VR Training study
The Largest Study Of Enterprise VR Soft Skills
TRAINING AT SCALE PROVES EXPONENTIAL OUTCOMES
TALESPIN platform
More About the Talespin Platform Behind This Study
PwC chose Talespin’s CoPilot and Runway software platforms to help enable the VR portion of the study. CoPilot uses artificial intelligence and virtual humans to simulate realistic conversations in virtual reality, helping learners develop and practice critical soft skills in a safe and controlled environment. Talespin’s Runway Platform serves as a backend for performance scoring, skills analysis, and content delivery.
The VR training module Talespin co-developed with PwC for the study leveraged the CoPilot platform to simulate diversity and inclusion training. While using the module, learners practiced realistic workplace conversations with virtual humans, during which they were measured on their ability to demonstrate inclusive communication and behavior during the simulated conversations.
The Study
VR vs.
Traditional Learning
PwC chose Talespin’s CoPilot and Runway software platforms to help enable the VR portion of the study.
In the largest study of VR soft skills training for a large-scale enterprise deployment, PwC selected employees from a group of new managers in 12 PwC US locations to take the same unconscious bias training course in one of three learning modalities: classroom learning, e-learning, or a virtual reality soft skills training course created in collaboration with Talespin.

The results of the study showed that VR can help business leaders upskill their employees faster, more efficiently, and cheaper than other methodologies, even during a time when training budgets may be shrinking and remote working may become more standard.
VR STUDY RESULTS
Employees Can
Learn Faster in VR
VR-Learners in the study completed training up to:
  • 4x faster than classroom learners
  • 1.5x faster than e-learners
VR-trained employees completed training up to four times faster than classroom learners, and up to 1.5 times faster than e-learners. This
level of improvement offers employees and L&D teams a new learning modality that drastically accelerates people’s ability to reskill and adapt to changing job roles and work environments.
Source: PwC Understanding the Effectiveness of VR Soft Skills Training in the Enterprise
4x
Faster
than classroom Learners
1.5x
Faster
than E-Learners
VR-Learners are
More Confident
VR-Learners in the study were up to:
  • 275% more confident to act on what they learned after training
VR-trained employees were 275% more confident to act on what they learned after training—a 40% improvement over classroom learners, and a 35% improvement in comparison to e-learners. VR simulations help people gain experience that feels real when they train, allowing them to be more confident when they go to apply their skills in the field.
Source: PwC Understanding the Effectiveness of VR Soft Skills Training in the Enterprise
275%
More Confident
to act on what they learned after training
VR Learning Content is More Emotionally Engaging
VR-Learners in the study felt:
  • 3.75x more emotionally connected to content than classroom learners
  • 2.3x more emotionally connected to content than e-learners
VR-trained learners felt an emotional connection to the content that was 3.75 times greater than classroom learners, and 2.3 times greater than e-learners. Through emotionally engaging role-play with virtual human characters, soft skills training in VR delivers a level of realism that goes beyond what is possible with other training methods.
Source: PwC Understanding the Effectiveness of VR Soft Skills Training in the Enterprise
3.75x
More
Emotionally
connected to content than classroom learners
2.3x
More Emotionally
connected to content than e-learners
VR-Learners are Less Distracted
VR-Learners in the study were:
  • 4x more focused than their e-learning peers
  • 1.5x more focused than classroom learners
VR-trained employees were 275% more confident to act on what they learned after training—a 40% improvement over classroom learners, and a 35% improvement in comparison to e-learners. VR simulations help people gain experience that feels real when they train, allowing them to be more confident when they go to apply their skills in the field.
Source: PwC Understanding the Effectiveness of VR Soft Skills Training in the Enterprise
4x
More Focused
than their
e-learning peers
1.5x
More Focused
than Classroom Learners
VR Training can be more Cost Effective
At more than:
  • 375 learners, VR training can cost less than classroom learning
  • 1,950 learners, VR training can cost less than e-learning
VR training achieved cost parity with classroom learning at 375 learners, and cost parity with e-learning at 1,950 learners.* The
upfront costs of adopting new VR hardware and software are negated when VR training hits scale. This allows organizations to enjoy VR training’s proven ROI for better learning, while keeping training costs consistent with current spends, and eventually decreasing those costs as scale increases.
*ROI numbers provided are PwC specific results. Hourly cost per-employee is used as a key variable. Realized results may be different for each organization based on their hourly rates.
375
Learners
VR training can cost less than classroom learning
1,950
Learners
VR training can cost less than e-learning
While it may not be difficult to teach employees how to operate equipment or learn to use software…
How can you teach them to become stronger, more inclusive leaders and manage change during a difficult time like COVID-19? It’s definitely not easy — especially when shelter-at-home policies can make classroom training potentially a non-starter. Our study helps answer this question and illustrates why now may be the right time to consider deploying VR for soft-skills training. The results of the study begin to help clarify the potential value of using virtual reality for soft-skills training, but also provide surprising findings on the untapped potential of VR in the workplace. From delivering immersive experiences in real time for large groups of people and upskilling entire departments cost-effectively, to helping improve employees’ skills and scaling companies for future growth, it’s becoming clear that VR may be well-suited for the enterprise, especially during these challenging times.
Scott Likens, PwC Emerging Tech Lead
VR Delivers Unparalleled
Results in Soft Skills Training
The world’s leap into remote work has accelerated the digital transformation trends already impacting the workplace. This acceleration puts even greater focus on organizations to transform their workforces to keep pace, as employees face a rapidly changing work environment. Evolving job roles prioritize hybrid skill sets that merge digital skills with ‘soft skills,’ like effective communication, collaboration, and creativity, and may require employees to reskill in order to thrive.
The approach organizations can take to train and assess these critical communication skills should now also factor in remote learning and digital-first collaboration. Current training methodologies may struggle to achieve the same speed and effectiveness. Organizations that have a dispersed workforce and a need for soft skills training may look to alternate solutions to classroom training.

Virtual reality technology is being considered as a solution for helping organizations train their people faster, remotely, and at a scale. VR simulation is already being successfully applied to training use cases for teaching ‘hard’ skills like learning new processes and operating equipment, but how impactful can VR be for teaching communication skills?
Virtual reality has proven its effectiveness for training hard skills for years…
and this study is now proving VR to be one of the most impactful learning modalities for soft skills that we have ever seen. We were proud to work with PwC on this study and to contribute to research that proves VR can deliver exponential learning improvements, and help individuals and organizations reskill at the speed and scale needed to drive real transformation.”
Talespin CEO & co-founder Kyle Jackson
A New Learning Reality
Organizations should consider new ways to help empower their people to learn more efficiently as they seek to catalyze workforce transformation that can keep up with a digital-first workplace. Virtual reality technology offers a new learning modality that is up to the task of rapid reskilling at scale, while putting in place the foundation needed to better assess skills and help align professionals with evolving opportunities.

The results of PwC’s VR soft skills training study prove that VR can be a viable path forward for organizations and employees to embrace transformation and prepare for the future.
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