In part one of this article, we explored how integrating extended reality (XR) training, which includes virtual reality (VR), mixed reality, and augmented reality technology, into training processes can be a great way for companies to recruit and retain workers of all ages and backgrounds. Here, we will look at three more industries that can implement XR training for a great effect.
Warehouses, waypoints, and distribution centers are frenetic by nature, and their success lies in the ability to manage and organize that frenzy. Employees are engaged in objectives and processes based on a decision tree that, hopefully, leads to efficiency. Therein lies the human factor; this can be mitigated through strong training practices that leverage immersive technology to enforce procedural learning.
XR can also be used to train on unexpected situations such as malfunctioning equipment, employee accidents, hazardous material spills, failed lockout procedures, power outages, and more. XR training tools thereby allow employers in this industry to prepare their workforce for the worst-case scenario and use VR simulations to help logistics managers keep their employees—and equipment—safe while teaching them how to identify and respond to hazards.
With consumers choosing to shop online in greater numbers, the stakes for positive and effective interaction with customers are higher than ever before. Most retailers have to deal with disgruntled customers at some point. XR is a great way to help these workers learn the best approach to managing a variety of challenging customer interactions. Virtual human technology, or virtual characters who realistically converse via artificial intelligence, offer an infinite number of possibilities for retail staff to practice customer conversations. Virtual human characters can represent a variety of personas, backgrounds, and demographics. This provides employees with realistic interactions with their typical customers and allows them to test and hone their ability to navigate customer conversations.
HR can then use these characters in simulations to help employees learn how to react not only to difficult retail situations, such as customers complaining about a damaged product or something being sold out but also to difficult situations such as a customer suffering cardiac arrest or active shooter scenarios. XR offers retail employees a safe space to learn best practices in a wide range of scenarios while providing an increased return on investment (ROI) in training and better customer experiences.
Sales is a very challenging profession; like actors or theatrical performers, salespeople put themselves on display and often face rejection. Whether you are new to the field or a veteran of the sales game, rehearsal and training are imperative. VR can help: Simulated pitches allow trainees to face rejection and practice confident speaking in a consequence-free environment. The software can also provide real-time feedback and track progress and improvement more closely—at a more affordable scale—than other sales training, like slide shows or role-playing in person.
This type of training can be used to simulate cold calling or an in-person pitch; it can offer a simulation of a sales interaction or gamify the sales process of nurturing leads to a close. For employers, it can reduce the cost of giving their salespeople a safe space to fail and try again.
First impressions matter and a new employee’s first few weeks at a company are very important for establishing expectations and building a positive culture. Because a lot of employee training occurs during the onboarding phase, making your training procedures compelling, entertaining, and memorable is vital if you want your employees to stick around long term. XR technology offers the opportunity to deliver continuous learning and to engage and educate employees as their careers progress.
If HR teams find ways to implement XR training, they can significantly improve employee engagement and learning, allowing them to recruit and retain employees from all backgrounds across a distributed workforce and, in turn, deliver consistent and positive results for the organization.
Stephen Fromkin is the Co-Founder and Chief Operations Officer at Talespin, an enterprise software solutions company that leverages immersive technology to transform the way global workforces learn, train, and collaborate.