31 August 2019
14 March 2020

Time to consider virtual reality for your soft skills training

As our world continues to move towards automation, organizations are faced with newer challenges. Thrive, survive, or vanish depends on how quickly organizations manage their transformations. None more challenging than the part that deals with human capital transformation. They face the challenge of maintaining the workforce up to date, motivated, and collaborative. Many have adopted Virtual Reality to deal with the newest of challenges. But VR for hard skills training is not exactly ground breaking news. It has been around many industries and proved to be more efficient, lower risk, and lower cost than traditional methods of classroom training.

But How About Soft Skills? How can VR assist with training for these soft skills?

According to wikipedia, Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. Applications of virtual reality can include entertainment (i.e. video games) and educational purposes (i.e. medical or military training). Other, distinct types of VR style technology include augmented reality and mixed reality.

As computerization impacts the workplace, “human” skills like leadership, empathy, communication, and cooperation are becoming more critical than ever. However, a growing gap exists among new generations of the workforce across these key interpersonal skills, with learning and development experts citing “soft skills” as the most significant challenge. To confront this skill gap, training methods for leadership skills need to improve, as techniques like traditional role play lack emotional realism and scalability needed to deliver transformation.

Virtual reality combines eLearning with the occurrence of person-to-person training, allowing participants to focus on the situation and to act without pressure or external influence. It gives learners the freedom to experiment and test their existing skillsets. 

4DLH with its partner Noon Digital Agency have developed a VR experience designed around the team collaboration, conflict management, stress management and communication. The idea of this VR experience is to incorporate emotional intelligence fundamentals, such as empathy, self awareness and leadership into the day to day dynamics of team interactions.

In this soft skills VR experience, learners put on a VR headset and are transported into a virtual world. The learner can make decisions based on previous EQ traits mentioned above. Learners can ask questions, and listen to the dialogue between the people. The interactions between those in a VR world and a real world are measured and are the determinants of success or failure. The learners must make quick decisions that impact the fate of the group, must strategize based on inflow of information, must ask questions as well as provide answers. The quality and speed of such interactions, based on a level of trust, determines how far and how much the group accomplishes. 

VR training experiences like these allow learners to develop their communication, listening, adaptability, and problem-solving skills without relying on face-to-face role play or other potential socially undesirable situations. As this can reduce the cost of training and increase retention, it is a win-win for both employer and employee.

4DLH is convinced that this is the most effective and efficient way to adapt to changes taking place within organizations and to answer the needs of newer generations of workers and stakeholders.

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