VR and training experiences: cases, benefits, and costs
From new employees' education to professional updating courses, virtual reality and training go hand in hand. Today, VR experiences transfer technical and procedural skills, "train" soft skills, and shape unity of intent between brands and staff. There is no shortage of success stories, and HR managers should pay attention to the long-term economic benefits of this solution.
VR and training in large companies and SMEs
Over the last decade, an increasing number of corporations such as Hilton, Walmart, and Ford have been relying on VR for the training of their employees. The case of DHL is emblematic. The shipping company invested in a VR platform training its staff to load, unload and store packages. The aim was to optimize transport and rationalize warehouse space. Thanks to the involvement guaranteed by virtual reality, employees learned the correct procedures better and faster. This outcome has been fundamental to reducing emissions, saving costs and resources.
Not just groups globally operating, VR is increasingly being used for training even lesser-known companies. MetChannel VR is our project for Olympus Italy. It simulates safe surgical interventions. Wearing the viewer, trainees, nurses and technicians can learn procedures and correct errors without operating on scarce and expensive biological tissues. As another example, service companies like Farmers Insurance have raised awareness among their employees toward empathetic behaviors to have with customers. A leader in automotive safety systems, Aptive, uses VR to reduce employee training time from 2 days to 4 hours.
The benefits of virtual reality in corporate training
So far, we have shown some cases where training benefits from VR. However, we need to underline the technology strengths. Why is virtual reality better than traditional training in certain circumstances? The first aspect to take into account is the effectiveness of "learning by doing" teaching methods. The PwC's study "The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Soft Skills Training in the Enterprise" shows that employees trained with virtual reality are 3.75 times more engaged than those who have attended classroom lessons and 2.3 times more than e-learners. That is because the realistic simulation of activities stimulates learning.
A second benefit is the possibility to repeat each procedure and the entire training process an infinite number of times. Any VR experience can revive without limits: it is available along the time and around the world. That is, you can use it to train new employees and to standardize procedures globally. In short, it's like having a single, excellent trainer available whenever and wherever you want. Last but not least, it reduces risks: there is no danger of accidents due to inexperience in a virtual dimension.
How much does a training experience in VR cost
The advantages described in the previous sections implicate an excellent cost/benefit balance in some circumstances. That is clear comparing VR and traditional training techniques. However, the initial expense is not that affordable and can differ considerably depending on the project complexity. The most relevant variables impacting costs are the duration of the experience, the type and quantity of actions to be carried out during the training session. By simplifying, the price can range from 15,000 to 60,000 euros. Attention though! You will spread out this amount over time.
As mentioned, VR experiences are repeatable an infinite number of times. That means it will not be necessary to face the expense every time new teams need training, even in different parts of the world. This condition guarantees an excellent depreciation of the investment. At the same time, the effectiveness of learning compared with e-learners is a guarantee of the fast growth of production and reduced learning time. In other words, what you spend on VR is leveled by quick optimization of work processes.
For more details on the uses of virtual reality in training, feel free to contact us!