Is It Time to Ask For Help?

Many of us feel disinclined to ask for help. Even asking for directions can require a huge effort. We may be loathe to appear vulnerable or incompetent, telling ourselves, ‘I’ll be fine, we must be nearly there by now, it will all work out in the end’!But whilst we may feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness, the reality is it can often be a sign of strength. Appreciating the value of additional support or input can positively influence our chances of success, saving us time and allowing us to maximise our resources. There’s nothing weak about doing that!Here’s to recognising that it’s time to ask for help.- Feeling overwhelmed, out of our depth, not sure where to start or how to proceed is an important indicator that it’s time to ask for help. Whether we’re in a study, work or domestic situation it can be frustrating and futile to fritter increasing amounts of time not knowing where, what or how to begin. Overwhelm can result in anger, frustration and feeling de-motivated, especially if we’re new, young or lacking in confidence. If we’re unable to determine the way forward we may end up feeling stupid, useless and choose to walk away.Asking for help from the outset means we potentially start with a clearer overview and directions or instructions from day one. We’re able to make notes and continue using any of the channels of communication we’ve opened, so helping us become more confident about speaking up if and when required.


- There may be areas of our life which really cannot be ignored any longer. A team may be struggling to bond, a disruptive relationship may be causing havoc or staff development may not be as successful as was planned. Outside help may provide a better, more neutral perspective, see things differently and be able to work effectively to bring about positive results.If our personal relationship is struggling, outside help can be beneficial in the form of relationship counselling. This can be a good decision even when the only option left is to split, facilitating a more respectful resolution, especially when there are children to consider.- Stress often builds up over time, perhaps being triggered by a catalogue of day-to-day pressures, unhappy mindset or precarious physical wellbeing. Learn to recognise the signs that your stress symptoms are starting to appear. Signs may be poor concentration, accidents and mistakes, not sleeping well, losing your joy in life, each alerting you to the need to start saying ‘no’, develop better coping strategies and start asking for help.Counselling and hypnotherapy can be a good way to deal with old unhelpful habits, support good decision-making and introduce effective stress management strategies. Find time for fun, things that you’re good at and commit to taking regular breaks.- What about those occasions when we’re already doing too much, yet still agree to take on more, rather than say ‘no’! Such behaviour can come from a fear of appearing incapable, inefficient, not coping or we don’t want to disappoint or risk losing a client. We may want to do it all, be keen to be involved in every step of the process, perhaps not trust others to do as good a job or prefer to micro-manage everything.Asking for help allows others to feel included, part of the team and so enable them to develop and even suggest better working practices. Or there may be some real value in forming alliances with other associated businesses and offering a more comprehensive menu of goods and services, a win/win for all involved.You gain by having additional time for other, perhaps more important things, or free up some time for fun activities. It might be viable to pay for help with domestic chores, like gardening, ironing or cleaning or engage business expertise to support your accountancy, social media, admin needs; all could be money well spent.


- Perfectionism is often a barrier to asking for help. Easing our stress levels through constant checking may bring its own temporary reassurance, but it’s often short-lived. Learning to move on from one piece of work when it’s finished, good enough, can save a lot of time and stress. Besides that, going over something repeatedly often means we become de-sensitised and word-blind to any flaws or errors. A fresh pair of eyes can often zone in on something straight away.- Trust other people’s areas of expertise. If you know someone who’s already practiced or familiar with what you’re attempting to do invite them to share their experiences with you. Chances are they’ll be only too happy to help and you may be able to reciprocate at another time. Alliances like this can bring advantages to all involved.Our business skills or personal capabilities may benefit from the introduction of a coach, trainer or mentor to provide guidance, motivation and accountability. Soliciting help can move us out of our comfort zone and take our personal and professional development to the next level. When our aim is to grow and develop it’s often important to ask for help.

Promoting the Benefits of Work Order Software

Work order software (CMMS software) is a key part of a successful equipment maintenance program. Work orders are typically one or more tasks assigned to one or more maintenance personnel for the purpose of equipment item. These tasks are for preventive maintenance, projects, repair maintenance or other types of work. The maintenance staff enters, updates, assigns and closes work orders. This requires a certain level of commitment to the work order software and the expectation of benefits for the expended effort. As such, promoting the benefits of maintenance software is every bit as important and making the work order software easy to use.

  • What are the benefits of work order software to your organization?
  • How are the benefits of work order software promoted to maintenance employees?

Benefits of Work Order Software to Your Organization
The immediate and short-term benefits of using this software are as follows.

  • Easier delivery and communication of work assignments.
  • Balanced workload.
  • Improved spares management.
  • Better management and accountability of work assignments.
  • Improved equipment reliability.
  • Cost savings through analysis and resulting process improvement.

One of the main benefits this software is the ability to deliver the work assignments to personnel using a paperless system. Work orders are emailed in user-friendly formats such as Adobe Acrobat. This saves paper and consistently delivers the work assignments to the same place every time. Alternatively if a paper system is preferred, then automatic printing of assigned tasks is possible. Some more advanced software solutions provide scheduled automatic task assignments. This capability also frees up the maintenance manager as manual assignments ate reduced substantially with this automated system. Lastly, work orders are accessible directly from the software itself. This avoids email and paper use; however, access to a computer that either has the software loaded or has a web link to the CMMS system is required in this case.

Balancing the workload over time and resources is possible with a scheduling tool such as work order software. Organizing tasks based upon available resources optimizes these resources and results in more work completed in the same amount of time. Spares linked to work templates results in automatic spares usage and allocation to the task. This feature of many CMMS solutions results is consistent use of the correct spare part for the job and better accounting of spares use. Some CMMS systems provide live links to equipment runtime components (such as hour meters) further automating the work assignment procedure.

In addition to immediate and short-term CMMS benefits long-term benefits may accrue in as little as six months depending upon level of use. The more the software is used the greater the benefits in general. Below is a listing of some of the long-term benefits of using work management software.

  • Querying the work history database simplifies compliance reporting.
  • Analysis of work history guides the maintenance manager in allocation of work.
  • Reporting spares usage provides a guide for restocking.
  • Reliability and overall equipment effectiveness KPIs optimize task assignments adding tasks in some cases and removing tasks in other cases.

Promoting the Benefits of Work Order Software to Employees
Choosing equipment maintenance software that is intuitive and accessible is a key factor in promoting the use of the software. Additionally, user screen customization is beneficial in that it gives the user a sense of personalization and control over the system. This user-level customization generally relates to screen colors, default screen, screen labels and other preferred settings. Configuring the software so that maintenance users are able to manage their own work has benefits as well. Studies have shown that a sense of accomplishment with work is a primary job satisfaction indicator. Use of work order software provides this satisfaction as maintenance employees see exactly what work is required and close out their own work orders. In many cases, this leads to improved morale and greater productivity. This is only possible if user level roles and permissions are available within the software.

By adopting this management style, users feel empowered and feel a greater sense of ownership of the equipment they are working on. Once again, this leads to improved morale and productivity.

Another group of software user are the personnel that request work. Making it simple for an inexperienced worker to submit a repair ticket to the software encourages the use of the system. In many cases a web interface is best for this function as it is accessible from many locations and various devices.

Promoting the benefits of work order software benefits your organization with the ultimate result of improving equipment reliability and the reducing maintenance costs.

Summary

Understanding the benefits of work order software, not just to your organization but also to those that use the software ensures that the system provides the maximum benefits while encouraging maintenance personnel to take ownership of the equipment they service. The results are efficient maintenance and equipment reliability.

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