Employers find themselves confronted with a predicament: Their employees frequently require acquiring fresh skills, enhancing their current competencies, or fulfilling compliance training. However, the advent of remote and hybrid work has presented obstacles to conventional, in-person upskilling methods. Although online and app-based courses can address certain gaps, they fail to cover all aspects comprehensively. Consequently, how can employers effectively tackle this challenge? Let us try to find a satisfactory answer.
The virtual reality advantage
Virtual reality (VR) is renowned for its ability to impart hard skills and provide lifelike simulations, catering to domains such as aviation piloting or equipment maintenance. As the metaverse gains prominence, VR, being one of the pathways into this virtual realm, is witnessing increased adoption. According to the PwC 2022 US Metaverse Survey, 51% of companies are in the process of integrating VR into their strategies or have already incorporated it into at least one dedicated line of business. Furthermore, 34% of respondents highlight “a more effective way to develop and train our people” as one of the significant benefits they currently experience or anticipate from the metaverse.
Findings about the value of VR in soft skills training
Findings reveal the immense value of VR in soft skills training, demonstrating its ability to enhance learning outcomes and improve practical application. VR’s immersive nature fosters deeper emotional connections, boosts learner confidence, and enables faster skill development, making it a powerful tool for cultivating essential soft skills in a highly effective and engaging manner.
VR Courses Enable Fourfold Training Speed
VR courses have shown remarkable potential in significantly reducing training time for employees, with the ability to expedite learning by up to four times. In the United States, employees typically allocate a mere 1% of their workweek to training and development, emphasizing the importance of maximizing the productivity of this limited time. This is where VR proves invaluable.
Tasks that previously required two hours of classroom instruction could potentially be condensed to just 30 minutes through the utilization of VR. Even when considering the additional time required for first-time users to familiarize themselves with the VR headset and its usage, VR learners still complete their training three times faster compared to their counterparts in traditional classrooms. It is important to note that this calculation solely accounts for the time spent actively engaged in the classroom, disregarding the additional time needed for commuting to the physical training location.
The Confidence Boost of VR Training
VR learners exhibit greater confidence in applying the skills they are taught, especially when it comes to soft skills training. Confidence plays a vital role in achieving success, particularly in challenging scenarios such as delivering constructive feedback to employees. In such instances, individuals often wish for an opportunity to practice handling such situations within a safe environment. This is precisely where VR proves invaluable.
By offering an immersive and low-stress training environment, VR-based instruction enhances confidence levels and empowers learners to effectively apply their newfound knowledge in real-world job situations. Astonishingly, learners who undergo VR training showcased up to a 275% increase in confidence to put their learning into action—a substantial 40% enhancement compared to classroom training and a remarkable 35% improvement compared to e-learning programs.
Strengthening Employee Engagement
Through the extensive VR study and collaborative BXT initiatives, it was discovered that employees establish a stronger emotional bond with VR content, leading to enhanced comprehension and improved retention. The understanding was cultivated by engaging diverse perspectives and fostering collaboration to uncover essential insights. VR’s simulation-based learning enables individuals to immerse themselves in experiences that carry significant meaning.
Notably, employees demonstrate an elevated level of emotional connection to VR content. This connection was found to be more profound compared to traditional classroom learners and e-learners, with V-learners reporting a 3.75 times greater emotional affinity. This emotional engagement extends to specific VR courses, such as diversity and inclusion training, where 75% of learners experienced a transformative “wake-up call” moment, realizing that their perception of inclusivity was not as comprehensive as previously believed. These experiences serve as powerful catalysts for personal growth and self-reflection.
Focused Experience of VR Learners
VR learners experience enhanced focus, a valuable attribute considering the prevalent challenges of distraction and impatience among learners today. Traditional learning methods often suffer from learners losing interest and being interrupted by smartphones. However, VR learning mitigates these issues by reducing distractions and fully engaging users in immersive simulations. Wearing a VR headset allows individuals to devote their undivided attention to the training without the option of multitasking. The study revealed that VR-trained employees exhibited up to four times greater focus than their e-learning counterparts and 1.5 times greater focus than those in traditional classroom settings. By immersing themselves in VR experiences, learners derive more value from their training and achieve improved outcomes.
Cost-Effectiveness of VR Training
The past challenges of VR, such as high costs and complex deployment, have significantly diminished. Today, an enterprise headset ecosystem can be acquired for a one-time fee of less than $1,000, making it manageable and cost-effective for training purposes. Both small and large studios are developing captivating VR content, and software packages enable non-VR developers to create their own content affordably. Major learning management system providers are also facilitating the seamless integration of VR content into their platforms.