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Bridging the Knowledge Gap With Virtual and Augmented Reality

It’s usually not until you are on the other side of something that you realize the impact of the journey. Learning a new skill at any age is challenging. If you’re concerned about the knowledge gaps in your workforce, you’re not alone. 87% of organizations are either aware of existing skill gaps or anticipate one in the future. For many organizations that want to revitalize their training programs, identifying where bridges need to be built is the first step. 

Generational differences in the workforce go far beyond preferences for virtual meetings. There are major existing skill gaps that present a unique opportunity to train the next generation of the workforce with digital learning technologies. 

If tactile skills are essential in your organization, your workforce won’t gain them from a lecture. Digital technologies like AR and VR have enhanced the way the modern workforce acquires essential skills and knowledge. 

So, how does one accomplish this? First, organizations must start by identifying knowledge gaps that impact the flow of operations. In order to uncover the existing knowledge gaps in your organization, leadership must first identify where employee performance falls short. The next step is to pinpoint where training can address these gaps, but you’ll need help! Count on your SMEs to help with damage control. By applying their expertise 

Bridging the Gap – How? 

People learn best by doing. Despite the effectiveness of on-the-job training, limited resources and scalability issues arise with traditional training methods. AR and VR take the benefits of on-the-job training by immersing learners in realistic simulations that improve role familiarity and enhance engagement among adult learners. 

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the most accessible form of XR, allowing employees to utilize existing hardware like company tablets. By combining the digital world with the real world, employees gain the opportunity to hone their skills with interactive, hands-on training. Most people may not realize they already have experience with augmented reality.

Memorable Microlearning

Microlearning offers self-paced training that maximizes the attention span of the average learner. Augmented reality allows employees to focus on one definable concept, skill, or process through bite-sized training modules. Not only is microlearning strongly preferred by adult learners, but this training method is especially effective for knowledge acquisition. 

Just-in-time Training

The reach of just-in-time training goes beyond acclimating new hires. Just-in-time learning offers a way for existing employees to access learning materials at any moment without interrupting daily operations. Just-in-time training improves role familiarity by providing real-time support for employees seeking direction.

Just-in-time training is especially important to organizations searching for solutions to reduce costly accidents with heavy machinery. By utilizing the advantage of on-demand learning, organizations can close knowledge gaps to reduce common mistakes.

Step-by-step Processes

Augmented reality programs are ideal for training employees to master step-by-step processes. By using a digital overlay, AR training programs allow learners to interact with costly company assets like heavy machinery and small industrial vehicles safely. Just take a look at this engine replacement AR training. By overlaying a digital engine, learners can interact with the different parts of the engine. This is just one example of how experiential learning is connecting employees to their roles through hands-on experience. AR is also an effective learning application for general operations activities like point of sale and inventory training. 

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has shifted the paradigm of corporate training by engaging learners, producing strong training outcomes, and even incentivizing new hires to join organizations because of the digital technology in their onboarding programs. VR effectively prepares employees for encountering difficult situations by creating fully immersive and interactive environments where they can rehearse how to respond when they encounter difficult situations.

Safety Skills

Safety incidents and turnover are more than a sore subject in the manufacturing and warehousing industries. However, VR changes business outcomes by skilling employees with safer work habits. Organizations are wisely trading in passive learning for immersive safety training that better illustrates the dangers associated with roles. Whether it is simulating fire emergencies, prompting learners to identify electrical hazards, or establishing a company-wide standard for responding to an active shooter – VR programs give learners hands-on experience that prepares them to mitigate risks. 

Employee Confidence

Employees who train in VR have increased confidence due to role familiarity, which benefits their overall productivity. In a pilot program conducted by Cox Communications using VR to train Field Technicians, learners experienced a 10% increase in confidence that VR can be used to learn or validate learning safety & technical skills with a 4.24 / 5 rating before the experience compared to a. 4.79 / 5 rating after the experience. 

Effective Onboarding

VR is action-based, which means learners gain the advantage of onboarding with tangible learning scenarios. By acting out their roles, employees can have a seamless integration into your organization and demonstrate their competence on their very first day. Digital technology also helps organizations achieve consistent employee experiences by standardizing onboarding programs. 

Brandon Hall Group reports that more than 60% of organizations plan for heavy or moderate investment in improving onboarding in 2023 to streamline their success, which has led to a staggering 81% of organizations using experiential learning for their onboarding training programs.

Closing The Gap With Continuous Learning

It was only a few years ago that virtual reality began to make its first big impression in the L&D world. Today, digital technologies are redefining workforce training. Employees are eager to upskill and companies now understand why people are more likely to stay with an organization that is committed to continuous learning. 

Are you ready to take the leap into the future of learning? By implementing XR training programs that cater to the needs of the modern workforce, your organization can bridge knowledge gaps with experiential learning. AR training programs provide just-in-time training that helps support productivity, while VR allows learners to rehearse their roles in a safe training environment.

The time is now to improve operational efficiency, stabilize employee retention, and boost your company culture. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take your training to the next level! Learn more about how AR and VR transform the way people learn.

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