COVID forced many of us to adopt virtual training to onboard new employees, enhance skills, and instill company values. Now that many companies have brought the majority of employees back to in-person work, some virtual training programs have been abandoned or scaled back.
But we learned something during our time of remote work, virtual training can be more effective than in-person training. Rather than traditional training methods filled with endless PowerPoints and awkward conversations, we can engage team members with creativity and innovation. Interactive virtual learning boosts engagement by 50 percent and enhances knowledge retention by more than 20%.
Of course, there are also advantages to the cost and delivery of this training modality. Let’s examine the benefits and the best use cases for implementing virtual training in your organization.
Benefits of Virtual Reality Training in the Workplace
Virtual training is often more cost-effective than in-person training. According to one study, virtual training can save up to 50% in training costs when compared to in-person training. Especially when you factor in potential travel costs, event planning, and food costs, in-person training can put a dent in your training budget.
Virtual training allows for greater flexibility and convenience for employees. According to a survey, 68% of workers prefer to learn at their own pace, and 49% prefer to learn at the time and place of their choosing. This dramatically reduces business operations. Training is necessary, but taking employees out of their normal pace of work creates a backlog of work when employees return. Allowing people the flexibility to insert training into their schedule when convenient not only prevents interruptions but creates a deeper focus on the training.
Improved Skill Retention
Virtual training can lead to better retention of information. According to a study, participants in virtual training retain up to 60% more information than in-person training.
Accenture, the global consulting firm, says that “experiential learning has long been argued as the most effective way to learn, and studies have shown that learning through experience increases learning quality by up to 75 percent.” The firm indicates this approach allows companies to recreate real-life situations, reduce travel costs to outside training, and increase the repetition of experiences to allow employees the opportunity to practice for longer periods.
Virtual Training is bigger than merely delivering videos or PowerPoint with a retention test. Real-time virtual interactions can take place that allows employees the ability to practice the skills being taught. Gamification, interactive quizzes, and virtual reality simulations are just some of the ways that virtual training can be made more engaging.
At Fierce, we’ve seen this, especially in what we refer to as “micro-learnings”. Rather than long session training, research, and experience have shown us that small chunks of training in as little as 15-minute increments can provide deep skill acquisition.
Software Advice reported that most employees (58 percent) would more likely use online learning courses if they were broken into “multiple, shorter lessons” and creates more than 50 percent higher engagement
Reduces Onboarding Time
Onboarding new employees can be daunting, especially when employees are remote. Virtual training has allowed companies to decrease onboarding time and also improve overall employee retention.
Virtual simulations allow new employees to practice skills they will need in their roles as well as quickly assimilate company knowledge.
Instills Company Culture and Values
Creating a cohesive company culture is challenging. Virtual training has proven to create a real-world experience that demonstrates the company’s values and brand promise to customers.
Because of the flexibility of virtual training, these don’t have to be annual events where you attempt to transmit culture but can be an ongoing process throughout the year.
Fierce Experience with Virtual Training
As an organization committed to transforming company culture, creating strong leaders, and high-performing teams, we knew we must move beyond traditional training models. While the Fierce methodology has been effective, we knew we could improve skill acquisition more broadly through the organizations we work with.
In early 2020, one of our key solutions and crucial strategies was to use 3D/VR simulations. The simulations put the user in a gaming-like environment in which they control the direction of the conversation, learning along the way as well as from the outcome.
The 3D/VR environments can be very elaborate. Still, the point is to immerse the learner in the scenario and allow the learner to participate in a safe environment where they can learn or hit re-do to try again.
3D Simulations allow you to bring short and engaging 3D real-world micro-learning to your organization for optimum scalability and knowledge retention. 3D simulations delivered through WebVR are a powerful and interactive way to learn.
Training doesn’t have to be hours or days in length to be effective. Recent research shows that micro-learning improves training engagement by 50 percent, while also enhancing knowledge retention by more than 20 percent. In addition, studies have shown that this quick and easy real-world learning modality means employees spend up to 40 percent less time in training.
Above and beyond the reality of higher knowledge retention and better learning is the huge benefit of convenience that WebVR bite-size learning provides. Using technology like WebVR for micro-learning allows organizational leaders to provide employees with scalable training that addresses what’s most needed, in the moment, and a 3D real-world experience. Plus, it doesn’t take more than a few moments for learners to absorb.
Fierce 3D Simulations
Fierce 3D simulations is one aspect of our journey into virtual training. We designed it to be fully customized for any business needs no matter how challenging they may be. Fierce 3D simulations include:
- Micro-learning interactive real-world scenarios, which are custom-built by Fierce specifically for all levels of learners in any organization
- Personalized, unique avatars that create captivating roles within your scenarios to build empathy and engage your learners
- Hands-on training to explore emotional responses, get immediate feedback, and reflect on performance all in a safe environment
- Available on laptop, mobile, tablet, and desktop
- Customized branding within all simulations
- Integrates with Articulate, Adobe Captivate, Google Docs, Microsoft Office 365, and many more
- Gamification capabilities for maximizing learner engagement and knowledge retention
- Customized to capture the look and feel of your location, organization, and audiences
Chantell Brandt, VP of Leadership Development at Hancock Whitney implemented Fierce Simulations in her organization and commented:
“When looking for a way to help our associates have meaningful conversations around belonging and inclusion, we turned to Fierce. The simulations allow us to provide actionable real-time learning to embed the desired behaviors.”
Virtual reality training has proved to be a cost-effective and flexible solution that enhances knowledge retention and learning engagement, allowing employees to learn at their own pace and convenience. It reduces onboarding time and instills company culture and values. Interactive learning and real-world simulations through virtual reality can be fully customized to any business need and offer a safe environment for learners to practice skills they need in their roles. The benefits of virtual reality training have been proven through both research and experience. It is a valuable addition to any organization committed to transforming company culture, and creating strong leaders, and high-performing teams.