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How VR Training Can Boost DEI Efforts in Your Organization

Article | October 1, 2023

How VR Training Can Boost DEI Efforts in Your Organization

Intro
The concept of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has become a priority for many organizations, and with the advancement of technology, Virtual Reality (VR) Training has emerged as a powerful tool for achieving DEI goals. VR Training is an interactive, immersive experience that can be used to teach employees new skills and reinforce existing ones. This blog post will explore how VR Training can be leveraged to boost DEI efforts in your organization.

The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Training
DEI is not just altruistic – it is important for a productive workplace. Organizations that invest in DEI training often see an increase in employee satisfaction, retention, and overall business performance. Providing a workplace that fosters inclusivity and belonging is crucial to attracting and retaining diverse talent. However, traditional DEI training methods have limitations and may not be effective in creating lasting change. This is where VR technology comes in. By integrating VR into your existing training program, you can create a more immersive learning experience that can enhance DEI education and training.

Limitations of Traditional DEI Training Methods
Traditional training methods might bring memories of boring, uninteresting online training or worse, role plays that are humiliating and embarrassing. While traditional DEI training methods are a good starting point, they fall short in creating engaging and impactful learning experiences. Research has shown that we forget up to 50% of what we learn within an hour of being taught it through traditional education methods. Fun fact: according to the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, we forget 70% of new information within 24 hours if it isn’t reinforced! This is where VR technology comes into play as it provides a more immersive memorable and interactive approach to DEI education.

How VR Technology can Enhance DEI Training Programs
Virtual Reality (VR) technology has gained popularity in recent years as a powerful tool for enhancing training programs across various industries. One key advantage of using VR in DEI training is its replayability. Traditional training methods, such as lectures or seminars, can be a one-time event that employees may not retain. With VR, users can revisit scenarios and practice responding to different situations repeatedly, reinforcing their learning and improving retention. In fact, a study conducted by PwC found that VR-based training was more effective in promoting emotional engagement and long-term retention than traditional training methods.

Moreover, VR technology can provide immersive and interactive experiences that can effectively simulate real-world scenarios, creating opportunities for employees to learn from their mistakes in a safe and controlled environment. For instance, VR can be used to help employees understand unconscious biases, simulate diverse team dynamics, and practice respectful communication skills. These scenarios can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organization and employees.

Key Considerations when Implementing VR in Your DEI Training Program
These considerations will help you to determine the most effective way to integrate VR training into your existing DEI program. Our experience has shown that VR training for DEI is best delivered with wrap-around training sessions that help people to discuss their experiences in a psychologically safe environment. Face-to-face sessions are great for creating a sense of community and providing a safe space for discussion, but they can also be costly and logistically difficult. Remote sessions, on the other hand, can be more convenient and cost-effective, but may not provide the same level of interaction and engagement.

In terms of the VR headset, it’s important to consider which one is most compatible with your organization’s technology infrastructure. You don’t want to invest in a headset that can’t be easily integrated with your existing software or hardware. Additionally, it’s important to consider how often you will deliver this training. Regular training sessions can help keep DEI at the forefront of your employees’ minds, but too frequent sessions may lead to a sense of burnout or disengagement.

Integrating VR technology into your DEI training program can be an effective way to improve engagement, increase retention, and foster empathy. However, it’s important to approach it with a clear understanding of your organization’s needs, goals, and limitations. With careful planning and consideration, you can use VR training to make a real impact on your DEI efforts.

References: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forgetting_curve

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/tech-effect/emerging-tech/virtual-reality-study.html

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