Enhancing Employee Engagement with VR, AI and 3D Tools

Enhancing Employee Engagement with VR, AI and 3D Tools

When done correctly, a combination of new technology and traditional methods can create the perfect balance of engaging, thoughtful training that employees need.

When training misses the mark, it can impact everything from employee retention to the company's bottom line. It’s up to company leaders to ensure training programs are providing value to the organization at all times.

Job training is important to 86 percent of employees, and yet, many companies still struggle in routinely updating training and finding ways to keep it engaging. In today’s ever-evolving technological landscape, businesses have seen a major shift in the technology available to them, and leaders now have access to tools like virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D technology. When done correctly, a combination of this technology—alongside tried-and-true training methods, can create the perfect balance of engaging, thoughtful training that employees need.

As the world rapidly evolves, now is the time for companies to take advantage of these advancements to ensure they are staying up-to-date with employee training and requirements and don't fall behind the competition.

The impact of Updated Training

Companies that keep training materials updated reap the benefits of engaged, knowledgeable employees across the board. These investments can lead to an 11 percent increase in company profitability year-over-year. However, it’s essential that company leaders routinely update training materials in order to keep employees knowledgeable and meet new requirements.

As a best practice, training materials should be updated every one to three years, depending on the topic. Some organizations, such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), update codes on a three-year cycle. To keep training accurate and employees prepared, it’s critical that proactive monitoring alerts are set up for regulation changes and capacity is allotted to change corresponding company materials.

While keeping track of all these changes sounds overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Legislation tracking systems, including FiscalNote and PolicyEngage, allow for proactive monitoring of changing regulations, and new AI tools can be set up to alert the user of any changes made on regulatory websites. When legislation tracking systems are paired with online training providers, the legwork on the company side is minimal. Leading training providers keep their data routinely updated to ensure company employees always have the right information at their fingertips. 

Keeping Employees Engaged 

One of the most desirable benefits of updated training is that it keeps employees engaged and invested in their work. Learners tend to tune out if they’re required to complete the same modules year after year. Even if not required, frequent updates and changes in modality, such as VR eLearning, podcasts or microlearning, can be helpful in refreshing courses and improving knowledge retention among employees. 

Engaging training can also improve employee morale with 68 percent of employees saying training is essential to job satisfaction. When employees are taught new skills and abilities, it enhances their performance and shows them that their growth and safety are valued. 

Employee training is meant to keep organizations safe and effective. The power of updated training cannot be understated as they truly equip workforces with the knowledge they need to be successful. 

New Tech on the Scene

The format in which training is delivered is indeed a powerful resource in keeping learners engaged. With novel technology at their disposal, company leaders have never had so many options in the way their content is delivered. 

Some of the most-talked-about tools include VR, AI and 3D technology. While these innovations may sound out of reach, they’re easier than ever for many organizations to incorporate. VR headsets, for example, are becoming cheaper every year and can be easily purchased at many accessible locations for training purposes and beyond. 

These tools aren’t just a flashy benefit to tout; they also provide real advantages for companies. Advancements in AI algorithms can quickly design virtual objects and environments for trainees to walk through during their courses. Paired with VR, real-time feedback is more accessible than ever and ensures employees can apply skills immediately. For instance, employees may be tasked to walk through the proper procedure to follow in the event of a chemical spill. By pairing AI algorithms with VR systems, employees can simulate the steps needed to minimize injuries and damage to the environment while receiving real-time feedback.

It’s also important to note that in addition to preparing employees for their jobs quickly, these tools reduce the cost of live coaches and trainers. In-person training can be reserved for courses that require hands-on experience, such as procedures like CPR. Finding ways to balance costs can make these tools that much more accessible. 

Incorporating VR Training 

VR continues to grow in popularity, as more Gen-Z employees enter the workforce. Learners of all ages crave engagement and interactivity, and this is especially important for younger generations who are notably more technologically savvy and more likely not to be engaged at work compared to other generations. 

One of the best reasons to incorporate VR into training programs is the effectiveness of experiential learning. “Learning by doing” methods can improve engagement by 50 percent compared to passive learning methods, such as lectures or reading materials. When utilizing experiential learning methods, the viewer is put in an environment where they can see and feel the effects of their actions first-hand. This is particularly important for safety scenarios that are too dangerous to train in real life, such as working with high-voltage electrical equipment. 

A blended learning ecosystem is essential in any organization and learning by doing is a key aspect in providing well-rounded training programs that fully prepare employees. 

Where 3D Technology Fits In

The effectiveness of emergency scenario training can also increase with the use of 3D modeling. 3D modeling can convey the impact of a disaster without having to experience it. Utilizing 3D models in certain online training programs can allow the learner to experience different scenarios depending on how the learner chooses to respond in an emergency. For example, graphics can show the spread of a fire and the resulting damage in training scenarios, helping the trainee feel immersed in the course. The real-time understanding that comes from these experiences helps the learner quickly prepare for being on the job.

Leveraging AI

A third technological advancement that is making waves in training programs is AI. In this past year, AI has grown in popularity and become a major talking point for every industry. Workplace training is no exception. AI can allow training materials to continually adapt and personalize learning experiences to the specific learner. Not only can AI generate content quickly but it can also help refresh materials at a more rapid frequency and keep them engaging. 

One of the best aspects of AI on the management side is its ability to process and synthesize regulations. Regulations are constantly changing and need to be routinely incorporated into course materials. AI Large Language Models (LLMs) can turn these regulations into approachable language that learners can easily digest. It is critical, however, that any AI content is vetted and edited by an expert for accuracy. 

Best Practices When Implementing New Training

When a company is looking to implement new technology into training programs, it’s always best to take into account the workforce who will receive these training sessions. Ensure that training programs incorporate both required materials and supplemental content that’s most valuable for company employees. Training should be relevant and not highly centered around the areas where employees are already experts. 

Training programs may also vary based on company needs. For refresher programs, micro-learning and team meetings may have a larger impact on employees than brand-new courses. Consider implementing a mentorship or coaching program that can give leaders visibility into where employees are struggling the most and the types of training they’re looking for. This method can help employees feel equipped to handle all aspects of their job, empowering them to make safer, smarter and better decisions. 

The Best Time to Act Is Now 

To ensure workplaces are safe and productive, company leaders must review their training programs thoroughly and often. Everything from employee retention to company profit can be on the line if training programs lack necessary knowledge or aren’t resonating with employees. 

Today, there are more ways than ever to make training programs exciting and, in turn, keep employees knowledgeable of their industry. Whether using VR, 3D or AI tools, companies have plenty of options to regularly refresh their materials. 

Leveraging company training should not be taken lightly. Leaning on certified online courses can reduce the burden of manually updating materials and ensure employees have the most up-to-date knowledge always at their fingertips.

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