The shifting reality of employee training

The shifting reality of employee training

Taking a cue from role-playing games set in virtual or augmented reality, experts in highly specialized fields such as the military and emergency medical services are turning to VR and AR to train next-generation recruits.

As the technology evolves, analysts predict VR and AR will hit the mainstream and become the platform of choice in training employees across a diverse range of industries.

In the retail sector, Walmart’s training centers are deploying VR headsets to situate workers in real-world scenarios that may prove costly to recreate in a physical space. The company has turned to STRIVR, which provides immersive training solutions.

“How on earth do you prepare somebody for the holiday peak season – the rush of a busy store and all of the action going on around you?” asked Tom Ward, vice president of digital operations at Walmart. “With [immersive training], we can really prepare these leaders.”

STRIVR also throws in predictive analytics to gain insights on how trainees react to different scenarios.

The emerging tech gives new hires a chance to onboard seamlessly, and provides seasoned employees a way to hone their skills and pick up new ones.

Even traditional methods will get a fresh treatment in a virtual space.

Global fast food chain KFC is reportedly developing its own simulated training game called The Hard Way, which pays homage to the restaurant’s classic method of preparing fried chicken by hand – albeit in a make-believe kitchen.

On the other hand, architects and interior designers can also create designs and mock them up to scale to give clients a better visual of the project.

The potential of VR- and AR-based employee training isn’t limited to manual work either.

Even corporate training for professional services – from real estate to finance – can benefit from simulations of anything from a property tour to a boardroom meeting.

The immersive quality of VR and AR enables workers to experience the demands of the job first-hand, especially in high-pressure environments.

During police and military training, simulations are designed to sharpen the “judgmental use of force,” according to VirTra, one of the first firearms training companies to deploy VR tech.

VirTra uses multiple screens that provide a 360-degree visual of the danger zone, along with lifelike audio, to play out the realism of the situation.