Virtual reality is effective for providing induction to new employees and updating experienced employees’ knowledge
Nora Nirhamo | 2022/05/31
Softability created a virtual reality (VR) application for Lumon Oy to support employee induction and update experienced employees’ knowledge. The application is used to make induction cost-effective and to ensure consistent installation methods. Read more!
Virtual reality (VR) first made itself known through the gaming world. Nowadays, we have a better understanding of the technology’s potential for supporting training and induction. Virtual reality enables a safe and cost-effective method to train, regardless of time and place. The VR application deployed by Softability for Lumon Oy relates to the installation of balcony glazing and its purpose was specifically to make new employee induction more effective, update experienced workers’ knowledge, and make installation methods consistent. The application was deployed using Meta Quest 2 VR glasses.
Lumon Oy is a Finnish company specialising in the sale, manufacture and installation of balcony facade products and glazed terraces. The work involves multiple phases and there is lots to remember. To save resources and improve quality, Lumon wanted to try out virtual reality to make the induction of new employees more effective. Now in deployment, the VR application began with the installation of balcony glazing, but it is possible to utilise the technology for induction of other tasks, such as customer service or occupational safety.
Improving efficacy and quality through virtual training
Providing induction to new employees requires a lot of resources. In Lumon’s case, new employees had to shadow experienced employees for a long time before they were allowed to install balcony glazing independently. As turnaround times are often short, installations have to take place as quickly as possible, without compromising on quality. Rectifying errors during the installation, or mistakes in post-installation, slows down the work and is costly. This also puts pressure on the person undergoing induction, as they have to learn quickly and be able to perform quality work each time.
Virtual reality enables a cost-effective way to practice real work situations. In Lumon’s training application, the new employee goes through each phase of a balcony glazing installation. The scenery and working conditions have been created realistically and mimic a real building’s balcony, where tools can even “fall off”, if the engineer is careless. In addition to the user seeing the work instructions for each phase, they have to choose the right tools, use them correctly, and confirm each phase as complete. This provides the user with as immersive an experience as possible, and leaves a better memory trace of the work they have practiced.
“Our VR training application has been used by our new engineers in Tampere, by some in Vantaa, and our sales personnel. Most recently, a new engineer practiced for two days with the application, carrying out the training several times. They said that after the training, when working on their first real balcony glazing job, they remembered all of the work phases well and knew what to do at each stage. This is exactly what we wanted from the solution; to get that information stored in the muscle memory,” says Lumon Oy’s Development Manager Olli Hartikainen.
“Our sales personnel also gave very positive feedback. They do not usually install glazing. The sales personnel who practiced with the application said that the experience really opened their eyes as to what installation work actually involves. Until now, they had “only” sold the glass. Now they have a better understanding of the service overall.”
If you are able to practice actual work situations as realistically as possible, it is most likely that the work is quicker to perform, it is of a higher quality, and fewer mistakes arise due to carelessness. Induction is more effective if fewer resources are required and if the person undergoing induction can practice regardless of time or place. All you need to practice are the VR glasses, which are wireless in the case of the Meta Quest 2 glasses, and a little space around you so that you don’t hit anyone or anything while training.
Watch the demo video to see how employees practice installing balcony glazing in a virtual environment:
You can also try out the demo at Softability’s XR Showroom in Vantaa!
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