Friday, June 14, 2024

The Effectiveness of VR/AR in Soft Skills Training

A lack of soft skills is one of the biggest hurdles to hiring qualified people and to offering career enhancement opportunities. Soft skills include time management, communication, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, teamwork, adaptability, leadership, and work ethic skills.  Effective soft skills can be bigger indicators of hiring success than experience, or technical and hard skills.  The most talented, and experienced team member, sales representative, HR Director, manager, or senior level executive will be limited in their ability to impact an organization if they have poor soft skills.  Results of a study by Leadership IQ stated that,46% of newly hired employees will fail within 18 months, and this is due to poor attitudes and a lack of interpersonal skills.2How does a business assess whether an employee will be successful, and how do businesses counter statistics like this?  Looking for specific skills on resumes is a start.  It’s also helpful to look for these skills in the interview process.  Is the potential employee dressed appropriately? Are they late for their interview? Are they communicating effectively with hiring managers? Do they seem confident, using assertive speech and making good eye contact? These are good signs that an employee has the necessary interpersonal skills to be hired.  Still, they will need support in order to develop, grow, and become a long-term asset to your business.  This is where VR/AR soft skills training can help.

VR or virtual reality is technology that provides you with an immersive 3-D and 360°experience by having you interact with elements by using electronic hardware. AR or augmented reality is technology that provides you with an immersive experience by allowing you to visualize elements digitally.  Examples include apps that allow you to see how different types of furniture or artwork could look in your home or virtual tours of homes, or travel destinations.  Most businesses are familiar with classroom based and eLearning-based training models.  These are used because they work and are effective in training teams.  Classroom learning can simulate real teamwork issues and promote critical thinking and collaboration. With eLearning, businesses can reproduce and scale the same learning experience for all employees.  It is also cost effective and provides flexibility for employees.Although they are effective, they can be time-consuming, and trainees don’t always retain the information as well as they should.  This can be due to presentation style, large amounts of information being presented in the same exact format, or the likelihood of distractions interfering with how well the material is absorbed.VR/AR methods have been found to be very effective when implemented for soft skills training because of the immersive experience they provide.

A study by PwC showed VR training outperformed classroom and eLearning.  Employees in their study could be trained up to four times faster.1 The study proved that VR training methods provide benefits that shorten training time, help employees feel better prepared, help employees connect to material emotionally, and increase their ability to focus on information being presented.2Ways to implement VR/AR for soft skills training include simulations for handling employee conflict, for disciplining employees, for diversity, equity, and inclusion training, for utilizing people skills in sales and customer service, or for creating games that help employees to navigate problem-solving scenarios.  These are just some of the possibilities and ways that VR/AR training is already being used.  VR/AR soft skills training provides the benefits of immersion, visualization, and engagement, which gives the trainee the actual experience of doing the tasks that require developed soft skills. This difference helps the trainee not only learn the soft skill from trying to understand it in a presentation format, but it helps them make connections with how to utilize it in a real setting.  This is done in a way that combines the best of both classroom and eLearning.

  1. (n.d.). How virtual reality is redefining soft skills training. PwC. Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.pwc.com/us/en/tech-effect/emerging-tech/virtual-reality-study.html.
  2. Why new hires fail. Leadership IQ. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2021, from https://www.leadershipiq.com/blogs/leadershipiq/35354241-why-new-hires-fail-emotional-intelligence-vs-skills.

 

 

 

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