Mursion, the industry leader in immersive virtual reality training for emotional intelligence in the workplace, and Future Workplace, an advisory and membership organization that prepares HR leaders for the future of work, today announced their partner study: VR Changes the Game for Soft Skills Training. The report examines the rapidly growing trend of VR simulation training being adopted as a means to close the soft skills gap amid a wave of high-pressure situations and changes that managers and business leaders are experiencing in the workplace right now.

According to the report, by 2022, more than 72 percent of learning and development leaders across industries will have tried VR for soft skills training at their organization. This is more than double the 35 percent of respondents who are currently deploying VR skills simulations to help employees navigate challenging workplace scenarios in customer service, peer conflict resolution, and sales, as well as timely and critical training for diversity and inclusion, harassment, and even bedside manner for healthcare workers.

“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,” said Mark Atkinson, CEO, Mursion. “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.”

Additional takeaways from VR Changes the Game for Soft Skills Training

  • More than half (51 percent) of respondents put VR in their top three buckets for where they would invest more money if they could double their learning budget – higher than social learning, gamification, in-person learning, and artificial intelligence
  • VR for soft skills training delivers on what these learning leaders say is the future of learning: “engaging” (55 percent), “personalized” (49 percent) and “measurable” (41 percent)

Corporate Customer Success

  • H&R Block’s customer call center data shows that two 30-minute sales VR sessions saved 4,119 hours (171 days) of average handling time – a 10 percent overall reduction – leading to a performance improvement equal to 3+ months of on-the-job learning.
  • T-Mobile had to handle high-stakes corporate change management communications prior to its merger with Sprint. After VR simulations with a “change-resistant” employee, 90 percent of managers showed strong competency in their real conversations. T-Mobile then expanded its scope to include customized simulations of executive presentation and communication skills.
  • Read more about these case studies in the VR Changes the Game for Soft Skills Training eBook
    Mursion is among the companies that have experienced tremendous growth through this surge of corporate skills training demands, including a doubling of revenue and staff in less than a year, a 90 percent customer retention rate, a 140 percent increase in customer spend year-over-year, and achieving profitability.

“The future of VR training for employees to learn critical communication and interpersonal skills is limitless,” explained Jeanne Meister, Managing Partner, Future Workplace. “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.”

For more information, you can read the VR Changes the Game for Soft Skills Training report here.