Mursion and Future Workplace study reveals bright future for VR soft skills training

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Virtual reality for soft skills training could be prevalent at almost three-quarters of major employers within the next 12 to 24 months, a study from Mursion and Future Workplace has found

Quick read

➨ Mursion and Future Workplace’s study, VR Changes the Game for Soft Skills Training, reveals the views of 300 leaders in corporate learning roles at organisations with 1000+ employees
➨ The 2022 headline result from the study represents more than double the 35% of respondents who are currently deploying virtual reality skills simulations to help employees navigate challenging workplace scenarios
➨ Other results from the study include 51% of respondents putting virtual reality among the top areas for investment if they could double their budgets

The story

More than 72% of learning and development leaders across industries will have tried virtual reality for soft skills training at their organisation by 2022, according to a new study from Mursion and Future Workplace.

Immersive technology developer Mursion and advisory and membership organisation Future Workplace’s study, VR Changes the Game for Soft Skills Training, reveals the views of 300 leaders in corporate learning roles at organisations with 1000+ employees.

The 2022 headline result from the study represents more than double the 35% of respondents who are currently deploying virtual reality skills simulations to help employees navigate challenging workplace scenarios in areas such as customer service, peer conflict resolution, sales, diversity and inclusion, harassment, and bedside manner for healthcare workers.

Other results from the study include 51% of respondents putting virtual reality among the top areas for investment if they could double their budgets. Crucially, this immersive technology ranked higher than social learning, gamification, in-person learning, and artificial intelligence.

Virtual reality for soft skills training is “engaging” (55%), “personalised” (49%) and “measurable” (41%), which are all areas that the respondents believe are the future of learning.

‘VR training accelerates skill mastery in a realistic, efficient, and measurable way’

Mursion, a developer of immersive virtual reality training for the workplace, says it’s experienced tremendous growth through a surge in demand for its products and services, as reflected in the study.

This includes a doubling of revenue and staff in less than a year, a 90% customer retention rate, a 140% increase in customer spend year-over-year, and achieving profitability.

Mursion also closed a $20 million series B financing round in November, led by Leeds Illuminate.

Two of its customers, H&R Block and T-Mobile, are highlighted as successful examples of virtual reality soft skills training in the study.

H&R Block’s customer call centre data shows that two 30-minute sales virtual reality sessions saved 4,119 hours (171 days) of average handling time, or a 10% overall reduction.

According to the study, this led to a performance improvement equal to 3+ months of on-the-job learning.

T-Mobile, meanwhile, had to handle high-stakes corporate change management communications prior to its merger with Sprint.

After virtual reality simulations with a “change-resistant” employee, 90% of managers showed strong competency in their real conversations. T-Mobile then expanded its scope to include customised simulations of executive presentation and communication skills.

Reflecting on the study, Mark Atkinson, chief executive officer of Mursion, says businesses are looking for a way to provide managers with the necessary skills to communicate effectively amid Covid-19 and remote working.

He says: “Amid the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, economic disruptions, employee layoffs, and furloughs, the needs for employees have never been greater and the stakes have never been higher for managers to possess the ‘human’ skills needed to drive business performance.”

“The challenge of working remotely is intersecting with major societal shifts that are transforming workplace communications and company values at their core. Companies are looking for a solution, and VR training accelerates skill mastery in a realistic, efficient, and measurable way.”

Jeanne Meister, managing partner of Future Workplace, adds: “Businesses and employees are harnessing the value of VR for soft skills. VR is becoming a top modality for training in conflict resolution, communications, and sales of new products and services.”

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Image: Mursion

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