If there’s a surefire way to retain an employee, it’s a clear path to advancing their career in your company. Over 94% of employees said that they would stay with their organisation for longer if it provided them with career development opportunities, according to a global report on workplace learning by LinkedIn. Your current and future employees want you to train them. However, the traditional training programs you may have at hand may no longer be effective.
Education, Time, and Money Gone to Waste
A paper called The Great Training Robbery found that only 10% of corporate training regimes are fruitful. The authors stated that workers often went back to their pre-training habits after some time. This is because their bosses, who likely didn’t go through the same training program, retained the same leadership style.
As such, companies should start training leaders and managers first and work their way down the corporate ladder. This approach isn’t exactly cut and dry, however. Apart from costing a lot of money, comprehensive training programs can take up much time from the already busy days of both managers and workers.
Classroom or field training programs that last hours, or even weeks, just won’t cut it. This is why a lot of large organizations like UPS, Walmart, and the United Kingdom’s Government Communications department use virtual reality and gamification to train their employees efficiently. But what are these methods and how are they useful?
While virtual reality (VR) devices are often used for entertainment, they may have significant benefits for corporate training. For the uninitiated, VR is a simulation of an environment created from a computer. Users can enter and interact with this simulation using special helmets or goggles and gloves.
Walmart, a prominent retail chain in the United States, uses this technology to train and educate more than 1.5 million employees across the country. It has over 17,000 VR units in over 4,600 stores. And they’re all ready to simulate crowd management during peak days like Black Friday sales and disaster preparedness programs. According to the company, using VR for training increased trainee test scores by 10% to 15%.
This method is effective because it gives trainees close to real-life experiences within the confines of a small training room, according to a report by Deloitte on using VR for education. It’s an immersive way to learn standard procedures. Kentucky Fried Chicken uses it to teach new employees how to prepare their signature dish. UPS uses VR for driver safety training. The company’s units even simulate real roads from cities and neighborhoods around the world.
Grace Under Pressure
Virtual reality’s most significant benefit, however, comes from training for crucial situations, according to Deloitte. In fact, the Australian military uses VR to train soldiers in simulated battlefields. Its goal is to make troops more resilient to pressure if they do find themselves stuck in a foxhole. Police departments in the U.S. also use VR to teach officers how to handle active shooter situations.
With VR training, people can improvise and come up with creative solutions instead of relying solely on a handbook. And because these realistic situations happen in a safe and controlled environment, it saves the organization time and money on materials and possible hospitalization costs from injuries in the field.
Gaming the System
There are more than 2.5 billion people in the world who play video games regularly. Some of your employees probably know more about their favorite game’s plot than your company policies. Though it may not seem like a great idea at first, mixing work and play may prove to be effective in your training sessions.
Gamification uses game elements like competition, points, and limited rules to engage employees to perform tasks. It’s used by top companies like Microsoft and Deloitte to make their workers more productive and proactive.
Deloitte used badge rewards and leaderboards to motivate their senior executives to take up the company’s training curriculum. Whoever finished the courses faster and had better points ranked higher on the leaderboard and received exclusive badges for their achievements. This caused them to get their certificates much quicker than before.
Microsoft used gamification to turn its native-speaking employees into software language localizers. It used a simple application where viewers could scan different parts of a program for translation errors. More than 900 workers participated in this initiative. They found that about 70% of the content on their programs were linguistically correct, and made changes according to the users’ inputs.
Because these productivity games contain the hooks that traditional games have, workers strive to become more productive and accurate. It’s all fueled by the desire to go up the leaderboard and earn prestigious badges. They end up craving for excellence.
While these two methods are relatively new, they’ve made a significant impact on the performance of companies big and small. If you want to use these methods, partner with a reputable VR and game developer such as Next World Enterprises to discuss your training needs extensively.
Why not contact us here at Next World Enterprises to book a complimentary onsite or remote demonstration to find out about how VR and gamification can enhance your corporate training programs?