In response to the changing work environments created by the digital revolution, businesses across all sectors are seeking better ways to drive employee training and development.
Known as “upskilling,” the practice of proactively training employees in the use of emerging technologies is vital if businesses hope to remain competitive in the digital age.
Traditionally, experiential learning could mean a loss of production, especially if travel was required. Recent advances in extended reality technologies have paved the way for upskilling in the metaverse. As the name suggests, this unique learning experience leverages training resources in the metaverse to support employees’ development.
Below, we examine why extended reality (XR) training is so valuable to modern enterprises and outline previous barriers that limited the usefulness of these technologies. In addition, we explore how the augmented reality environment known as the “metaverse” makes the use of virtual training a viable upskilling solution.
Is Virtual Training Better?
According to Statista, over half of U.S. companies provide less than one week of training to their employees per year. However, upskilling and reskilling workforces is essential to increasing organizational agility, preserving business continuity, and optimizing the consumer experience.
Despite regular training providing clear benefits to companies and employees, many businesses fail to invest in upskilling due to cost and lost production time, among others. Fortunately, metaverse employee training eliminates many of the pain points.
No More Physical Materials
One of the direct costs associated with in-person training is materials. Extended reality allows employees to make mistakes without exhausting physical materials. This facilitates learning without hesitation and conserves resources.
The ability to build familiarity and hone skills without real-world ramifications will revolutionize how we learn. The metaverse breaks through the limitations of traditional onboarding, training, and development by presenting limitless opportunities to fail without cost or consequence.
Inclusion and Accessibility
A downside to traditional live training is that it is not always accessible for all employees. For instance, employees with small children or caretakers of aging parents may be hesitant or unable to attend out-of-town experiences because they can’t find care. Technology allows these individuals to participate simply with a stable internet connection and appropriate hardware.
Prevent Loss of Productivity
Live training often requires lengthy sessions, and even travel, which create a logistical issue for both employers and employees alike. Metaverse environments can mean virtually unlimited learning experiences in a variety of settings available from the comfort of home or office. These environments can be built to altogether replace, or augment, existing physical spaces to support learning and development.
Build Workplace Culture
Lastly, extended reality training presents companies with a prime opportunity to lay the foundations to build upon culture. Environments can be built to be as on-brand, or completely out of the box as imaginable. Meeting on a spaceship, on top of Mt. Everest, or simply having your global sales force together in the same virtual environment for weekly sales meetings are all options.
These nurture a sense of belonging between staff members. A “high belonging” leads to several organizational benefits:
- 56% jump in job performance,
- 75% decrease in sick days
- 50% reduction in turnover risk.
Previous Limitations of Virtual Training
Virtual training technologies have existed for decades. However, past iterations of digital upskilling solutions had a few limitations that discouraged businesses from implementing them on a large scale. Previous limitations include:
Virtual Reality Was a Foreign Environment
In the past, technologies were not as ubiquitous in our daily lives as they exist now. As a result, the concept of training in a virtual environment was foreign and intimidating to a large percentage of the workforce.
The latest generation of workers is accustomed to operating in a digital environment and craves it. This shift in employee expectations has made adopting metaverse training practical and necessary.
The Virtual Space Was Underdeveloped
Another barrier that minimized the usefulness of virtual training is that there were limited resources available. Businesses were primarily restricted to slide shows, computer-based skills testing, with previous iterations of VR requiring enterprise investments with bulky hardware and unreliable tech.
However, modern metaverse solutions allow companies to create truly immersive learning environments that drive engagement and increase training efficacy.
How the Metaverse Bridges the Gap
Metaverse environments address all these pain points and are rapidly advancing in technology and accessibility. Advantages include:
XR Creates Truly Immersive Environments
Traditional strategies for recruitment, onboarding, development, engagement are often bland, boring and outright ineffective. As a result, employees retain very little of the information presented to them.
Metaverse environments are engaging, exciting and interactive. These attributes of metaverse upskilling solutions allow employers to create immersive environments that make a real impact.
Organizations can use the metaverse to teach new skills, reinforce business values, develop trust between staff and leadership, and more. Just as importantly, everything can be measured. From the amount of time spent in the metaverse, to levels of engagement, to leaderboards, it provides you with justification for the investment beyond a survey.
Extended Reality Facilitates Both Virtual and Hybrid Training
Versatility is the core strength of the metaverse. When used strategically, the metaverse can provide completely virtual learning or augment live, in-person experiences. This flexibility means that businesses can use it for department-centric training, large-scale events, and everything in between.
The Metaverse Optimizes Employee Engagement
Employee engagement is vital to productivity and healthy culture. Yet, unfortunately, many organizations struggle to energize and engage their workforce.
- 54% of employees feel unengaged at work.
- 17% of employees are considered “actively disengaged.”
XR training can boost employee engagement by creating a memorable, immersive, captivating learning environment that allows employees to learn and develop at a pace that is conducive to the always-on, hybrid world we live in.
ABOUT CPG AGENCY
CPG Agency designs immersive, live experiences for Fortune 500 brands to engage their greatest asset – their people. For more than 35 years, CPG has specialized in bringing people together in meaningful ways by leveraging live experiences, strategic communication and experiential solutions designed to connect people, inspire action and grow business for brands like Southwest Airlines, Jimmy John’s, Carnival Corporation, Bridgestone, Sherwin-Williams, Ulta Beauty, Amazon, Sport Clips and more. By transforming passive participants into brand advocates, CPG creates belief to power positive change. #beliefthroughexperience
CPG is a member of the Nitrous Effect, an agency collective.