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Josh Chapman, Managing Partner, Konvoy Ventures
Despite its relatively underwhelming adoption with consumers (particularly in the video gaming space), virtual reality (VR) has found a significant market with enterprises looking to find new ways to train their employees. While minimizing onboarding costs has always been a critical goal for any business, COVID-19 has accelerated the awareness and viability of virtual training’s importance for an increasingly distributed workforce.
VR training is not an entirely novel experience, as certain high-skill and high-stakes professions such as soldiers, surgeons, and astronauts have been trained through immersive simulations for decades. However, technological innovation is rapidly driving down the cost of VR and making it a more compelling and effective source of training employees. As a result, a wider range of industries such as retail, logistics, and customer service are beginning to adopt the approach in an effort to efficiently improve their employees’ quality of work. One of the best examples of this is Strivr’s partnership with Walmart, which has now trained over 1 million Associates through more than 50 learning modules over the last few years.
In order for corporate entities to oversee remote training around the globe, VR hardware is paired with content management software.
Regardless of the application, there is proven value behind hands-on digital training
Why is VR Training Important?
One of the most notable benefits of leveraging VR technology for onboarding is the ability to train employees in realistic scenarios. This can involve anything from training sales staff without potentially losing clients, enabling an assembly line worker to better understand the manufacturing process, or conducting dangerous and costly live situations such as disaster preparedness or hazardous material spills.
Regardless of the application, there is proven value behind hands-on digital training. PIXO VR, a leading provider of enterprise extended reality (XR) solutions, determined that leveraging this technology improves job performance by 70+ percent, dramatically reduces human error on the job, increases learning retention by up to 80 percent, and cuts the time needed to train employees by 40 percent to 60 percent compared to traditional methods.
In addition to the actual improvement in the quality of training, utilizing VR also enables enterprises to more accurately track the performance of a user. This is a result of computer-generated feedback’s ability to provide granular and objective reviews, which can help determine when a new hire is ready to officially begin their role.
On top of the quality of training, leveraging VR unlocks a far more scalable and time-efficient way of educating people. Training can be more geographically agnostic, as the company can have multiple users learning in the same digital space regardless of where they are actually located. Additionally, once a module is created, it can be used repeatedly. This means that organizations can either record a session that users engage with over the course of many iterations (rather than having an instructor manually teach a course numerous times) or have one instructor working with a number of trainees across the world at once.
As the concept of remote work becomes increasingly accepted, VR training will continue to be a more relevant and valuable asset that enterprises can incorporate to ensure the quality of productivity goes unchanged.