Is Virtual Reality The Answer To Better Engagement In Corporate Training?

Corporate training has an old-school vibe. No literally, it can remind you of when you were at school and teachers had to work hard to capture learner’s attention and students struggled to engage with rigid learning formats, repetitive exercises and unexciting content.

The good thing is if you radically change the format, you radically change the outcome and can overcome that ‘engagement gap’

The challenge of employee training: Overcoming the engagement gap

Traditional corporate training in “classroom-style” lectures can have limited impact and might not be as effective as they once were. We live in a world where many of us rely heavily on technology for work, travel, and entertainment and have developed an unconscious twitch whenever we have the slightest hint of boredom, we reach for our phones. And what happens when a random question pops into our head? We open a new window on our laptop, computer or phone and do a quick search. 

It can be hard to separate people from screens and get them to concentrate on your corporate training and overcome this engagement gap. Aside from people’s limited attention span, some of the common challenges of employee training are: 

  • Death by PowerPoint (or boring content) 
  • Too many distractions 
  • Low engagement rate 
  • Poor knowledge retention 
  • Complicated logistics if training is spread across multiple locations 
  • Fatigued trainers if travelling to multiple locations 
  • High costs for multiple training sessions 
  • From the above list it’s clear that it would be beneficial to most organisations if they could find a way to bring all of their corporate training needs into one place, fewer sessions, and in a way that is exciting and memorable for optimum knowledge uptake.

What are the most important benefits of using virtual reality in business training?

VR offers employers a way to design training materials that will hit home in a totally different format. One of the most important benefits of VR is that the immersive environment enhances your messaging and training content, for example you can hold safe, controlled training: 

  • On the Moon for innovation sessions  
  • In laboratories for medical training 
  • In corporate ‘break out rooms’ for training exercises or collaboration 
  • On the production line for new processes or testing new products 
  • In a cockpit for flight simulations

The opportunities are endless! Holding your training content in environments that are built to support engagement, learning, and knowledge uptake means you will see a wide range of benefits that address the challenges of traditional corporate training. 

How is VR different from traditional learning models? 

A PwC study comparing different learning models found that VR-learners felt 3.75 times more emotionally connected to the content than classroom learners and 2.3 times more connected than e-learners.  

When you put on a VR headset, you are transported to another world. You can’t see your physical surroundings anymore (you can in augmented reality and mixed reality, but that’s another blog for another time). That means no distractions and full engagement.

The immersive nature of VR also enables learners and employers to benefit from:

  • Exciting content that has a sense of ‘novelty’ that leads to knowledge retention 
  • Limited distractions from technology  
  • High engagement with the content and peers 
  • Logistics are simplified as everyone can join a VR session from anywhere in the world with a VR headset 
  • Trainers can hold fewer sessions and don’t need to travel as much  
  • Costs are reduced due to simplified logistical needs 
  • It’s as simple as: VR is more engaging as you are removed from your day-to-day environment, the content is exciting and encourages you to focus on it more, the experience is memorable so you retain the knowledge better. It naturally overcomes that engagement gap! 

Employers also get to simplify how they hold corporate training sessions. Rather than organizing multiple sessions to ensure everyone in every factory, office or location has the same training experience; everyone can attend the same session with VR headsets instead. There are fewer logistical costs from setting up physical training locations or paying for travel expenses.  

Try out virtual reality for yourself! 

Test out virtual reality’s engaging nature for yourself with a Masterclass or deploy enterprise-wide VR training programs with Gemba.  

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