Companies now increasingly use virtual reality to impart the best possible training to employees. The learners can benefit so much from this training, whether related to soft skills or technical skills. Virtual reality can be used effectively in all kinds of situations. In cases where employees need to use heavy machinery as a part of their work, virtual reality-based simulations can ensure that they are introduced into simulations where handheld controllers allow them to experience the tools.
They can be asked to work on assembly line production through a machine and see how the various buttons work. The learners can be immersed in a world of faulty machines and learn how to repair them.
The virtual reality-based simulations are effective for nontechnical situations too, where employees have to deal with huge crowds
This can also be tried with HR managers, who can be asked to confront a deviating employee in a VR simulation. The former can see how his body language, voice modulation, etc. affect the latter. It is the best role-play for becoming an expert in handling real-life office situations.
The same procedures can also be used for training recruits and introducing them to the shop floor procedures. This way, they can also learn how to prevent defects in the product line.
But organizations need to ask before they decide to use this technology to create training whether it’s the perfect fit given their budget and other considerations.
Depending on time and budget
A company can develop the VR training depending on the timeframe. If a company needs immediate training solutions such as for recruits, VR is not the answer because the development time is long and can range between 1-6 months. The cost is also high and can vary between, 20000-1,50,000 dollars. Industries like manufacturing, retail, and transport require VR training compared to others where conventional training methods are sufficient. The 360 VR videos require an omnidirectional camera to be captured because they can take a shot from every angle. Such a VR video can be watched without a VR headset, but it can have an immersive experience.
Virtual reality-based training is of two types, and it depends on an organization’s needs which it should use. First is the 360 degrees VR in which the learner does not move, and he only can vary his viewpoint, i.e., he can watch the objects in the environment from the left or right angle but can’t change his position. But in the Full VR, he can also move in the simulated environment apart from viewing them from different angles.
Depending on training needs
Virtual reality(VR) is a better way to train employees because they get to see a machine from proximity and find out where are all its parts. However, the 360 VR does not have much training scope as the full VR, allowing better learning. The employees can only see a machine from all angles, but they can’t touch the equipment. For example, the employees can learn about different parts of the equipment and which one to use during an emergency in 360 VR, but what happens when they do that can be checked in full VR only. Supposedly, just turning off the machine might not be the best solution in case of a crisis, but employees can only learn that when they are in a full VR simulation wearing a headset and holding controllers. They might need to take another action, like accessing the nearest fire extinguisher. So, when employees are required to take action, a full VR provides a more result-oriented training solution.
Virtual reality training is not required for tasks such as cybersecurity, which requires employees to sit in front of PCs because they can be taught through screencasts. But in the case of safety training, virtual reality is an inevitable solution because lives are at stake.
From the safety perspective, a company can’t take any risks, and such situations are more uncontrollable than computer problems, so VR, which emulates reality, is necessary. A VR training vendor can help a company carry out tests to determine whether a certain skill requires VR-based training or not. On the other hand, an organization can’t do without VR when the employee’s response is extremely critical, like pilots, because they have to be monitored for their response. Any delayed response by them can cost a company, but a late response might not have such adverse effects in some situations. In the latter cases, implementing e-learning training is sufficient because employees can be tracked for their right/wrong answers in an assessment. In addition, e-learning can measure employee performance metrics such as their MCQ test results. Unlike VR, e-learning can’t provide metrics like voice recording, body movements, data entry speed, etc., which are necessary for employees dealing with customers.
So, the introduction of VR-based training depends on what performance metrics a company needs to measure, which are determined by a training needs analysis.
A company can also use its current training materials like 2D e-learning videos and convert them into 360 VR. The businesses can consult the e-learning vendor about whether they can convert the characters and situations in such videos to virtual reality. Virtual reality allows the maximum retention of e-learning videos because employees are immersed in situations that require them to apply their knowledge.
They also have reinforcement of their training, and hence better retention happens. Since employees have practiced their skills through such simulations, there is decreased attrition due to the inability to face job challenges. On the contrary, employees have already experienced the worst-case scenario through simulation, which boosts their confidence and productivity.
Companies should also make it a point to ease employees into VR-based training. It can ensure that the employees get the tutorials to handle any troubles while using the headsets and controllers. The employers can also ensure that the employees are given sufficient demo time before they are put into the VR simulators. If employees can’t get the hang of the headsets and controllers during such demos and still have some problems, they must be able to access technology experts for resolving issues.