How AR and VR can help you onboard and train employees

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How AR and VR can help you onboard and train employees

Training and onboarding employees can be time-consuming and complex, but it’s a vital process for your company’s overall success. If employees understand and share company values, know their responsibilities, and can adapt to various situations, this brings a positive impact on work results.

While HR specialists do their best to optimize the onboarding and training processes, they cannot predict how an employee will act in certain situations, or how well s/he understood the company’s processes.

To fill this gap, more and more companies are using AR and VR technologies for training and onboarding. Although these technologies are usually associated with gaming, they prove to be incredibly beneficial for business purposes as well.

Here are the biggest benefits the use of AR and VR brings to the HR department.

A look inside the company’s culture and inner processes

Ideally, an employee should share the company’s values and mission in order to become a good fit and enjoy a comfortable working environment. However, you cannot always tell whether candidates will do this, and employees will have a hard time deciding fit after a few interviews.

To offer candidates a better acquaintance with the company, business owners can start using VR during onboarding. One of the most popular uses of this technology is a virtual tour around the company’s office, which is especially important for freelance or part-time employees.

Such tours allow the employees to see the company’s office, internal processes and even meet the people. Not only does the VR-tour enhance the employee-company connection, it gives a good idea of the prevailing dress-code and everyday internal processes.

Better training and risk management

Managers can hold as much training as they want, but there is no guarantee that training will prepare a candidate for real-life issues like an emergency or an angry customer. To better address this and ensure employees know how to act in critical situations, companies use AR or VR technologies to recreate a certain situation and teach employees to act properly.

Before, AR/VR technologies were mainly used for potentially dangerous jobs (i.e. firefighting) to teach people how to react to certain situations. But now, you can use it to train even soft skills.

One good example of this is Walmart. The company decided use VR to prepare their employees for the holiday season, long lines, and huge crowds. This approach worked brilliantly as employees (especially the new ones) got an understanding of what awaited them, and were ready to professionally manage all sorts of customer issues.

Improved employee education

Just how many times have you read an email and then forgot about it? With VR, you can help get messages to stick. VR provides immersion into virtual surroundings, helping someone absorb the experience more than through reading the plain text of an email.

Using VR can lead to better training, learning, and development results for your employees. Plus, due to the efficiency of this technology, VR can be more cost-saving, because once you develop the course you can distribute it to your employees without further manpower (ie. a facilitator).

Interactive assessment of candidates

Today, companies pay special attention to soft skills, but ordinary interviews and standard HR assessment tools are only one tool to reveal a candidate’s personality. For example, when someone is aware they’re being interviewed, they could behave differently from their normal working behavior.

Some companies use AR to overcome this problem and assess candidates from the start. Jaguar, for example, designed a fun mobile game with AR technology. The candidates would play it and the company, meanwhile, assessed their persistence, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

It is not obligatory to create a whole mobile application just to assess the candidates during the onboarding, but it is certainly a good idea to use AR for HR purposes.

Things to remember

Even though the use of AR and VR technologies in your onboarding and training processes sounds quite tempting, there are a few things to remember that will help you get the most out of these tools.

First, define your goals. The use of new technology is awesome as soon as you clearly understand why you need it. Do not go for VR just because everyone does. Analyze your processes, identify problem areas and estimate whether the implementation of AR/VR will bring any tangible benefits.

Second, do not rush to use complex VR videos or massive AR apps. Start small and see how well the employees and candidates accept this innovation, and then continue working on it in accordance with the feedback. After all, you are not doing it for yourself, but for the people that work in the company and help it grow and develop.

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