Virtual Reality in Employee Onboarding

Written By: Ariel Berdugo

Virtual reality has been making waves in gaming and consumer spaces for a while now, but it’s also found its way into the employee training onboarding process, with several big companies already putting it to use. With VR technology, new employees are learning and adjusting to their work environments faster than ever before. The technology, which simulates real-life scenarios with immersive audio and video, is saving companies time and money, and is enhancing the employee onboarding process across the board. Here’s how.

Functional Training

Virtual reality provides a unique opportunity for employees to become acquainted with their new work environment before they even begin their job, creating a sense of preparedness. Large companies like Wal-Mart, United Rentals, and KFC are using these technologies to enhance training by giving new hires a sense of how the workplace operates before they even begin their role. Likewise, surgeons and other high-risk professionals can get all the experience they need in a simulated environment, making them more prepared to perform under pressure when they are on the job.

What Makes Virtual Reality Onboarding So Great?

  • Gamification
    • Many VR training and onboarding programs include a game component. In some instances, employees can use controllers to simulate hands-on aspect of the job like using a fireman’s hose or a surgeon’s instruments. Gamification creates a more engaging training experience so that the employees feel comfortable with the environment before they even start working. It also helps employees retain information due to its immersive nature, and cuts down the time it takes to grasp the basics of the job, especially with the ability to use the headset at home.
  • Collaboration and Improved Retention Rates
    • Over 90% of employees decide whether they’ll stay with an organization or leave in the first six months. This is often due to the disconnect between the employee and the organization. Onboarding and team assimilation procedures don’t always work out the way you’d expect, but virtual reality can actually improve these areas in interesting ways. The Oculus Rift has the ability to pick up body language, allowing for use between dispersed team members. Through VR, employees can get a glimpse into the company culture and pick up on things that will lead to a long, enjoyable course of employment.
  • Saves money and time
    • One big benefit of virtual reality onboarding is that it can save companies money on sending trainers to field offices or new employees to headquarters. Instead, employees can experience a simulation of their new work environment that is rendered as close to real life as possible. The VR training modules can also be used for years.

This is an exciting development in VR technology with the potential to completely change the training and onboarding process for the better. It goes to show that virtual reality cannot be denied as a growing factor in the business world, and that it can show up in industries we might never have expected.

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