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The Benefits of AR & VR for Employee Training

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13 min read

AR/VR hardware and software have undergone significant development since their early stages. Now, programs are more consistent in quality, and the hardware is more affordable than ever before.

That’s making more companies consider implementing AR and VR into their staff training routines. The reasons are obvious: Augmented and Virtual Reality training applications save money and keeps trainees out of harm’s way until they’re completely comfortable with their tools.

Let’s dive into Augmented and Virtual Reality employee training and see how it helps to make training more effective.

Table of contents:

How Are VR and AR Improving Employee Training?

How Companies Use VR/AR in Training

Is VR Training Right for My Organization?

VR vs. AR: Which One Is Better?

How to Choose a VR Training Provider

Setting Goals when Using VR for Training

VR/AR Training Programs

Cost of Designing VR/AR Training

AR/VR Training: Our Success Story

How Are VR and AR Improving Employee Training?

Using Virtual Reality for training helps companies make their programs safer, more convenient, and effective.

Instructional designers can use VR to create realistic training scenarios for specific roles. This allows companies to immerse trainees in a 360° virtual space where they can actively learn by interacting with objects and other trainees.

With Augmented Reality training, employees can interact with the real world while extending perception with virtual elements. These models can overlay physical objects or specific locations, adjusting to changing physical environments in real time.

Combined with a carefully structured learning curriculum, immersive technologies in the workplace can provide:

  • Enhanced safety of training.  VR training programs allow workers to participate in scenarios simulating hazardous environments or using dangerous equipment. They learn to cope with stress related to dangerous situations in a safe environment, develop effective responses to them, and fail safely and try again, as many times as needed.
  • Effective learning approach. Trainees who learn or practice skills in a VR training simulator not only perform better in reality but also show increased confidence in the process, with 75% retention rates.
  • Efficient knowledge processing. Virtual and Augmented Reality training built by expert instructional designers feature carefully planned educational modules that optimize the learners’ experience and provide personalized training. According to the study by PwC, students learned soft skills four times faster with virtual training than with in-person training.
  • Training flexibility and consistency. VR/AR training enables you to add and modify training scenarios, the environment, and objects when requirements change.
  • Cost-efficiency. With AR/VR training, companies can reduce costs on training employees by creating virtual courses with reusable and easily adaptable content to learn at any time and anywhere. Extra expenses related to travel, repeated instructor fees, and equipment being out of commission are eliminated.
VR training programs benefits - The Benefits of AR & VR for Employee Training
Benefits that AR/VR training can bring

With all these and other benefits of Augmented and Virtual Reality training, 65% of companies already use or plan to use these technologies for employee training.

How Companies Use VR and AR Technologies in Training

The most widespread use cases of AR/VR for employee training include:

  • hard skills training;
  • soft skills development;
  • crisis management;
  • employee onboarding.

Hard skills training

In fields like engineering or construction, VR training programs allow trainees to practice tasks in a virtual environment, such as operating heavy machinery or assembling elements. This hands-on approach enables learners to develop muscle memory and refine techniques without the need for physical equipment.

Regarding hard skills, AR provides real-time guidance and enhances on-the-job learning. For example, at HQSoftware, we developed a tool at HQSoftware to enhance efficiency and accuracy for mechanics when repairing equipment by overlaying AR instructions.

Soft skills development

Using Virtual Reality for training, instructors can put trainees in real-life situations where they have to find a solution to communication challenges. By providing a lifelike sense of the situation, staffers are encouraged to make reasoned decisions.

For example, instructors can use Virtual Reality to create an interactive environment, such as a conference room, where trainees can practice giving presentations or sales pitches.

AR/VR training for crisis management

Real-life crisis situations can impair a person’s ability to think clearly. Virtual Reality training provides a risk-free way to immerse people in realistic work scenarios, allowing them to polish their skills and practice drills with a clear mind.

For instance, the British Navy has implemented VR training software to create submarine and warship simulations. These simulations allow recruits to experience an emergency situation without any actual risk. This way, they are able to better understand how they must react in a real crisis and stay in control of the situation.

VR training programs for crisis management - The Benefits of AR & VR for Employee Training
VR for crisis management training

Employee onboarding

When hiring new staff, it’s crucial to get them oriented and working as quickly as possible. For example, a company can utilize VR technology to create a simulation that takes the newly hired employees around the building, showing them everything they need to know.

Augmented Reality training, in turn, allows for creating engaging and interactive presentations that can help new workers better understand the environment they will work in, as well as to explain company benefits, growth prospects, and important contacts.

IKEA has used Virtual Reality to build immersive simulations that allow workers to experience the workdays of their colleagues. This approach helps the staffers better understand the opportunities IKEA offers.

AR/VR training industry use cases

Augmented and Virtual Reality have proved to be effective learning tools for various industries with different use cases. For example:

  • Healthcare. Virtual Reality can help surgeons practice their skills in a risk-free environment.
  • Construction. VR training solutions replicate workplaces and tasks with all of the danger removed so that employees can have a hands-on training experience.
  • Manufacturing. With VR/AR training, learners can practice performing manufacturing tasks without using real equipment and materials, reducing the risk of causing manufacturing mistakes.
  • Retail. VR training simulations can be implemented for staff onboarding, customer service training, and product knowledge training.
5 Reasons to Implement AR in Media and Entertainment

How do modern businesses use AR to increase their revenues and outperform their industry competitors?

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book template 1 - The Benefits of AR & VR for Employee Training

It would be dishonest to say that Virtual Reality training is a perfect match for any company and training purpose. It has its drawbacks, such as physical limitations, hardware restrictions, a steep learning curve, and more.With all this in mind, let’s determine whether AR/VR training might be a match for your company.

Yuri Yarmolovich

AR/VR Expert

A developer with extensive expertise in AR/VR, very ingrained into the topic of Mixed Reality development. Shares his knowledge and the results of many years of work.

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Read also

Integrating Virtual Reality for eLearning: Benefits and Costs

How to Create Virtual Classroom: Software for Platform

A Digital Approach to Overcoming Geographical Barriers in Employee Training and Learning

Frequently Asked Questions

What is virtual reality training?

How much does virtual reality training cost?

How does VR for training work?

What is the future of training?

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