In March of 2020, the world flipped upside down. Non-essential stores closed, our interactions with friends were limited to Zoom, and while essential workers continued to work, many individuals remained on our couches for months.
Training During and After COVID-19
This new experience led to training teams needing to re-evaluate the ways they train their employees, with training during and after COVID-19 remaining top-of-mind. The uncertainty of not knowing when offices would reopen or when business travel would resume meant the creation of new programs to keep employees trained and prepared for work.
Many factors, one being COVID-19, have contributed to the rapid increase in AR and VR use across both consumer and enterprise uses. Global spending on AR and VR headsets in 2020 rose by 50% from the previous year to USD $12 billion. This growth is projected to continue at an increasing rate due to continued interest in the technology, particularly in the training industry.
COVID-19 Pandemic Training
While many of us were required to switch to a new work-from-home format, essential workers needed to continue providing critical services. These services often need more individuals to be hired or retrained to learn the new procedures that came with the COVID-19 pandemic. Hiring and retraining for COVID-19 was particularly evident in the healthcare industry.
According to one study, 40% of healthcare workers make errors when removing personal protective equipment (PPE). Therefore, it was crucial for employees to prioritize safe donning and doffing practices of PPE to keep both themselves and patients from spreading COVID-19 during the pandemic. However, due to the scarcity of PPE, many hospitals struggled to find sustainable ways to train employees while keeping PPE where it was needed most – on the hospital grounds.
After the success of our medical crisis simulation with BC Women’s Hospital, they turned to us to assist in creating a simulation to sustainably and repeatedly teach accurate and updated donning and doffing of PPE to frontline healthcare workers. In partnership with Accenture, we created an open-world “test mode” simulation to allow employees to practice their skills without guidance. The project was completed and rolled out to the hospital in less than 12 weeks. Using Motive’s codeless authoring tool, when new information about safe PPE donning and doffing was released, the team was able to create changes to the scenario within 24 hours.
Virtual reality allowed those who were keeping us secure during the height of the pandemic the opportunity to practice their skills in a safe environment. Especially with the increased volume in essential industries, virtual reality training enabled growth in confidence and feelings of preparation to meet the needs of the community.
Even though many employees have been given the green light to return to the office, many organizations have introduced hybrid work environments. Remote work continues to be popular for many employees. Despite this, organizations still need to provide essential training.
With in-person training creating challenges for employers, whether due to pandemic health concerns or high monetary and time costs, online learning is no longer the only option. Virtual reality presents a new opportunity for organizations to train employees safely and efficiently. While trainees may decide to complete training in office, organizations can also send headsets to a trainee’s home. Trainees can then complete training safely at their own pace, with the option to repeat scenarios to the point of confidence.
Scenarios can be created to closely replicate an organization’s workplace, meaning trainees can feel like they’re experiencing the fully immersive scenario at the office. Employees can learn hands-on skills with virtual equipment from the comfort of their homes.
The pandemic has created a large number of changes within L&D. It has accelerated the adoption of virtual reality training, with many organizations realizing the benefits. With virtual reality technology improving and the costs of headsets decreasing, now is the perfect time to implement virtual reality into your training program.
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