4 ways VR is revolutionising soft skills
The importance of soft skills in the workplace
One of the most groundbreaking use cases for Virtual Reality is in its application for soft skills learning and development in the workplace. Soft skills characterise how we engage with others, respond to challenges, manage emotions and express empathy. Leadership, communication and the ability to work well in a team are all examples of valuable soft skills that orgnisations are seeking in their modern workforce. The challenge for all organisations is the difficultly to identify and develop these crucial skills within the new hybrid work environment.
Virtual Reality is allowing companies to create hyper realistic scenarios for employees from every level of a company, ranging from senior managers to entry level roles to develop their soft skills remotely or at the office. VR learning allows orgnisations to deploy and scale engaging learning experiences like never before.
Practice with Presence
Virtual reality provides the ability to "practice with presence", meaning the simulations are so realistic that our brain treats them the same as it would if the situation was unfolding in front of you in the real world. This lets individuals see different perspectives, recognise bias and analyse their performance, as virtual learning simulations can be reviewed afterward via analytic & data web based dashboard. Providing L&D leaders and the learners unprecedented insight into their learning experiences.
There are numerous applications for VR soft skills training:
1. Practice diffusing arguments between colleagues
Before virtual reality came along, the only way a manager or team leader could prepare for a conflict between employees was to have previously experienced it first hand or with some form of role playing.
Now, realistic disputes can be created that throws a manager into a mock-argument where they must think on their feet, finding solutions that keep both parties happy and team morale high. It is a crucial skill to ensure the cogs in your organisation keep turning smoothly.
2. Remove discomfort from difficult conversations
There are some conversations no one likes having, such as discipline/poor performance meetings, employee redundancy, salary discussions and disgruntled customers. VR enables the employee involved in these situations to practice and prepare themselves to resolve the situation in a fair, efficient and respectful way.
There really is no substitute for the application of VR in this context, as even role playing cannot recreate the tension and discomfort that the majority of people experience in these situations.
3. Coach new staff without risk
Sending a new sales person into a meeting can prove risky if they do not know what to say, or if they aren't confident with what their purpose is. Imagine if you could provide training in an environment so realistic that it feels like the real thing, whilst removing the consequences of an accidental slip up or stutter in their pitch. VR allows this kind of practice. It builds reliability and confidence in the individual so they can better represent the organisations while out there with your clients.
4. Identify those who already possess valuable soft skills in recruitment
Incorporating VR soft skill training into your recruitment process can help you identify whether applicants are being genuine in their description of themselves and what skills they can bring. Almost everyone would say they can work well in a team but with VR you will be able to see why and what unique ideas they can bring as well as their communication and collaboration style. Using VR to assess and vet applicants in relevant situations to their role can help filter out those people who may talk the talk or mislead on their resumes - ultimately saving your company time, resources and money.
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