Leading with empathy: VR for leadership training

VR simulations can present leaders with multiple challenging scenarios where problem-solving and making complex decisions are essential. From crisis management to executive planning scenarios, training in VR means leaders can enhance their critical thinking skills, learn to handle uncertainty and develop practical problem-solving approaches.  

How Does It Do It This?

VR can provide users with realistic non-verbal cues, emotional responses, and diverse virtual avatars that help those in leadership positions develop emotional intelligence, effective communication techniques and empathy.  

Immersive experiences in VR where leaders need to practice their public speaking and presentation means the opportunity for immediate feedback. This feedback includes information on how to refine their speaking skills, body language, delivery style, and even the effectiveness of their message. All of this helps them become more impactful communicators.  

VR allows for multi-user experiences. This means leaders can interact and collaborate with virtual team members, regardless of their physical locations.  

VR training allows leaders to engage in self-reflection and self-awareness by actively owning behaviours, decision-making patterns, and leadership styles. This reflective practice helps leaders gain insights into their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement, fostering continuous self-development. 

Leading with Empathy: Hilton Hotels

VR decreased training time reduced from 4 hours to 20 minutes 

87% of team members implementing positive behaviour change 

Hilton, a leading hotel chain, needed their senior leadership team to improve their empathy towards the front-of-house team. However, they had little experience working in the front-of-house positions and even less insight into how the team might feel in their respective roles. VR opened up an opportunity for the leadership team to place themselves in the shoes of the front-of-house staff and experience the world through a different perspective.

VR training was also implemented for the front-of-house team. The simulation included training for the front desk, room set-up, and room service, with employees navigating through various guest scenarios. From ensuring a meeting room was set up correctly to figuring out what to do if a digital key wasn’t working to calming down irate guests, these simulations help the Hilton front-of-house team improve their empathy skills. They also learnt how to apply critical thinking in unexpected situations.

The Outcomes

The results were incredible, with training time being cut from 4 hours to 20 minutes, and 87% of team members adjusted their behaviour when faced with these situations in the future. These behaviour shifts resulted in increased efficiencies, improved staff morale, less staff turnover and higher rates of productivity all positively impact the organisations bottom-line and global reputation.  

In addition, there was a 25% increase in attention span when engaging with teams in virtual reality. Increased attention spans lead to long-term knowledge retention and higher levels of productivity.  

75% of individuals identified ways to improve their empathy skills after a single VR simulation. Empathy increases knowledge retention, drives innovation and problem solving and improves employee wellbeing. 

Also, 70% of corporate leaders believe that VR can help them solve real-world problems. 

Immersive technology has the power to engage and delight your users.