Using Virtual Reality to Enhance Your Training Programs

In our last blog, we discussed the benefits of gamification in learning and development. Also among the top trends in training for 2018 is virtual reality (VR). In basic terms, virtual reality is a technological simulated environment where an individual experiences sights and sounds that make them feel as though they are physically a part of the environment. VR is an effective tool to implement into your training programs because VR increases participant involvement by providing them an opportunity to practice the desired skills and behaviors. This high level of involvement creates an immersive learning experience where tasks can be performed. Involvement is key to mastering new skills. As Benjamin Franklin famously stated, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” If we want our employees to learn, we must get them involved in the process. Many employees, particularly younger employees who are considered digital natives, desire immersive learning. Let’s consider how you can implement VR to involve your employees and enhance your training programs. 

  Use VR to Create a Safe Learning Environment

Unfortunately, many employees do not receive the proper training needed to excel at their jobs. This is often due to a lack of time and resources, or not prioritizing training. However, not properly training employees can have disastrous results. Think of that poor new employee who fumbles around, profusely apologizing and stating it is their first day on the job. Or perhaps it is a veteran employee who is practicing a new approach to handling certain tasks or engaging with customers. Every employee should be confident of what needs to be done and that they can properly execute the tasks of their job. This starts by creating a safe environment where employees can practice in a place away from customers and where decisions do not have real consequences. VR provides a great way to learn in a safe environment.

Use VR to Provide Real-Time Feedback

Utilizing VR can help employees receive feedback on how they are using their new skills and behaviors. Walmart recently implemented VR to help their new employees work through real-life scenarios while receiving feedback from instructors and peers. Other companies using VR for training include KFC, which plans to use VR for proper fried chicken preparation and UPS, which uses VR to improve employees’ driving skills.

When an employee is on-the-job, it can be difficult for supervisors to see how they are handling different situations and provide on-the-spot feedback. VR can provide an employee with a variety of situations and give them the opportunity to improve by receiving valuable feedback. Employees, particularly millennial employees, want feedback on their performance. VR is an excellent way to provide this.

Use VR to Create a Culture of Learning

A culture of learning exists when employees are excited about learning new skills, are actively seeking opportunities to develop their careers, and are engaged in learning as part of their daily operations. VR provides an interesting, exciting, and effective piece of a learning and development program. VR is a great way to boost interest in learning for employees both new and old. Consider how you can implement fun aspects, such as gamification and VR, into your training and development program.

At SGEi, we create engaging, effective, and memorable learning programs to help your employees succeed. Connect with us to learn how we can partner with your organization to create your customized training program.

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