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New PwC Report: The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Soft Skills Training

    It’s no secret that virtual reality is an effective tool for hard skills training and job simulations. From aviation to manufacturing , it gives trainees realistic simulations of their work stations without putting them in harm’s way. In a recent PwC study, it shows that VR also makes soft skills training more impactful.

    Here, we’re going to delve into the effectiveness of VR for soft skills training. We’re going to see how it can be advantageous, especially in our ever-changing workplace environment.

    How Effective Is Virtual Reality in Soft Skills Training?

    Businesses need to come up with innovative solutions to thrive in the midst of a global health crisis. In times when leadership, adaptability, and problem-solving are sought-after skills, there’s also increasing interest in VR’s capacity to conduct soft skills training.

    So is VR a valuable tool for soft skills training?

    PwC conducted a new study, “The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Soft Skills Training in the Enterprise”, to answer this very question. Their respondents were new managers from 12 US locations. They went through the same inclusive leadership training in one of three methods—classroom, e-learning, and v-learning.

    The study revealed that VR learners were four times faster to train than classroom learners. They were four times more focused than e-learning trainees. Moreover, they were 3.75 times more emotionally connected to their educational material compared to classroom learners.

    Virtual Reality Doesn’t Replace Real Life. Strapping on a virtual reality headset is an amazing experience. In fact, it’s so realistic that you almost feel as if you’re visiting a location or taking part in an activity. But the key word in this sentence is “almost.” Virtual reality isn’t meant to replace real life, but instead enhance it. One of the best examples of this is how the travel industry uses virtual reality. For destinations and hotels, virtual reality is a research tool that enables potential guests get a glimpse of what it would be like to visit or book a room.

    In terms of skills application, VR learners were 275% more confident than the rest of the respondents in the study. Consequently, this demonstrates how VR has a place in the modern workplace. Businesses can use it to empower employees to gain critical soft skills.

    PwC Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Soft Skills Training

    Is Virtual Reality Soft Skills Training Practical?

    In the same study, PwC found that VR can be a cost-effective solution for soft skills training. A few years ago, this wasn’t the case. However, the widespread availability of VR headsets has made immersive technologies more accessible.

    Just like other tools and equipment, businesses can use these devices repeatedly for training purposes. More and more studios are also creating VR content. Additionally, vendors are crafting software packages for non-VR developers so that they can develop their own VR programs even without a massive budget.

    While its cost has dropped over the years, it still requires about a 48% greater investment than classroom or e-learning. A virtual headset ecosystem can cost up to $1,000. For it to be a cost-effective solution for a company, there must be enough learners.

    Its not just about the fun and games. Other than providing action-packed, fun-filled entertainment for the entire family, VR plays a big role to help humanity as developers use it to help those in need in ways that were unimaginable 20 years ago. Some use it to cure phantom pain among amputee victims, while others rely on VR to provide therapy for soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. VR has also been proven to help children with autism by teaching them social cues and real world lessons. It is being used as a practice board for surgical students before they make the first cut. There is even a VR content targeted at young adults that simulates their physical condition when they get to their 60s, and thus encourages them to save for the future.

    The larger the scale of the training program, the more cost-effective VR will be. If you have 375 trainees, virtual training will cost as much as classroom learning. But with 3,000 trainees, your program will be 52% more cost-effective.

    If used properly, virtual reality can be very advantageous for companies. You’ll see greater returns not only in terms of cost savings but also in time savings and course facilitation.

      James Bourne, Author at Virtual Reality News
      James Bourne, Author at Virtual Reality News
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