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SOPs: Getting Your Team to Actually Use Them - 5 Tips That Work!

I recently had a milestone meeting with a client that hired us for a big project earlier this year. During our engagement, we identified and improved processes for over 50 resources for her team. At the end of our call, she asked me, 

"How can I get my team to really use these SOPs?" 

And that's when it hit me. All our beautiful meticulously crafted documents were just sitting there in Google Drive, collecting virtual dust. 

Reflecting on the situation, I started to wonder if there was something more we could have done to encourage the use of the resources. We took proactive measures by creating dedicated boards in their PM system for each department, specifically for their key links and resources. And we did a complete overhaul of their Shared Drive. 

We organized everything by company division, team, and role, so it's easier to find what you're looking for. No more digging through endless folders! Our goal was to make accessing and organizing resources as simple as possible.

Before we wrapped things up, we made sure to host training sessions for each department. These sessions gave everyone a chance to review their processes and get hands-on training with the tech tools involved. We wanted to make sure that everyone was well-prepared before we transitioned out.

And still, they aren't being used as much as they should be... Why? 

Let's think about it from their perspective - it's way easier to ask the team leader repeat questions or to just figure things out on your own. SOPs are often seen as a "nice-to-have" or unnecessary.

It's fine to ask for help or trust your own instincts. But, getting things done correctly and efficiently is the goal. Not using the resources in place creates more work for the leader and impacts results. 

I'm all about finding solutions, so I'm on a mission to find new ways to help team members to embrace SOPs and make it a regular part of their workflow. 

How do we make it a standard practice rather than an optional thing? 

✅ Set the expectation from the start: During the onboarding process, teach new hires how to access and use the resources. By introducing this expectation early on, you can create a company-wide culture where everyone understands the importance of SOPs.

✅ Refer them back to the SOP: When asked for how-to's, especially if it is something you repeat often, gently reply with a link to the resource instead of meeting or explaining again. You can always encourage them to come back with any questions after reviewing. PS -- This may also be a sign that something needs reworking in the procedure. (call me!)

✅ Make the resources more accessible and organized: If your SOPs and process documents can only be accessed via Google Drive, consider ways you can make them more accessible via a Project Management system or a tool like Trainual. The easier it is for your team to find and reference the materials, the more likely they'll be to use them.

✅ Plan for varying learning styles: Keep in mind that not everyone learns the same way. If your resources are mostly text, consider adding visual or audio elements to make them more engaging and understandable. This way, team members with different learning styles can still benefit from the information. We love Loom, Tango, and flowcharts!

✅ Lead by example: It's important for us as team leads to practice what we preach. Do we actually use the resources ourselves? By showing our team members that we refer to SOPs and processes in our own work, we set a good example and encourage them to do the same.


I'm ready to help teams make the move from forgotten Google Docs to the #1 employee onboarding, training, SOP, and knowledge management software for growing businesses.

 I found the perfect solution: Trainual! It's the missing link to getting teams fully on board with SOPs. If you're interested in learning more, let's chat!

We've now included Trainual in our Team Operation Development service, and I can't wait to see it in action. The best part is that you can create quizzes, organize content by departments, roles, or teams, and even track usage. It's going to shake some things up with how we streamline processes and keep everyone accountable. If you are more of a DIY'er try it here for FREE

If you enjoy this newsletter, please like, comment, and share. I would love to hear if you've had a similar experience with your team adapting to SOPs.

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