Investing in employee training is investing in the company’s success. According to the Association of Training and Development, companies that provide comprehensive employee training have a 24% higher profit margin than those who spend less on training. Businesses practice multiple ways to help their employees master their skills – instructor-led training, text manuals, video instructions, coaching, gamification, etc. Meanwhile, the latest technological advancements brought us a new revolutionary and extremely effective method. It is Virtual Reality training.
Virtual Reality is profoundly transforming training processes in a rising number of industries. As Greenlight Insights predicts, headset sales for training are expected to grow by $2.2 billion by 2022 motivating VR solution providers to switch from gaming to VR training. From healthcare and manufacturing to automotive and aviation, companies are adopting VR technology to master their employees’ both hard and soft skills. It allows businesses to create a real-life environment where people can learn faster, better and cheaper than ever before. Moreover, VR solves training issues in high-consequence industries such as healthcare and aerospace where human life is at stake.
So how do companies leverage VR for training across different industries? And which benefits can it bring to your business? Let’s figure out.
Benefits of using Virtual Reality for training
VR training recreates real-life situations simulating realistic scenarios. Employees can practice their skills in the environment with identical working conditions and the way all the equipment and machinery work. Such training showcases perfectly how the employees would behave in real-life situations.
According to The Cone of Experience by Edgar Dale, people remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and 90% of what they do. Therefore, VR is an incredibly powerful tool for training so far as it is based on a learning-by-doing approach.
More engaging training
While traditional instructional training may be boring and exhausting, VR based one brings new bright colors to the learning process. VR training is more absorbing, stimulating, identical to the cases in real life, and reflects the employee’s job tasks.
Employees can practice their skills with no fear of the consequences in the real world. The risk-free environment enables people to polish their skills to the professional level, so when the real-world case happens, they know how to minimize risks. Furthermore, in these conditions employees are not afraid to come up with creative solutions as it will not cause any harm.
A few years ago VR based training was extremely expensive due to high prices for VR devices. Nowadays, it got much more affordable as the market is full of VR hardware ranging from inexpensive to highly professional platforms. Also, repeatable and scalable VR content helps to cut costs significantly as you do not have to pay for each training session separately. Additionally, VR training enables companies to reduce expenses associated with moving employees to training locations.
VR training may be held anytime anywhere in the world. Users just need to have their VR devices handy. What is more, companies can track, analyze, and evaluate such training sessions digitally.
VR in different industries
Virtual Reality Training in Healthcare
High-quality training is vital for healthcare professionals because they have a direct impact on human health and lives. With the help of VR, doctors can practice difficult procedures, techniques, and the use of medical equipment. Instead of training based on artificial objects which can be used only a certain number of times, VR enables physicians to have unlimited practice. VR based training can significantly improve doctors’ movements and measurements without endangering patients’ lives.
MedStar Institute for Innovation developed a virtual reality program for training doctors in emergencies. The program includes several scenarios lasting for approximately 20 minutes that help sharpen the emergency skills of physicians and nurses.
The technology called MPathic VR trains soft skills of medical professionals. In particular, it trains medicians to talk with their patients since the information they deliver can be hard to handle for people. They learn and practice how to bring the patients and their relatives bad news as smoothly as possible.
VR Training in Retail & Hospitality
Management and customer service are crucial for retail and hospitality. So it is essential for the employees to have good soft skills and properly communicate with clients. Such skills can be successfully taught simulating real-world scenarios using VR technology. Also, VR training allows recreating stressful situations that often happen in these industries, so it enables employees to practice their behavior in such conditions.
Walmart is famous for simulating the events that are hard to practice without experiencing them, such as Black Friday rush. The situations when the store becomes overcrowded and the environment is chaotic are usually hard to handle for the unprepared employees. Also, the instructions for such cases can be communicated but it is far from how they truly feel in the real world. Watching a module through the headset makes employees face the situation and get prepared for handling stressful conditions.
Honeygrow, a healthy fast-casual eatery, provides onboarding and training for its employees through Virtual Reality. With their VR headsets on, Honeygrow’s newcomers have a 360-degree view immersive tour through the company’s location and an introduction from the CEO. Moreover, Honeygrow’s VR training program includes immersive VR games for practicing various functions, such as placing food in a refrigerator.
VR Based Training in Sports
Sports players can’t do without practicing their skills in the real world. Nevertheless, it may often be problematic due to possible traumas or the lack of suitable conditions. Here, VR training comes in handy. It allows placing players into various in-game situations where they can effectively train their skills without the risk of injury.
QBSIM, a VR simulation developed by Sports VTS in cooperation with N-iX, creates realistic training experiences for quarterbacks. In American Football, quarterback training is a complicated process as requires considerable investments and the entire team involvement. Moreover, such training poses high injury risks. That is why N-iX Game and VR Studio developed an immersive VR training simulation for Sports VTS that helps professional quarterbacks train in realistic environments.
VR Powered Training in Automotive
In the automotive industry, VR training can resolve many learning difficulties and be more effective than traditional observation-based approaches. Such global automotive companies as Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, and others are already leveraging VR potential to train their employees. Automobile manufacturers use VR to provide vehicle assembling training in controlled and safe conditions, virtual tours inside the engines, logistic processes improvement, better team collaboration, etc.
Volkswagen Group created a Digital Reality Hub, a platform that brings the company’s employees to the VR space for training and sharing best practices. With the help of HTC Vive headsets and Group VR applications, the employees can interact with each other, share their knowledge and train their skills.
Audi built a packing logistics program that enables its employees to learn the packing process. This interactive learning program, which includes a computer, VR goggles, and controllers, makes it possible for people to practice different packing processes in a video game format that can be set up anywhere.
Aviation and Virtual Reality Training
VR programs are also an indispensable tool for training pilots and cabin crew. With the help of flight simulator, both trainees and experienced pilots can practice their skills in a virtual airplane cockpit. It makes the training less expensive and more flexible as there is no need to look for particular aircraft or build replicas. Furthermore, such training allows simulating dangerous conditions and possible system failures without any risk for people. Also, VR can simplify and speed up training for the ground crew and flight attendants.
Lufthansa Aviation Training developed a training module that enables pilot students to go through the routes and train airspace structure in the VR environment. Using Samsung Gear VR, pilot students can take an immersive virtual flight, experience airspace and recognize the landmarks from the air.
American Airlines created a VR training program for its cabin crew. The program enables flight attendants to master their skills such as safety tasks before taking the actual flight. The new-hire flight attendants can walk around the cabin, interact with the team, and get familiar with their tasks in a simulated environment.
Once considered gaming and entertainment technology only, now VR is gaining momentum as a training tool for companies across many industries. Simulating real-world experiences, virtual reality offers new training formula for onboard training, preparing for stressful events, mastering skills necessary for hazardous conditions, and others. Despite being relatively new, VR training is definitely a breakthrough for the businesses willing to train their employees in the most effective way.
If you are interested in creating a VR training solution for your company, you can contact our experts and get the answers to your questions. Here at N-iX, we create tailored VR solutions for various enterprise needs. N-iX Game and VR Studio includes game artists, Unity, and Unreal developers, game designers, testers, and other specialists in developing immersive VR solutions. Take a look at our portfolio for details and a short video overview of our VR/AR projects.