By Tyler Keenan
Training and onboarding new employees is expensive. Exactly how expensive is hard to say, but a good rule of thumb is that it costs around six months of an employee’s annual salary just to get them hired and up to speed. This includes some of the hidden costs such as decreased productivity for other employees who may need to help out their new colleague as well as potential lost revenue from preventable mistakes. This applies whether you’re talking about hiring a C-suite role or an entry-level position.
Recently, a potential solution has emerged: virtual reality (VR) training. In fact, VR training is already being used to varying extents by retail and fast food giants, the U.S. Army, British government, and the NFL. In the near future, you can expect more companies and sectors to get in on the (virtual) action.
The Future of Onboarding?
VR training is somewhere between video training and hands-on lessons. Hands-on training may be highly effective, exposing trainees to realistic scenarios and providing them with real-time feedback and supervision, but it can be expensive both in terms of cost and time commitment. Traditional video training makes the opposite tradeoff: It’s easy to put new trainees in a room where they all watch the same video, but this sort of passive training is often less effective.
How does VR training differ from traditional video or hands-on training? The answer is the same thing that’s made VR a hot trend in consumer entertainment: its immersiveness. There’s already some evidence that VR simulations are more effective than video training. Not to mention, a growing body of psychological research suggests VR can help reduce subconscious bias and even aid in reducing delusional behaviors and feelings.
Beyond simply “training,” how exactly is VR being used to replace or augment traditional training and onboarding programs? While it varies across industries, you can broadly group the benefits of VR job training into three categories.
On the Job Training, Minus the Job
Depending on the job and industry, it can take a new employee months or longer to become proficient at their duties. This delay may result not simply from the time it takes to mentally learn or memorize their tasks, but also from becoming comfortable performing them. The immersiveness of VR training can help employees become more comfortable and confident performing their basic duties before they’ve even set foot on the job.
This can apply to all kinds of scenarios. For retail and food service workers, this might involve dealing with a spill, serving a difficult customer, or even simply navigating a crowded store or dining area. Simulations can employ not just VR but also natural language processing and AI to create more lifelike situations than the sometimes stilted role-playing exercises many companies commonly use in hands-on training.
Other simulations focus on high-skilled engineering and mechanical tasks. For example, the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault is using VR to create immersive training experiences for mechanics and technicians. <a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="https://www.si.com/nfl/2017/09/27/nfl-officials-virtual-reality-strivr-intel-freed" Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community