The current business landscape is highly competitive – increased ease of entry, technological advancements, exit barriers, product homogeneity, economies of scales, globalization, and a favorable economic climate. Therefore, having productive and highly motivated employees is more important than ever. There are two undeniable facts regarding the role of employees in an organization:
- Employees are an organization’s most valuable asset! Their motivation and performance have a significant and direct impact on the short-term and long-term objectives of a company.
- Effective training plays a big part in ensuring that both seasoned and entry-level employees contribute to the bottom line. The HR Magazine approximates that an investment of $1500 on each employee increases annual revenue by 24%. Conversely, ineffective training may cost you $13.5 million every year per 1000 workers.
The complication arises in recruiting and training employees – finding and nurturing effective employees is not straight-forward. It’s fairly common for an organization to spend millions of dollars hiring employees that are not suitable for their organizational culture. A study by Gallup shows that 51% of employees are disengaged in their organizational roles.
As a company manager, what would you do if you found out that there is a technology that can facilitate employee training in a safe environment, is cost-effective, increases training retention, and even helps you ascertain each employee’s strengths and weaknesses? Sound ‘game-changing,’ right? This is exactly what the gamification of employee training through Virtual Reality technology offers!
An Overview of Gamification
What is gamification and how is it applicable in employee training? Simply defined, gamification is the application of game-principles and game-design elements in a non-gaming context to make it more entertaining and engaging – it is about making experiences better (i.e. an amplification tool). Companies have actually been using gamification in their training programs through engaging corporate events or competitive sports to boost teamwork. VR takes gamification a step further by providing an immersive gamified experience. But is gamification necessary? The answer is a definite, Yes! Here’s why:
- Employees enjoy the feeling of achievement associated with winning rewards and gathering points.
- It’s easy to participate thanks to current technological advancements – even your smartphone can be used as a VR device.
- Employees are highly likely to retain the content.
- Users develop a positive image of the organization they have interacted with.
- Gameplay feedback makes the learning experience objective.
According to The Gamification of Learning and Instruction, a book by Karl M. Kapp (professor of Instructional Technology), “Don’t think of gamification as only the use of badges, rewards, and points; instead, think of the engaging elements of why people play games.”
Why Should you Gamify your Employee Training?
It’s understandable that businesses operate on a risk vs return framework. Corporate leaders and business owners may wonder, why should I invest in VR technology to improve employee productivity when there are other conventional methods? Kindly consider some statistics to help you make an informed decision regarding why VR is the future of employee training.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the millennial generation will represent 75% of the workforce by 2030. This a generation characterized as tech-savvy and hyper-connected. Similarly, a recent poll by Zogby showed that 57% of young adults (18-34 years) play video games more than 3 times a week. These individuals (who will dominate the future workforce) said that video games are important for the development of life and work skills. This includes learning to create winning strategies (67% of respondents), solving problems (70%), teamwork (63%), resolve conflicts (70%), and understanding new technologies that will be useful in life (66%).
Based on the above statistics it goes without saying that incorporating gamification as a tool for employee training will connect with the millennials’ psyche. As your organization adapts to the digital era through strategies such as social media marketing, it’s prudent to consider the composition of your future workforce – through gamification and VR technologies. Companies such as Ups, Wal-Mart, KFC, Japan Airlines, and SAP have already seen the potential of VR for employee training.
Achieve your Organizational Goals and Objectives
The obvious goals of a training program are to influence behavior and impart relevant knowledge. Conventional methods such as one-on-one presentations and classroom sessions are often ineffective in sustaining an engaging environment. This leads to low retention, and you can guess the rest – the goal of influencing behavior is not achieved. Gamification aids training by mitigating the risk of low retention. And the competencies of this technology start all the way from the recruitment stage. Below are the benefits of VR in the gamification of employee training.
- Measuring a Wide Range of Skills: Gamification through VR technology helps facilitate a comprehensive assessment of skills including behavior, aptitude, and problem-solving abilities under pressure.
- Simulate the Role of Employees in an Organization: Simulating real-work scenarios helps create a clear perspective of an employee’s suitability for a job in any field. This helps the management assign employees to appropriate positions and ensure the employees are aware of their job description.
- Make Learning Fun and Exciting: Gamification ensures that the participants are visually engaged in a work-scenario, in which they can relate in a casual manner. The feedback, points, and leaderboards create an intrinsic motivation to be more productive.
- Increase the Retention Period: Take the words of Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s Founding Fathers: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Fast forward to our current period, whereby Kapp describes gamification as an engaging tool that “is not just for the points – it’s for the sense of engagement, immediate feedback, feeling of accomplishment, and success of striving against a challenge and overcoming it.”
- Cost effective: Immersive gamification tools are a budgeting department’s best friend regarding employee training. Consider complicated function in an industrial, pilot, and medical training that involve expensive equipment and safety risks. Gamification simulates a safe and inexpensive environment whereby employees get adequate exposure to the work environment without the risks.
- Employee Productivity: As highlighted above, gamification has a direct impact on post-training retention and employee engagement. What does this mean for productivity? Upward trends and achievement of organizational goals.
Immersive VR Technologies
Companies must blend their work activities with games to keep afloat in a highly competitive environment, characterized by a millennial workforce. It’s a ‘company-eat-company’ jungle out there, don’t use antiquated tools when there are advanced tools such as VR to give you the competitive edge necessary for survival– take it from our prehistoric ancestors.
It does not matter whether you are a large enterprise or a small/medium-sized company, we believe that VR is for everyone and for every field (industrial, scientific, medical, office, technical, warehouse, etc.). The immersive technology can revolutionize the outcome of your employee training programs, and consequently increase productivity. But it’s not that simple, you need a partner who is aware of VR technologies and their applicability, and is able to gauge your organizational culture.
At Immersive VR Technologies, we are dedicated to understanding the concerns of your employees. This includes conducting an analysis to determine specific needs in your workforce and working with your organization to design an effective training program. Are you willing to learn more about how gamification can revolutionize your employee training initiatives? Get in touch with one of our representatives to discuss gamified solutions.