Training new employees can be a burdensome process for any organisation, as time must be allocated and invested in teaching new starters the tasks and skills needed for their roles within the business. This ultimately results in lost productivity as staff must take new recruits through processes methodically, show them around the workplace environment, introduce them to colleagues and explain their role in detail rather than focusing on completing deadlines and to-do lists. What if there was a scalable and repeatable way to complete these tasks with limited disruption to your company’s daily operations? With the help of 360 video and Virtual Reality (VR) technology, this is now possible.
Businesses in all sectors can benefit from the use of VR as a way to train employees, particularly for larger corporate companies with high staff turnover, the technology is becoming an increasingly popular method. It can be incorporated into every step of the onboarding process, from the hiring stage itself, introducing potential recruits to international offices and colleagues, or even refreshing long-term employees.
VR can be used to create life-like working environments, where trainees have the opportunity to become familiar with their work setting before physically stepping foot inside. It can also showcase an organisation in unique ways, during the training process to work through potential scenarios, understanding tasks and equipment, or how to perform safety procedures – all demonstrating a digitally immersive, forward-thinking and efficient workplace that could in itself be a powerful tool for attracting desired candidates who may be considering other options.
Offering imaginative ways to onboard staff also allows those partaking to be more engaged and active in what they’re doing, allowing them to learn by practice, rather than just listening and taking notes.
Changing the way corporations approach training is beneficial to new employees, as VR offers new and engaging techniques for learning and development. By making it more interactive, there is a higher chance that those being trained will retain the information at a better level than they would using traditional techniques. It was found that Experiential Learning is the most effective way to learn, increasing the quality of learning and retention by 75-90%.
It has become evident over recent years that more companies are beginning to utilise VR and 360 video in their training strategies, including KFC, UPS, NASA and the US Armed Forces.
In retail and fast food industries, using VR enables a workforce to become more productive in the ways they spend their time, as well as offering engaging training to new employees. At KFC, trainees are able to practice the five stages of preparing and cooking chicken following KFC guidelines via a VR experience, which reduces wastage, costs and time, while demonstrating the correct methods in unique ways.
Similarly, UPS uses replicated virtual delivery trucks for workers to practice driving in real-life circumstances, including deliveries, pick up sites, hazards and dealing with traffic. This is a safer and more cost effective (and more eco-friendly!) alternative than training in real vehicles without jeopardising their learning experience.
NASA and the Armed Forces are companies with a high level of risk within their daily duties, but by using VR, the element of danger is removed without affecting the training methods. Armed Forces recruits are able to practice what to do in real-life shooting scenarios, and NASA astronauts can be taught how to perform complicated tasks without gravity through VR, by constructing similar environments for trainees to immerse themselves in. Having the ability to simulate difficult or hazardous environments better prepares new employees for real life situations.
In turn, this saves businesses time and money. Incorporating VR into your onboarding program means that there is no need to hire talent to train staff or depend on co-workers to take time out of their daily duties to do so. The upfront costs of VR don’t compare to the endless benefits that come from using this technology, as well as the long-term ability to continue to use this method. Workforce training is continuously changing, but with VR, it can be conducted remotely, so the cost (and carbon footprint!) of travelling is removed.
As well as being cost-effective, VR enables businesses to recreate situations that may be hazardous in real-life or scenarios that are more difficult to encounter in the real world, and therefore challenging to train and prepare for. VR technology removes these limitations and allows staff to get hands-on experience, preparing them for the future.
If you are looking to enhance the learning experience for your employees, we can help to bring VR to life in your recruitment and training process, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org