Seeing soldiers in simulated war zones, firefighters putting out virtual five-alarm fires, or surgeons performing emergency procedures on digital patients. These virtual reality training applications provide a Free Guy-worthy thrill, albeit Ryan Reynolds’ quirky sense of humor. But what about facilities, businesses, and corporations?
Most businesses work towards boosting their employees’ ability to learn and apply new skills and information. This becomes undeniably easier with the help of virtual reality training.
As the name suggests, virtual reality training refers to the digital simulation of real-world scenarios for training purposes. VR training has garnered popularity since it allows employees to participate in scenarios that were expensive, dangerous, or impractical to experience in the real world.
Numerous statistics speak in favor of adopting virtual reality for training. According to a report released by PWC, virtual reality speeds up training by four times, and employees are 275% more confident to apply the skills they learned. If this doesn’t encourage the use of VR for training, I don’t know what will.
Benefits of virtual reality training for businesses
Improves employee performance
One of the key benefits of VR training is that it helps improve employee performance. This is because VR provides real-world simulations, which allows employees to get a complete hands-on experience. In addition, participating in these virtual training scenarios builds muscle memory and practice, which boosts employees’ efficiency, performance, and productivity when carrying out the tasks in real life.
This was proven true when Johnson and Johnson Institute began employing VR for immersive surgical training. The result? A whopping 230% increase in surgical performance.
The importance of VR training intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a skills shortage of lab technicians. To meet this challenge head-on, Credersi partnered up with Dam Health, a COVID-19 testing laboratory, to design the first-ever VR COVID-19 lab training module for technicians.
Builds engagement with the learning material
The inherent delight of fully immersive experiences can capture the attention of even the most disinterested employee. This is because the VR training experience is never a one-way street. Those in training are never in passive positions, where they merely absorb and repeat instructions.
VR training encourages input by turning the learner, or “student”, into an active user who has to physically and mentally engage to participate.
It’s important to note that, while immersed in a virtual world, distraction is nearly impossible. This is proven by the fact that VR training helps learners emotionally connect with the content 3.75 more times.
Fosters innovation through experimentation
You don’t create a great new website without exploring options and testing on a staging site. Similarly, VR training promotes testing and creative thinking because it offers a safe space. So your most prominent thinkers and “idea guys” can go for it — challenging current processes and procedures with new thoughts and approaches.
This is how something new can precipitate better ideas. For example, rearranging system components into new configurations, with no risk of negative consequences.
Regardless of how high-stakes or complex the business functions within an enterprise, fearless experimentation is essential for innovative problem-solving. The spirit of VR experimentation among social science researchers has led to a highly effective virtual training program, teaching employees to recognize and respond to workplace sexual harassment scenarios. This type of fluid, contextual training contributes to the agility and robust team unity crucial for today’s business wellness and success.
VR training is preferred in those industries where real-world training is dangerous and may be fatal. VR allows employees to experience and participate in high-risk scenarios without putting their lives in danger. Some examples of this include firefighting drills and gas leak situations on oil rigs.
VR training essentially provides the safety net that allows employees to learn from their mistakes and focus on becoming better.
Encourages remote collaborations
Design processes in businesses often require input and direction from numerous stakeholders. If the stakeholders are in remote locations, the design process may have roadblocks, thus reducing productivity and efficiency.
On the other hand, if the stakeholders have access to a shared VR environment, three-dimensional design can take place collaboratively. This also allows junior team members to learn from their senior members in a real-world situation, even in a virtual setting.
The concept of shared virtual space has been in the news lately thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s idea of building a Metaverse. Facebook is working towards making Zuckerberg’s vision a reality with its plans of creating 10,000 jobs across the EU.
VR training builds competencies for instructors, as well as students. Sharing a virtual environment fosters empathy, allowing trainers to walk around and observe employees as they experience the training scenarios. In addition, a shared VR training space lets instructors annotate mistakes and provide constructive feedback in real-time. This way, employees can make corrections while instructions are still fresh in their minds.
The training session can also be recorded and played back later, in 3D or audio, for review by employees and instructors. Continuous, evolving feedback is especially valuable when people are being trained in soft skills such as public speaking or customer support.
H&R Block employed VR for customer service for this very reason. Employees had to roleplay difficult conversations with digital avatars using a VR headset or laptop while receiving real-time feedback. As it turns out, 70% of employees preferred VR training to regular training. In addition, the shift to VR training resulted in a 9.9% decrease in customer handling times and a 50% decrease in disgruntled customers.
Training employees can be an expensive affair, especially if the training is high-risk. Not to mention costs for insurance, traveling, facilities, hardware, tools, etc. Even while paying exorbitant sums, there is no guarantee the training exercise will be a success. Moreover, the training scenarios cannot be completely customized to suit your requirements most of the time.
Here is where virtual reality training comes in handy. Despite the initial cost of the software and hardware, VR training is a better alternative since you can customize it to any situation, while keeping employees safe.
Furthermore, it also boosts employee skills, productivity, and efficiency, which helps in reducing downtime and mistakes.
Build virtual reality experiences with Mutual Mobile
People initially assumed that VR was only fit for gaming. But, that little assumption has been disproven, and how!
Now, virtual reality stands on the precipice of having a gamut of use-cases across numerous industries and domains. Something once thought of as a gimmick is now being significantly adopted since it adds immense value.
Speaking of adding value, if you want to develop a VR experience or training simulation, Mutual Mobile is the way to go. We have completed over 700 projects during our span in the industry while elevating our partners to new heights