Immersive Learning

Virtual Reality Leadership Training Benefits

February 26, 2023
Written by:
Talespin Team

Virtual reality leadership training offers a range of benefits for organizations looking to help their leaders develop and practice skills. With VR, you can create immersive, interactive leadership training simulations that present real-life scenarios and challenges, allowing leaders to develop and practice their skills in a safe and controlled environment.

There are several benefits to using VR for leadership training: 

  1. VR Leadership Training is Cheaper Than Traditional Leadership Training Methods
  2. VR Leadership Training is Emotionally Realistic
  3. Experiential Scenario-Based Learning
  4. A Safe Place to Fail
  5. VR Leadership Training is On-Demand and Can Be Accessed From Anywhere
  6. VR Training is Highly Scalable
  7. Leadership Training in VR Accelerates Learning
  8. A Safe Place to Fail
  9. Frequently Asked Questions About VR Leadership Training

VR Leadership Training is Cheaper Than Traditional Leadership Training Methods—Yes, You Read That Right

We will get to some impressive learning efficacy benefits shortly, but first and foremost, VR leadership training is cheaper than e-learning and classroom learning at scale—a benefit that may seem surprising to some given the innovative technology involved. 

But when you consider that VR leadership training removes classroom learning travel costs from training budgets, and that aside from an initial VR headset investment, VR learning content is on par with e-learning content costs, it makes sense. 

Pair this cost effectiveness with the fact that VR training outperforms other types of leadership training across metrics like knowledge retention, speed, and engagement (see below), and you can see how VR presents itself as a better, cheaper leadership training modality. 

This is especially valuable during uncertain economic conditions and potential learning and development budget cuts, arming L&D teams with a cost effective and high ROI solution to present to internal budget stakeholders. 

Related: Virtual Reality Leadership Training Use Cases

VR Leadership Training is Emotionally Realistic

VR provides a highly realistic and engaging learning experience. By immersing leaders in a virtual world where they face common workplace situations, they can practice skills with a level of emotional realism that makes training feel real. 

VR training modules help leaders practice challenging conversations, including the emotional elements such a conversation would have in the real world. In this “Conflict and Compromise” learning module example, leaders are tasked with diffusing a conversation with an emotionally elevated colleague.

This can help to improve retention of key leadership skills, and enable leaders to feel more confident in their application of those stills. This benefit is in line with the results of PwC’s VR soft skills training study, which revealed that VR trained employees feel a strong emotional connection to training content.

Experiential Scenario-Based Learning

Another key benefit of VR leadership training is that it allows for experiential learning. Unlike traditional forms of training, VR allows leaders to actively practice and apply leadership skills, rather than simply listening to lectures or reading material. This hands-on approach to learning can help leaders develop a deeper understanding of the skills and strategies they need to be successful.

This “Virtual Leadership” VR learning module demonstrates how VR can present learners with realistic scenarios where they practice and apply skills. In this case, that scenario is practicing communicating effectively and professionally in a hybrid work environment— a challenge many leaders face today.

Scenario-Based VR learning modules present learners with realistic situations in which they are challenged to apply a skill while experiencing the nuances of what it is like to do so in the real-world. Learners take an active role in moving a storyline forward by selecting response options or interacting with elements in the learning environment, which in turn impacts the trajectory of the story. In this way, the learner's participation has visible consequences on the narrative, allowing them to witness firsthand the impact of their actions and decision making.

The immersive nature of VR training creates a sense of presence in these simulated scenarios, making it feel as though leaders are actually participating in the events being simulated. This can help to increase their motivation and engagement with the training.

Related: Leveling Up Your Scenario-Based Learning With VR

A Safe Place to Fail

One important aspect of the scenario based VR learning approach mentioned above is that it offers leaders a safe place to fail. 

Executives and managers deliver some of the most critical communications that occur within an organization. Whether it be with a customer, fellow peers on the leadership team, a direct report, or company-wide communications, leaders have the responsibility to manage critical communications. 

To best prepare for these scenarios, leaders need realistic, and risk free ways to get in practice repetitions before being tasked with doing so in the real-world where the stakes are high.

In a VR training module, leaders can experiment with different strategies and approaches without the risk of suffering real-world consequences, like negatively impacting a colleague or customer. Additionally, VR training allows leaders to practice difficult or complex scenarios that may be hard to recreate in the real world, or that may be difficult to realistically simulate, like an emotionally charged conversation. 

For business leaders, VR leadership training modules provide a training ground where they can develop skills with the realism of the real-world, but without its consequences. 

Related: The Anatomy of a VR Training Module – Explaining the Key Characteristics of VR Training Experiences

VR Leadership Training is On-Demand and Can be Access From Anywhere

In addition to providing a more engaging and effective learning experience, VR leadership training also offers a number of practical benefits. 

For example, VR training can be conducted on-demand, allowing leaders to access training materials and resources whenever they need them. This can be particularly useful for leaders who are working remotely or have busy schedules. It is also an advantage for learning and development teams who no longer have to orchestrate in-person training events, or role play sessions. 

VR leadership training can be deployed to remote workforces by shipping VR headsets, or by taking advantage of browser based streaming on 2D devices like desktop computers and laptops.

Virtual reality leadership training can be distributed to leaders all over the world by:

  • Shipping VR headsets to leaders who work remotely
  • Providing access to VR headsets at hub offices where leaders can go to train
  • Taking advantage of browser streaming formats for VR training, which enables VR training content to be distributed to devices like laptop computers and desktop computers  

Learn more about deploying VR leadership training content: Distributing Immersive Learning Content: An Overview Of XR Devices, 2D Devices And LMS Integration For Immersive Learning

Leadership Training in VR Accelerates Learning

The aforementioned VR soft skills training study from PwC used the Talespin platform to prove that learners trained in VR learn faster than e-learning and classroom trained learners—1.5x and 4x faster, respectively.

Leaders are busy people who already are challenged to find the time to invest in their personal development, or to embrace continuous learning. When VR training’s speed is paired with VR its on-demand nature, it presents an attractive training modality for today’s busy business leaders.

Leaders Are More Focused in VR Learning Modules

VR leadership training experiences help leaders to stay more focused during training. Because they are fully immersed in a virtual environment, leaders are able to concentrate on the tasks and challenges at hand without being distracted by external factors. 

This can help to improve their learning experience and make them more receptive to the training material, leading to more impactful learning experiences and better knowledge retention.

Examples of VR Leadership Training

While custom VR training modules can be created with no-code content authoring tools for leadership training use cases, there are also great examples of pre-existing off-the-shelf VR leadership training content.

This “Supportive Leadership” learning module is an example of VR leadership training.

For example, Talespin’s off-the-shelf VR training content library features titles like:

  • Virtual Leadership - Learners will develop skills to build interconnected teams while navigating a hybrid work environment.
  • Effective Behavioral Feedback - Learners practice giving performance feedback to a direct report who made offensive comments in a company wide-meeting.
  • Recognizing Biases - Learners must interview three candidates and find the right one for the role, while learning how to identify and mitigate common biases found in the workplace.
  • Supportive Leadership - Learners will be able to identify when an employee might be experiencing mental health challenges outside of the workplace.
  • Communicating Succinctly - Learners will be able to calm a colleague through succinct and clear communication. 

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the leadership training use cases that can be addressed with VR training. However, these off-the-shelf VR training modules exemplify what VR leadership training modules can accomplish.

Learn more about off-the-shelf VR learning content: Benefits of Off-the-Shelf Immersive Learning Content

Frequently Asked Questions About VR Leadership Training

What is virtual leadership training?

Virtual leadership training refers to the use of digital technology to provide leaders with the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to lead and manage teams effectively. It enables leaders to enhance their communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and other soft skills by using virtual tools and techniques.

Virtual reality training is an example of a virtual leadership training modality, enabling leaders to practice leadership and communication skills through the use of VR headsets, and to do so on-demand and from any location.

How do you train employees effectively with virtual reality?

To train employees effectively with virtual reality, it is essential to identify the learning objectives, create relevant scenarios, and provide feedback on performance. VR training can be used to train employees on various topics such as safety, customer service, technical skills, and soft skills. Virtual reality can be an effective training tool for employees as it provides them with a safe, immersive, and engaging environment to practice their skills. 

Is VR the future of corporate training?

VR has the potential to revolutionize corporate training by providing employees with a realistic, immersive, and interactive learning experience. It can help to reduce training costs, increase engagement, and improve retention rates. However, VR should not be seen as a replacement for traditional training methods but rather as a complementary tool to enhance the learning experience. The future of corporate training is likely to be a blend of various training methods, including VR, e-learning, classroom training, and on-the-job training.

Can virtual reality be used for training? 

Yes, virtual reality can be used for training. In fact, VR is increasingly being used for training purposes in various industries such as healthcare, aviation, manufacturing, and retail. VR technology allows trainees to experience realistic simulations of real-world scenarios, enabling them to practice their skills in a safe, controlled, and immersive environment.

Final Thoughts on Virtual Reality Leadership Training

In conclusion, VR leadership training offers a number of compelling benefits. By providing a highly realistic and engaging learning experience, VR training can help leaders develop and practice the skills they need to be successful. Furthermore, VR training offers practical advantages, such as accessibility and scalability, that make it an effective and cost-efficient way to train leaders.

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