How Virtual Reality Can Enhance Your Onboarding Process
The rise of remote work in the post-pandemic world has forced employers to rethink their onboarding process from the ground up. Thus, numerous companies have turned to immersive technologies such as VR to create a more engaging and personalized experience for new hires regardless of their location and improve employee retention rates.
Employee onboarding is a time- and resource-intensive process that goes beyond training to include other activities that encourage new hires to develop meaningful relationships with the rest of the team and get a sense of your company culture. Nevertheless, with in-person interaction limited due to social distancing rules and travel restrictions, there’s only so much Zoom and Slack can do in terms of team communication and collaboration.
That’s why companies such as Walmart, Ericsson, and Accenture have already adopted VR technology as a cost-effective strategy to replicate the friendly atmosphere of the physical work environment while maintaining the flexibility and safety of remote working.
If you’re struggling to engage and train new hires yet you’re unsure whether VR is the best solution for your business, we invite you to take a look at the comprehensive article we’ve prepared for you.
Why VR is the perfect employee onboarding tool
According to a recent report from Gartner, by the end of this year, remote workers will represent 32% of the global workforce. And the demand for WFH is not going to slow down anytime soon — in 2022, remote workers are expected to account for 53% of the U.S. workforce and 52% of all UK employees.
That being said, numerous employers have so far noticed that this transition to a remote workspace can be a real challenge, especially when new employees are involved. That’s where VR comes to save your employees from Zoom burnout (raise your hand if you think back-to-back meetings should be considered a felony) and provide them with immersive learning experiences.
Here are the main benefits of VR that make it one of the best tools to streamline your onboarding program:
Personalized immersive experiences
What better way to welcome your new remote employees into your organization than including a VR headset into the traditional onboarding package? This way, they can go on a quick virtual tour of their new office, meet the management team or even the CEO to learn more about the company’s mission and operations, access a series of interactive VR training courses, or simply hang out with them their coworkers. Not to mention, company game nights will never be the same.
Improved knowledge retention
As a training tool, VR immerses new workers into real-life scenarios through engaging video and audio input, which allows them to become more familiar with the new workspace and tasks they have to perform from day one. Moreover, VR creates a digital work environment that instantly engages the employees’ attention and helps them better focus on the learning experience despite any home-life distractions.
Effective progress tracking
As employees go through the onboarding process, VR can help managers and HR leaders track how efficiently and quickly they complete their tasks and if there are areas where they’re falling behind. At the same time, this technology can highlight what course content areas workers enjoyed interacting with most, making it easier for you to improve the overall performance of your VR onboarding.
Virtual reality onboarding removes the need to fly out trainers or new hires to your corporate headquarters. Now, your new employees can acquire the knowledge and skills they need to be successful from the comfort of their home offices. Plus, as powerful headsets come to be more affordable and the cost of VR video content creation decreases, it becomes easier to integrate VR into the onboarding process regardless of your company size.
How VR can enhance your onboarding experience
Connect your team and collaborate more efficiently
Above all, healthy company culture is defined by the relationships between workers, whether they’re working in the office or remotely. With VR employee onboarding, you can prevent your remote workforce from feeling isolated from the rest of the team or disengaged by creating a digital workspace where knowledge sharing and casual conversations can take place from any location around the globe.
Virtual spaces such as Spatial, AltspaceVR, and Horizon Workrooms make it easier and less costly for you to enable new hires to attend meetings and collaborate with their new colleagues. Moreover, they’ll have more enjoyable and meaningful real-time interactions than they would through daily Zoom video conferences. And when new employees feel connected, not only does their productivity increase, but it also makes them more likely to stick around for the long haul.
Provide interactive employee training
Virtual reality training comes with the benefits of hands-on experience and e-learning while surpassing their limitations thanks to its unparalleled sense of presence and impressive scalability. An immersive VR environment allows your new employees to safely apply what they’ve learned and acquire new skills much faster than through traditional training methods.
The best part about using VR in your onboarding process is its versatility in creating personalized training sessions for your new workforce. Whether you’re teaching sales representatives how to successfully handle different types of customers or helping new engineers learn how to operate heavy machinery and perform maintenance tasks, VR is a training tool that will hardly disappoint.
Take people on a virtual office tour
In a pre-pandemic world, you’d normally show your new employees around the office, get them to meet the team, explain how business processes work, and maybe even grab lunch together. These days, with so many companies shifting to a hybrid or remote model, it’s increasingly difficult to maintain that old routine.
That’s why 360° VR tours are a better option for leveling up your digital onboarding and allowing employees to become immersed in the new environment on a personal level. This type of VR experience is beneficial for both parties — on the one hand, it lets you present your company culture and vision in an engaging and interactive way, and on the other, it enables employees to virtually explore your office spaces at their own pace.
Enhance employee retention
Not adapting your onboarding and training programs to the WFH reality is a risky move to make, especially since finding the right talent is a tough challenge in itself. When you shift to VR onboarding, you have more opportunities to make a lasting first impression on your remote workforce before their first day on the job.
New employees (and especially millennials) are more likely to continue working for your organization after the onboarding period is finished when they get to experience their new position through interactive technology such as VR. And this is no surprise, as engaged workers are more motivated and productive than those who feel disconnected.
Track your onboarding performance
When you don’t have a clear and consistent onboarding process established, it’s nearly impossible to figure out exactly what works and what doesn’t in terms of engagement and learning elements.
A great advantage of VR is that it has advanced data capturing capabilities, which give you valuable feedback on how your onboarding program performs. In other words, VR technology enables you to effortlessly analyze how new hires interact with the content you’ve prepared, discover what their current skills level is, and decide what needs to be improved for a smoother learning experience.
Stepping into the workspace of the future with virtual reality onboarding
Whether you like it or not, remote working is here to stay, which only means that perfecting the virtual onboarding experience is going to become a top priority in attracting and retaining high-performing talent.
The good news is that VR can make your life easier by helping you provide new employees with a meaningful, immersive onboarding experience at a convenient cost. And if you plan to make the switch to VR onboarding in the near future, our experts are here to guide you through the whole journey.
Get to know us better by browsing previous VR training projects we’ve worked on here at Flint Tech or set up a call with one of our VR specialists to learn how you can integrate VR into your employee onboarding program.