The possibilities of virtual reality training for businesses
Why Virtual Reality Trainig
Virtual reality is not a new technique and the renewed attention has led to more research and additional insights. These clearly show the advantages of virtual reality as a training tool. The focus and involvement are higher, so people learn faster and the subject matter is more relevant. This leads to effective learning, lower costs and a lower environmental impact.
Onboarding with virtual reality
The onboarding of staff can be a labour-intensive affair. In organisations with complex processes, many employees or a high throughput, onboarding is an expensive affair.
Major retailers such as Walmart therefore use virtual reality to introduce employees to the company, its activities and colleagues. The advantage is that virtual reality onboarding can be done anywhere, at any time and without guidance.
- Getting to know your colleagues and getting a taste of the company culture
- Learning about and practising processes and activities
- Finding your way around the company and learning to work safely
safety training with Virtual Reality
Safety at work is an important topic in every industry. In higher-risk sectors such as offshore and industry, even more time is spent on working safely. Training courses on the handling of dangerous substances, explosion risks and fire safety find their way into virtual reality.
Exxonmobil developed a safety training for employees working with LNG tankers. The more common training courses, such as the well-known BHV, also have a virtual variant.
- Working safely at heights, stair safety, prevention officer
- Fire safety training
- Explosion safety, Storage of hazardous materials
Operating a heavy machine or complex vehicles requires intensive training that involves many hours of practice. Stopping production or providing training equipment is too costly. Moreover, an experienced trainer often needs to be present.
Offshore companies such as Safeway use a virtual reality simulator to train their employees. They can train endlessly without physical equipment and supervision. The cost savings for Safeway are obvious, but research also shows that the costs are about 60% lower compared to physical training.
> Machinery safety
> Process safety
> Platform, forklift and order picker training
Sales training with VR
Getting to know your product inside and out is one of the tasks of a good salesperson. This is not always possible due to availability or costs. However, a digital version of your machine in a virtual environment can be taken anywhere.
The German company Metso proves this with full VR product visualisation. VR product visualisation gives you all the time you need to get to know the product at your own pace. This can help to convince potential customers
- Product information and demonstration
- Product configuration en sales
- Testing of sales skills
Training in communication, cooperation and conflict resolution is an essential subject in the training courses. This is important for good cooperation in the workplace. These so-called soft skills are best learned in practice, in real situations with real people.
Virtual reality is the next best thing. In a virtual environment with real-life people and situations, without the (social) impact of making the ‘wrong’ choice.
Research by PwC shows that VR training has a positive influence on results. Employees have four times more focus and train four times faster. Moreover, they have more self-confidence, which is important when training these interpersonal skills.
- Improved communication skills
- Working under pressure, decision making as a team
- Leadership, negotiation and problem solving
The costs of Virtual Reality Training
How expensive a virtual reality training is depends on the complexity, the degree of interactivity, the time needed and the design. A training course based on 360 images with existing software can already be developed for a few thousand euros. Interactive VR simulations quickly cost several tens of thousands.