As an HR professional, a large part of your role may involve assisting in the development of employee training programs. Staying up-to-date on technological innovations can help you develop stronger training methods.
Virtual reality is one technology worth paying attention to. Although the idea may sound like science-fiction, major organizations such as Walmart and UPS have already begun to train their own employees using VR applications. The following are key reasons your company may benefit by also going this route.
Training Remote Employees
Remote work is growing increasingly popular. It’s easy to understand why. Employees appreciate the flexibility of working from home, and employers have the opportunity to broaden their search areas during recruitment. Being able to recruit employees from anywhere in the world makes finding the ideal candidate for a position much easier.
That doesn’t mean this trend is without its drawbacks. Hiring remote workers comes with its share of potential challenges. Training remote employees is one of them. How do you prepare a new worker thoroughly if they can’t reach a corporate office?
VR may offer a potential solution. With VR, a new employee doesn’t need to visit corporate headquarters for training. They can participate in virtual trainings instead of, or as a supplement to, in-person trainings.
Again, an increasing number of organizations are letting employees work remotely. Your company may soon adopt a remote work policy if it hasn’t already done so. Exploring VR training for a dispersed workforce is a smart way to prepare, with the caveat that challenges such as ensuring remote employees have access to VR equipment will have to be addressed and overcome as the trend evolves.
Saving Time and Money
New employees aren’t the only members of your organization who will need training at some point. It’s common for businesses to train current employees in new processes on a regular basis.
Organizing such training sessions can be difficult. You need to find a relatively central location to conduct the session. For a larger business, with offices in many regions, finding such a location is often challenging.
For example, arranging transportation to the chosen site may be difficult if many employees are participating in the training. Additionally, the amount of time it takes for participating workers to travel to the training session location eats into productivity (and, as a result, profits).
This is another reason to investigate the benefits of virtual training. With VR applications, your business can train many employees without requiring them to attend in-person sessions. This can also allow for a greater degree of flexibility in regards to scheduling. You’ll save both time and money as a result.
Offering Growth Opportunities
When organizing employee training sessions becomes easier, it’s also easier for companies to offer a variety of training programs. You don’t have to arrange a new event for every training session. You can simply develop virtual applications, allowing employees to take advantage of them as they choose.
This is key to boosting engagement. Obviously, some employee training sessions are mandatory. However, others provide those who elect to participate with new skills. These optional programs appeal to ambitious workers who want opportunities to grow in their roles.
That’s a unique benefit of VR training. Surveys indicate employees want to know they will have those opportunities. Offering them has been shown to boost both engagement and retention. On top of that, providing workers with a range of optional VR training programs will likely yield a more qualified and talented workforce. This gives your business a major advantage over the competition.
UPS is one example of a company that’s begun implementing VR-based training programs. UPS specifically uses VR to help drivers prepare for various situations they may encounter while making deliveries. The goal is to boost employees’ overall safety behind the wheel. This also helps to boost the safety of anyone with whom they share the road.
It’s crucial to understand that VR training shouldn’t replace real-world training when safety is an issue. It’s still necessary for UPS drivers to actually practice operating actual vehicles, for instance. Still, VR can supplement in-person training programs to further reduce the odds of workplace accidents. The benefits of embracing such programs are clear.
Boosting Employee Confidence
Employees also report feeling more engaged at work when they feel more confident in their abilities. Thus, the more opportunities employees have to learn, the better the odds they’ll be engaged with their roles.
This is yet another reason to consider supplementing your current training methods with virtual applications. Employees who wish to repeat training sessions can do so as they wish if those sessions are immediately available through a VR headset.
Yes, the idea of using VR tech to train your workforce might not have seemed realistic just a few years ago. That’s no longer the case. Improvements in VR have made virtual training legitimately beneficial to companies in numerous industries. It’s certainly a development worth paying attention to for any HR professional.