Is VR the Future of Employee Training?
UPS, Walmart and other companies are experimenting with virtual reality to prepare and coach workers.
As employees join the workforce in future, they may be asked to sign human resources forms, meet with their direct supervisor and then strap on a virtual reality headset.
Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming an increasingly common training tool for a variety of businesses. Although the relatively new tactic is not widespread, its proponents say it is the wave of the future. The latest company to adopt VR training is UPS, which recently announced plans to roll out the technology to instruct student parcel delivery drivers.
Training with VR technology provides users with immersive experiences that simulate the same real-world examples and situations they are likely to face on the job. Allegedly, this better prepares candidates for when they swap the headsets for the road, warehouse or store floor.
UPS will shortly begin training new recruit delivery drivers to spot and identify road hazards that users see and hear inside VR headsets, at its nine UPS Integrad training facilities. Recruits verbally identify potential road hazards such as pedestrians, parked cars and oncoming traffic simulating real life experiences while driving on a city street.
UPS claim that the immersive, hyper-realistic graphics and immerse drivers and service providers in all kinds of situations that encourages thinking about safety in a way that deeply engages recruits to react with ultra-safe behaviour.
Other Industries Experiment with VR Training
UPS is certainly not the only company investing in VR training for employees. Walmart has confirmed it will work with VR to train employees on a variety of real-world scenarios, from a Black Friday shopping spree rush to cleaning up spills and keeping fresh produce stocked.
New Walmart employees will use a VR headset and enter different real-world scenarios, during which they’ll be asked to make simple choices based on what they see. Ultimately, employees are being geared toward giving customers the best experience. Walmart added, it’s helpful for associates to see mistakes in a virtual environment and know how to deal with them before they experience it in real life and don’t know what to do.
Meanwhile, other industries such as construction and engineering firm Bechtel is using VR to train its employees. Utilizing wearable technology, Bechtel’s goal is to improve site safety, prevent injuries and make training more fun for construction workers. The training includes hazard identification, forklift, scaffolding and site safety training places. Employees expected to work on a high-rise building experience the sensation of working at considerable heights. The immersive technology allows the for opportunity to get acclimatised to that environment before venturing into it for real.
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