VR training – How is Virtual Reality Helping Organizations Train Employees?

Amardeep Rawat August 30, 2022
VR training - How is Virtual Reality Helping Organizations Train Employees

In today’s fast-paced world, technologies and methodologies are changing at a rapid pace. For businesses to remain competitive in the market, it is mandatory for organizations to keep up with the pace. To make it possible, not only does the organization need to stay updated with the technologies and methodologies, but it is equally important to ensure that their workforce is also fully equipped and well trained on the same.

Workforce training has become the priority for most upcoming organizations. However, it has been an area of difficulty for various reasons like traveling, potential safety concerns, and complex training scenarios. Pandemic has only added to these difficulties. However, VR in training has come as a relief.

The global virtual reality market size was valued at $21.83 billion in the year 2021. This is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 15% from 2022 to 2030. This is a clear indication that VR training has the power to revolutionize the corporate world, especially when we are learning to adapt to ever-changing work environments. The need for skill-based training has become even more crucial with the onset of the pandemic leading to an increasingly remote-based workforce.

According to the research conducted, the market size of virtual training and simulation was valued at $204.41 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $601.85 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 13.7% from 2020 to 2027.

virtual training and simulation

What is Virtual Reality Training?      

Virtual reality in training is a simulated experience that can be close to or exactly similar to real-world scenarios. The words, virtual means imaginary, and reality means the practical situation. This can be put in simple words as creating a real-life situation without actually getting into that situation to train people.

Traditionally, employee training involved a blended learning approach that included manuals, videos, classroom sessions, on-the-job training, and one-on-one mentorship. This approach turned out to be very expensive as the in-person training required extra time from the employee affecting productivity, travel time, and infrastructure cost covered for the trainer and the training material. And, this could not be extended to a larger group. On the other hand, such training when reaching larger groups isn’t as effective. 

That’s the reason why organizations are adapting VR training techniques that offer immersive learning that can train the workforce faster than ever before. With the help of VR gadgets like gloves, headsets, glasses, and bodysuits, the learner gets to immerse in a highly simulated environment that provides lifelike scenarios providing them better learning in the safest way possible. 

VR training offers a 360-degree active learning environment along with the experience of sound and sight, thus breaking the barriers between virtual and actual reality. With the help of the gadgets, the learner responds and reacts to the situations created. The traditional training that was difficult, expensive, and dangerous can now be provided in a much safer environment and is much more effective and quicker.

When the practical training is combined with the narrative and the curriculum developed by the subject matter experts, it provides a wholesome experience significantly improving retention while reducing the learning curve. This, in turn, improves job performance, team collaboration, workplace safety, and costs.

VR Training Benefits that an Organization can Exploit

VR in business is defining new rules for training. Its benefits are immense, not only in training but in business holistically. The fusion of corporate training and experiential learning is impactful and is helping many companies take a leap in this competitive business world.

Mentioned below are some of the benefits that companies are leveraging that, in turn, lead to cost savings, better employee engagement, and enhanced operational efficiency.

VR Training Benefits

Improved Customer Service

Customer satisfaction is a broad term and involves multiple perspectives. A well-prepared employee can face customers with empathy and emotion. Virtual Reality training benefits the customer-facing employees by offering on-demand practice learning.

Communication skill is another important aspect of customer service. Providing mock situations from real-world experiences will help the agents to be better prepared to handle all kinds of customers from frustrated ones to inquisitive ones.

VR training allows people to practice critical thinking while assessing the holistic picture of what customers need. Financial institutions are one such example where customer service agents face difficult customers. With VR training, the organizations can improve customer satisfaction scores approximately by 10% in less than six months.

Reduced Onboarding Time

Every business wants the new hire to contribute at the earliest. VR training helps achieve this business goal. It provides realistic scenarios in the virtual environment that can easily be replicated in the real work environment making the new hires learn the skill quickly.

One such example is United Rentals. By recreating the construction sites on a virtual reality platform, the employees could walk through various sites saving on travel time. Overall, the training time was reduced by 40% without affecting the effectiveness of the training.

Increased Operational Efficiency

To maintain the competitive advantage/edge, businesses regularly need to adapt to the changing technologies and roll out innovations. Such rollouts can only be successful if done at scale with consistency and the same effectiveness. VR in training is an effective way to roll out similar training for the new product launches or new process implementations to the employees across the geographies. 

VR training helps organizations to train their employees even before the equipment is practically installed. Creating the virtual situation and making the employees ready will help in reducing the training time drastically and will imbibe confidence in the product leading to better customer satisfaction scores.

Reduced Employee Turnover

VR in training can provide a realistic picture of the job role to the prospective employees. This will help in hiring the right candidates that will increase the retention rate. With VR headsets, the prospective employees can be provided with an overview of the environment, culture, and workplace so that they join the team with no surprises and are well prepared.

Not only the new hires but the existing employees can be trained on the new products or the refreshers and other training that show them the learning and the growth path within the organization. This will keep the employees engaged making them happy, thus reducing the turnover rate.

Decreased Incident Cost

The best way to offer a safe environment is by preparing them with safer workplace rules. A traditional rule book does not remain with the employees and the information read diminishes with time. VR training has proven to yield better information retention possibilities. The interactive scenarios in experiential learning prepare the workforce for every situation, good, bad, or dangerous.

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Applications and Use Cases of VR in Training 

VR training is widely accepted in the business world and the market growth says it all. At times, it is overwhelming to adopt new technology, however, knowing its benefits and features before making a final decision is a wise step. We have reviewed some of the benefits that VR training has and its impact. If you are still skeptical about incorporating it into your training methods, mentioned below are some of the use cases where VR training is being used to great effect.

Crisis Management

As we have been talking about, virtual reality training is to create near to practical scenarios specific to the job role. This provides an opportunity to create even scenarios that may not have been possible otherwise. This is a great way to tailor the potential crises that encourage the learner to analyze the situation closely thus enhancing their problem-solving skills.

Real-life scenarios that involve handling dangerous situations or critical conditions, can be created virtually to prepare the employees better on how to deal with them without any potentially harmful consequences. For example, medical surgeons can become proficient in performing critical surgeries through VR training by practicing in the virtual theaters created for surgeries without risking a patient.

While doing such exercises, the employer can receive measurable data on individual employees’ performance and analyze the growth over time. This helps employees in getting immediate feedback that helps them improve their performance with focus yielding better results.

Decision Making

Throwing specially designed scenarios helps in analyzing the decision-making skills of employees, simultaneously helping them build their skill sets. 

With virtual reality, you get the ability to create dynamic situations applicable to the employee’s job role. This helps the trainees get into an immersive learning environment that prepares them to effectively navigate through every odd situation they may come across.

Hands-on Experience

The roles that require hands-on experience to perform their daily job need to undergo extensive on-the-job training. However, as mentioned earlier as well, these come with multiple challenges. The solution again is VR training.

VR allows the employees to get trained on these difficult tasks in a completely controlled environment. For example, the construction industry can take advantage of VR training to train their employees on how to operate heavy machinery. 

Advanced VR headsets with controls empower the users to completely immerse into the scene rather than just observing and learning. This way learning becomes fun, engaging, and memorable.

Remote Training 

Situations like pandemic might have pushed you and your employees to work remotely. Another reason for organizations to adopt remote working environments might be the presence of the offices/staff members in different locations. Though this is a sign of expansion, training employees remotely with consistent training format is a challenging and time consuming task. Also, bringing the whole team to one location or the trainer visiting the location, is expensive, yet ineffective. 

VR training comes in as a boon to such challenges, ensuring consistency in the remote training process throughout.

Also check out,  The applications and benefits of VR and wearables in the healthcare industry

Examples of Companies Using VR Training

Virtual reality training is actually not a new technology. It is being used in industries that require simulation training like flying a plane or cruising a ship. Considering its benefits with the refinement in the VR for business, other industries too are taking advantage of the same.

Mentioned below are some of the examples that have successfully adopted VR training.

Examples of Companies Using VR Training

ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil is using VR for safety training. Learning starts with putting on the safety gear and headphones and getting the controllers to engage multiple senses to experience how VR will react. 

For oil and gas operators, learning through the virtual garage is a tough lesson learned easily and safely. The learner can get on to the loading tanker to handle various conditions created by VR from mundane tasks to the most complex situation. The employee thus gets to polish his/her skill with better problem-solving capabilities and quicker decision-making. This prepares them well to work smartly and safely.

KFC

Having their branches across the globe, it is important to bring consistency in the taste with the right ingredients and cooking techniques. KFC has been using virtual reality for training employees to make them practice so that they can come up to the level that the taste developed is oh-so-good.

Walmart

Walmart trained its employees on the new technology that was introduced for the in-store pickup options. The goal was to ensure the pickup standard consistency across the locations. 

Employees were trained virtually on the new technology even before the equipment was installed by providing them with a virtual environment and situations based on the new technology. This helped them remove interruptions from regular business flow and reduced the time needed to train the employees drastically.

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How VR can Ease the Pressure of High-Risk Training 

Employees who specialize in hard skills required in the industries like construction, manufacturing, cargo handling, etc. face the constant threats of physical risks. Providing on-the-job training involves huge costs, and lengthy training duration, and can be dangerous.

Organizations now are realizing the benefits of using virtual reality for training in such scenarios. The training provided is invaluable, safer, efficient, and cost-effective. Similarly in the medical field, it provides virtual training by actually involving real patients. This also helps the organizations to train their employees online by offering them get trained at their own convenient time and place. The manufacturers and distributors can keep their critical supply chains online without taking time out for training their employees.

Also check out, VR and Metaverse use cases and benefits for modern businesses

The industries that can leverage the virtual reality training solutions to the maximum in near future are healthcare, commercial sector, aerospace and defense industries, and education.

Organizations are taking advantage of either virtual reality training software or hardware or a combination of both the virtual reality training systems to train their employees with minimum effort and maximum efficiency.

  • With the upsurge of healthcare requirements, the industry is already short-staffed. Lack of proper training can lead to deficiencies in critical skills in the near future. A University of Michigan study has estimated that one out of three surgeons cannot operate independently. 

VR-enabled experience can reduce this gap providing realistic simulation of the operation theater to help the practitioners learn the real-time stress and make the right decisions.

  • Another industry that is leveraging it to the fullest is the cargo handling industry. The airports today are spread across acres of land that might even be as big as six soccer fields. VR can enable the cargo handler to learn how to load and unload the shipment, improve coordination with other team members, and even learn how to operate and drive the forklift in the simulated environment.

Similarly, other industries too can leverage the virtual reality solutions by offering the highest standard training by increasing their operational efficiency thus increasing the growth possibilities of the organization.

Let Appinventiv Help You Incorporate Virtual Reality into Your Corporate Training

A diversified workforce, critical processes, and lesser yet effective training period are all that an organization strives for. 

Appinventiv can become your partner that can elevate your corporate training program. We can provide you with accelerated growth and better employee retention with our VR app development services.

For instance, our seasoned and innovative team successfully developed a VR-based application for Avatus, which helped them achieve great results in business. 

Let us get together to create a VR-enabled training platform for your organization. Get in touch!

Conclusion

It has become the need of the hour for companies to adopt new technologies to stay competitive. VR for business is an innovative technology that has helped employers respond positively to the fast-changing working environment and conditions.

VR training has come up as a successful tool to provide immersive training that will also keep the employees highly trained, motivated and productive just at the time when you need your employees to perform their best.

FAQs

Q. What are the metrics to measure VR employee training effectiveness?

A. The key metric to measure the effectiveness of VR training is the hours saved. By replacing instructor-led training with VR training, the employee gets best-in-class training in less time and in a safer environment. This also helps the management to analyze the results of what is possible and where they can save time and ultimately money.

Q. Is VR training beneficial for leadership development training?

A. While VR training is highly effective in immersive learning to train employees for physical work, it has proved to be highly beneficial for learning management skills, handling high-pressure situations, role-playing, effective communication, and much more.

Q. How can virtual reality amp up employee training?

A. Regular upskilling and growth are what keeps employees motivated to contribute to organizational growth. Providing growth opportunities and relevant training has become part of the organization’s structure. VR training can help in the following way-

  • Allowing the employees to participate in real-world scenarios
  • Promote learning and retention
  • Helps in hiring the right people for the job role.
THE AUTHOR
Amardeep Rawat
ASSOCIATE VICE PRESIDENT
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