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Virtual reality (VR) is an ever-evolving technology that creates a simulated environment and provides a sense of presence and immersion to the user.
VR is increasingly being used in the workplace to train employees and onboard new hires. In this article, we are going to look at the benefits of using VR for training, as well as real-world examples of VR being deployed successfully.
When looking at this technology you should first ask, why do we want to implement VR? Will there be a specific use case that makes sense for it? And also, how many people are actively going to utilize the technology. More often than not the specific need of VR isn’t direct enough and the headset will get onboarded and then collect dust. Making sure that there is an action plan to roll out VR company-wide is important for adoption and cost/benefit analysis.
Without further adieu, here are some benefits of using virtual reality in the workplace for job training and employee onboarding:
Safe environment for training: Virtual reality provides a safe environment for employees to learn new skills and practice them without any risk of injury or damage to equipment. This is particularly useful in industries where employees have to operate heavy machinery or deal with hazardous materials.
Cost-effective: VR training can be cost-effective compared to traditional training methods. Setting up a VR training program may require an initial investment, but it can save costs in the long run by reducing the need for expensive equipment and space, and by reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. We’ve seen millions in annualized savings with several of our clients who are using VR for hard-to-access job training (Toyota Material Handling Case Study), or for remote access to instructors who are few and far between.
Efficient use of time: VR training can be more efficient than traditional training methods as it allows employees to learn at their own pace and in their own time. This can also reduce the time spent on training and onboarding, as employees can quickly get up to speed with the required skills. VR allows for unlimited replayability, without the need for support staff, giving the new employee a chance to learn the job process virtually to an advanced degree of knowledge, before even entering the real world.
Immersive experience: VR provides an immersive experience that engages the employee and makes them feel like they are actually in the environment. This can lead to better retention of information and skills, and can also make the training more enjoyable.
Consistent training: VR training can provide a consistent experience for all employees, ensuring that they receive the same level of training and information. This can be particularly useful in industries where compliance and safety regulations are important.
Realistic simulations: VR can provide realistic simulations of different scenarios and environments that employees may encounter in their work. This can help them develop the necessary skills and confidence to handle these situations in a safe and effective manner.
Remote training: VR training can be accessed remotely, allowing employees to learn from anywhere at any time. This is particularly useful for companies with a global workforce, or for employees who are unable to attend in-person training sessions.
Feedback and assessment: VR training can provide immediate feedback and assessment of employee performance. This can help identify areas where additional training may be required, and can also provide employees with a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue learning. This can be taken to the next level with tools like the Vision Portal that allow for scalable management, administration, support and detailed analytics of VR training in the field.
These are the main benefits, but let’s also take a look at some real-world examples of how virtual reality is being used in the workplace for job training and employee onboarding successfully:
Safe Environment for Training: One example of VR being used to create a safe environment for training is in the oil and gas industry. Workers in this industry need to be trained to handle hazardous materials and operate heavy machinery. However, the risk of injury is high during such training. Therefore, companies are using VR to simulate the handling of hazardous materials and heavy machinery. This allows workers to practice these skills in a safe environment without any risk of injury. This could also involve conducting simulated drills, practicing the operation of complex machinery, or responding to emergency situations such as oil spills, fires, or gas leaks. All of these activities are carried out in a secure environment, where users can learn how to respond appropriately in case such events occur.
Cost-Effective: Walmart has been using VR for employee training in various scenarios, such as Black Friday sales and store emergencies. Previously, they used to build mock stores to simulate such events, which was expensive and not always practical. With VR, Walmart can create a simulated environment at a much lower cost and provide training to their employees from anywhere in the world.
Efficient Use of Time: Jaguar Land Rover has been using VR to train their engineers to work on electric vehicles. With the help of VR, they can learn how to disassemble and reassemble the components of an electric vehicle quickly and efficiently. This saves time, as the same training could take weeks to complete with traditional methods.
Immersive Experience: UPS is using VR to train their drivers on how to safely operate their delivery trucks. The VR simulation puts the driver in a real-world scenario, such as driving through city streets or dealing with hazardous road conditions. This provides an immersive experience that can make the training more engaging and enjoyable.
Consistent Training: Hilton Hotels is using VR to provide consistent training to their employees. The VR simulations provide a consistent experience, ensuring that all employees receive the same level of training and information. This is particularly useful for ensuring compliance with safety regulations and brand standards.
Realistic Simulations: The US Army is using VR to train soldiers for combat situations. The VR simulations provide a realistic experience of combat scenarios, such as urban warfare or convoy operations. This allows soldiers to practice their skills and develop the necessary confidence to handle these situations in real life.
Remote Training: Honeywell is using VR to train their employees on how to operate and maintain complex machinery. The VR simulations can be accessed remotely, allowing employees to learn from anywhere in the world. This is particularly useful for employees who are unable to attend in-person training sessions.
Feedback and Assessment: KFC is using VR to train their employees on how to cook their signature fried chicken. The VR simulation provides immediate feedback on the employee’s performance, such as the temperature of the oil or the amount of breading on the chicken. This allows KFC to provide instant feedback and identify areas where additional training may be required.
Virtual reality is being used in various industries to provide safe, cost-effective, efficient, immersive, and consistent training to employees. These real-world examples show how VR is transforming the way we train and onboard employees in the workplace. The benefits of using virtual reality in the workplace for job training and employee onboarding are many, including a safe environment for training, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, immersive experience, consistent training, realistic simulations, remote training, and immediate feedback and assessment.
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