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Warehouse employees can be exposed to a wide range of hazards on the job, but with proper training, you can keep your workforce safe while maintaining productivity. 

Take your training to the next level by incorporating immersive technologies into your warehouse training program such as:

  • 360° Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Full VR
  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Video Learning
  • Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT)

Did you know that integrating technology into your warehouse training program can improve your organization’s productivity, safety, and training costs? An all-inclusive, customized training program may be a great option for your organization! 

The warehousing and distribution industry is booming right now, so it’s vital to maintain your well-oiled machine. Part of that maintenance involves an efficient training program. Now might be the perfect time to consider investing in technology for warehouse training. In doing so, your employees can be trained more efficiently, create a safer work environment, and proactively avoid a wide variety of safety risks.

In this article, we’ll explore four examples of how technology can be used in warehouse training, as well as the importance of consistent training and the effects this can have on your organization. 

Use 360° Virtual Reality (VR) for Immersive Onboarding

360° VR creates an environment from a recorded video shot with an omnidirectional camera, providing a 360° view. With 360° VR, you can fully immerse your new hire within your warehouse so you can expose them to equipment and processes before they even step foot on the floor. 

For example, you can walk your learners through the entire fulfillment process by immersing them in every step of the process. Your learner will be able to see the task they need to complete while also experiencing the sounds and sights of a bustling warehouse around them. This immersive experience can help them remain focused and avoid being overwhelmed in the actual warehouse environment. 

Add interactions such as knowledge checks, gaze control, or handsets to walk them through the physical motions they will need to complete on the job. By watching a 360° video layered with knowledge checks, learners can choose how to respond to the situation without having to be physically present in a hazardous environment. After completion, you can evaluate your learner’s performance based on metrics including: completion rates, average time spent, engagement, and more. 

Read More: Cost of Virtual Reality Training: 360° VR [2020]

Build Immersive Safety Training With Full Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) is an extended reality system that creates an artificial environment where the learner is fully transported via headset to a virtual environment and can look around themselves, hear real-world sounds, walk up to computer generated objects, and interact with items and people. VR can simulate a real-world warehouse setting and enable your learners to encounter real-life scenarios without facing real-world risk. VR has become an increasingly valuable tool in learning and development because it’s a safe, engaging, and adaptable learning solution. 

Full VR training can solve one of your most complicated learning problems: comprehensive safety training. The biggest hurdle of safety training is that you can’t practice what you learn until you are in an emergency situation.

Traditional safety training involves job aids, instructors, and video examples. With Full VR, you can create an emergency scenario and allow your learners to solve problems, run through a protocol, and help teammates – all in a risk-free environment.    

The training’s effectiveness can be measured through learners’ reactions, competency tests, key performance indicators, and more. VR for warehouse training is a great option because the learner will still get a realistic sense of what the situation is really like without facing any real-world harm. 

Watch More: VR for Soft Skills Training: The Reality of Learning Episode 2

VR Training for Warehousing: Superior Beverage Case Study

With custom solutions for workforce training challenges, Roundtable Learning can help combat your workplace challenges and reduce training costs. Check out our award-winning Full VR training program with partners Superior Beverage, which trained employees in effective equipment use and product stacking. 

Since the implementation of the training courses, Superior Beverage’s workers’ compensation claims have been reduced by 50% and the time that it takes an associate to become productive on the warehouse floor was reduced by 33%. These are results you can expect from a partnership with Roundtable.

Read More: VR Training Safety: 5 Tips You Need to Know

Augmented Reality (AR) for Step-By-Step Process Training

AR is an extended reality system that adds to — or augments — reality. AR places virtual objects in a real-world space and is better for isolated, technical topics. Through an AR capable mobile device, images appear in front of the learner and can be explored holistically or piece-by-piece. 

AR has numerous benefits, including the fact that it’s a safe experiential learning and there’s no need for actual equipment on-site. AR can improve your business by providing a safe environment for your learners where there is no safety risk to real-world equipment. 

When your learners are working through a new process, an AR equipped tablet can guide them through the steps. Your AR training program can prompt the learner to scan at checkpoints, give directions on how to handle materials, and show correct processes. 

Video Learning For Consistency Across the Organization

Video learning is a digitally powered solution that delivers workplace training content through video modules. Video learning can be effective for your warehouse training if you want to provide consistent training to your entire workforce. 

For training programs that are rich in complexity, some learners may need to see exactly how a process unfolds to gain understanding, which is what video-infused learning can do for your warehouse learners. Through video, learners can be connected to subject matter experts that explain complicated processes and techniques that would otherwise be too difficult to understand through manuals or other traditional job aids. 

Read More: ILT vs. VILT vs. eLearning vs. Video Learning: Traditional or Digital Learning

Using VILT to Train Trainers and Keep Learners Connected

Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) leverages video conferencing tools like Skype, Slack, and Google Meet and lets you take the classroom dynamic online. With VILT, you can train your trainers and keep your learners connected through providing remote access to training materials in a cost-effective, engaging virtual environment. 

Learners can stay engaged and connected during VILT through joining breakout sessions, completing virtual whiteboards and polls, and more. VILT sessions work best when they are kept to 60 minutes or less, use virtual whiteboards to emphasize crucial takeaways, and follow up frequently after sessions to make the learning stick. VILT sessions can also be recorded, allowing learners to access the content at any time from anywhere. 

Read More: VILT: 8 Ways To Make The Most Of It For Your Learners

Use Technology in Your Blended Learning Program

At Roundtable, we believe video learning works best when it’s used as part of a Blended Learning Program. A Blended Learning Program brings together traditional and digital learning techniques to create a fully comprehensive program. This approach could be the right choice for your organization because everyone learns differently, and by creating a program that incorporates different learning modalities, you can be more inclusive to all of your learners. 

Manage Your Content Easily With An Extended Reality System

At this point, you know that VR and AR training programs are Extended Reality Systems (XRS). XR training helps organizations get the most out of their training by giving learning and development professionals the power to manage their content and users efficiently. The central aim of XRS is to make managing XR training simple. This is where Mercury XRS can help!

Did you know Mercury XRS is a one-of-a-kind cloud-based learning management system that helps efficiently manage XR training programs? Mercury can help you choose who creates content, scale training for all employees, and effortlessly manage, deliver, and report on their programs. Mercury may be the right tool for you if you are looking to make training more attainable, scalable, and consistent for all employees.

Read More: 3 Ways to Integrate Extended Reality into Your Training Program

Finding a Good Learning Partner

So, you may have decided which training program is right for your organization, but how do you know who to partner with to develop and implement your program? Finding a trusted partner is no small feat. You should ensure that your partner can help you select the right devices, decide which type of training to use, and develop, manage, and update your training as necessary. 

When determining who can step into the critical partner role, you should be sure to complete the following steps:

  • Review their portfolio
  • Ask for pricing information upfront
  • Ask if they have won any awards for their work
  • Review case studies of past projects or testimonials
  • Check their ratings or reviews

Your organization should find a partner who will advise you properly and lead you down the right path with your warehouse training program. It’s important to work with a learning partner who can help you invest in the right technologies, limit any disruptions in training, and ensure a strong ROI. 

Wondering Ware To Go Next?

The training possibilities through 360° VR, Full VR, AR, and Video Learning may seem overwhelming and endless, but our team can help! With our knowledge, experience, and resources, we can help you plan the best approach for you and your warehouse team.

Now, it’s time to ask yourself: “What technology solution is right for my warehouse training program?”

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