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As virtual reality technology continues to develop, it’s becoming clear that the immersive experiences it provides can be used to deliver more impactful employee training programs that can fill a wide range of skills gaps.
Virtual reality can not only help develop key skills, but also soft skills gaps, with Harvard Business Report data suggesting that 59% of hiring managers surveyed and some 89% of executives struggled to recruit candidates with soft skills in communication, teamwork and leadership.
As many companies face a future built on remote work and collaboration, many of these soft skills, as well as key skills, are gaining in value.
Data from Gallup shows the breakneck pace at which the emergence of working from home (WFH) has swept away remote jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means that companies will invariably be forced to think about how they onboard and train their employees, with virtual reality being a logical, immersive and engaging solution best placed to deliver effective results.
Distance learning that reproduces individual environments.
While it’s certainly worth pointing out the immersive qualities of virtual reality, STRIVR, an immersive learning platform, points out that training managers were also impressed with the time savings of VR training as opposed to video learning and reading textbooks. The implications of using VR for issues related to onboarding and employee training involve saving hours of learning time rather than mere minutes.
Virtual reality works as a time-saving tool as it has the power to provide a comprehensive learning experience that ensures sufficient levels of engagement to ensure employees learn and retain more information over periods of time. relatively short. To achieve this, modules can be defined by instructional designers who can draw on extensive industry experience to optimize learner time in a more personalized way.
This makes VR training as impactful as one-to-one sessions, but delivered remotely and in a fraction of the time required by more traditional training programs. This means companies looking to convert their in-house training programs to a remote work environment won’t have to worry about skill drops when adopting virtual reality solutions.
Additionally, VR training can help users provide instant feedback. This allows employees to better understand their issues and work to retain the right information more efficiently.
Learn from controlled virtual scenarios.
Whether performing critical operations on patients or undergoing difficult procedures on remote oil rigs, virtual reality enables employees to prepare accordingly by immersing them in complex scenarios in an environment safe and controlled virtual.
While this form of training is being adopted to prepare individuals for high-risk positions over the next few years, there are also many remote applications suitable for immersive training. Indeed, virtual reality has the potential to simulate scenarios that can help develop soft skills such as leadership qualities and the ability to collaborate effectively in teams.
“In an interactive virtual environment, you can set up real-world scenarios that can drive home-based training in ways that an in-person classroom environment often cannot. This is especially useful when training employees to the use of specific equipment or machinery,” Saagar Govil, CEO of AR and VR technology manufacturing company, Cemtrex, told the HR Daily Advisor.
“Various scenarios can be safely and repeatedly played out for each trainee hundreds of times if needed. Virtual reality and augmented reality can provide safer training environments for industries such as manufacturing and oil and gas. gas during a pandemic, but many companies have found that is far from the only benefit these modern technologies can bring,” Govil added.
Tangible improvements in decision-making.
It is through the complex scenarios that can be rendered by virtual reality programs that can help companies identify gaps in skill sets and close them effectively.
For this, virtual reality can combine with insights from artificial intelligence to analyze the big data produced by employees in their decision-making and make changes on the fly to help hone new skills and abilities.
With the ability to generate just about any job-relevant encounter, virtual reality allows for a greater element of dynamic control over the situations an employee may encounter on the job.
To illustrate this point, VR and AR agency Visualize has partnered with Deloitte to create a series of films developed with the aim of engaging employees. By creating a virtual point-of-view scenario, employees were able to visualize complex situations and react to them in a more engaging way. In Visualise’s VR construction, moments were implemented that encouraged the user to make the decision to react, with each possible reaction leading to a new set of scenarios in the narrative.
The result of these training measures revealed that Deloitte achieved a higher level of engagement among its employees, as well as better levels of information retention.
Although virtual reality training is still in its infancy, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the vast potential of the metaverse have combined to make an WFH-based future not only likely, but potentially lucrative.
Companies that move faster to explore VR training programs for new hires and existing employees are likely to reap the rewards and gain a competitive edge over their rivals. With better information retention and efficient skill development over time the price for teams embracing virtual reality training, the adoption of reality technology has the potential to be fruitful for HR professionals. who are the fastest to embrace this form of digital transformation.
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