Corporate training and development programs have long followed traditional paths, generally with some combination of written materials, videos, e-learning courses, in-classroom workshops, and hands-on observation of an instructor. But as companies transform their businesses to be more digital, the emergence of virtual reality (VR) technology provides an opportunity to rethink traditional training to better serve a more digitally connected and diverse workforce.
So, how is virtual reality being used in corporate training?
VR can be used to train HR professionals and managers to better interview candidates that apply to their organization. Once a candidate has been selected, they can be onboarded using VR. The onboarding training may include an intro to the organization, its origin, its locations worldwide, important personalities of the organization, and the like, making for an onboarding experience which is sure to leave a mark on the new recruit.
Diversity, Inclusion and Harassment training
Diversity and inclusion training has become a focus area for many companies over the last couple of years so it naturally follows that there are VR simulations that replicate these scenarios too. These are usually mandatory trainings that would otherwise bore the living daylights out of employees. Thankfully, VR is very engaging, and thus puts the user in the middle of all the action, thus helping them learn what to do and what not to do. As VR is simulated reality, it leads to actual behavioural change in employees, rather than them behaving in the way the organization wants just for the sake of it.
Improving Business and Soft skills
Many business skills require practice to become good at them and VR provides employees with a safe space to practice and scope to learn from their experiences. Skills such as public speaking, sales, negotiation, and networking are rarely taught at school so are not embedded in our minds in the same way that remembering facts and figures for a test are. Yet it's these enterprise skills that keep businesses running and are what managers demand in new candidates and employees. VR enables companies to fill these skills gap and instil transferable, enterprise skills within their employees.
Enhancing Customer Handling and Experience
This is perhaps one of the best and easiest uses of VR, as it is perfect to train customer experience executives on how to handle customers. The training simulation is (or at least should be) made up of branching scenarios all based on how a customer would react in real life. Retail stores are also starting to use VR training to improve customer experience.
VR is becoming a valuable tool for employee learning and development. As more businesses get comfortable with the technology, they will find that employees are more engaged and focused, and therefore can learn faster and more effectively than traditional training approaches.