Using virtual reality to improve soft skills

18, January

Soft skills are more valuable today than ever before. With remote working has steadily increased, conflict ...

Soft skills are more valuable today than ever before. With remote working has steadily increased, conflict resolution, teamwork and leadership skills have become essential to a healthy distributed workforce.

However, according to recent analysis, 59% of hiring managers and 89% of executives expressed issues recruiting candidates with these skills.

So how can businesses help teach their employees to retain these skills without in-person training? One suggestion is virtual reality.

VR offers a totally immersive experience for people to interact and role play with avatars in order to hone in on these skills without real-life consequences.

For instance, H&R Block hires up to 5,000 call representatives annually, 1,600 of which join during the second half of tax season.

Typically, these entry-level workers are dealing with emotional, generally angry customers during this time and need the skills to stay calm, listen intently and solve the customer’s problem.

“The future of VR is being immersed into an environment blending physical and digital worlds, where users interact via a headset, their computer, or their mobile device to role play with an avatar or learn a new skill,” said Christopher Dede, a professor at the Harvard School of Education.

This technology not only helps employees improve their own skills, but can also reduce cost and logistical issues that can come with in-person training.

According to a 2020 PwC study, VR can be more cost effective than traditional training programs and allows employees to complete programs up to four times faster.