Similar to how in person you form the first impression of a new person you meet in the first seven seconds you see them; a new employee will create the first impression of your company in the first week or two they enter your enterprise. Having a positive and effective onboarding training is essential to companies and corporations of all sizes. We constantly need to be able to get our teams up to speed in a reality that is asking for quicker results each day, and having an efficient training methodology is key to any successful onboarding process.

Many are the challenges facing a positive and effective training, now more than ever with the ongoing pandemic restrictions that are apparently taking longer to dissipate. How to properly train a new member of your team only through video calls and remote activities?

Traditional onboarding methods require in-person training and role-playing activities that according to the specific industry are sometimes even near to impossible to replicate.

So what can we do?

Video seminars and online webinars seem to be the most obvious go-to e-learning solution but they completely miss some key elements to what is truly the long-term learning core of what a company requires to get the new professional up to speed.

Nowadays more and more companies are choosing Virtual Reality (VR) trainings in order to conduct more effective onboarding. Many studies back this up with promising numbers and it is no secret to anyone that more interactive forms of learning are more engaging for the person involved in them. 

VR trainings can also be applied to online virtual classes so you should not imagine them for only recorded types of learning.

How does VR actually work?

Most companies when it comes to trainings rely solely on long manuals, boring presentations and never-ending online documents that might help the new employee familiarize themselves with the specific vocabulary the company uses, but surely lack the benefits of a more interactive and purposeful learning methodology.

Virtual Reality trainings instead give the opportunity of repeating actively the training an endless number of times without a negative outcome in case of mistakes. Most VR Headsets can be easily delivered via mail to your new employees. Do you remember the Google VR Headset made from recycled paper? So many can simply adapt your smartphone and turn it into a headset. So, price is surely not the roadblock here.

Similar to a Flight-Simulator, retail workers for example could practice how to handle a not-too-comfortable conversation with a potential client by witnessing a real simulation of those types of conversations in the virtual store and ‘feel’ as if they are literally there with them.

No need to point out the geographical advantage of being able to train more new members of your team, that could be dislocated among different cities or countries in a seamless way. Digital online classes could allow your new team members to meet ‘in person’ without needing to take single transportation. Useful in this COVID-limited world.

VR training has been proven to drastically cut costs and time to your trainings as well. The higher level of learning retention added by its higher efficacy plus being able to absorb more detailed instructions in a shorter time span can turn into significant cost reduction in the long term or in the event of your corporation be a large one.

What are the initial feedbacks?

Not only it’s convenient for your organization but it also creates more enthusiasm onto your team showing that your firm is up-to-date in regards of new technologies. It is for sure more engaging and novel to any new member onboarding your enterprise.

The headset itself is actually able to track the eye-movement of the trainee and record what they say to improve their performance, giving you and your developers valuable data to constantly improve the actual process and make it even more effective.

Learning and developing constantly it is proven to be one of the priorities that the future generation of employees values (read also: so VR Trainings could be an important ally also for your existing working force. It is often used also to acquire insights and feedback for managing roles about the performance of certain profiles.

Gamification is also related to VR, more and more companies are merging trainings and learning with game like experiences that are doubling and tripling the rates in which employees worldwide score at learning modules and the rate in which they actually conclude the learning tool.

An integrative tool

Onboarding and training are now harder than ever given the many pandemic limitations. VR should not be though seen as a substitute to in-person training, but as a powerful complement that can speed up the process of introducing the element of technological novelty. The human side of training is not to be erased from planet earth, but it can be improved significantly thanks to valuable technology.

The added immersive experience helps give new hires and remote workers a unique and personal onboarding experience, the added learning and development curve that you can offer new members and existing positions is proven to increase happiness and retention rate by a large amount.

It isn’t of course the ultimate solve-it-all solution, but it can provide a large number of benefits that you might want to explore.

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