How VR is great for the orientation of new starters at work

Virtual reality immersion for onboarding employees

Picture: pallina60 Loon (Flickr)

Picture: pallina60 Loon (Flickr)

Culture is at the core of our business’ values and behaviours. It’s the way we work with one another, collaborating, innovating and simplifying; all with the common goal to help businesses succeed. But in order to create and nurture the right culture, we needed to first create experiences from day one for our people.

Last year, our research indicated that 50 per cent of our new starters did not have an onboarding experience that met their needs. We also lacked a company-wide induction program. This resulted in inconsistent induction experiences across divisions and teams and a lack of consistent messaging around who we are and our key programs and initiatives.

To address this, and to ensure we created an inspiring and unified experience for all our new starts, our People and Performance team consulted extensively with the business to understand the needs of our new starters and managers. In July 2016, we launched our new Immersion Program. The Immersion Program is a high tech, on brand experience with a focus on connection, culture and clarity.

When we looked into what elements we wanted to include in the program for our new team members, we discovered the potential benefits of virtual reality. Augmented and virtual reality technologies are quickly breaking out of the consumer and gaming space and entering new worlds; the enterprise. Over the past year, leading innovative companies have been playing with virtual reality, finding creative ways to apply augmented and VR technology to enhance experiences and improve collaboration. IDC reports that the total revenue for virtual reality and augmented reality is projected to increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to over $162 billion in 2020.

Because we’re constantly looking to integrate the latest technologies into our workflows, we recognised the value that virtual reality would have on our internal processes. As a result, we implemented the technology as a core element of our Immersion Program. This is the first example of an Australian company using virtual reality as part of their people practice.

Through the virtual reality experience, new starters are immersed into our business culture from day one. On their first day, recruits are given a pair of virtual reality goggles to watch a short video. It starts with the CEO speaking from the top of a high rise building with 360 views of Melbourne CBD. It then cuts straight to a race car speeding down a track, and ends at our technology hub office, in Richmond, Melbourne.

The feedback from our new team members has already been fantastic, and the possibilities of integrating high tech virtual reality experiences in other elements of business are endless. We’re excited for the future of virtual reality to enhance a culture and improve user interactions. Teams are exploring the possibilities of applying augmented and virtual reality technology to build rapid virtual prototypes, test theories, and provide training for new employees - all of which can translate into productivity benefits for the organization. Watch this space.

Alla Keogh is Head of People and Performance at MYOB

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Alla Keogh

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