Top Strategies to Leverage Virtual Reality in Training

Virtual reality (VR) has revolutionized the way employees learn and develop new skills. By creating a totally immersive environment, VR training technology can provide employees with a more effective and interactive learning experience than traditional methods of instruction. With its ability to replicate real-world scenarios, VR training can help organizations save time and resources while providing a more comprehensive learning experience for their employees.

The Benefits of VR Training Technology

VR training can provide an immersive learning environment for employees, allowing them to practice real-life scenarios in a safe and controlled setting. It supports personalized and adaptive learning by offering choices, feedback and guidance based on their preferences, performance and progress. VR also has the capability to create a sense of presence and engagement with learners that traditional methods lack. This helps foster better retention of content as learners are completely immersed in the experience, activating multiple senses and different regions of the brain.

Brandon Hall Group’s 2023 Learning and Development Benchmarking Study reveals that only 6% of responding organizations are currently using VR tools in their training. In contrast, respondents to Brandon Hall Group’s Creating and Delivering Highly Engaging Learning for the Hybrid Workforce Study indicate that companies are exploring virtual modalities — 52% were looking at virtual role-plays while 25% were looking at virtual reality as viable options for enhancing their employee training programs.

The gap between these data points is startling and indicates there’s still much room for improvement when it comes to leveraging virtual reality in the workplace. Since VR training can be tailored to each learner’s needs, it makes the learning process more personalized, efficient and effective.

One often-overlooked benefit to leveraging VR experiences has to do with fostering collaboration and communication. This can happen as learners interact with peers, instructors and even virtual characters regardless of their physical location. As work continues to become increasingly globalized, VR environments create a sense of common space for dispersed teams.

Making the Business Case for VR Training

Secure support from key stakeholders in the business by showcasing anticipated performance improvements, realized cost savings over time and organizational productivity improvement. When learning leaders highlight these key components, the business can make informed decisions that lead to transformative and effective learning and development experiences for employees.

Performance improvements resulting from VR training happen because learners can apply new skills in a risk-free environment, which accelerates their improved performance on the job. VR training presents cost-saving opportunities from eliminating expenses for travel and external trainers as well as reducing overall administrative costs. Additional cost savings occur because employees can revisit trainings whenever they need to without the company having to make any additional investment.

What to Look for When Choosing a VR Training Solution

When choosing a virtual reality training solution, there are several important criteria to consider.

  • The solution should be compatible with existing hardware and software so that it can be seamlessly integrated into the organization’s existing technology infrastructure.
  • Visuals and sound should be realistic enough to create an immersive learning environment for employees.
  • Performance should be reliable with minimal technical issues for users to deal with.
  • The data collected by the platform should be able to be tracked, analyzed and used to further improve the system.
  • The user experience should be intuitive and easy to use for employees of all levels of expertise.
  • Along with that idea, ensure there is adequate training provided to increase employee’s confidence in using the technology.

By taking these criteria into account when selecting a VR training solution, organizations can ensure they are making an informed decision about which one best suits their needs. It’s also important to bear in mind that a good VR training platform provider will keep up-to date on trends and technologies available in virtual reality training solutions to provide users with the most current tools and experiences. With this approach, organizations can maximize their investment in virtual reality training while ensuring that their employees have access to a cutting-edge learning platform.

How to Implement VR Training in Your Organization

Virtual reality training offers organizations a unique opportunity to create an immersive learning environment for employees. To ensure successful implementation of VR training, organizations should take the following steps:

  1. Identify the areas of your organization that could benefit from virtual reality training. Consider which departments need to be trained on specific skills or concepts that can be taught more effectively in a VR environment. This will help you decide which type of hardware and software is necessary to achieve your goals.
  2. Assess the current capabilities and resources of your organization regarding VR technology. Consider what kind of hardware and software is available, as well as any other needs such as content development or user experience design required for successful implementation of VR training.
  3. Decide on the right hardware, software and user experience for your organization’s needs. Think about how users will interact with the system, including their comfort level with using headsets and other technologies, as well as how they’ll navigate through the virtual world created by the system. Also consider factors like resolution quality, latency issues and physical disconnection from reality when choosing equipment for your system.
  4. Choose a suitable VR training platform provider based on your goals and budget considerations. Be sure to look at features such as data security measures, privacy options, scalability options, cost-effectiveness, customer service support levels and compatibility with existing systems when deciding — all of these factors should play into your choice of provider for optimal results from VR training programs.
  5. Develop a strategy to measure the effectiveness of your virtual reality training programs once they are up and running to identify where improvements need to be made or if additional resources are needed for success in this area. Track metrics like completion rates along with feedback from trainees to determine if the program is engaging users or if changes need to be made to improve their experience and ultimately foster better retention rates among learners.

By taking these steps before implementing virtual reality into their training programs, organizations can ensure that they are leveraging this technology in an effective way that provides a high-quality learning experience for employees while also achieving their desired outcomes.

Real-World Examples of Virtual Reality in Learning

Virtual reality is becoming increasingly popular for real-world training purposes across a variety of industries.

  • Learning that has high complexity: Virtual Reality (VR) is an excellent tool for training in complex scenarios that are difficult to replicate in the real world. For instance, VR can be used to train astronauts, saving costs and overcoming challenges associated with real-world training.
  • Preserving institutional knowledge: VR enables the capture and transfer of institutional knowledge by preserving the expertise of retiring employees. Companies can use VR to retain valuable knowledge and even educate customers on effective product usage.
  • Healthcare: VR works well in use cases of training for high risk scenarios in the healthcare industry, where learners can be exposed to potentially dangerous situations. For example, doctors can practice complex surgeries in VR without putting patients at risk.
  • Manufacturing and automotive: Given the complexity of modern manufacturing environments, even minor errors in worker judgment can have severe consequences, such as brand damage and financial losses. VR can train factory workers, automotive assembly-line workers and component installers, equipping them with industry best practices.
  • Aviation: VR is proving to be a valuable training aid in the aviation industry due to the high stakes involved in air travel. Pilots can practice flying in realistic flight simulations, honing their skills in lifelike situations. Service staff, both on-ground and in-flight, can also learn and practice in VR-simulated high-stress, customer-centric scenarios.
  • Human skills training: VR is also effective for developing soft skills by simulating real-life scenarios with facial expressions and body language. Employees can practice and enhance skills like active listening, conflict resolution and negotiation in a safe and realistic virtual environment. VR-based soft skills training can foster enhanced empathy among employees by exposing them to immersive scenarios that would otherwise be inaccessible.
  • Safety training: Workplace accidents can result in loss of life and damage to reputation. VR provides a safe training environment for professionals like utility workers to acquire the necessary skills to prevent accidents and improve safety records.

Final Thoughts

VR can revolutionize learning and training, especially in today’s AI/Machine Learning era. Integrating AI with VR enhances content customization and the delivery of personalized experiences. The increasing use of virtual reality in training, promises highly enabled workplaces, improved learning and innovative productivity strategies. A future of enhanced employee experiences awaits.

For even more insight into leveraging AI in training, visit EI Powered by MPS.

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Matt Pittman



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Matt Pittman

Matt Pittman brings nearly 30 years of experience developing people and teams in a variety of settings and organizations. As an HR Practitioner, he has sat in nearly every seat including Learning and Leadership Development, Talent Management and Succession Planning, Talent Acquisition and as a Human Resources Business Partner. A significant part of those roles involved building out functions in organizations and driving large scale change efforts. As a Principal Analyst, Matt leverages this in-depth experience and expertise to provide clients and providers with breakthrough insights and ideas to drive their business forward.