You can see there is enough content in the policy to explain the rules. You can start the policy with an aim. This would outline the policy and what it is about.

After this, you could then go into the detail of the policy and any specific rules you need to communicate to your team. You should be specific so there are no misunderstanding. Check it out below.

Cell Phone Usage Policy

AIM
The aim of this policy is to provide Company employees with guidelines regarding personal cell phone usage within the workplace.

This policy outlines the use of personal cell phones at work. Use of cell phones for personal use during paid working time does not uphold the aims and standards of this organization.

All employees need to be familiar with and follow the guidelines below.


After providing an aim, then go into more detail of your expectations. Review the example below.


POLICY
General, non-urgent personal cell phone usage is distracting and is not permitted during paid working time.

Employees who use their cell phones excessively may:
– get distracted from their work.
– not be productive.
– disturb colleagues by speaking on their phones.
– cause security issues from inappropriate use of company-issued equipment or misuse of our company’s internet connection.
– cause accidents when they illegally use their phones inside company vehicles or near areas where using phones is prohibited.


You could also elaborate about who the policy is applicable to and follow up with any disciplinary action if relevant. Review the example below.


DISCIPLINARY ACTION
A person who is found to break the cell phone usage policy will be subject to disciplinary action which could include immediate suspension of their employment or immediate termination of their employment.

You can copy and paste this policy above and use it if you wish. Also check out our detailed policies you can purchase if you wish to save a ton of time.


How to Develop Policies

Developing your own policies is going to take significant effort. However, it will be worth the effort as it will improve your business dramatically. It will also force you to consider possible scenarios that may arise and think about consequences of certain events. This helps to prepare you for when an event actually occurs.

Policies Boost Profit

So there are plenty of benefits or creating policies for your organization. How do you develop your own policies?

The first thing to do is research. Take a look at the policies other organizations have. There is a ton of this information online. Also look into universities. They have a massive amount of policies and seem to go overboard with the number of policies they roll out.

Start collating a list of policies you think may be relevant to your team and small business. Remember, it is going to take significant effort to create each policy, so eliminate the policies you think are not going to be relevant.

Draft a Policy List

Once you have your final list of policies, now think about the structure you would like to present them in. They need to be easy to read and easy to understand. Make them complicated and no-one will read or use them.

Your structure could be similar to the detailed example above. An introduction or aim to summarize the policy. A detailed body of the policy that explains all the rules and then a few sections explaining who the policy is relevant for, where the accountabilities are and what the disciplinary actions could be. Read more below.

Headings for Each Policy

So you have worked out what policies you need. Now set up the framework that will apply to every policy. If you make the sections of each policy the same, it will be a lot easier for people to understand and grasp quickly and easily.

The following headings may suit.

Aim (Introduce what the policy is about)
Policy (The detail of the policies – rules and guidelines)
Accountabilities (Who is accountable for what)
Relevance (Who the policy applies to)
Disciplinary Actions (What action will be taken)
Terms (Relevant terminology for the policy)

How to Develop Your Own Policies Infographic
How to Develop Your Own Policies

You can see it will be a ton of work to create your policies so get ready for some head down typing and research.

You could however just purchase Digital Document Direct’s policies and be done with it in minutes instead of months.


How Policies will Change your Business


If you don’t think policies will change your business then – think again.

After you implement policies throughout your business you will see some significant changes. If you currently don’t have any policies whatsoever in your business then chances are your team are running parts of your business however they see fit.

How Policies will Change your Business | Digital Documents Direct.com

If you want to run your business that way – then of course – up to you. However if you want to build an enterprise that not only contributes to your community but also provides income for your team’s families and your own family, then consider how policies will change your organization.

A big word of caution though. You may have experienced or worked for an organization with a ton of policies. Policies for this and policies for that. Local Authority Councils and Governments come to mind. They have rules for this and that and are prepared to enforce them at the drop of a hat.

Is This the Best Way?

If you think this is the best way to dominate your team members then this possibly might need a rethink. Policies are supposed to be guidelines to set benchmarks. People fail and people have faults – so use your policies wisely.

No one is perfect and chances are, you the business owner isn’t perfect either. So when something happens in your business that is a failure – take a breath and deal with it like true leader. Don’t just whip out your policies and police them. Give people some grace.

Implementing policies throughout your business will see your team pull together in the one direction. This is going to improve many areas of your organization including improving efficiency and also importantly, improving profit.

You might be wondering how that this could be possible? So maybe think about it this way.

Scenario 1 – Team Member Performance Benchmarks

If you have a number of team members that are harder to manage than others for various reasons, then implementing policies across your business will set the benchmark for everyone.

Those team members that aren’t performing well enough can then be encouraged to meet the standards of the organization. This goes for how they treat others and their general performance as well.

If you have given them several chances to meet the standards of the policies and of the organization and they are still not achieving this, then you have grounds for moving them on. This is likely going to be better for your organization as well as for them.

This will then open up opportunities to employ others that may be more suited to your business culture and to the position that you require of them. So in summary, having a policy that defines the required behavior of your team sets a benchmark for everyone to meet.

More Efficient

Efficiencies come out of this when you apply the policies across your team members and make changes in accordance with your policies for the benefits of every one of your organization.

You can see from the example above that just implementing a few policies across your organization can change your business for the better. It can change team culture and efficiencies which are two significant things that affect profit.

Simple changes across your organization can make a huge difference to how your business performs. Systems and procedures, policies and rules, are things that you need to apply to your organization if you want to see it grow in the right direction.

As business owner, you possibly may see these things as annoying or a hassle to create and apply. However these things should be the foundational bedrock of your organization. They set the tone, create the benchmarks and provide structure and rules around your business.


Policies For People

Most policies focus on performance and behavior. As generally all businesses employ people, policies are made for people and therefore it’s important to have a collaborative approach between your team and your policies.

Policies aren’t built for machines. Therefore, you need to expect your team to make mistakes and not meet policies. When there are problems, how do you deal with them? What is the best way to respond?

Policies for Employees (not machines) | Digital Documents Direct.com

With kindness and understanding. If people are deliberately being difficult then it becomes time to enforce the policies in a strict form. After-all, they are employed in the business for a reason.

Your Business Positive Impacts

If you have a small business, then obviously you are not a large corporate. We would suggest you don’t need to act like one. Large corporates don’t necessarily do a lot of good for the planet. Even though they say and think they do.

You can change and impact the world with your small business in a much more positive way than large corporates can.

Typically they consume massive amounts of resources with the primary goal of generating as much profit as possible. This may not be what your small business is about.

If you’re finding that your policies are too strict and no one can meet the benchmark the neither you are expecting too much of people or you are being unrealistic.

Obviously depending on what sort of business you a running depends on how high the standards are. Pretty much in every industry sector, standards are getting higher and higher so it makes sense to encourage your team to meet the benchmarks and to perform to a high-level.


Frequently Asked Questions

What policies do I need for my business?

Determine what policies your business needs by the type of business you operate, the tasks your team perform and risks associated with performing your expertise. Standard business policies will apply to nearly all organizations such as Anti-Bullying, Health and Safety and Drugs and Alcohol.

What are the benefits of having policies?

Policies bring many benefits to your organization. They set the benchmark for your team. They document what your business stands for. They provide a tool for resolving disputes and poor behavior and they ensure your organization is operating professionally which can assist in generating higher profit.

How do I develop business policies?

Developing your own policies is going to take significant effort. However, it will be worth the effort as it will improve your business dramatically. You can research policies online and draft your own or purchase policies from numerous online sources.

How do I get my team to use our policies?

Ensure your policies are easy to access, easy to read and understand and easy to apply. Your team will have different skill sets so ensuring your policies are suitable for the whole of your team is important.


A Free Work from Home Policy to Maximize Team Productivity – Download Now

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation so many people are working from home. It has exploded. Even before the current pandemic, a lot of businesses would allow their team to work remotely or from home. Also called flexible working arrangements, if you are a business owner, how do you ensure your team are still productive and deliver products and services as they normally would?

Image of Work from Home Policy Cover Page

Work From Home Policy Template

Well, it is a bit harder but certainly not impossible. If you have a great team and they are hard workers it will be easier. If some of your team like to take a break and kick back while the boss is not around, then it is likely to be more difficult to monitor their effectiveness and productivity.

A great idea to help manage expectations is to create a work from home policy which identifies the rules your business has regarding working from home.

You can use a work from home policy template to achieve this. This will save you a ton of time and effort. If you don’t have time to think of all the detail and get it together and check it and recheck it, then using a template will help you save all of this effort.

Let’s look a bit in detail about what expectations you should have and what your team could be thinking. Then we will check out some detail about what should be in a typical work from home policy and what you can consider adding into yours.


What Are Your Expectations as Business Owner?

Do you expect your team to be contactable all the time? What are your expectations when it comes to taking breaks? Is it the same as being in the office? Do you expect them to be on call 100% of the time during work hours?

All of these issues you should think about as a business operator and set the rules for your team so they understand what your expectations are.

Ask Your Team

Have you asked your team what they think about working from home?
If you haven’t thought about this then maybe it might be a good time to check in with them and see what they think.

In a pandemic situation, you might not have a choice and your team may be forced to work from home. However under normal circumstances, it is worth engaging with your team to find out their thoughts about working from home.

It easy to assume that your staff want to work from home. They may prefer to work from the office. So check with them first before you go ahead and set up your policies about working from home. It’s going to save you a lot of time and effort if none of your team are keen to work from home.


Plan a Policy

So now that you’ve worked out whether or not you need a work from home policy and determined that some of your staff would like to work from home, it’s time to get together a policy.

How does your business actually operate? Can your team actually work from home or do some of your team work on site and some of your team work in the office?

Most businesses have at least a few people working in the office dealing with administration tasks and accounts for example. These tasks can be easily transferred to home. However if your team need close monitoring while they work, then working from home could be a disaster.

I am sure your team are also going to have some expectations about what they can and cannot do so it is a good idea to make the conversation a 2 way street. Take the time to get together a policy that works best for your business and plan a policy around the way your business operates. A standard policy might need to be tweaked to suit.


Safety First

As an employer, you still have a requirement to ensure the health and safety of your employees even when they are working from home. This may sound surprising, however, working from home is similar to going to site or working on site. Basically any activity that is being performed for the business.

You should minimize risks as much as you can. This means working together with your team to establish a safe home environment including a safe working place and workstation that meets Workplace Health and Safety requirements.

What are the Risks?

Have you even considered the risks that your staff may face when working from home? They certainly are some issues that may pop up and it’s worth considering these.

Injury

Firstly let’s consider injuries that may happen at home. It’s a good idea to have some guidelines about how people should set up their workplace environment such as their workstation their desk and chair, keyboard and mouse and typical items that you would normally do in your office. If you have some guidelines around this you should communicate these with your staff members so that they set up their environment correctly.

Your workers also have obligations to minimize any risk when they are working from their home. They need to follow procedures and have a responsibility to operate any equipment correctly that may have been taken home from the work place.

They should also insure they have adequate lighting and ventilation and consider how they sit at their desk. Correctly posture avoids repetitive strain injury that could occur.

There are of course more dangerous hazards such as electricity and ensuring all equipment is maintained and installed correctly. In addition to this, do they have operating smoke alarms in their property?

There are plenty of considerations that you need to take into account when your staff start working from home.

Mental Health Considerations

How about the mental health risks and consideration of these when working from home? Naturally this can be a stressful and uncertain time. Therefore it’s important that your team have access to mental health resources that help them get through their day.

Real risks are being isolated from others, workplace and changes in workplace demand and also and fatigue and poor environmental conditions. All of these issues can affect workers mental health. Further to this, do your staff have young children? This then becomes and extra consideration and how can they deal with their kids on a regular basis while also trying to get their work completed.

Ergonomics

If your team don’t have any knowledge around good ergonomics then it is time to educate them and ensure they apply this at home. You could easly get them to complete a checklist around how they workstation is set up and get them to pass that back to you. This will ensure you have documentation on file and also give them an understanding about your expectations.

Communication

Have regular communication with your team. This can easily be done using Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

It is important for most people to have that connection daily so it makes sense to touch base with them on a regular basis and sometimes this could be several times a day.


Facilities and Tools They Need

Set up employees with the tools they need. Most businesses go a long way to setup their teams at home.

Data Connection

This means contributing to their internet connection and making sure it is high speed. If you run a business where you need to transfer large files then it’s obvious you should set them up with a premium data plan, not the old dial up style!

Desk and a Place to Work

Maybe your team don’t have a suitable space to work. Ask them what they have and contribute to a desk and decent chair if they don’t already have something.

What about a stand up desk? Do you have these in your office? We do. Does anyone sit down anymore? Remember, these people are working for you so giving them the tools and not being stingy makes sense.

Other Facilities and Supplies

Stationary, paper, printer and all the necessary tools are all important if your team normally uses this stuff in your business. Make sure your team have to these things and offer to contribute if they are using them for work.

Focus on performance and results and allow team members to manage work and private lives.


The Detail of a Work From Home Policy

Where do you start? Below is a list of headings you might want to use when creating your WFH (Work From Home) Policy. These are ideas. Your business might be different. Take a look below.

Work Health and Safety
We have spoken about this in detail above. Certainly a good idea and something you should address upfront. Probably one of the first things you should talk about in your policy.

Insurance Arrangements
Have you requested that your team have any particular insurance? They might be crazy not to. What about home insurance and any other relevant insurance.

Information Technology & Cyber Security
Getting access to your server or cloud is essential. Having a fast speed is even more essential. If you don’t provide your team with an ultra fast connection don’t expect productivity to be too good.

Cyber Security could potentially have some impacts on your business if your IT department isn’t on top of this. If you are a small business do you have good virus software in place to ensure you have secured connections between your business and employees homes?

Absences and Leave
What happens if someone needs to take leave? Are there formal procedures in place or does the normal apply?

Work Relationships and Team Building
It’s harder to build a team environment from home. You can do it somewhat over Zoom – however person to person contact is essential if you want it to be successful.

Productivity
Productivity might go out the window when working from home or in maya skyrocket. Whatever it does for your business have you got a tool to measure this and monitor it?

Personal Skills, Attributes and Work Performance
Once again it will depend on the type of staff you have. If they are proactive or if they need constant monitoring. Either way indicating expectations in your policy is important.

Contact Availability
What are the rules surrounding your business? Are your team members available 24 hours a day just because they work from home? Have you even discussed this with them. The agreement should be in your policy so it is fair.

Record of Hours Worked
Once again they need to still fill in time-sheets. If they don’t how are they accountable to you?


Work From Home Policy Template

The Digital Documents Direct Policy has all these items in it all ready to go. Check out the Work from Home Policy Template below. Click this link or the image below to read more. There is a significant bonus when you buy this policy template so check it out.

Image of Work from Home Policy Cover Page

Improvements to Expect from Having a Work from Home Policy

What improvements can you expect from implementing this type of policy in your business?

Firstly, I can say by implementing any policy in your business generally you will see an improvement. If you don’t the policy likely doesn’t suit your team, business or situation or you simply haven’t thought about it well enough.

If your team is switched on, most policies are good for your business. There might be a ton of detail to read, so the key is to make them simple and relevant for your team and most importantly – easily accessible.

No-one will read a policy that is hard to find. If you don’t have a system that is easy to access and then further to this easy to search on then you might as well throw your policies out the window.

With the amount of information technology around today create something simple has become the challenge. Information overload exists in so many forms. The businesses that keep it simple and relevant are the businesses that make a difference.

So let’s get back to the improvements you would expect from implementing this type of policy. Firstly your team will know the rules. Always a good one. Secondly your team will know where they stand and then if they have questions or concerns you have set up an easy way to ask these haven’t you?

Thirdly, your business will still be productive even when you have less access to your team.

And lastly, you will be protecting your team and caring for them. After-all, they are your business and if you look after them, then chances are they will look after your customers and also care about their boss!


A Free Work From Home Policy

If you are looking for a free work from home policy then you can download our example. This policy is a simple version you can use as a base plan to create your policy. Of course, it is simple but will get you started on creating a policy for your business.

If you need something more detailed and are also looking for more policies for your business then check out our paid version. It is comprehensive and includes a ton of other policies all ready to go. You will save a lot of time setting up your policies.

Click here to read more about our paid version.
Click here to download the free version. No sign-ups required. Just a free policy template for you to say thanks for visiting Digital Documents Direct.


Benefits of Working from Home

OK, I am not going to say the benefits are that you can work in your pyajamas……also known as Lock-down Fashion!

That’s not a benefit. ( :

That’s a concern!

However on a serious note there are plenty of benefits of working from home. Here are a few to consider.

Benefit Number 1

No Distractions. YAY! You can get a lot more done if you are working from home and don’t have to look after kids or have any other types of distractions.

Typically being in an office will distract you when someone else shouts or yells at another staff member! The drama is high. So your home has less drama and less distractions. What a bonus!

Also, what about meetings? They can be a massive distraction. People typically don’t like long boring meetings. I know I don’t. Short sharp ones are much better.

There is nothing worse going to a massive long meeting and feeling like it is dragging on forever. You just want to get up and walk out.

Benefit Number 2

A MASSIVE benefit is no commute. If you work in the city and commute everyday my question to you is WHY? How can you do it? I used to do it and no longer do it. Got my life back thanks.

There is nothing worse than sitting in traffic with a bunch of other city slickers all wanting to get home at the same time. Arrrrgg!

Although if you were commuting on a Segway like this guy to the right then you might miss doing that.

However, tell your boss you are no longer doing it. Get a job closer to home or Zoom in everyday. The commute is killing you and the environment. You don”t need to be in there just so you look good. There is nothing in there but fumes and stressed people. ( :

Benefit Number 3

If you have a good setup at home you can walk outside and get some fresh air easily. If you are used to being stuck in an air-conditioned office with the temperature at zero degrees, then working from home will be a breath of fresh air!

Nothing like Mr Wind blowing some fresh air on your face.

An air-conditioned office can be really bad for your health. Fresh air while you are working is so much better!

Benefit Number 4

I bet you have more time to do the things you love. Just cutting out the commute makes a massive difference. The danger is you might not be able to switch off from your work.

If you can’t then separate your work by having it in another room and lock yourself out. Your personal time will increase because you will save a lot of time not having to go to the office and you will find more time to do the things you love.

Make sure you don’t spend that time working!


The Negatives of Working from Home

There can be several negatives about working from home. One major negative is not having the human connection with others. Particularly if you are the type of person that loves the company of others.

Other than that, there are some other drawbacks which you should also consider. Of course, if the work at home policy is enforced for a pandemic like the recent world events, then it is going to be hard to get around the issues that might arise.

Negative Number 1

Isolation. You might feel as though no one is interested in you anymore. A little bit lonely locked up in your house? If you love the company of others, you will certainly feel a bit like this. However, if you like your own company then you probably won’t have as many issues having limited contact with others.

Negative Number 2

Home Office Costs. Your electricity bill might jump and other associated costs may also rise. If you are in winter, then your heating costs could also rise. Worth talking to your boss about this if you have a good one. If you don’t then it might be time for a new job.

Negative Number 3

Risk of overworking. Work might feel like it never goes away. If it is at home all the time it can be difficult to switch off. However, don’t be too concerned. You can easily deal with this. Just go out for a walk or do some exercise and leave your phone at home.

Not being able to switch off is a real risk and feeling attached to the internet and social media can also be a serious issue. If you do this type of work then it can become very difficult to switch off when you need to.

Negative Number 4

Not being productive. Your boss might be hassling you to get your work done faster. This could be because you are getting distracted by the kids, the cat, the dog, the garden or whatever. Maybe even your hobbies. Focusing on work will be hard with this many distractions.

But don’t worry about these things either. It’s good to have a work/life balance and spending time doing these other activities is actually good for you. Just don’t forget you need to get your work done.


Working at Home and the Environment

This is a major one and certainly something you should consider and consider as an employer as well – the environment.

In fact, Global Workforce Analytics, estimates that working from home half the week can reduce emissions by 54 million tons every year! That is well worth the effort.

The reduction in vehicles on the road due to the recent pandemic was colossal. The impacts on the environment were massive and noticeable and the reduction in pollution changed the landscape. Of course, this doesn’t mean we need to be locked up just to reduce the impacts on the environment.

However, it does highlight how much we are impacting the environment because we believe we all need to work together in an office. Do we really need to? Maybe we can balance a work from home and office arrangement and still be productive.


3 Benefits to the Environment from Working from Home

Less Pollution

As mentioned above, the reduction in pollution is a massive benefit. Less pollutants running off our roads and into our creeks, rivers and oceans.

Less Congestion

Less vehicle congestion on the road is a major bonus. All those cars off the road allow the workers that actually use the road as part of their job to have a much easier travel.

A Reduction in Plastic Usage

If you are working from home then you will be less reliant on using plastic. OK This might not be a major reduction however there will certainly be a reduction in single-use plastic food containers, bags, or cutlery.

We can save a lot of time and also save the environment in a significant way by working from home and it is certainly something we should be doing on a regular basis if possible for our employment and employers.


Use a Work From Home Policy Template and Save

What are the benefits of using a work from home policy template? A template is going to save you considerable effort. Using a template means you won’t have to dig around and try and come up with your own policy.

If you don’t have a lot of time then a template certainly is going to save you time. Consider Digital Documents Direct Work from Home Policy Template. This template also comes with a massive bonus of an additional list of other policies. This is going to save you a colossal amount of time when creating policies for your business.


What Are Your Thoughts?

Got any thoughts about working from home or how to implement a policy in your business?

What are things that have worked with your business and what are things that haven’t?

We would love to hear from you. Feel free to contribute below to get the conversation going.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Should be in a Work from Home Policy?

Work Health and Safety, Work Relationships and Team Building, Productivity, Information and Communication Technology are just a few of the things you need to consider when creating a work from home policy.

Where can I find a Work from Home Policy Template

There are plenty of places online to purchase a Work from Home Policy Template. A simple search will reveal lots of opportunities to purchase a template. Which one will you choose?

Why Does my Business need a Work from Home Policy?

Policies help to communicate the facts and rules when it comes to any issue in your business. A policy will help your team understand where they stand with regards to any particular issue and are important to keep your business on an even keel.

How Hard is it to Create a Work from Home Policy?

A work from home policy can take a significant amount of work. It should be tailored to your business. Use a template and save a ton of time.

Free Code of Conduct Policy – Download Yours Now

The behavior of your team members impact directly on your business. If your team’s behavior doesn’t meet your organization’s ethics, you have a problem. How do you fix this?

Staff and also management behavior in business reflects directly on your business. If your team are doing whatever they want, this is a direct reflection of your business on your customers and clients.

Need Policies for Your Business?
Immediate Download Now

The best way to raise the standards of your team is to firstly reflect on your own behavior and set a good example and then also communicate the standards to your team using a code of conduct policy.


Your Behavior Counts

As business owner, your behavior counts. Your team are already looking and watching how you behave. Like your mother told you, actions speak louder than words.

So, if you firstly need to address your own behavior, then consider that before enforcing any policies in your business. Chances are, if you send a Code of Conduct Policy around your business, and then decide to behave otherwise your policy will fall on deaf ears. You will be wasting your time.

Set the standards first in your business by reflecting on your own behavior first and if you need some external help to address and behavior you may believe is detrimental to your business, then seek some professional coaching or assistance first. It will be worth it.

There is nothing more defeating to staff to see their boss set the rules and then blatantly break them in-front of them. Respect immediately goes out the window and staff lose faith in their boss as well as the organization in general.


Set the Code of Conduct Policy Benchmark

Once you have addressed any of your own personal issues, it is time to establish a benchmark of expectations for your organization. The easiest way to do this is to review what others have done and see if it is applicable to your business and personal standards.

You can use a Code of Conduct Template to do this quickly and easily. However, you should review the content in detail and ensure you are happy with the standards.


Where to Find a Code of Conduct Policy Template

A quick search on Google reveals there are about 158,000,000 results regarding a Code of Conduct Policy Template. There are a lot to choose from.

However, most of these are likely to be examples only and not really suitable to create your policy from quickly and easily.

There are a number of examples from businesses and then if you drill down you can find a number of websites requesting subscription based services to provide you with templates.

Read more below about how to get hold of our free Code of Conduct Policy Template.


What should be in a Code of Conduct Policy?

Firstly, it is good to consider what standards you are trying to uphold in your business. If you believe that your business should uphold high standards then you are going to need to communicate this to your team.

Generally in the marketplace over most industries, high standards are expected, so it makes perfect sense to aim for the top and ask your team to do their best.

Secondly, what are your own standards and expectations? It will be hard to enforce a high standard if you don’t follow that standard yourself. It is a bit rich to expect others to uphold a standard if you cannot uphold it yourself.

So think about this carefully before you write out your standards. Below are some things you should consider in your code of conduct policy.


Organization Vision

Do you have a vision for your Organization? If not, it is a great idea to establish a Vision that underpins everything you do. An example of a Vision could be something like:

Client Fulfillment is our Goal for each and every Client

or

Business sustainability is core to what we do.
If we don’t have Clients – we don’t have a Business or a Job

The Vision of your Organization should be reflected in your Code of Conduct Policy. It doesn’t have to repeat the Vision, but should reflect the core principle of what you are trying to achieve.


Organization Values

Following on from your Organization’s Vision, you should also have a list of values that define who you are and how you act. These values are then also reflected in your Code of Conduct Policy. Together these two important documents help to set the tone and set the benchmark for what you expect in your business.

Do you have a vision or values within your organization? If not, take the time to create these basics so that you have the can create a good cornerstone of policy for your organization.

Let’s now talk about some expected standards of behavior.


Expectations of Behavior

What behaviors do you expect? Do you expect your team to be dishonest? Do you expect sloppy work ethics and laziness?

The following are a list of typical expectations you may want to consider for your Organization.

Act Honestly
A basic principle but often ignored. Honesty is always the best policy and ensuring this occurs at all levels of the organization is difficult. It starts from the top and filters down so take the time to reflect on your own behavior if you expect your team to be honest.

Treat Others Fairly
The same goes for how you treat others. Treating your team fairly with dignity, courtesy and respect is a basic principle that should be followed by everyone in the organization including management.

Offensive Language
Do not use offensive language or behavior in the workplace. Behavior of this type can easily offend others and is just unprofessional.

Discrimination
Discrimination in any shape or form is not acceptable. It creates major problems in any business and should be addressed professionally from management.

Bullying or Harassment
The same goes for bullying or harassment. Do not engage in any form of bullying or harassment or physical or verbal conduct and ensure your team knows this.

Act Professionally
Carry out tasks or duties diligently and professionally. Team members need to act professionally at all times and expect others to do the same.

Methods of Reporting
Encourage an environment of reporting unethical and poor behaviors so they can be addressed before things get out of control.

These are just a few standards of behavior that you should expect in your organization. If you set the benchmark low, don’t expect your business to perform well in all areas. Upholding high standards shows good leadership and helping others do their best is what a leader should be doing.

More Expectations of Behavior

No Threats of Violence
Any type of violence is inappropriate. Treating others as you would like to be treated is key to creating a safe workplace.

No Discriminatory Jokes
Jokes can back-fire. OK, it is good to have fun at work but where does the line start and stop? Jokes that discriminate are not appropriate.

Unwelcome sexual attention
Inappropriate behavior is not appropriate either. This type of behavior can create enormous stress for victims and also create a toxic environment. Proactive action from management behalf will help team members feel as though they are being treated fairly and create an environment that is welcoming and safe.

Personal Insults on Others
Treating others appropriately should be a priority for everyone in the organization. Even jokes about insults can damage and harm relationships.


Free Code of Conduct Policy Template

OK, so below is a link to our free code of conduct policy template. However, consider our paid versions as they are much more comprehensive and incredible value for money.

Click the link below to download our free version.

Free Code of Conduct Policy Template.


Continuous Improvement

Just creating a code of conduct is not then end of it. There needs to be a culture of continuous improvement in your organization.

Firstly, you as a leader of your organization manifest your ethics in your attitude and behavior. In addition to this, constant training and enforcement and measuring success and failures is something that needs to occur on a regular basis.

To be successful, your team need to feel comfortable enough to voice any concerns they have and to also understand that the organization will act when appropriate in accordance with the guidelines set.

Any other response will once again fall on deaf ears and employees will lose respect and leave.


Code of Conduct Policy FAQ’s

What is a Code of Conduct Policy in the workplace?

A Code of Conduct Policy outlines expected standards of behavior of all employees, management, sub-contractors and visitors.

What is the best way to create a Code of Conduct Policy?

The fastest way to create your Code of Conduct Policy is to use a Code of Conduct Policy Template. These can be easily purchased online.

What should be in a Code of Conduct Policy?

Firstly it is good to consider what standards you are trying to uphold in your business. If you believe that your business should uphold high standards then you are going to need to communicate this to your team.

Will a Code of Conduct Policy make a difference to my business?

Yes. A Code of Conduct Policy will set the benchmark for standards of behavior in your business. This will then have a ripple effect throughout your business and ensure high standards of performance are achieved.

Free Quality Manual Template

Forget the business development ‘experts’ or business ‘coaches’. A Quality Manual Template will boost your business performance almost overnight. These types of systems are the best way to improve business profit and performance for little to no outlay.

How can you improve your organization dramatically for little money? By delivering quality. Quality brings repeat work and builds trust with your customers. However – it is not easy to deliver quality through other people.

In fact, it is very difficult.

A Quality Manual is the ‘silver bullet’ you have been looking for. Forget any business coach or development expert. Focus on your Quality Manual and watch your business improve.

How does your quality manual look at the moment? Do you even have one? If you don’t, how does your team know what standards to meet? Get your Quality Manual underway ASAP.

There are plenty of places online to find quality manuals. However, finding the right quality manual template for your business is certainly going to take some work. It’s unlikely you will find a quality manual for your specific business.

However let’s take a look at what options you have. So let’s get into it!


What is a Quality Manual?

A quality manual is a business tool that is extremely important for any business. It doesn’t matter if you make coffee or if you make gadgets, a quality manual is something you must have in your business.

A quality system is about documenting your business processes to ensure delivery of your product or service to a set benchmark.

These benchmarks could be low or high. The point is, you are aiming to meet the benchmark each and every time you deliver your product or service.

The quality manual includes a massive amount of content that covers all parts of your business from accounting to production through to human resources.


What Types of Organizations Need a Quality Manual?

What types of organizations require a quality manual? I would say every business requires one.

A quality manual or a quality management manual is essential for business survival. If you are not producing your product or service the same each and every time, your business is going to struggle to survive.

Most industries are highly competitive and becoming more competitive each day. You must keep up or close up.

It takes significant effort to deliver products and services consistently and trying this in any business without a quality manual is a recipe for failure.


What is the Purpose of Having a Quality Manual?

As mentioned above the purpose of having a quality manual is to ensure quality of output. However, it is more than that.

A quality manual helps to get your team on the same path. It helps to bind the business together and get it pointing and operating in the one direction.

Any business needs direction. Without direction it is like a ship at sea without a rudder.


Does my Business need a Quality Manual?

Yes, your business needs a quality manual. Why? Because if you don’t have a quality manual then it is highly likely your competitors already do.

You think you might be able to run your business without a quality manual, and sure you probably can. But what sort of business do you really have without a quality manual?

Not really a business. More like a management job. A quality manual helps you run your business and helps to guide your team to produce their work each and every day to a standard that is required.

If you don’t have a quality manual then get one as soon as possible. Use a quality manual template for small business. The rewards will be huge and your business will produce better quality work, be more profitable and you will have less stress.


Small, Medium or Large Business, Does it Matter?

Does it really matter if your business is small, medium or large? Not really. If you want to satisfy customers and ensure they come back for more, then producing quality is going to help you do this.

No amount of social media posts are going to help a business that already produces poor quality services or products. Focus on building your quality system first and then think about your social profile later.

A quality management system template for small business or a medium or large business is going to help build your system fast and sustain your business for the long term.


Can I use a generic Quality Manual Template to Create my Manual?

Yes you can. Finding and using a generic quality management manual template will allow you to get the business basics activated quickly. You could find a quality manual sample online and try to copy it, however this is likely going to take significant effort.

If speed is important for you then using a quality management template will allow you to create a quality system fast.

You can purchase a quality manual template for business that allows you to set up a system in an instant and customize it to suit your business.


Where can I find a Free Quality Manual Template?

A Google search reveals quite a lot of results related to free quality manual templates. Over 320 million results all related to free quality manuals. However, are any of these any good? Check out the results below.

If you have a small business, you need not complicate things. Just keep it simple. So you may be able to find a free quality manual template that suits your business fairly easily.

However, a lot of paid versions are going to help you dramatically so it might be better in the long run to purchase a template depending on your budget.

You can also consider our free quality manual template and paid versions from Digital Documents Direct.

Digital Documents Direct have a free quality manual template that you can download. This template is a basic template so if you need something more advanced then consider our paid versions. They are much more comprehensive and allow you to set up a system quickly and efficiently.

If you are looking for a free simple quality manual template, download our free version at the following link. Free Quality Manual Template.

OK, it’s not very comprehensive and you are better off purchasing our detailed version, however it will get you started if you are on a shoe-string budget.

100% free from Digital Documents Direct. We hope you find it useful.


What are the best ways to create a Quality Manual fast for my Business?

Definitely the fastest and cheapest way to set up a quality system is to use MS Word (Microsoft Word). This allows you to get the content together as fast as possible and you can implement it instantly.

There are no license fees or software fees to pay (apart from having an MS Word license), just typically a one off purchase fee to buy a template and get underway instantly.

Use MS Word quality manual templates and save time and effort.

The benefits of creating your Quality Manual in MS Word

So creating a quality manual in Word is a great way to kick things off. You can build your quality manual instantly and deliver it to your team quickly.

It will allow you to also think about the layout and the structure before you go committing to any software or website based system before you even know where you are heading with this thing.

Here are 3 Cool benefits of using MS Word to start off your quality manual.

Benefit 1 – It’s very cost effective

It will save you money. Creating a QM in MS Word will allow you to create it quickly and cheaply. If you are starting it from scratch you want to not over commit at the beginning to see what works. So creating it in MS Word is going to achieve this for you.

Benefit 2 – Start Immediately

You can start right away. Immediately. Even after you have finished reading this post. Either purchase a MS Word template to get you started or start your own from scratch.

This is a great benefit because you need to remember this document is an ever changing document and something that needs to be updated daily.

Benefit 3 – Easy to Distribute

You can roll it out almost instantly. If your team are on desktops then it is easy to send them a link to where you have saved it.

If your team are roaming around, then a printed out version is going to help them.

Whatever the situation, creating a Quality Manual in MS Word is fast, easy, cheap and effective almost immediately. Using a paid template makes it even easier.


What Should be in a Quality Manual Anyway?

So you may be wondering what should be in a quality manual? Well it really depends on your business. However, if you can get as much information in it as possible, it is going to help your team every single day.

From checklists to procedures through to rules and guidelines. It doesn’t really matter what you call them. The important point is that you need to have detailed instructions for everything.

Processes to Follow

Part of a QMS is including process documents and guidelines for your team to follow.

See the graphic below. It gives you an idea of a step by step process. OK, there is no way you are going to do this for every task in your business – however you get the idea that the process needs to be explained for people to follow.

Just think about the last time you bought something you had to assemble? It is basically the same principle. Get the instructions into your Procedure Manual and Quality System and this will help your team every day to perform their role and job.

What about checklists? Are they part of a QMS system?

Yes, for sure. You should have checklists for everything. This will help new team members and even existing team members hit the quality control benchmark you expect for your business.

OK, here below is a very simple example. However, it doesn’t matter how small the job is.

The impression you give to your Clients is in the detail so you need your team to be aware of the standards required and checklists achieve this easily.


ISO Quality Management System

OK, so if your business is growing then you are likely to want to consider ISO 9001:2015. This is a standard for a Quality Management System and is something you use to see if your QMS is meeting the benchmark.

So, you need to purchase the standard and then have your business rated.

Really, if you have a small business then it is unlikely to be worth your time or expense. You could likely build a more relevant quality system yourself instead. It is really for businesses that want to grow significantly and need to control the growth.

As stated on their website:

The standard “aims to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.”

https://www.iso.org/standard/62085.html


A Very Easy Quality Manual Template

If you are looking for a more detailed quality manual template then read more about Digital Documents Directs template on our website at this link below or click the image.

Quality Manual Template.

Quality Manual FAQ

How do you write a Quality Manual?

You can start writing a quality manual either by using a quality manual template or starting from scratch. Think about your customers first and what they expect from your business. Then document all the processes in your business and the steps to achieve the quality you are aiming for.

What is in a Quality Manual

It will depend on your type of business. However it should have everything from policies through to step by step instructions on how to complete tasks. You will need this for each department of your business.

What is the purpose of Quality Manual?

A quality manual is a communication tool. It communicates to your team how they should complete their role, position and job and to meet specific quality benchmarks for your product or service.

How much does a Quality Manual Template cost?

Quality manual templates can range from a few dollars to hundreds or even thousands of dollars. It really depends on whether or not you require a turn-key solution or are prepared to put some effort in to building a specific quality management system for your business.

5 Ways a Design Brief Will Increase Your Profit

Design brief advantages

Using a design brief will make a difference to your business and also to your bottom line. But how exactly? Let’s take a look at design brief’s in general and also look at 5 ways a design brief allows you to not only look better, but also increase profit for your design studio or business.

Check out this design brief template and create your design brief fast.


What is a design brief ?

A design brief gathers all the information regarding a proposal prior to designing something including any information such as such as aims and objectives or goals that need to be achieved.

Design brief template - design
This isn’t a design brief – it’s just a cool design

It really isn’t a difficult document to put together and will allow you present your business more professionally with your Client.

Therefore, it is highly recommended.

A design brief will profile your business and talk about the history and ethos behind your brand. It will also identify your strengths and specializations for example the things you are good at.

Remember this – you should be differentiating yourself when presenting your business.

How is your business different?

Take a look at this a bit further down the page and find out more about how to differentiate your business even if it is the same as any other business.


Who uses a design brief ?

Design briefs are used by design professionals such as web designers, architects, interior designers and generally anyone that provides design as a service.

Architect Drawing Board – Zeichen Machine – viewed 28 June 2020.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drawing_board#/media/File:Zeichenmaschine.jpg

The idea behind a design brief is to identify the tasks that you are going to take.

This type of document is used by professionals to communicate their business better. Web designers, architects, interior designers, engineers or whoever, it doesn’t really matter. The point is, these types of professionals should all be using design briefs to lift the professionalism of their business and consulting services.

If you are one of the types of professionals above or any other type of service based design profession, then you should use a design brief for every Client you engage.


How to differentiate yourself from everyone else that is the same

So, if you are a design professional, what is the difference between you and the guy next door?

It is going to be difficult. You should identify what is different and how you are different first before producing any marketing material or design brief.

Maybe you are thinking right now – well there isn’t much difference between me and the dude next door. How am I different?

Do you produce good quality service fast and at a competitive rate? Is that what makes you different?

Well, let’s be upfront straight away. That is not what makes you different. Anyone can do that.

Maybe you have a cool business card, logo and business name? Is that what sets you apart?

Not likely. That too can be copied very easily.

What about your office premises and the car you drive.

Nope, they are also things that are no different from anyone else if they chose to copy you.

The only real thing you have in a service based or consulting based business that is completely different is…..

YOU !

That’s right, no one can be you. No one has the same personality as you. No one has that weird laugh you have or the same hair (if you have any).

So, you must use this as your marketing weapon. That means getting comfortable about who you are and using your unique personality to relate to your potential clients and staff.

That makes all the difference and is how you differentiate yourself with your serviced based consulting business.

Now, turn that personality into a business and let it flow to all areas of your business and you will have a unique business no one can copy.

That’s what you are aiming for. Get that into your design brief and see how you go!


5 ways a design brief increases profit

Get Organized

So firstly consider how you work daily. Are you the type of person that is everywhere all day – jumping from one thing to another and then you get to the end of the day and wonder how effective you have really been?

If so, it is likely you might approach your customers and clients like this. This can be good and bad, however if you relate this to a design brief, it isn’t likely the most effective way to approach your clients.

Organization means more profit – usually.

It will make you think about what you are doing

Secondly, you will be forced to have a strategy in place to win the work instead of just throwing stuff everywhere.

It will make you think strategically about what you are doing. This will then be very helpful when meeting your Client or customer.

A better strategy means better profit. It makes you more professional and professionalism usually means you can raise your fees.

Differentiation of you and your business

Differentiation is where the money is. Being different and identifying your unique attributes that focus on benefits to your customers allows you to then strengthen your position in your niche and target it.

Remember, your niche is not your profession. Your niche is what makes you unique in your industry and location.

If you have a burger bar and sell burgers, your niche could be 100% vegetation burgers only. How you market and focus on selling these awesome burgers to your potential customers that like vegetarian, is the niche you are in.

You, your location, your competitors, what makes you different and the particular area you focus on will help you identify what niche you are in.

Use your personality to stand out because no one is the same as you.

Professionalism

Being professional does make a difference to what you can charge your customers.

Do you deliver slow and make mistakes?

Do you dress in an untidy manner and look like you just got out of bed?

Do you yawn in meetings and fall asleep?

Do you answer the phone with – what do you want?

These things all communicate your level of professionalism. If you identify where you can be better, then improve your efforts and you will also be able to lift your fees.

Identify all the benefits of dealing with your business

A design brief will be a window into how you operate and your Client will get a glimpse of how you work.

This will allow them to decide if you are the right business for the job.

You have a great opportunity to present your business as professionally as you can – so don’t blow it.


Questions you should answer in your design brief

Who/what is your business?

Identify the details of your business including if you are new or established. What product or service you deliver. What your brand is and what it stands for. Also communicate how you differentiate your business from the rest of the field.

Not that easy to do but with some thought you can certainly build a strong case.

What are the Objective/s of the Design you are Undertaking?

OK so here is the fun bit. You need to identify what is the reason for the design?

This could be communicated with aims and objectives. Start with an overall aim and then build up 5 or more objectives to reinforce the aim.

What is the purpose of your product or service? Is it to introduce a new product to the market or to educate the market prior to releasing a product?

Are you building a new brand or profile in an already established industry?

Answering these questions will help you focus on the right information to include in your design brief.


Use a design brief template and save time

Using a design brief template will save you significant time and effort. If you need to get together a design brief and don’t have too much time or you are not sure what to do, then consider using a template.

A good design brief template should have a good amount of information in it that you can simple amend to suit your project.


Conclusion

5 Reasons a Design Brief is a Great Idea

  1. Confidence to invoice the client

You will have every confidence that you can send your invoice to the Client at the completion of your task. If you have met the brief – you have every right to claim payment.

Miss the brief or get it wrong and chances are there will be arguments. Also you may not get PAID!

  1. Allows you to remember the detail

It is easy to forget things. A design brief identifies and records all the important details. What could be better as a reminder?

  1. Enables you to communicate details to your team

A design brief allows you to communicate the details of your engagement with the Client to your team. This can be done easily by sharing the design brief with the people who will assist you in completing the work.

This is going to allow you and your team to be super efficient and understand the project prior to commencement.

  1. Keeps the client accountable

Scope creep is a business killer. Having the scope allowed for and not allowed for communicates clearly to the Client what is included and what isn’t

  1. Reduces your stress

Probably the best reason of all to use a design brief is that it certainly will reduce your stress.

You will have a plan for the future of the project, reduce the need to try and remember everything, be clear in your communication with all stakeholders within the Client’s Company and have written records of what was agreed.

This will reduce disagreements, arguments and disappointment.

Learn more about using a design brief template to save time and effort.

Design Brief FAQ

What is a Design Brief?

A design brief gathers all the information regarding a proposal prior to designing something including any information such as such as aims and objectives or goals that need to be achieved.

Who uses a Design Brief?

A design brief is typically used by professionals in the Creative Industries sector. This could be Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers, Website Designers, Interior Designers, Industrial Designers, Fashion Designers or basically anyone that designs for a living or hobby.

How do I create a Design Brief?

The fastest way to create a design brief is to use a design brief template. You can purchase these online for minimal outlay or write your own from scratch.

Will a Design Brief be Helpful?

A design brief will be extremely helpful in planning your project. It will not only assist your client or customer, it will also assist you in getting your ideas and thoughts together before proceeding with the content of the design process.

Business Disaster Recovery Plans to Get Back on Your Feet

A disaster to your business doesn’t necessarily mean the end of it. If you prepare for a disaster, you are more likely to get through it and survive.

Business Disaster Recovery Plans

Business disaster. We all dread it. We all hope it does not happen to us. Disasters of any kind and traumatic events. Unfortunately, in life we do not often get to choose what happens. But we do get to choose how to respond.

This is one of the most important aspects of dealing with events in anyone’s life that are negative. Your response and ability to get back on your feet and keep going. It may be tough. It may be extra tough. However, over time you will slowly be able to get back on your feet if you take it just one day at a time.

Business disaster can be incredibly stressful. Depending on the type of person you are, your ability to control and manage your emotions and you ability to seek help from others will determine whether or not you find it possible to keep going or to decide you need a break. Whatever choice you make, if you prepare as much as you can now for any potential disaster then you are creating an environment that could potentially be the difference between persisting and succeeding again or giving up totally. The choice is yours.


Definition of Business Disaster Recovery Plans

So what exactly is a Disaster Recovery Plan? If you look online, it has been abbreviated to DRP. So now you can call it your DRP. Check out the definition below from Wikipedia.


What do you need to prepare for?

Take a look around the world via the internet any day and you will see significant events that dramatically impact the lives of people. A disaster may come out of nowhere. It may be an event such as a cyclone or hurricane or a pandemic similar to COVID-19. These events are typically what have occurred in recent times and nobody could have predicted them and the impacts they have had on the economy either local or global.

So as a business owner the best thing you can possibly do is consider a variety of events that may occur and plan for a response to these events should they actually happen.

From major weather events, pandemics, economy downturns, fire, embezzlement, flood or building destruction, there are many different types of disasters that you could consider and plan for in your Disaster Recovery Plan.


What Should be in Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

A disaster recovery plan is a document that identifies procedures that should be taken should a disaster occur. It addresses a lot of aspects of your business and specifically would identify particular procedures depending on your business type, location, size and processes.

Protecting and online business is obviously a lot different to protecting a car wash business. Your disaster recovery plan needs to be specific to your type of business and ensure that the procedures identified in it are actually realistic.

Business details, emergency contacts, business partners and suppliers are all items that should be listed in your plan. Asset registers, employee’s next of kin details and contacts for insurance are also items that need to be identified in a disaster recovery plan.


Important Items of a Disaster Recovery Plan

Some things are more important in your plan than others. These critical business functions and processes and functions of the business that allow it to operate and produce a business or service. Without these functions the business ceases to operate or turn a profit. Shortly after it goes into liquidation depending on the amount of cash in the business.

In any disaster recovery plan, these particular items should be a priority and if you don’t think about anything else, at least take these into account and plan for the future regarding these items. Let’s talk about an example regarding this.

For example, if you business is a coffee shop and it catches fire one night, what have you got left in the morning to operate the business and keep the doors open?

Disaster recovery plan & Business continuity plan | Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NAqEkWhblc

Obviously if the damage is beyond repair or the shop is gutted, then finding a new place to lease immediately might be an option. Or getting the insurers in immediately is another option.

It really depends on the situation. However, a critical function is to have a space to operate from and facilities to provide coffee with.

You can see that the critical functions are the things that allow you to operate and turn a profit. So consideration of a disaster will get you thinking of alternatives should a disaster impact your business.


Where to find disaster recovery plan templates

Obviously, the internet is a great place to start. There are many options available to purchase or create disaster recovery plans online. The following list below are the top 5 we found online with number 1 being our own disaster recovery plan template that we sell on Digital Documents Direct.

The other 4 disaster recovery plans that you may also want to consider, however we think ours is great without being biased. So let’s get started and have a look at the top 5 places to find a disaster recovery plan template.  

Disaster Recovery Plan Template Number 1

At Digital Documents Direct, we have a disaster recovery plan template that provides you with an opportunity to identify any potential disasters that could possibly affect your business. This template is created in MS Word and is easy to download and use. Check it out at the link below.

image of Disaster Recovery Plan Template Cover
Digital Documents Direct | Disaster Recovery Plan
Disaster Recovery Plan Template Number 2

Smartsheet has a number of disaster recovery plans available for download. These are free and include templates such as School Disaster Management Plan Template, Disaster Management Plan Template and Simple Disaster Recovery Plan for Small Businesses.

However, these templates are fairly basic and really don’t offer a huge amount of information. However they are helpful. Check out their website if you get time.

Disaster Recovery Plan Template Number 3

Ontrack offers a Disaster Recovery Plan also. This template is free and is produced in MS Word and available for download from their website.

This however is a disaster recovery plan for IT services. If you need a DRP for small business then this is not going to be suitable. Check it out below and on their website.

Below is what the template looks like. A well formatted MS Word document with plenty of information for an IT Disaster Recovery Plan.

You can click through to the template directly if you use the link above.

Disaster Recovery Plan Template Number 4

Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a fantastic Disaster Recovery Plan. However, these guys are true professionals and have called it a Business Continuity Plan. Now that sounds good.

Certainly very comprehensive for such a large organization,, you can see this plan is detailed and everything has been thought of. However, imagine having to read all that if a disaster strikes? Check it out below and visit their website to have a look. You will certainly get some ideas for your small business.

http://web.mit.edu/security/www/pubplan.htm
Disaster Recovery Plan Template Number 5

TemplateLab has a ton of disaster recovery plans to choose from. They also have a ton of ads to click on. There are certainly a few to consider however you may become overwhelmed by the amount of information. However, take a look at their website.


Keep it Simple and Practical

So there you go. 5 easy to use places you can find a Disaster Recovery Plan Template. Depending on what you want it for, there are plenty of places to choose from.

Often the problem I find is there is way too much information. So the best thing you can do is keep it simple and practical. We have tried to keep our templates as simple as possible but 100% relevant to the task required. If they are not simple, no one will use them.

Check out this video on how to make a Disaster Recovery Plan by Jennifer Bridges, PMP from Project Management Videos. Very helpful and cool.

Disaster Recovery Plan Template

An abundance of information usually overwhelms. Losing sight of the aim of a document will guarantee that the document doesn’t actually get used and in the end is unhelpful.

So, we believe keeping it as simple and practical as possible is the best way to ensure your plan suits its purpose.


Consider What is Required

Let’s take a look at some of the detail often found in a Disaster Recovery Plan.

The Overview

Firstly, it is good to have an overview of the organization and plan. This is simple enough and is like an introduction. Don’t waffle on. Just keep it straight to the point.

Hazards and Risks

Identification of risks is certainly something you want to include in the plan. If you take the time to think about all the risks to of interruption to your business this will prepare not only your business but your mind and emotional state should any of them occur.

This is important as often disasters are incredibly hard on people and if you have thought this trough previously, then you are prepared and have a better chance of getting through it.

You can create a list of potential risks and rate them based on their severity. For example this may include High Risk Priority Hazards (With Critical Or Catastrophic Impact), Moderate Risk Priority Hazards (With Marginal Or Critical Impact) or Low Risk Priority Hazards (With Negligible Impact).

Business Continuity And Recovery Planning Team

Depending on the size of your business having a dedicated team to spring into action should any disaster occur is going to be good preparation for your business.

Similar to a fire warden they should be trained and know exactly what to do should any event occur. Having a Fire Safety and Emergency Action Plan to refer to would also be beneficial.

Critical Assets and Critical Operations

These parts of your business are essential for it to operate. Identifying these should be relatively easy. List them out and think about what would be required to keep this component of your business operating should a disaster occur.

Technology

Technology is a huge one for most businesses. Having suitable backups and alternative options for replicating your data is standard practice in any business. Ensure your IT team and performing this role correctly as data is very hard to replace should you lose it all.

The items above are just some of the things you should think about that need to go in your Disaster Recovery Plan. If you are creating one for your small business it doesn’t need to be massive. It just needs to be relevant and suitable according to the scope and size of your business.


What about You?

Got any comments regarding a disaster recovery plan? Have you tried to create one yourself? Have you had to use one? It would be fantastic to hear from you if you have.

Leave a comment below and get the discussion happening.

SOP Example and What it Looks Like

SOP Example

If you are looking to build a Standard Operating Procedure you may be wondering what they typically look like or how others may do it.

Need a Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template? This type of Manual will organize your business fast. Learn More.

Really, there is no set rule to creating an SOP. (Standard Operating Procedure). There might be tons of information online about this, however think about it practically.

The purpose of an SOP is to communicate step by step how to complete something correctly.


Firstly, What is an SOP?

OK, I think we have established that SOP stands for ‘Standard Operating Procedure’. This is a great description below of what an SOP actually is.

A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out complex routine operations. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance, while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry regulations.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_operating_procedure


SOP Example and What it Looks Like

So, really the main point seems to be that it is a step by step procedure. However, the important aspect of creating an SOP is how it is communicated through text, pictures or whatever way you choose to communicate it.


SOP Example

Below is a very basic example of a SOP. This is just to demonstrate that there is nothing overly complicated about an operating procedure.

The simple example we will use below is:

How to Change a Flat Tyre on a Car

Steps to be followed.

1: Make sure the park brake is on

2: Open the boot

3: Get the spare wheel out

4: Get the jack and wrench out to loosen the wheel nuts

5: Position the jack in the correct spot

6: Loosen the wheel nuts

7: Jack up the car

8: Remove the wheel nuts and wheel

9: Install the spare wheel

10: Tighten the Wheel nuts

11: Lower the jack

12: Check the wheel nuts are tight

13. Put the jack and flat tire in the boor

14: Close the boot…

You can see from above that this example is very simple. However, it outlines exactly what is required to perform the task successfully.

It can become more complicated depending on the task. However, the simple example above identifies the process and outlines it step by step.

Make it too complicated and no one will read it or use it. The key is to keep it simple so people engage with it and actually use the process.


Keep it Simple

The best thing you can do about creating SOP’s is to keep them simple and straight forward. If it is a complex task you are documenting, you will need to break it down into smaller tasks.

Something that is very complex can still be completed using standard operating procedures. The combination of training and using procedures allows people to deliver complex tasks correctly, accurately and efficiently.


Complicated Tasks Require a Lot of Work

If you are a complex business and delivering complex services or products, then obviously your SOP’s are going to be long and detailed.

They will be broken into tiny tasks which when combined a step by step procedure on how to complete the task. This combined with regular training achieves the goal set of delivering the complicated tasks or product.

Your business may even need to break a task across teams of people if it is a complex task. This becomes even more detailed as teams work together for a common goal and achieve an end result accurately.


Creating Complex Products with SOP’s

To build a complex product or deliver a complex service, the first thing you need to do systematically divide it into its individual pieces. This means looking at the products each piece separately or in the case of a service, each task separately.

This is known as modular design and development. Documenting the pieces and the process or assembly is a SOP or Standard Operating Procedure. Once you document each piece and how each piece fits together you have created procedures on how to construct a complex product.


Another SOP Example

Below is another SOP example. This one however has images as well as text. This enables people to understand the procedure quicker and use visual cues to understand the process required.

Obviously, if you are going to document all your procedures in this manner, it will take a significant amount of work. Check it out below.

SOP Example | Prepare a Meeting Room

OK, this is a fairly simple task to complete. If you had a much more complex task, then obviously you will have pages and pages of instruction.


Another Written SOP Example

Let’s take a look at yet another example without pictures. You can see this is a bit harder to grasp quickly. However the red text does highlight to the reader the important parts of the task.

Check it out below.

SOP Example | Site Visit Procedure

Lots of text makes the procedure harder to follow quickly. However, you may need lots of text in some situations.

The key is to communicate the required tasks effectively so the task gets completed accurately. There is no point in having the SOP if the task gets completed incorrectly each time.

Train your team to provide feedback to you on building your procedures so you can ensure your procedures are clear and usable. This makes people’s jobs and role easier and more effective.


How to Write an SOP

So how do you go about writing an SOP for your business?

Firstly

Firstly, think about how you are going to use the SOP in your business.

Is it for people behind the computer or people on the factory floor or people working from home?

Secondly

Secondly, how will they read the procedure? Will they read it online or do they need access to a hard copy? Will they be able to use it on their phone? Think about the practicalities of how it is actually used.

No one is going to follow the procedure if it is not:

  • Clear
  • Easy to Follow
  • Understandable
  • Makes Sense
  • Logical
  • Using Simple Language
  • Memorable

There are many ways to ensure your team actually want to use the procedure. Forcing them is not the best way to make the SOP’s effective. Using common sense is.

Thirdly

Thirdly and most importantly. Ask your team for help. Get an understanding of how they complete their tasks and ask them what they think is the best way to document the SOP.

Involving your team in this tasks gives them ownership and allows them to contribute to the growth of the business. This is really important if you want your business to grow.

Remember you are developing a business that operates without you and achieving team ownership ads significantly value to your business, their lives and provides a meaningful job.


Let’s Not Make this More Complicated Than it Needs to Be

The world is becoming more complicated. Is it because there are too many complicated SOP’s?

SOP’s are not rocket science. There is tons of information online about SOP’s and how to write them and what you should and shouldn’t do.

But realistically – it should be kept simple.

Think about an IKEA furniture pack and the instructions that come with it. Terrible! However, they do work even if you have to think about what the picture is actually trying to get across.

The point is – SOP’s should be kept simple but not so simple they are annoying to follow.

Personally the Step 1, Step 2 process with a related image is the simplest and best way to create an SOP. Anyone that tells you otherwise, I think, is pulling your leg or trying to sell you something.

You can only build or create something 1 step at a time so it makes logical sense that complicated processes are broken down into smaller tasks.


What are Your Thoughts?

Got any examples of other SOP’s or any other comments? Leave them below.

Need a Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template? This type of Manual will organize your business fast. Learn More.

Free Safety Management Plan Template

Finding a free safety management plan template online can be easy. But finding a good one that meets your needs becomes difficult.

Firstly, what is a Safety Management Plan? Let’s explore the different types of safety management plans and then look at the options available online for finding a Free Safety Management Plan Template.

A Safety Management Plan has many different names. Just type the phrase into Google and check out all the different names that pop up.

Safety Management Plan Template


Safety Management Plan Template

For example:

  • safety management plan
  • whs management plan
  • workplace health and safety management plan
  • health and safety management plan
  • health and safety management system

The list goes on and on.

However – they are typically all the same thing. So in this article we look at what is in a Safety Management Plan and where you can possibly get hold of a free Safety Management Plan.

That would be nice wouldn’t it?

However – remember, you typically only get what you pay for so you might be able to find a very basic template that would require you to do all of the work anyway.

So let’s get started…


Let’s Take a Look with a Simple Google Search

So if we do a search on Google, there are a lot of results surrounding this topic. Take a look for example at a simple Google search in the United States.

In fact, there are 156 million results in Google!

Wow – that is a lot! How can you possibly find what you need in so many results?

safety management plan results
Google 2020, Safety Management Plan Template Results, viewed 02 March 2020, https://www.google.com/

So taking a look at the results above, there are plenty of images related to this topic.

There are quite a lot of pdfs in the Google results as well as some opportunities to create site-specific Safety Management Plans. Scrolling down there are a couple of shops and then also some WHS Construction Safety Plan Generic Samples as well as a few Ads.

So – plenty to look at. However, if you have already had a look through the results – have you found a good quality free Safety Management Plan Template?

Also – have you tried a few other types of searches? For example, check out the images search in Google. Plenty of options there as well.

Google 2020, Safety Management Plan Image Results, viewed 02 March 2020, https://www.google.com/

It is likely to be hard to find a good quality free Safety Management Plan Template.

Let’s take a closer look below and see what we have found. But firstly, lets discuss exactly what this type of document is and what is typically in it so you then know what you are looking for.


Specifically, what is in a Safety Management Plan?

A Safety Management Plan is a document that is created specifically for a construction site.

It is all about controlling risk on the site and outlines in written and graphical detail how these risks will be managed

Once complete, the plan should be made available to everyone involved in the project and should be easy to access. It needs to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it is up to date and modified as the site changes.

It will include everything from important contacts and supervisors right through to management of hazards and dangerous tasks.

A good quality safety management plan has quite a lot of detail in it. It will also be easy to read and interpret as it needs to be read by many people of varying educational backgrounds.

Let’s look deep into the detail.


Size of Project = Size of Safety Plan

Depending how big and complex the project is will determine the size and complexity of the Safety Management Plan. For example, if you are building a few town-homes, this will be a relatively smaller and less complex project than building a 80 storey skyscraper in the city.

Complexity depends on project type

However, your project might be small but have a high degree of risk. So therefore it really makes a difference to what is in the safety plan depending on the type of project it is for.


Simple Details

So starting out with the basics, it makes sense to include any items that provide information for the reader.

This typically can include things like;

  • the address of the project
  • the contact details of supervisors and safety officers
  • management names and responsibilities
  • positions of management.

Remember, these are only the basic details with further details to be included further into the report.


More Descriptive Details

As we move into the detail of the plan, it is important to also include further details that are more site specific. These more project specific elements may include;

  • a project description
  • responsibilities of particular personnel
  • consultation, induction and training
  • identification of hazards including assessment and control risks
  • managing subcontractors
  • managing incidents
  • monitoring and review of the plan.

Even More details

It pays to enter plenty of details into your Safety Management Plan. This document should be comprehensive. It should also be tailored to suit the reader.

Will anyone actually read your document?

Safety Management Plan Template

Chances are people will try and avoid it. However, it is important it is implemented onsite. These types of documents are critical for site safety – so it makes sense that management ensure everyone has read and understood the document.

This could be done in a number of ways. We will take a look at the detail a bit further down below.

But for now – let’s take a look at what free templates we found online.


Free Safety Management Plan Templates

So let’s have a look at some of the free options available online and see if they are any good.

Option 1
Free Safety Management Plan Template

This particular website is a Australian Government website that has a downloadable PDF on it.

ComCare 2020, Work health and safety (WHS) management plan template, viewed 02 March 2020,
https://www.comcare.gov.au/

You can download the pdf and fill out the fields if you have the appropriate Adobe Acrobat software.

Not much good if you just have MS Word though.

Option 2
Sampletemplates.com

Sampletemplates.com have a range of sample templates including a number of Editable Safety Plan Templates.

Check them out on their website which looks like the image below.

Samplettemplates.com 2020, Free 13+ Safety Plan Templates in Google Docs, viewed 02 March 2020,
https://www.sampletemplates.com/business-templates/sample-safety-plan.html

The links refer you back to Template.net and this has a number of templates that you can purchase.

It looks something like this below.

Template.net 2020, Safety Plan Template, viewed 02 March 2020,
https://www.template.net/pro/10639/safety-plan

However – most of these are not free as you have to pay $29 per month to access the templates.

Option 3
Free Safety Management Plan Template

Graphicproducts.com

Graphic Products have plenty of information on their website regarding Safety Management Plans. There is information regarding What a OSHA Safety Plan is as well as plenty of information about Management Leadership and Employee Involvement.

However, it looks as there is only a few links to download a free guide.

No doubt this will be helpful when creating your Safety Management Plan. Check out the website view below.

Graphic Products 2020, OSHA Safety Management Plan, viewed 02 March 2020,
https://www.graphicproducts.com/articles/osha-safety-management-plan/

Option 4
Free Safety Management Plan Template

Tenderfield.com also has a free construction management safety plan template you should check out. Their website looks like this below.

Tenderfield 2020, A guide to implementing a construction safety management plan, viewed 02 March 2020,
https://news.tenderfield.com/work-health-and-safety-management-plans-in-construction

Click through the links and you will see an option to signup to download a template. It looks like the following below.

Tenderfield 2020, Construction Safety Plan Download, viewed 02 March 2020,
https://news.tenderfield.com/work-health-and-safety-management-plans-in-construction

Option 5
Free Safety Management Plan Template

SafetyCulture.com is online form creation which is handy. This is a bit more serious now and gives you options to complete plans by filling out fields.

You can also download checklists but need to sign up first. Something that a lot of website require. So check out their website below or at the link above.

iAuditor 2020, Top 4 Risk Management Templates, viewed 02 March 2020, https://safetyculture.com

lso has a free construction management safety plan template you should check out. Their website looks like this below.


More Important Detail

OK, so now we have had a look at the free templates available, let’s talk a bit further about the detail you may need in your plan.

You could have things like an Aim and Policy which is a great start to your documents.

Further to this you should have definitions included which highlight the meaning of words used in your plan.

It is also good to talk about accountabilities and disciplinary action. Don’t forget to include the name and address of the Principal Contractor as well as the Principal Contractor’s Business Number.

Then you should also include Workplace Health and Safety Committee details, WHSO (Workplace Health and Safety Officer) appointed details.

Then you can move into SPECIFIC SITE ACTIVITIES. This includes detailed items such as:

  • Electrical
  • Explosive Power Tools
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Inspection of Plant and Equipment

Then a section regarding ACCIDENTS.

Then a section regarding AUDITING.

Safety Management Plan Template

If you include all of these things then you are certainly on the way to providing a good quality detailed Safety Management Plan.


Download a Free Safety Management Plan Template

Thanks for reading down this far. We have a Free Safety Management Plan Template you can download.

OK, so after all the text above and all the talking, we would love for you to download our free safety plan template. It’s not our full version, however it is a good version if you want something for free to get your safety plan up and running.

If however, you want to save a lot of time then consider purchasing our full version Safety Management Plan Template as it will save you a ton of time.

So, check it out below in an easy MS Word format for you to download – 100% free with no signups or anything. Just a gift from us for coming to our website and reading this far down….so here it is.

Free Safety Management Plan Template


What About You?

Got any comments about what is best for a Safety Management Plan or anywhere you know of that provides a free template?

Please add below and start the conversation.

Construction Safety Plan Free Download – Get Yours Here

If you need to create a safety plan for construction for your project then getting hold of a free template is going to save you a few dollars.

Construction Safety Plan Free Download

Image of Free Tag
It’s Free!

However – is it really worth it? Typically like anything, things for free are not actually free. This goes with the internet as well. It might be possible to find free documents and templates, however when you look deeper into it, the free document may be just a teaser to get you to buy more.

This is fair enough. Anything with quality usually comes with a cost because it take significant time and effort to create products and people are creating their business online and need to recoup their costs as well as make an income.


Types of Construction Safety Plans

Let’s take a quick look at the types of Construction Safety Plans and then you can go ahead and make a decision about the type you are looking for.

There are tons of websites selling site safety information. Often the problem is that there is information overload and the last thing you need are people switching off because they are overwhelmed with information.

Due to the obvious topic of safety, you need people to switch on and be alert to the information provided. Therefore it should be easy to access, easy to read and most of all easy to understand and implement.

Easier said than done.


The Benefits of a Safety Plan Template

Handling a business is not just about making money. In order for a business to be stable, the owner should also take care of employees. It is the employees that keep the business running. With their hard work, you are able to generate profit so it is just expected that you make sure they are safe during work hours.

Photo by James Sullivan on Unsplash

In the past there have been businesses that were forced to close because of the lack of a safety plan. Ensure this is not your business. If you do not have any idea what to include in your safety plan, there are plenty of websites that could help you.

In fact, the amount of information is overwhelming. Websites dedicated to providing templates for business are everywhere.

There are plenty of options online and plenty of safety plan templates available for download. The majority of these require payment but the cost is typically worthwhile as most of these safety plan templates are guaranteed to be complete and accurate.

By having a safety plan, you will avoid getting in trouble with the law and also your business will run much more smoothly. Employees will be informed on how to operate around dangerous situations and therefore avoid accidents as much as possible.

Accidents of any nature directly impact on the business so need to be avoided at all costs.


Safety Plan Templates for Your Employees’ Protection

Businesses in the field of construction have employees who risk their lives everyday just to carry out their tasks. Danger is part of the job but this does not mean the employer should just let his employees wander around without informing them of the precautions they should take.

Photo by Scott Blake on Unsplash

While a lot of countries still have not included safety requirements as part of law, it is imperative to provide safety plans for your team and anyone else. The last thing you want is to have to deal with safety issues including accidents and incidents.

When they do occur – you must be prepared.

By not having safety plans and safety procedures, the employer does not only disregard the protection of his employees, they also risks losing major earnings because of the possibility of accidents.

Creating safety plans can be an extremely tedious task. However, utilizing a safety management plan template will save you a colossal amount of effort.

Safety plan templates are typically the best way to create your safety plan easily. Protect your team and your visitors by utilizing safety plans and procedures in your business or for your construction project.


Safety Plan Templates for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs can be risky types. They usually take significant calculated risks to get something to happen or create a business opportunity.

Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

However, are these risks worth it when it comes to safety?

Not likely.

In creating a business, taking staff safety for granted is a recipe for disaster.

Some employers are concerned only with making as much profit as possible. They often ignore the possibility of their employees getting harmed while at work.

Depending on the country you operate in, the law may require you to create and submit a safety plan before the business or project can commence.

Safety Plan Templates for Better Safety Planning

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

Businesses are complicated and have many areas that need attention. No matter how simple your business may seem, it still may require several government requirements to meet your local authority. Typically this is to secure the safety of both the business owner and employees as well as any other people that come in contact with the business.

Of course, it is also necessary to protect the employees as they are often on the ‘coal face’ of running the business. This is especially true in construction companies.

The employees use their hands in manual labor and put themselves in danger every time they go to the field. It is the responsibility of the employer to protect his employees. They should be informed on how to avoid accidents and keep everyone safe.

Planning a project takes a significant amount of work. The safety aspects within the project and planning this into the delivery of the project should be a high priority. Typically the builder is responsible for the site and keeping people safe.

Protect Your Employees and Get a Safety Plan Template

It is absolutely important to have a safety plan if your business is in the field of construction. Everyday, your employees deal with danger and it is not easy for them to risk their life almost every hour just to earn enough dollars to provide for their family.

Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Employers need to provide safety plans that assist in preventing accidents and address all other safety issues that could arise during work.

Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash

A lot of businesses find it difficult to detail every aspect of a safety plan. It is much easier to just use a template. However, it is critical that you know the detail of your safety plan and review and customize the template to suit your business or project.

You might pay a small amount for a template online, however it will dramatically reduce the amount of effort required to deliver your plan. Some websites also offer a package containing several other templates aside from safety plan templates to cater to your business needs.

Download a Free Safety Plan Template

At Digital Documents Direct, we like to provide free information where we can. The following download is a basic outline for your safety plan template. It is a MS Word document that you can easily download and use as a start for your safety plan.

Click on the image below or Right Click Save As.

Remember – this is a basic free safety plan template. Consider our detailed safety plan template that is much more detailed.

Safety Plan Template
Safety Plan Template

Our detailed safety plan template covers a lot of safety issues in construction and is value for money.

Join the Conversation

What comments have you got regarding safety on site or safety plan templates – or anything else?

Feel free to make a comment below.