Workplace safety is a critical concern for businesses of all sizes. Keeping employees safe is not only the right thing to do but is also essential for maintaining productivity and profitability. However, traditional safety training methods may not always be effective in preparing employees for real-life safety hazards. That's where virtual reality (VR) training comes in.
Virtual reality training is an innovative way to train employees on how to handle various workplace hazards. In VR, employees are immersed in realistic scenarios where they can experience various safety hazards, allowing them to practice responding to the situation in a controlled, risk-free environment. The immersive and interactive nature of VR training makes it more engaging and memorable for employees, leading to better retention of information and skills.
Let's take a closer look at the impact of virtual reality training on workplace safety.
Enhanced Retention and Recall of Information
Traditional safety training methods, such as classroom lectures and videos, are often passive and one-dimensional. Employees may find it difficult to retain information from these methods, especially if it is not engaging or highly relevant to them. VR training, on the other hand, is immersive and interactive, allowing employees to practice handling real-life scenarios. The experience of being immersed and being able to interact in a meaningful manner is a primary driver for increased knowledge retention.
In a study conducted by the National Training Laboratory, it was found that people only retain 10% of what they hear in a lecture, 20% of what they read, and 30% of what they see. However, when they are immersed in a realistic scenario, retention rates increase to as much as 90%. This highlights the effectiveness of VR training in enhancing the retention and recall of safety information.
Reduced Training Time and Costs
Traditional safety training methods often require a lot of time and resources to prepare and deliver. With VR training, employees can practice handling safety hazards in a virtual environment, reducing the need for costly and time-consuming field training. In addition, VR training can be accessed anywhere and at any time, making it easier to fit training into busy schedules.
Moreover, VR training can be customized to meet the specific needs of different businesses and employees. The training scenarios can be tailored to reflect the unique hazards present in each workplace, which in turn ensure better preparation for the hazards they may face. This customization can help businesses save time and money on training, as they don't have to invest in generic training programs that may not be relevant to their specific needs.
Increased Employee Engagement and Motivation
Traditional safety training methods can be boring and unengaging, leading to low employee motivation and participation. In contrast, VR training is immersive and interactive, making it more engaging and motivating for employees. Employees are more likely to participate in VR training, as it is more enjoyable and exciting than traditional training methods.
Moreover, VR training can be gamified, adding an element of competition that can further increase employee engagement and motivation. Gamification can be used to reward employees for completing training modules or achieving specific safety goals, providing a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue learning.
Improved Real-Life Performance
The ultimate goal of safety training is to prepare employees for real-life safety hazards. VR training can help employees develop the skills and knowledge they need to handle real-life scenarios safely and effectively. The immersive and interactive nature of VR training allows employees to practice responding to various safety hazards in a safe, risk-free environment.
Studies have shown that VR training can improve employee performance in real-life scenarios. In a study conducted by the University of Maryland, it was found that trainees who received VR training for a fire emergency responded more quickly and accurately than those who received traditional training methods. Similarly, a study conducted by the University of Texas found that VR training improved the performance of construction workers in hazardous situations. These studies demonstrate the effectiveness of VR training in preparing employees for real-life safety hazards.
Moreover, VR training can help identify gaps in employee knowledge and skills. By providing employees with feedback on their performance, businesses can identify areas where employees may need additional training. This targeted approach to training can help improve overall safety in the workplace.
Virtual reality training is a powerful tool for enhancing workplace safety. Its immersive and interactive nature makes it more engaging, memorable, and effective than traditional training methods.
Businesses that invest in VR training can improve overall safety in the workplace and better prepare employees for real-life safety hazards. As technology continues to advance, VR training is likely to become an increasingly important tool for L&D and training professionals in corporate mid to large size businesses.
If you are a Learning & Development professional who is serious about making the most of this technology, schedule a call with the Facilitate team to find out how you could apply virtual reality training to your organisation.