Marien, co-founder of Yachts mermaid has shared with you her top tips on how to perfect your role as a chief stew.
Are you starting as a Chief Stew or trying to improve in your role? Either way, you have to understand how things will get done smoothly, efficiently, and consistently by all your team members. And that’s why having an SOP in place in your interior department is crucial.
A standard operating procedure (SOP), in other words, an interior management system, is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by a Chief Stewardess to help the interior crew carry out routine operations. The aim is to achieve efficiency, quality output, and uniformity of performance. Meanwhile, reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with the yachts’ regulations.
A standard operating procedure is a document that provides clear-cut directions and instructions. It will tell you how teams and members within an interior department must go about completing certain processes.
Creating an SOP provides a “true north” for your team to strive toward. But also, a clearly-drawn map to guide them along the way.
Benefits of implementing an SOP:
Ensures Consistency –As I’ve said, an SOP enables your interior team to run like a finely-tuned machine. A huge part of running “like a machine” is consistency. Following an SOP like the Mermaids Kick-Starter Bible will ensure that your team will always know the right path to take—and will always take it. Download the MKSB here.
Ensures Efficiency- With SOP in place, compliance regarding all organizational processes is not merely a suggestion but a mandate. It’s simple: It ensures your team knows the most efficient and effective way to go about a certain task.
Enables Proper Onboarding and Training- It makes it easier to train your team members about the best practices in certain situations and how to navigate them. In contrast, in not having clearly-defined SOPs in place, you run the risk of leaving your team uninformed. As well as, being unprepared to handle particular challenges as they come about.
Maintains Organizational Knowledge- For the sake of argument, let’s say your team already knows exactly how to handle any situation that comes their way—and is always able to do so effectively and efficiently. In this case, it may seem like documenting everything your team already knows would be a waste of time, money, and other resources. After all, everyone knows what to do, so why take the time to write down everything they already know?
The problem, though, is that your team isn’t going to remain intact as-is forever. Crew will quit, be promoted, go on leave…the list goes on. When that happens, you need to know that the knowledge and expertise they’ve brought to the interior will stay within the yacht.
In documenting your SOP, you’ll ensure this info stays within your vessel—allowing new team members to pick up right where the old ones leave off.
Challenges of Developing an SOP:
While there are many benefits to developing an interior management system within your department, doing so comes with its fair shares of challenges, such as a shortage of time or a shortfall in computer skills required to create one. The Mermaids Kick-Starter Bible is here to help you with creating an SOP as fast and smoothly as possible. The MKSB is a practical guide system that provides you the foundation, confidence, and knowledge to excel at your Chief Stewardess role. These guidelines will save you time and energy, as there is no need to recreate them. They are digital and editable templates!
Merging your knowledge with these guidelines will create the perfect SOP for your team and vessel, whether private or charter.
Included in the MKSB system you will find over 90+ Templates in Mac and PC versions, Video Trainings, live support, and private coaching if desired. Download the MKSB here.
Accessibility, Visibility, and Centralization of Information:
The standard operating procedures must be accessible to all members at any time, even after they’ve been developed. This is so all crew is able to engage and access the information.
Without this accessibility and visibility, it can be pretty easy for SOP to fall to the backburner. This will only lead team members to go back to the “old way of doing things.” Defeating the purpose of developing SOP in the first place. Moreover, the SOP documentation must be the same documentation across the board. The most effective way to ensure this is to keep the document in a centralized database that all members have access to. That way, you can guarantee that all team members are following the right documentation at all times. As part of the MKSB, you will receive video training on how to maintain your system accessibly, visible, and centralized. Get it here.
Management and Maintenance of an SOP:
Please keep in mind that regarding the management and maintenance of an SOP, there are two main challenges to consider. First, your team will need to be properly trained and prepared to implement the procedures in question. This means ensuring they have access to any equipment or other resources required to complete the tasks defined within the SOP. All of this, whilst ensuring that they know how to efficiently and effectively use these resources. If this piece of the puzzle is missing, your team simply won’t be able to act in accordance with SOP.
What’s considered the best course of action, for the time being, may not always be so. Personnel changes and various other factors may require your team to revisit previously-developed SOP as time goes on. You will end up doing more harm than good to your interior department if your team follows an outdated or obsolete SOP. I advise you to meet with your team at the end of each season. By doing so, you can find out what procedures are working successfully and which ones need improvement. This will ensure your team works smart, not hard. And also, making sure the SOP is always updated.
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