How OWNIT. improves soft skills with immersive training on demand

Customer intro

Workers are under increasing pressure to continually learn new skills in order to stay relevant. This pressure is often extending beyond just hard or technical skills, to soft skills like being able to think creatively, solve problems, build consensus, manage difficult conversations, and work effectively as teams.

OWNIT. was established in 2020 by several learning professionals with a background in corporate training and organizational transformation to innovate classroom training and increase the impact of corporate learning programs.

The agency provides on-demand interpersonal skills training using VR based on a strong belief that people only learn when the topic is relevant and urgent for them. This enables them to take charge of their own learning process, and own it. Customers include Bluemetric, FrieslandCampina, MarshMcLennan, Rabobank, Volksbank, Assai, and the Dutch Ministry of Finance.

Challenge

As many organizations are scrambling to fill vacancies and anticipate workforce gaps, soft skills are becoming more important. Demands increase for the entire workforce to demonstrate higher proficiency in these skills, and companies are looking for effective learning solutions that can be delivered cost-effectively and flexibly to more workers.

For companies with an absent or small learning department, immersive learning using VR and 360-degree video offers a promising opportunity to deliver more personalized development opportunities for human capabilities at scale. Employees can train their interpersonal skills anytime & anywhere, while learning faster and being more confident to apply their learnings afterwards.

Solution

VR training adds a new channel to blended learning. Where e-learning and  classroom training can be used to train knowledge, OWNIT. combines immersive learning, just-in-time learning and micro-learning to enable people to improve  interpersonal capabilities & behavior in only 30 minutes per week through immersive interactive VR role plays. Trainees can for example learn to deal with emotions, resistance and personal attacks, provide constructive  feedback, listen well, discuss interpersonal relationships, delegate tasks and have strategic sales conversations.

A key benefit of VR training is that it can immerse the learner in interactions and provoke responses, rather than allowing merely passive observation, especially for interpersonal skills training. Speaking, or deciding what to say, when looking at a person’s face can be a far more challenging and instructive experience than selecting a response from a menu on a web page.

OWNIT. uses VR with 360-degree video (instead of animated avatars) to provide the most realistic experience to trainees, who can get all the practice they need in a safe, controlled environment with room to experiment. This works especially well for knowledge-intensive roles that don’t like e-learning, classroom training, and live role plays. Trainees can use a PICO VR headset or mobile phone. A separate browser-based playback option is used for demos & evaluations.

Warp VR was selected for its easy-to-use authoring & distribution platform that is built upon the same learning philosophy OWNIT. uses, helping them to create innovative VR training programs that are scalable and cost effective. Additional support is provided in the form of professional services like co-creating immersive content. Read their blog post OWNIT. chooses Warp VR as preferred supplier for more information.

OWNIT.’s current training library covers 11 critical skills, which will be expanded and improved with AI in the coming years. The agency plans to transition into a SaaS organization for automated, individualized employee training based on personality tests and skill assessments. Training results are discussed afterwards via meaningful conversations that provide additional insights.

A few examples:

For more examples, visit the Client cases page on the OWNIT. website.

Results

For FrieslandCampina, OWNIT. created a training program to help advisors strengthen their acquisition and recruiting skills. Trainees can follow personalized 360° video VR modules when and where they prefer. Afterwards, learnings were translated into individual working contexts using interactive reflection sessions with small groups. Participants evaluated the training program with an average score of 8.3.

OWNIT. helped the Dutch Ministry of Finance to innovate their training curriculum, allowing participants to learn at their workplace with full control over their individual learning process. They especially appreciated the flexibility and freedom to choose when and where to learn, being able to experiment individually in a safe environment, and the sharing of learnings during the reflection sessions.

The training led to a greater awareness of blind spots and stimulated participants to experiment with new behavior (e.g. by paying attention to emotions in interaction with colleagues and not only to content). It was evaluated with a 7.5 on average and a 7.9 for the applicability of the training in their daily work.

Quotes from trainees:

“The best training I had so far (and I had a lot of training).” - FrieslandCampina

“This training was a very positive experience for us. It provided us in a fun and flexible way with clear tips and tools to make our on boarding process more effective and our internal organization ready to scale up.” - Rabobank

“Having the training scenarios in mind, makes me act differently in practical situations.” - MarshMcLennan

“By using VR training, we encourage our employees to practice with different themes in a fun, new and varied way.” - Volksbank

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