By Gina Blitstein

Workplace communication is a crucial factor in keeping the operation of your business organized, productive and running smoothly. One piece of the puzzle is knowing what you need to do and when. Another comes into play when co-workers are collaborating and/or managing projects. That's when it's imperative that all parties concerned have the ability to keep tabs on what others are doing and when. Shared calendaring is a solution to bringing and keeping everyone on board and on the same productive page.

A plethora of calendaring solutions are available, from fairly basic, to extremely in-depth. Choosing the right one to suit your needs is every bit as important as using it in ways that will actually impact the way your business runs.

Guidelines for finding the best shared calendaring option for your business

1. Evaluate the way your business runs currently. Identify its strengths and weaknesses to assist you in finding a shared calendaring option that will address your business' actual needs. Ask questions like these:

  1. What communication and scheduling processes work well already?
  2. Are those who currently take the lead in scheduling the ones who should continue?
  3. Where does communication and scheduling break down?
  4. Are all employees or departments who need to be included "in the loop"?
  5. Is your current calendaring option providing an acceptable impact for what it costs you?

2. Imagine the way you'd ideally like your business to run. Think about how performance and productivity could be improved with the support of better shared calendaring and the greater communication it would provide. Consider issues like these:

  1. How can you incorporate a new calendaring system into your existing successful processes so as to avoid breaking that which is already working well?
  2. Who "should" have the ability to schedule and keep track of employees' calendars?
  3. What are the potential advantages to greater communication through more effective shared calendaring? More appropriate expectations among team members? Clearer deadlines? Enhanced understanding of the overall workflow? Easier short- and long-range planning?
  4. What or whose time and schedule isn't shared – but should and could be?
  5. How much are you willing to spend on an option that makes a significant impact on productivity and efficiency?

Guidelines for getting the most from shared calendaring for your business

Once you've evaluated how your business currently runs and have determined your goals for increased efficiency and productivity through shared calendaring, you'll have the necessary intel to make an informed and appropriate choice. Having the right tool, however, is different than implementing the right tool. Offered here are some ways to make the most of your well-considered option:

1. Introduce every employee to your calendaring system. Avoid implementing such a powerful tool in a vacuum. Each employee has a unique view of what they contribute to the business and how they could perform their duties better. Explain what the new shared calendaring product can do and listen to employee feedback. They may think of ways to use it in even more effective ways in their specific niche.

2. Give appropriate permissions. Just because the calendaring system is shared, everything doesn't need to be shared with every employee. By all means, give employees the access they need, but avoid over-sharing that could prove inappropriate or even dangerous to company security.

3. Create calendars for resources as well as for people. Employees are but one of the resources that can be tracked on calendars. Other company resources, like projectors, video equipment or conference rooms can, like employees, can be otherwise engaged at certain times and for certain periods. Help eliminate confusion and needless scheduling snafus by using your shared calendar for anyone – and anything – upon which your employees rely in order to perform their duties.

An appropriate shared calendaring system for your business will enable employees to work more cohesively, productively and efficiently by supporting their time-management efforts. They say that knowledge is power; empower your employees by providing them with the ability to know what's going on with their co-workers, the projects on which they're working, and the company resources they share.

 

Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts.


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank.