Ep 228 – The Value of VR for Training and Employee Development

The VR industry is one I’ve been diving deep into and more companies are looking to invest in virtual reality as a way to train, develop, and engage their team members whether they are working onsite or remotely. Last year Forbes announced that 2019 was the year that virtual reality gets real. They proudly announced that VR would reach 98.4 million consumers by 2023. It’s one thing to talk about the consumer market which is why I wanted to talk to my next guest and provide you with real case studies from someone who is working with some of the largest and most innovative companies developing VR for application in the workplace. 

This episode of the Workology Podcast is part of our Future of Work series powered by PEAT, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. In honor of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this July, we’re investigating what the next 30 years will look like for people with disabilities at work, and the potential of emerging technologies to make workplaces more inclusive and accessible. Today, I’m joined by George Karalis. George is a Senior Product Manager at Strivr. George is responsible for all Strivr immersive learning products, driving effective & scalable training experiences in VR. 

This podcast is sponsored by WorkMarket, an ADP Company

Episode 228: The Value of VR for Training and Employee Development with Disabilities

 

This episode of the Workology Podcast is part of our Future of Work series powered by PEAT, the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology. In honor of the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this July, we’re investigating what the next 30 years will look like for people with disabilities at work, and the potential of emerging technologies to make workplaces more inclusive and accessible. Today, I’m joined by George Karalis. George is a Senior Product Manager at Strivr. George is responsible for all Strivr immersive learning products, driving effective & scalable training experiences in VR.

How Companies Are Using VR for Employee Engagement and Training

 

As companies transition to more remote work environments and smaller dispersed groups, the need for virtual reality is more important than ever. It offers an immersive experience in which to train, engage, and interact for employees. One company that George talks about in his podcast interview that is leading the way in VR training is Wal-Mart. George says that Wal-Mart uses VR to provide interactive training for managers and team members in a variety of situations including crisis management and customer service. As a former retail HR leader, I love this use case. Employees can experience Black Friday using VR and learn how to handle customer questions and other high-stress situations.

Providing employee training for safety is another training area for employers when it comes to VR. George says VR can allow employees to identify and learn from safety hazards on the manufacturing floor. Operational efficiency is another area that employers are using VR. This includes providing a unique spin on role playing and coaching for managers and employees on diversity and inclusion, employee discipline meetings, and training on how to give feedback or an employee review.

How to Make Virtual Reality Accessible for Your Employees 

 

The subject of accessibility and VR is on the mind of Strivr as well as their growing roster of employer clients.  George shares that Strivr has trained over a million people with VR at companies like Wal-Mart, Verizon or FedEx. He says that users are diverse. They have a range of backgrounds and levels of experience and skills and abilities and disabilities which is why accessibility for everyone is so important when it comes to VR adoption for employers. VR is truly immersive which makes the need to be accessible even more important. George believes that VR is a fundamentally new medium, and we’re currently defining what it can do. Companies who are a part of the early development of VR for employers have a responsibility and opportunity to make sure that they’re not creating this new technology just for the people who can afford it right now. Keeping this at the forefront of everyone’s mind helps ensure that it grows to become a true inclusive medium that values the diversity of everyone.

Conclusion

 

VR offers the ability to provide employees with real-time simulation training not to mention amazing job training, skill development opportunities, and all adding to the employee experience. The future of VR is bright and I look learning how you are applying VR in your workplaces. 

Connect with George Karalis

 

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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