In 2023, keeping employees engaged is the name of the game. From quiet quitting to Bare Minimum Mondays, “The Great Disengagement’ is wreaking havoc for HR, forcing them to find new ways to keep employees engaged and motivated to do their best work.
Could virtual reality (VR) be the answer to HR’s woes? By mixing education and entertainment – so-called “edutainment” – employees can stay engaged while also prioritizing learning and development.
Keeping employees engaged with edutainment
As important as it is, learning and development can sometimes be seen as boring and can be synonymous with outdated and ineffective training videos. But utilizing new technologies can breathe fresh air into learning and development. “Edutainment is a way to give employees the most enjoyable, most effective version of one of their most valued aspects of work,” says Alina Vasile, head of product and design at Gemba, a VR training platform.
Edutainment can utilize different types of technologies and be used for different industries. New technologies like VR can be utilized, such as:
- Gamifying training courses
- Conducting virtual walkthroughs of new tasks or procedures, and
- Practicing new skills.
“The applications for VR are as numerous as they are diverse. And as the underlying technology continues to improve, we’re sure to see an even greater number of applications emerge,” says Vasile.
Gamifying the learning process can keep employees more engaged, while also keeping the motivated to continue learning. “At the end of the day, making education fun helps to remove some of the most significant barriers to learning, including motivation and focus,” says Vasile. “Because when it’s fun, we actually want to do the learning.”
Benefits and applications for HR
Edutainment has many benefits. For employees, it can help keep them engaged and encourage growth. “By investing in edutainment, organizations help to ensure their employees learn and grow more effectively,” says Vasile. “You’re ultimately giving the employee more bang for their educational buck – and that is incredibly important when we consider full-time employees often have limited time and energy to devote to career development.”
For employers, it can increase participation and engagement in learning and development opportunities. “Employees that are learning, having fun, and growing will be significantly more innovative with their products and processes – performing their work more effectively and enjoying their jobs more,” says Vasile. “This improves productivity, retention rates, and ultimately the overall success of the company.”
HR can utilize edutainment to help both employers and employees. Training, whether it be leadership training, sensitivity training or technical training, can become an interactive and engaging process rather than a chore.
Here are some other ways to utilize edutainment in the workplace and how it can help your organization:
- Decentralized collaborative space, such as 3D, multi-user and real-time environments, to help remote teams work together
- Visual management for leaders to visualize how remote teams are doing in their day-to-day, and
- Flow simulation to evaluate daily operations and improve processes.