A calendar is an often overlooked tool within the workplace. Some people never bother with them whereas others swear by them and use them to keep themselves right throughout the day.
However in the world of air ambulances or critical care transfer crews where teamwork is one of (if not the most) vital components of success, a shared team calendar can really make a difference.
A shared team calendar is an often overlooked tool which can make a big difference to productivity and morale
Here we’re going to run you through five ways the use of a shared calendar can really benefit your organisation, including a few benefits you may never have considered before.
Let’s start with the most obvious one and that’s organisation. Without a shared calendar it would lead to meetings being missed, annual leave and illnesses not being recorded and would lead to a bit of chaos amongst the team which you don’t want.
Using a central area where people can see a) where they’re supposed to be and b) where their teammates are is where any successful team should start. This means appointments aren’t missed and it prevents someone from ever being double booked or having a new meeting booked in straight after another one when travel time may be needed.
Whilst it may seem simple, having this level of organisation can have a big impact on team morale and lowering stress levels as everybody knows what needs to be done and when.
2. Availability of Staff and Resources
Our customers provide essential life-saving services and it’s only through clear staffing and resource planning that they are able to do this. With a shared calendar it helps to avoid any issues around not enough staff being rostered on, or certain vehicles not being available as this can all be recorded.
Using the calendar as a central hub to record and illustrate who is on annual leave (or off ill) makes it easy for other team members to see if certain dates are free for them to take their annual leave.
Also if a vehicle is being used elsewhere or is out of commission due to a service you can add this into a central calendar to let the crew know so they’re not relying on using that resource on that specific date.
3. Short and Long Term Planning
One of the often overlooked benefits of a shared calendar is that you can use them to help the way you plan. Switching to a day or week view let’s you plan out what needs to be done in the short term – and you can see which crew members are available to help deliver the work required.
Similarly zooming out to a month (or months) view let’s you get a bigger picture of longer term activities. From here you can plan out monthly or quarterly training sessions and you can see at a glance where people are being asked to be within a month which lets you avoid overloading crew members with too much.
This may seem obvious right? But you’d be surprised at how little people actually work this way and just end up booking meeting after meeting with no regard to the physical and mental impact it has on staff.
4. Transparency and Culture
I’m sure we’ve all worked in places where the boss doesn’t share their calendar and this often leads to whispers and gossip about what certain meetings (which are usually harmless and mundane) are actually about. When you’ve got a situation like this where there isn’t clarity across the board it ultimately leads to a toxic culture in the workplace.
It’s much more appreciated by your co-workers when everything is visible and transparent with no secret meetings being hidden away.
There’s also the added benefit of when a team can see what each other is up to it might act as a reminder that they too need to book top up training sessions for example.
5. Promotes the Bigger Picture
Communicating organisational objectives is straightforward, we can all write up mission statements etc but relating these to day-to-day activities so they are understandable to staff is harder. How can you make them see what impact their daily work has on achieving these goals?
This is where a shared crew calendar can help out. By using it as an area to showcase all of the activities going on in your organisation it’s a great way for staff to visualise and understand how company objectives will be met.
For example if you have a company goal of continuously improving patient care this can sound a bit vague, but if the calendar is full of training sessions it then becomes easy to see that by upskilling crew members you are helping provide an improved level of patient care.
Find out more
Within both our ARCEMS and ARCCTS software we include a Crew Calendar as a standard. It can be used by all users as a central team diary and allows our customers to share details of staff training, meetings, PR events, vehicle services etc so that everyone in the organisation has visibility. On top of this it is the area where our customers are alerted to details of any drugs or consumables which are due to expire so they can keep on top of supplies and re-orders.
We hope you have found this article of interest and if you’d like to read similar articles please bookmark our site as we will be bringing you regular insight articles on the world of MedTech.