Although an essential part of modern life, mainly because remote working is becoming more common, most people are not fans of online calendars. And, it’s a part. After all, employees can use them to stay organized, and bosses use them to keep track of what’s going on.
Unfortunately, most of the time the work to be done is just calendar management. As a result, it’s not uncommon for employees to fill their half-hour boxes with tasks, meetings, and personal responsibilities. But even after that, co-workers, clients, and bosses take it from you. As a result, previously productive days turn into a haphazard series of meetings and quick breaks, with little real work done.
It is therefore not surprising that some employees resist the use of online calendars. But, you can change that. How? By encouraging your team to keep their calendars online.
1. Take the lead.
To succeed in any initiative, you must lead by example. When leaders are willing to walk their employees through change, employees are much more likely to follow their advice.
In the words of leadership speaker John Maxwell, “A leader knows the way, follows the way, and shows the way.” By taking the plunge first, leaders show that it is safe for others.
Before introducing an online calendar to others, you should start using it yourself. Then you can sell it to others. In my opinion, this highlights the benefits of online calendars, such as;
- Online calendars are easily accessible from any device.
- The ability to schedule meetings and appointments from anywhere.
- You can also set up reminders to avoid missing important meetings and appointments.
- By setting aside time to complete important projects, you can complete those that are high priority or have a deadline. In short, online calendars can be used to stay on track and get things done.
- Regular meetings and appointments can be set as recurring events to avoid scheduling conflicts.
Seeing you work more productively will also encourage your employees to use your online calendar.
At the same time, also share the benefits of online calendars outside the workplace. For example, managing a family schedule or planning a fun event like a pool party.
2. Provide personalized training.
“Training has to meet the needs of the individual if you want your employees to accept it,” writes Beth Thornton for Inspire Software. “Your efforts should reflect the diverse backgrounds of your diverse workforce.” No two people are the same, so be sure to consider what makes them different.
“While some employees prefer online courses, others prefer personal, one-on-one coaching,” adds Thornton. “The key to inspiring enthusiasm and interest in learning and development software is to present it as an opportunity for employees to learn skills and gain a competitive edge in their professional careers.”
When developing your training strategy, you should consider:
- How should I train my employees?
- Which employees or departments?
- What about different learning styles?
- Is there a reward system for completing the training?
- Can I reasonably expect an adoption?
To help you get started with your software integration strategy, here are a few things to do:
- First, find out what type of training is most comfortable for your team.
- Highlight the benefits of an online calendar.
- Customize your incentives.
- Establish a timetable for carrying out the training (with objectives).
- Promote learning at all levels.
- Finally, apply new scheduling skills to real projects.
3. Provide practice opportunities.
It’s imperative that your team practice the essential features of an online calendar if they want to use it professionally. Ask them to practice on you rather than on their clients or colleagues. Also, be sure to let them know you’re happy to help if they have any questions later.
However, to make this meeting more productive, here are some ways for the two of you to prepare.
- Invite them to meet you. An online calendar makes scheduling meetings easy. Gone are the days of back and forth emails. Instead, you can just ask your team to add it to the schedule.
- Ask for an analysis report. Users can see how and with whom they spend their time on certain calendars. Ask team members to share a summary of their meetings after scheduling a few. They need to understand the reporting features of their online calendar if they want to get the most out of it.
- Invite them to color code. Color coding allows you to quickly view your calendar information. Give them an idea of what the different colors mean and let them choose a scheme they like.
4. Start with fun events.
Boost your team’s adoption by making it fun. After all, everyone likes to be included. For example, let people know that the company calendar is the only way to receive information about company culture events, such as parties and team building activities.
You can start adding the less fun elements once employees are already using the online calendar. After that, gradually introduce tasks, deadlines, and meetings. In a short time, all company events will be available on the online calendar.
5. Take advantage of gamification.
“The concept of gamification in the workplace involves incorporating challenges and tasks to make work more engaging,” says John Hall, co-founder of Calendar. “Employees are rewarded for it as a way to make work more enjoyable and meaningful for them.”
It’s important to understand that gamification is not designed to turn work into play, he explains. “Instead, the concept combines game mechanics with work responsibilities to increase productivity and make your job more interesting.” Employee engagement can even inspire employees to focus on the common good of the company.
Here are some examples of gamification in the workplace:
- Instead of using presentations or manuals, an online mini-course can be used to train employees with quizzes, fun characters, and assessments.
- Certificates will be awarded to employees who complete an online course.
- Friendly competition can improve employee engagement and productivity. A point-based ranking can be used to achieve this.
- Instant recognition via social media.
- Travel incentives, such as attending an industry event.
However, you must track your progress to ensure proper gamification. As a result, you can track your progress and see how far you still have to go, says Hunter Meine in a previous Calendar post. “A record of your progress will also help you adjust the difficulty of your gamification as your productivity improves and you need an extra challenge.”
“You can track your progress using your calendar or by writing it down manually,” he adds. To fully participate in the game, you can create fun graphics and drawings on a planner or bulletin board. “Even taking notes on your phone will be better than neglecting to track anything.”
6. Don’t be a “controlling” boss.
Let’s not beat around the bush here. Employees hate micromanagement. Specifically, micromanagement has been found to increase employee turnover and disengage employees. Moreover, it stifles creativity, innovation, trust and teamwork.
What does this have to do with the team’s online calendars? Well, don’t be too demanding. For example, asking your employees to share their calendars with you is acceptable. But, they don’t need to share their entire calendar with you either.
“Granted, privacy could be an issue for successful calendar sharing,” writes Kayla Sloan in an article for Calendar. “But a lot of people seamlessly merge their work and personal calendars.”
Therefore, most calendars “have settings that allow you to make some entries private and others shared.” This way, sensitive information is protected from prying eyes.
“However, not all calendars have the same capabilities,” adds Sloan. “Therefore, you can allow everyone to see personal appointments, make entries vague, or not put them on work calendars.”
Plus, you need to let your employees customize their calendars. Employees can, for example, adjust the view from week to week or the calendar if they share a Google calendar. In addition to changing colors and titles, they can also choose which items they want to display.
7. Remember to be courteous.
“Courtesy is contagious – let’s start an epidemic.” —Evan Esar
Courtesy and forward thinking should be at the forefront of your schedule. How? By encouraging online calendar protocol.
- Use the right tools. Ideally, you should use a calendar that is accessible across multiple platforms. Also, you should use tools that seamlessly integrate with your schedule. When you do, it improves communication and usage.
- Step up your planning game. Creating an easy-to-use scheduling experience is the best way to encourage online calendar etiquette, among other things. Examples would be responding to invitations, including locations, and adding notes.
- It’s okay to say no. However, make sure your team knows that just because they’ve received an invitation doesn’t mean they should accept it. There are many times when you should say “no”.
- Live by the golden rule. In other words, treat everyone with respect. This means not making last-minute changes, showing up on time, and not micromanaging.
8. Sell calendars online strategically.
We have all these exceptional employees. You know, the people everyone trusts and admires. If you get their support, they will help you promote online calendars.
It’s one thing your boss tells you to use an online calendar. Hearing it from someone you respect is another story.
Talented employees are likely to take advantage of technologies that make their jobs easier, such as online calendars. And they’ll tell others why they should use them too.
Image Credit: Campus Productions; pexels; Thanks!
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