4 ways that your business can use VR to develop employee soft skills

Guido Helmerhorst
Founder & CGO

As VR technology becomes more and more popular, managers of various organizations start asking a question: can VR be used not only for developing hard skills, but soft skills also? In this article we will tell you about new implications of VR in HR trainings.

Any job requires a certain set of hard skills from an employee as they demonstrate his or her professionalism and the ability to perform relevant responsibilities. However, it is not the only factor in efficiency of a company’s human resources. Soft skills enable employees to foster coherence in their organisation, solve non-standard issues and take full advantage of their hard skills. This article provides 4 strategies on how you can enhance soft skill development of your workforce.

1. Customer service simulations

Customer service

In real life, employees may be hesitant to improve their customer service as the change (even positive) always implies risks. Playing a VR scenario is a perfect way to try new approaches and tactics being under low pressure.

H&R Block – one of the companies that adopted VR training, pointed that 70% of their employees preferred VR to traditional soft skills training tools. Moreover, H&R Block experienced a 50% reduction in customer dissatisfaction and almost 10% decrease in customer handling times.

2. VR for presentation skills

VR training courses have a wide range of implications when it comes to improving presentation skills.

presentation skills

Improve value proposition. Playing VR scenarios, the employee learns which type of data is the most effective to present to the potential clients.

Receive immediate feedback. VR gives a unique opportunity to practice presentations not being in the office and still get immediate feedback on the actions. Imitating the non-verbal reaction of potential clients makes VR an engaging and effective tool to acquire presentation & public speaking skills.

Deeper analysis. Various AI applications, such as Google NLP and Parallel Dots API, analyze both verbal and non-verbal aspects of the presentation in order to provide actionable feedback to the employee.

3. VR for employee evaluation

employee evaluation

As mentioned before, VR scenarios help users to practice decision-making without high impact on the outcome. On the other hand, it helps managers to analyze behavior of their employees before high-stakes situations occur. For instance, HPE Financial Services (HPEFS) has integrated VR in its performance assessment, which, according to the managers, significantly reduced negative customer feedback. As remote work has become a new reality for business, Virtual Reality appeared to be especially relevant when physical workforce evaluation is not possible.

4. VR for leadership

Though hiring managers externally has some advantages, such as a fresh look on operations and a wider choice of candidates, promoting employees internally is vital as it increases their loyalty and enhances a deep understanding of company culture on the executive level. Therefore, developing their leadership and project management skills is essential, and VR training is a perfect tool for that.

Get to know your company better. For Nestlé, VR has served as a cost- and time-efficient substitution for tours around the factory. By playing 360-degree scenarios, managers could learn more about the product lines and the actual operations of the plant. Organizing live tours would have implied more costs for hiring the guides and make the education less safe.

Building empathy. VR technology provides a unique ability to see the process from your customers’ or employees’ eyes. When a manager can look at the work of his colleagues “from inside”, he or she understands their feelings and incentives.           

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