How to use VR in corporate training
In today’s fast-paced business landscape, staying ahead of the competition requires a commitment to innovation and employee development.
Virtual Reality (VR) training has emerged as a transformative tool that not only sets businesses apart but also equips them with a competitive edge.
From enhancing employee skills to optimizing operational efficiency, VR training offers plenty of benefits that are reshaping the way organizations educate and empower their workforce.
In this blog, we will delve into the strategies, considerations, and best practices for successfully incorporating VR training into your business operations.
Whether you’re a startup looking to invest in cutting-edge training methods or an established corporation seeking to revitalize your employee development programs, this guide will provide you with the insights needed to harness the power of VR and drive your business toward greater success.
Most notably, virtual and augmented reality technologies are now coming into the workplace, offering teams more interactive and immersive learning experience in a safe environment.
What is virtual reality training?
Virtual reality training or VR training is a digital simulation of realistic scenarios used for training purposes and skill development. Virtual reality technology is used to provide immersive and interactive learning process in a virtual environment using VR headsets.
It allows individuals to practice and acquire new skills, gain knowledge, or undergo specific training scenarios in a virtual environment that replicates real-world situations.
VR training vs. virtual training
Virtual Reality (VR) training and Virtual Training are two distinct approaches to train and educate participants. Both of them leverage digital technology but differ in their immersive nature.
Virtual training or online training typically refers to web or computer-based training programs that can be accessed remotely. It includes a wide range of e-learning modules, webinars, and digital courses that offer flexibility and accessibility.
E-learning is of course an altogether sophisticated affair. Many corporations have dedicated learning teams to inspire workplace skill development, while platforms like Udemy and Coursera offer thousands of online courses to an increasingly hybrid workforce.
In contrast, VR training takes immersion to the next level, transporting learners into realistic, three-dimensional environments where they can interact with objects, scenarios, and other users.
While both approaches have their merits, VR training stands out for its ability to provide experiential learning, enabling users to practice skills and decision-making in lifelike settings.
This distinction makes VR training particularly valuable for industries requiring hands-on experience, such as healthcare, aviation, and manufacturing, where the most immersive training experience can bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.
Why do you need virtual reality training?
Virtual reality (VR) training is essential for businesses due to its ability to provide immersive and interactive learning experiences. It offers a realistic and controlled environment where employees can engage in lifelike simulations without real-world risks.
Virtual training has become one of the most popular use cases for virtual reality. Greater immersion in your environment can promote emotional involvement with the subject matter, which results in better training outcomes and greater recall for learners.
VR is a great training tool, and it is particularly valuable for industries with hazardous or complex tasks, such as aviation, healthcare, manufacturing, and emergency response.
VR training also offers cost-efficiency by reducing expenses associated with traditional training methods, such as travel and equipment.
Moreover, it enhances employee engagement, accelerates learning, ensures standardization of training experiences, and provides valuable data analytics for tracking and improving performance.
What are the benefits of VR for corporate training?
VR training enhances learning outcomes by improving knowledge retention and skills acquisition through immersive experiences. It contributes to safety and risk mitigation by allowing employees to practice procedures without real-world consequences.
VR training is accessible and scalable, enabling remote access and easy adaptation to a growing workforce. It results in cost savings over time by reducing the need for physical training facilities and materials.
Additionally, it increases engagement and motivation among learners, offers customization to address specific business needs, and provides real-time feedback to help employees improve their performance promptly.
Overall, VR training is a versatile and cost-effective tool for enhancing employee skills, productivity, and compliance with industry regulations in a corporate setting.
Now when it is clear that virtual reality is useful for corporate training, let’s have a look at what kind of training can you do in VR.
Types of VR corporate training
1. VR Soft skills training
Soft skills training in virtual reality (VR) has gained prominence as a transformative approach to developing essential interpersonal and communication skills in the modern workplace.
According to a report by PwC titled “The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Soft Skills Training in the Enterprise,” VR-based soft skills training has demonstrated remarkable results.
The study found that VR training can be up to four times faster than traditional methods, allowing employees to acquire critical skills like leadership, teamwork, and empathy more efficiently.
Furthermore, PwC’s research revealed that VR training led to a significant increase in employee confidence, with participants reporting a 4.3 times higher emotional connection to the content compared to conventional training.
This highlights the unique ability of VR to create immersive, emotionally engaging scenarios that foster deeper learning and skill retention.
As businesses continue to recognize the importance of soft skills in the workplace, VR training emerges as a powerful training tool to equip employees with the interpersonal competencies needed for success in today’s dynamic and collaborative business environment.
2. VR Team trainings and workshops
Internal team training and workshops conducted in virtual reality (VR) represent a cutting-edge approach to fostering collaboration, innovation, and efficiency within organizations.
These VR-based sessions facilitate team building and problem-solving in entirely new ways. Participants can immerse themselves in interactive environments where they collaborate on projects, brainstorm ideas, and practice decision-making in a realistic environment.
The technology allows teams to overcome geographical barriers, enabling remote employees to engage fully in the training process, thereby promoting inclusivity.
Moreover, the immersive nature of VR team training enhances engagement and ensures that participants actively absorb information and skills, resulting in a more profound and lasting impact.
Notably, the absence of the need for physical travel translates into significant cost savings for companies, as teams can achieve these training objectives without incurring travel expenses. Check out our ROI of VR blog to learn more.
As organizations continue to adapt to remote and hybrid work models, VR offers a dynamic platform to create engaging and productive team training experiences that can empower teams to thrive in today’s ever-changing business landscape while contributing to cost efficiency.
3. VR Customer’s training
Incorporating virtual reality into customer interactions has emerged as a powerful tool for education and consultancy services. Businesses can now use VR to provide customers with immersive, hands-on experiences that go beyond traditional methods.
Whether you’re an educator looking to engage students in a new way or a consultant seeking to illustrate complex concepts, VR can bridge the gap between explanation and understanding.
By putting customers directly into virtual simulation, they can gain a deeper comprehension of products, services, or concepts, fostering a more interactive and memorable learning experience.
This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also builds trust and credibility, as customers can see and experience the value of your offerings firsthand.
As VR continues to evolve, its applications in customer education and consultancy are poised to revolutionize how businesses engage and educate their clients, ultimately driving better outcomes and deeper relationships.
4. VR HR Training & Onboarding
Leveraging virtual reality for HR purposes, such as onboarding, is a game-changing approach that enhances the employee experience from day one. VR enables organizations to create immersive and engaging onboarding experiences that help to assimilate new hires to company culture, values, and processes in a highly interactive manner.
Instead of traditional paperwork and static presentations, new employees can navigate through virtual environments, meet key team members, and even simulate real-life work scenarios.
This not only accelerates the onboarding process but also boosts the retention of crucial information, resulting in quicker integration and productivity.
Moreover, VR onboarding eliminates geographical constraints, allowing companies to provide a consistent and inclusive onboarding experience for remote employees.
By embracing VR for HR purposes, businesses can foster a more emotionally connected, efficient, and welcoming onboarding process, setting a positive tone for new hires’ journey within the organization.
5. VR Medical training
Medical training has been significantly enhanced through the integration of virtual reality (VR) technology. This innovative approach provides medical professionals with realistic and immersive learning experiences that are crucial for skill development and decision-making in healthcare.
Medical students, physicians, and surgeons can practice a wide range of procedures and scenarios in a safe and controlled VR environment, allowing them to improve their skills and build confidence without the risks associated with real patients.
Moreover, VR training can simulate rare or complex medical cases, providing learners with exposure to situations they might encounter infrequently in clinical practice.
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, VR medical training becomes an invaluable tool for improving patient care and safety, ensuring that healthcare professionals are well-prepared and proficient in their critical roles.
6. VR Safety training
Safety training has witnessed a transformation with the integration of virtual reality (VR) technology. VR offers a powerful platform for providing realistic and immersive safety training experiences across various industries.
From manufacturing to construction, aviation to healthcare, employees can now engage in lifelike, realistic simulations of hazardous situations and emergency scenarios without exposing themselves to actual risks.
This hands-on training not only improves knowledge retention but also enhances muscle memory and decision-making skills.
Moreover, VR allows for repeatable and scalable training experiences, ensuring that all employees receive consistent and standardized safety instruction.
By simulating critical safety procedures and environments, VR training equips workers with the skills and confidence needed to respond effectively in real-world situations, ultimately reducing accidents and ensuring safer work environments.
7. Realistic VR simulation
Realistic VR simulation is a groundbreaking technology that recreates lifelike environments and scenarios within a virtual world.
It allows users to immerse themselves fully in a digital replica of real-life situations, whether it’s flying an aircraft, performing surgery, or navigating hazardous work conditions.
The key to its effectiveness lies in its ability to replicate sensory experiences, including visuals, sounds, and sometimes even touch.
Realistic VR simulations offer valuable training opportunities by providing a safe and controlled environment for learners to practice and refine their skills, ultimately enhancing their readiness for real-world challenges.
As technology advances, the level of realism in VR simulations continues to improve, making it an invaluable tool across various industries for education, training, and problem-solving.
Virtual reality training examples from a real-companies?
1. Deutsche Telekom MMS
Deutsche Telekom MMS supports large corporations and medium-sized companies in their digital transformation with around 2,100 employees at nine locations. Deutsche Telekom MMS develops end-to-end experiences, which go beyond digital with the use of virtual reality technology.
The Deutsche Telekom MMS team has used Glue for workshops, prototyping, planning sessions, and review meetings for more than 2 years.
Konecranes is a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses, using a branded workshop space in Glue to educate their trainees about the S-Series hoist. The participants go through the exercise instructions, then they examine the model and complete the exercises to deepen their learning.
3D visualisation creates a better understanding of how the hoist works and keeps participants more engaged and focused on the subject during the training.
3. University of Münster
The University of Münster employs virtual reality for various purposes, including conducting seminars and providing students with immersive experiences in the metaverse. Through these seminars, students have the unique opportunity to engage with VR technology, gaining firsthand experience in the metaverse and its applications.
This hands-on approach not only enriches their understanding but also equips them with valuable skills and insights that are increasingly relevant in today’s digital landscape.
How to implement VR training into your business operations
To implement VR training into your business operations effectively, focus on these five key steps:
1. Identify Training Needs:
Identify specific areas where VR training can benefit your organization, addressing skills gaps or knowledge gaps.
2. Select the Right VR Solution:
Choose a suitable VR platform or solution that aligns with your training objectives and budget. Choose a reliable VR headset with all the essential technical features to ensure a seamless VR training experience.
3. Create or Select Content:
Develop or select engaging VR training content that mirrors real-world scenarios relevant to your goals. Tailoring the content to your specific needs and objectives will enhance the effectiveness of your VR training program.
4. Pilot Programs and Gather Feedback:
Start with pilot programs to test and refine your VR training. Gather feedback from participants to make improvements and polish the experience.
5. Scale Gradually and Provide Support:
Gradually roll out VR training, ensuring employees have access to equipment and proper training. Offer ongoing support procedural training, and continuously improve your training programs based on results and technological advancements.
Practical tips for VR training implementation
The newness of it all can be intimidating, so in this post, I offer a few tips to help you kick-start the process of implementing VR training in your organisation.
1. Ease your team into the world of VR training
Our first tip is to avoid jumping straight into the deep end with immersive technologies.
If your teams have never put on a headset, it’s important to start with an explanation of the VR benefits and how it will help their work. After that you can then start distributing headsets and scheduling onboarding sessions to familiarize your team with the tech, guiding them on how to navigate different spaces and interact with others.
2. Keep your onboarding sessions light and engaging
When you go into that first onboarding session, it’s important to have a plan.
Prepare the materials and the space in advance.
This way, everything is in place when you arrive for the session itself, including any written instructions or collaboration tools you’d like to use, as Air France KLM Group demonstrates. Some spaces have breakout rooms, so think about how you might use them.
Remember to keep the session light-hearted and engaging. Avoid information overload.
Instead, focus on encouraging participation and collaboration. If you’re hosting a larger group, establish some house rules, such as muting when not speaking or raising hands to signal intent to speak.
Lastly, in the first session, encourage exploration – be there to assist, but allow a safe space for independent discovery.
3. Create your own VR learning experiences
Beyond that introductory session is where things get really exciting as you have the opportunity to create and curate your own VR training experiences.
Could parts of your company’s training program benefit from an immersion into the VR world, giving them the vibrancy they perhaps lack in more traditional formats? (I imagine that company staples like code of conduct and sourcing training could be made a whole lot more engaging in VR :))
Beyond that, what other unique learning experiences might you develop?
Perhaps you could digitize a training workshop that’s challenging or expensive to conduct in the real world or create a demo showcase to train staff and customers on your products and truly stand out from the crowd.
As VR offers an immersive platform conducive to storytelling and interaction, you should be striving to create wow experiences that captivate your audience.
Just like IQM has done when showcasing its quantum computing technology to customers.
For any new VR training session you create, I’d also recommend you think about building in a fun icebreaker activity: as headroom’s Daniel Schaefer explains, an icebreaker can get people “used to expressing themselves in the space” and help foster that “sense of togetherness”
4. Get feedback after each session
VR training solutions are flexible and can be readily adjusted based on feedback. Take the time to understand from your colleagues what worked and what didn’t.
Every team is unique and finding the most effective use cases for them is key, as exemplified by Axel Springer, which experimented with a wide array of environments and meetings before zeroing in on the most effective ones.
As with any new technology, VR use in business for learning and employee training presents a learning curve. However, the rewards are worth the investment.
Businesses are discovering that VR enables highly effective training. It allows employees to practice skills in a safe, controlled environment, receive instant feedback, and learn through an engaging, hands-on approach, often surpassing the effectiveness of traditional training methods.
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