Virtual reality onboarding experiences improve training

Published on October 17th, 2018 by Debi Christensen

Virtual reality onboarding experiences transform employee learning.

Your employees will appreciate getting to use VR for their training because it provides an authentic experience. It’s the next best thing to being there. Virtual reality training is also a time-saver when your HR department must repeat the same information to each new group of hires. Orientation, for example, is one of those training experiences best suited for VR.

Companies like SAP Switzerland already rely on virtual reality to orient employees to the work site. Upon hire, employees receive cardboard VR goggles and a link to an immersive tour of the building. The virtual reality experience changes the onboarding dynamic.



Before the first day of work, employees tour workspaces and common areas. They learn the canteen and restroom locations. Finally, they even meet some of the other employees, too. With VR, new employees become more acclimated to their work environment. As a result, they’re ready to get to work on the first day of the job.

You can achieve similar results in your workplace.

Make your 3-step plan

Try these steps to make virtual reality onboarding experiences count in your business:

1. Use the right tools.

First, select the right equipment. You’ll need video software, cardboard viewers, or VR helmets and sensory gloves. Your virtual reality studio can help you decide which works best for your needs.



Next, begin with short videos. For employees unfamiliar with the landscape, VR can be disorienting at first. Once your employees become acclimated to VR training, expand your library of training materials by increasing both the length and the number of your simulations.

2. Coach your employees.

Alternate virtual reality onboarding experiences with face-to-face discussions and private coaching sessions for maximum performance. Virtual reality places coachees in realistic scenarios where they can explore behaviors in the simulations. Then supervisors coach employees to become problem solvers and leaders. The time you invest in coaching and training will help you retain employees.

virtual-reality-onboarding-experiences-coaching investment

3. Follow up.

Avoid relying solely on VR for training. The best virtual reality onboarding experiences include making connections to the learning. Have discussions about the simulations. Verify that the training is adequate. Check for other training needs.

The idea is to aim for training efficacy. Follow-up, check for understanding, and adjust accordingly. With the right plan in place, virtual reality onboarding experiences will enhance your training.

Why virtual reality onboarding experiences work

Malcolm Knowles theorized that adult learners are different from younger learners. In his theory of andragogy, Knowles identified what adult learners need for successful training:

  • Rationale and relevance. Adult learners are intrinsically motivated. Your employees want to know two things: Why am I learning this? and How will it help me in my job? Tell them the rationale and let virtual reality show the relevance.
  • Common task performance. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much better would it be for total immersion in a simulated environment? Use VR to show what you want done and how to do it.
  • With virtual reality, your employees can review segments on their own or move ahead, all at their own pace.
  • Self-directed learning Employees know better than anyone what they need to perform their jobs successfully. The responsibility for personal growth lies where it should be—with the learner.


Virtual reality onboarding experiences improve adult learning.

VR onboarding is the future of employee training

To summarize, virtual reality onboarding has many benefits.

First, you’ll find that your training process is more cost-efficient because there’s little to no travel. Often, your company simulations can be used for years. Finally, our employees can train anywhere, including in the privacy of their homes.

Your employees want to meet your job performance expectations.

Traditional training methods, however, are cumbersome. They slow down the onboarding process and delay the time between hire and job start. Onboarding experiences in virtual reality make it possible for employees to begin their jobs faster. As a result, they are poised for job success.



In short, that’s a win for you both.