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We live in a world where businesses constantly reinvent themselves to remain competitive. Automation and digitisation goals feature in well over half of all today’s businesses’ long-term corporate strategies, according to PwC's most recent annual Global CEO Survey. Which is why artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual worlds or ‘metaverse’ related technologies and tools have risen to prominence, particularly in relation to improving on-the-job training and upskilling new talent.
In 2022, many businesses are now starting to benefit from the application of AI and metaverse technologies in providing streamlined training and onboarding for employees. Combining AI and metaverse technologies affords companies an incredible new opportunity to train and equip people with the necessary skills to navigate the future of work.
Indeed, the very nature of the future of work across a multitude of different sectors will be hugely impacted by new AI and metaverse technologies. It’s estimated that over 23 million jobs will be impacted by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) by 2030, and that these technologies have the potential to deliver a £1.4 trillion boost to the global economy over the next eight years, according to recent PwC forecasts.
The real value of AI and metaverse training
AI and metaverse-based tools are benefitting both new, younger staff entering the workforce for the very first time, as well as established employees with a need to constantly upskill, advance existing aptitudes, or go through certain compliance training.
In addition to this, due to the huge increase in remote and hybrid working, post-pandemic, in-person training has become far more challenging. That’s why leveraging the latest virtual and augmented reality technologies can provide businesses in with lucrative advantages. For example, employees that train in VR simulations learn twice as fast as e-learners and four times faster than classroom learners, according to the PwC 2022 US Metaverse Survey.
Utilising the capabilities of the metaverse means that training can be conducted that activates employees’ senses. It promotes interactive engagement methods via immersive VR, AR, and extended reality (XR) training. Virtual metaverse training environments can also be made to feel more lifelike using tactile, haptic technology, enabling individuals to learn by doing lifelike activities, and co-learning with their colleagues.
Most importantly, these new virtual training environments allow the creation of a fully realised world that can be manipulated to appeal to the learning style of a specific individual. Which means that learners not only absorb and retain information faster, they get far more pleasure and enjoyment from the process. So it’s little surprise that metaverse learners are 3.75 times more emotionally connected to content than classroom learners and four times more focused than their traditional e-learning peers, according to PwC’s study.
Safe, secure and flexible learning environments
As the metaverse delivers a real-time setting for individuals to train in, they can immerse themselves in an environment that simulates any kind of real-world workplace situation, including high-pressure scenarios. Plus, as the environment is a virtual version of reality, it means that the learner can make mistakes without jeopardising the safety of themselves or others.
Virtual training on the latest operational processes in manufacturing, for example, can be optimised through the metaverse to perfect business processes, with huge increases in efficiency, staff productivity and noticeable increases in the elimination of waste materials and resources.
In addition to improving on-the-job training processes, metaverse training environments enable far more effective onboarding processes for new employees. When done well, the use of AI and metaverse technologies to boost onboarding has the potential to contribute positively to staff retention rate. In turn, this will have an impact on overall satisfaction and thus productivity, as an employee settles in over time.
Overall, the use of AI and metaverse technologies for training current staff and onboarding new employees contributes positively to the recruitment process. As it can reduce training time, whilst simultaneously increasing employee motivation and willingness to participate.
Essentially, the metaverse can show employees what their job would be like before they even join.
Metaverse training improves employee engagement
Consider, for example, the fascinating experiment recently carried out by MGM Resorts, in partnership with the VR firm, Strivr, to allow job seekers try out roles using virtual reality to reduce employee churn. Not only did this pilot study show how metaverse training can improve employee engagement, Strivr CEO Derek Belch also noted that the data gathered from using VR "can be very powerful for both the employee, as part of their candidacy for a role, as well as for the employer to make better data-driven decisions”.
Time and money (through training and resources) can be saved on both ends if an employee isn’t suitable for a role. Now, more than ever, we have the power to connect candidates with roles they’re suited for and passionate about. This is key, considering, during the recent so-called ‘great resignation’ many people quit jobs with which they were not enthralled about. The metaverse allows job candidates to try careers they’re likely to excel in, leading to greater job satisfaction, and therefore higher levels of productivity.
With hands-on simulated training and exposure into a new setting, the latest AI and metaverse training technologies can provide businesses and employees alike the best tools to succeed. Equipping employees with the necessary skills they need in order to navigate the future of work.