Virtual reality training continues to be a hot topic of conversation in the learning and development community. With benefits like increased knowledge retention, cost savings, and flexibility, it’s no wonder why organizations are updating their training programs to include virtual reality. However, like with any new piece of technology, planning is required to ensure optimal benefits. Considering the following before deciding whether you’re ready for VR training will lead your training program closer to success.
1. You have a business problem that can be solved with better training
VR training should not be implemented solely for the sake of introducing new technology. Without a real business problem, VR training will have less impact on your business than desired. It’s crucial to think through why you want to bring VR into your training program as well as your intended result.
Does your organization want to increase safety for employees when they are placed on a work site? Or does your organization want to reduce contamination on your food production lines? Having actionable learning goals and KPIs is a sign you are ready to consider VR training. Attaching VR training to a business goal will ensure you implement the technology with purpose. Utilizing your learning goals and KPIs will also help track the impact of the modality on your overall business goals.
2. Your work environment is evolving, and you need training for skills development
Companies are constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve efficiency. Innovating a work environment may mean new equipment or updated processes and procedures. VR training is a great way to train for the new hard or soft skills your employees may be required to obtain.
Walmart is an excellent example of training for an evolving work environment. One of the many ways Walmart utilizes virtual reality is to teach employees new operations and routines when new machinery and equipment is being rolled out. Training in VR allows employees to practice their skills before using the equipment on the job. Regular business flow is therefore not interrupted. VR training reduced total training time on new equipment from eight hours to 15 minutes.
3. The quality of your work can’t be compromised, and mistakes are costly
In some work environments, the cost of a mistake can be as significant as an injury or a fatality. Training in these environments is critical to ensuring the safety of all employees. When your employees are faced with such risks, it’s important for them to feel prepared before heading onto a job site. Using virtual reality for a use case like this one allows employees to make their mistakes in the virtual world instead of real life.
Mistakes, however, don’t have to be as risky as fatalities for virtual reality to make sense in your training program. For example, without proper training in having difficult conversations, a manager may deliver bad news to an employee in a poor manner, resulting in decreased morale and performance. The handling of these conversations is therefore vital to an organization and makes for a great use case in VR training.
4. You have the correct stakeholder support
Implementing VR training has impacts beyond the learning and development team. The success or failure of your training program can expand to multiple areas of your organization. As a result, it’s crucial to plan which business units will need to be involved in the present and future.
Each impacted business unit should see value in your VR training program. You will need advocates over distractors and a shared, achievable goal. Having this support will ensure the future expansion of your VR training program is successful and met with excitement.
So, are you ready for VR training?
The need for proper planning is essential when deciding on VR as a training modality. Without thinking through the various aspects such as the purpose of implementation, your work environment, the skills you need to train, and the people who need to support you, it may be difficult to find program success. Taking the time to organize your plan for your program will pay off in the future.
Are you currently looking for a VR vendor? The long-term viability of your project depends on choosing the right one. Here are 15 questions every VR vendor should be able to answer:
Download the checklist: 15 Questions for your VR Vendor.
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