by Jessica Bjerk, Training and Education Associate

There are some things I do because I have to like paying bills, putting gas in my car, or cleaning out the lint tray in the dryer. Then there are things I do because I like to do them like walking my dog Mr. Fuzz, taking my shoes off after a long day (you know the feeling), or listening to NPR.

have to love to

If I had it my way, my “have to’s” would be more fun. For example: bill paying would be a lot more desirable if every time my student loans were paid, Albert Einstein’s head would pop up on my computer screen and say something really wise and maybe mind-blowing. It’s just an idea. Why am I talking about this? Well, because I’m Jessica Bjerk and I work in the Training and Education department at Hammer (cue the dramatic music).

You see, training isn’t always the most popular department to be in and it’s because of the “have Albertto’s.” There are trainings here at Hammer we have to do, there is no getting around it. But just like my Albert Einstein idea, the eLearning training “have to’s” here at Hammer are beginning to look just a bit more fun. There are two reasons for this:

1. We now have an entire program that tracks training, lets you sign up for classes at Hammer, check your training transcripts, and take eLearning lessons all in a one-stop-shop. We call it HammerU.

2. We have a program called Captivate that helps us design and produce sweet eLearning lessons.

Making the “have to’s” fun and interactive helps employees retain the information better and for a longer period of time. The better people remember trainings, the better equipped they become to help the people we support live their lives to the fullest (that’s our mission!).

excitedCaptivate also allows us to “Hammerize” our trainings. Let’s say a person we support at Hammer has a brain injury. Now I can create an entire eLearning lesson about that specific type of brain injury and have it available on HammerU for that house. A video for a specific brain injury would be supplemental for the staff and would be paired with face-to-face training with an expert. Employees will eventually go through a few short eLearning lessons about the house and people who live there before they even start their shift. Here’s another example: I could be working at a new house I’ve never worked at before and am having a hard time figuring out how to use the brand new washer and dryer (seriously, they are like futuristic space machines). I could pull up a short step-by-step video on a computer or a Tablet about that house’s washer and dryer and – ta-da! – I’m a clothes-washing expert. Laundry

The possibilities are endless with this.

This type of readily available information and guidance will help our employees better serve the people we support at Hammer. This is big-time exciting … like just-winning-the-lottery exciting! Now, if only cleaning out the lint tray could be so fun.