Are you still using traditional onboarding approaches such as printed instructions, presentations, classroom training, lectures, and so on? It’s time to change. AR and VR technologies offer an opportunity to make onboarding more efficient, fun, and exciting for new employees.

Imagine a scenario where new hires can immerse themselves in your culture, understand their roles, and navigate your office space-all before their first day on the job. Welcome to the innovative world of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) for employee onboarding. 

According to a study, companies that incorporate VR/AR in their onboarding process have reported a 40% increase in employee retention and a 30% decrease in training costs.

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10 Benefits of Using Augmented and Virtual Reality for Onboarding

Augmented reality layers digital enhancements on top of the real world. It provides real-time information and visuals that augment our physical surroundings. The perfect image of using AR is a mobile app that superimposes detailed instructions over a piece of equipment when viewed through a smartphone camera. 

And virtual reality creates an entirely new digital environment. With a VR headset, an employee can navigate a 3D simulation of their workplace, interact with virtual objects, or practice job-specific tasks in a controlled environment. 

So, what benefits can your business and new employees gain from implementing virtual and augmented reality technologies? 

  • Faster learning curve. Newbies have a better understanding of complex tasks and systems from the very beginning.
  • Increased engagement. The learning process is fascinating, fun, and efficient.
  • Safe environment for practice. With VR, you maintain a risk-free environment in which to practice tasks.
  • Better information retention. Interactivity helps employees memorize information more effectively.
  • Customizable learning experiences. Easily tailor training modules to fit everyone’s learning pace and style.
  • Improved spatial understanding. VR tours, for example, help new hires navigate their work environment before their first day.
  • Instant feedback from newcomers. You can better understand the progress of new employees and adjust the onboarding process.
  • Reduced costs. Over time, digital solutions reduce the need for physical materials, trainers, and space.
  • Easier remote onboarding. AR and VR bridge the gap for remote employees. They can closely replicate being in the office or on the job site.
  • Increased flexibility. Onboarding with these technologies can be conducted at any time and from any location.

Both AR and VR have their unique strengths. Use them together for a more rounded and compelling integration experience. For instance, a new hire could start their onboarding with a VR tour of the office. At this stage, they get to know the layout and the emergency exits without being physically present. 

Following this, AR could be used for task-specific training, overlaying instructions, and guidance directly onto the equipment newbies will be using. Such a combination ensures a thorough understanding of their new role and builds confidence and engagement from day one.

Ready to implement VR training?

SmartTek provides custom virtual reality development services with a rock-solid track record of success customized to your business needs.

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How Can You Use AR/VR for Onboarding? Real-world Work Scenarios

Many companies have long been successfully using augmented and virtual reality to improve and simplify the onboarding process. KFC, Walmart, Bosch, Amazon and others have a great practice of using these technologies. Let’s explore some innovative applications of AR and VR in employee onboarding.

AR Space Exploration

This application provides a gamified approach to learning the office layout and key locations. For example, you can use AR games to help new employees discover key locations such as emergency exits, meeting rooms, and common areas in an engaging and memorable way.

Interactive Onboarding Manuals

Instead of flipping through thick manuals, new employees can use AR apps to scan objects or areas in the workplace to access interactive guides and videos. This is a great solution for companies that manufacture or repair complex mechanisms and equipment. They can use AR tools to provide instant, detailed information about machines and tools.

Onboarding manuals in AR

See related case in our portfolio: VR Manufacturing Training

Safe Simulations

Do you want your employees to practice operating equipment or performing procedures in a safe, controlled environment? AR can help. For example, if you run a healthcare facility, you can use augmented reality tools to simulate surgeries for medical professionals. You can reduce the risks associated with hands-on training.

Customer Service Training With AR

By overlaying customer scenarios and responses on a device, employees can practice and refine their skills. Retail chains, like Walmart, have experimented with AR to train staff in handling various customer interactions. Additionally, you can teach newcomers how to resolve complex conflicts without risking the business’s reputation. Isn’t that great?

VR onboarding for HoReCa workers

See related case in our portfolio: HoReCa VR Training

Virtual Tours

Employees can take a VR tour of their new workplace before even stepping foot in the office. Use VR to give new hires a virtual walkthrough of their vast facilities. It can help them feel more comfortable and prepared before they start their jobs.

VR Training development services

Empower your business with the best tech solutions. We build virtual reality programs for different industries.

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Soft Skills Development

Virtual scenarios can simulate challenging interpersonal interactions. Employees can practice critical soft skills such as leadership, negotiation, and conflict resolution in a risk-free environment. For example, many companies use virtual reality tools to train drivers on safety and customer interaction without the stress of real-world consequences.

On-the-Job Virtual Shadowing

New workers can virtually shadow their colleagues or experts as they perform tasks. This gives them a unique, first-person perspective on job roles that would be difficult to replicate in real life. This method has been used in fields ranging from finance to engineering to provide deeper insight into day-to-day responsibilities.

Use AR and VR to Enhance Your Employee Onboarding Experience

As you can see, through the lens of AR and VR, we’ve glimpsed a world where onboarding transcends traditional boundaries. Don’t miss the opportunity to provide new employees with personalized experiences. This approach fosters a deeper connection to company culture and values. 

We offer cutting-edge AR/VR development services that can help you create immersive experiences for your employees. Contact us and let’s discuss the details!

Denys Pavlov
Denys Pavlov Head of Immersive (AR/VR) Department at SmartTek Solutions