How virtual reality can improve engagement and retention

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MGM Resorts CHRO Laura Lee shares tips for improving EX and scale training using VR technology.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, some industries were hit much harder than others, particularly the service and entertainment industries, which experienced an almost total shutdown and which, in the months that followed, struggled to bring employees back.

“The Great Recession is real,” Laura Lee, CHRO of MGM Resorts, said in a recent EDH online seminar. “Never in our wildest dream have we thought of closing all the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.”

To tackle the major challenges of rehiring and retention, MGM has taken essential steps to invest in its employees, ensure deeper employee engagement and help them build their skills and confidence to deliver the best possible customer experience through the use of virtual reality, Lee said.

Related: Walmart’s Solution For Teaching Worker Kindness: Virtual Reality

Laura Lee

“I liked it. It clicked right away,” she recalls her testing experience with Strivr, a software company based in Palo Alto, Calif., Saying she immediately sued her CEO and her COO to involve them in the new HR technology platform.

She noted that MGM plans to start small, rolling out new virtual reality courses in specific departments such as customer services. “[Guest services are] essential for the hospitality industry, ”she said. “At this size and scale, it’s hard to get consistency. “

But training in a virtual environment allows employees to fail and learn from their mistakes, she says. “I have been employed by the hour before and there is nothing worse than failing in front of a client,” she says. “They will let you know.”

“If we have virtual reality from our customer service platform, we can show what our expectations are for employees and give them the opportunity to learn,” she said.

See also: How Virtual Reality Can Boost Learning and Development During Times of Stress

Derek Belch, Founder and CEO of Striver, equates the use of virtual reality with pilot training. Virtual reality allows pilots to practice repeatedly until they have proven that they can properly fly a plane in the real world.

“Learning by doing is something virtual reality enables all learners to do, from the janitor to the CEO,” says Belch, who also participated in the webinar.

Other HR managers considering implementing similar VR training tools should start small and in a department or division that makes sense, suggests Lee.

“Find that fabric that permeates your entire organization and evolve it,” she says. “Ours was customer service.”

Lee also recommends deploying VR carefully, after perfecting the details.

“Work with your team to find the right scenarios,” she says. “If you need it, take a COO or hospitality manager and throw helmets at him. They will have it. It is very critical.

And don’t be afraid, says Lee. It is important, especially as HR managers, to understand your business strategy and your employee base. “We should always seek to improve learning opportunities so that employees can perform at their best. “

Nick Otto is EDHdigital editor of. He is a professional communicator with over a decade of demonstrated accomplishments in newspaper and commercial publishing. He has spent the past five years covering employee benefits and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. You can reach him at notto@lrp.com or follow him on twitter @Ottografs.


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