Current workplace training initiatives aren’t working. Gartner has found that across industries, 70% of employees don’t have mastery over their work. In dangerous industries, this lack of knowledge can be deadly. Legacy training methods are ineffective and dangerous. By this token, eLearning has an abysmal learning retention rate in trainees of 5-10%. Virtual Reality (VR) workplace training represents the future of employee learning.
VR is a solution to the current training deficit; in the form of ‘experiential learning’. In essence, it’s the process of learning by doing, rather than being lectured to. However, exclusively learning from a textbook or a PowerPoint presentation isn’t enough to ensure trainees reach the levels of competence necessary in the workplace. Research is now pointing towards the power of experiential learning. For instance, learning on the job and getting your hands dirty.
Virtual Reality Training Epitomises Experiential Learning
VR is the workplace training medium of the future. PwC reported that when trainees “learn by doing”, knowledge retention spikes to a very encouraging 75% and up. Coupled with this, VR training has been shown to be 4 times as efficient as basic eLearning approaches. VR training also has higher completion rates than traditional training.
It increases engagement rates of participants, improves workplace collaboration, and can be built at scale. In some cases, VR is up to 83% less expensive than traditional training methods because it is inherently scalable. Less expensive VR training is safe, scalable, and can have built-in objective performance standards.
VR Is More Cost-Effective Than Ever
The success of the Oculus Quest 2, one the world’s leading VR headsets, has been massive for the immersive tech industry. The Quest 2 outsold Xbox in 2021. This means VR has become more accessible, more cost effective, as scalable as eLearning but with better completion rates. VR is quickly becoming a valuable, and practical, tool for corporate training.
The pandemic saw the workplace training industry take a hit. However, in 2019 the industry was estimated to be worth US$370.3 billion. However, the majority of this spend is on traditional training and eLearning. As the world’s economies recover, this figure in the US and internationally will only grow. With VR workplace training solutions on the rise, this money should go towards more research in experiential learning solutions.
Industries Where Will VR Have The Biggest Impact
VR training is most useful in industries where employees are working in high-risk environments. In addition, VR has been shown to reduce rates of workplace accidents by a 43%. The construction, manufacturing, and on-site maintenance sectors have a desperate need for confident, well-trained employees. We reached out to industry leaders and thought leaders in training and VR to get insights on:
Whether VR is a practical tool today – 70% agree that VR will “fundamentally change the way we learn in the workplace”.
If VR has benefits in training: 63.2% of respondents believe that VR has a unique ability to teach innovative and creative thinking in a way that no other medium offers.
If decision makers in construction, manufacturing and maintenance industries are planning to use VR in the near future: 73% predict a shift towards VR training in the next 5-10 years.
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