How to make virtual training more engaging
We can probably all agree that a solid employee upskilling strategy is critical for any business. Upskilling your workforce comes with many benefits. Boosted morale. Employees that are more engaged. Higher retention of staff. The kind of talent that will future-proof your business.
It’s no wonder that LinkedIn report that 90% of executives say that learning and development is a necessary employee benefit. However, deploying effective learning and development is a whole new challenge. With teams now commonly located all around the world, enabling remote learning and training is the obvious answer. But... remote learning isn’t always known for being engaging.
So, how do you dial up engagement when it comes to learning virtually? How do you turn it into an experience that employees actually want to engage with, rather than a tick box exercise? And how do you align that with business goals and drive forward strategy at the same time?
Next-gen technology has a key part to play in this conversation, and here’s why...
How to make virtual training more engaging
Tap into cutting-edge technology
We asked: how do you get your workforce excited about virtual training? We believe the answer comes from using the latest technology. And we’re not talking about the latest e-learning platform. We’re talking about virtual reality learning. Immersion. Simulations that look and feel real.
Make no mistake, using virtual reality in this way isn’t just about flashing the latest tech. It has a number of critical benefits – benefits for both learners and for businesses. It enables organisations to connect teams from disparate locations and learn in the same space. It helps them speed up training and make their upskilling strategy not only more efficient, but more effective too.
For learners, it’s exciting. It enables learners to have a go at something that they probably haven’t tried before and experience something that can only be described as magical.
Some of the benefits at a glance...
- You can learn as a team
- Create fully customised training
- Employees can learn faster
- It looks and feels real
- Distractions are minimised
- The power of immersion
Why VR keeps learners engaged...
1. You can learn as a team
One of the great things about immersive learning is that you can do it as a team. Instead of having to log into an e-learning platform on your laptop, on your own, imagine being able to step into a virtual reality simulation along with your colleagues. Doesn’t that sound much more engaging?
Even better, not everyone has to be in the same location. With VR, you can have some employees in the office wearing VR headsets as well as people logging in remotely wearing VR headsets, and they can all interact with each other in the virtual environment at the same time. What this means is that organisations can connect, onboard, and train their workforce from anywhere in the world.
- Read more about multiplayer and how it works here.
2. Create customised training
Another potential flaw with e-learning courses and other methods of typical enterprise training is that they often look and feel fairly generic. It’s the same experience deployed to hundreds of organisations and it doesn’t necessarily reflect the specifics of your company – whether that’s the office environment or specialist hard skills that your employees need to master.
This doesn’t have to the case with virtual reality. Using VR, you can create virtual replicas of the real world. In other words, you can create fully customised virtual simulations of real workplaces, real processes, and real procedures. Employees can practise both soft skills and hard skills in a virtual environment that looks and feels like the real one – how cool is that?
3. You can keep it short
How do you engage your workforce with online training? You make it short and sweet. One interesting thing about learning in virtual reality is that you can actually learn faster. PwC did a study into using virtual reality for soft skills training and what they found was really quite eye-opening. VR learners were able to learn four times faster than classroom or e-learners.
Similarly, telecommunications company Telstra saw a 50% reduction in the direct time required to complete staff safety training – with remote training allowing them to stay compliant with restrictions during the pandemic. Want to make workforce training more efficient? Use VR.
4. It looks and feels real
The trouble with a lot of virtual training is that it’s often quite far removed from the real-life experience. Take fire safety training, for example. While compliance training is compulsory for businesses, it’s often perceived as boring by employees. The risk then is that employees don’t fully engage with the modules and therefore don’t retain any of the necessary information.
But what if you use virtual reality to make it more immersive? First of all, you instantly make the whole experience of learning significantly more realistic. Secondly, you have the potential to increase the knowledge retention of employees, as is also mentioned in the PwC study.
5. Reduce distractions
Everyone is busy and finding time to complete an e-learning course will be typically challenging for staff. This is exacerbated by the fact that employees will be juggling competing priorities as they try to learn. Emails, meetings, tasks, and notifications from Teams or Slack will continue to pop up on their screen. It’s hard to really focus on something with all that virtual ‘noise’ going on.
Virtual reality learning removes these distractions. Learning and training using VR is a completely immersive experience, in a simulated environment that looks and feels real. It enables employees to engage with the training in a way that they simply can’t do with an online course.
6. The power of immersion
Let’s dive into immersion in a little more detail. EY did some research on the benefits of VR learning. They found that virtual reality provides users with three key dimensions of experience, which are immersion, embodiment, and presence. This means that, first of all, employees are able to be fully present in the immersive environment and forget they’re in a synthetic environment.
But they’re also able to embody a character in the environment, walk in their shoes, and see the world from their perspective. As a result, this makes virtual reality training ideally placed for diversity and inclusion training and can help unlock those powerful lightbulb moments.
Curious to hear more about how virtual reality learning could help your organisation upskill? Head over to our Enterprise Skills Training page to learn more.
Want to learn more about how virtual reality technology could help your organisation upskill your workforce more efficiently and effectively?
Read more on our Enterprise page.