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How Augmented Reality Can Revolutionize Employee Onboarding and Retention

Published on September 22, 2017 at

Since 2010, most employers have expressed concern at one time or another that their employees do not take their online courses. As a result, their job performance is below expectations and job satisfaction plummets.

Employee onboarding has a direct correlation to job satisfaction and employee retention. The first few months at a job is crucial, because this is the “first impression” that allows employees to establish a successful relationship with their company. But, if employees do not feel that they have a strong connection with the company and understand how to do well in their position, leaving the company seems inevitable.

Ironically, the cause of this frustration is the overuse of technology itself. If there is no engagement, no perceived reason for taking the course, and no human component, it is almost impossible for an employee to retain the information learned in onboarding, much less translate it to their everyday tasks.

This is especially true for the technology, financial, and healthcare industries.

Apple recently created an AR application to show visitors what their brand new facility looks like.

Employee retention, and finding new ways to upgrade the onboarding process is a serious concern for employers–and Augmented Reality (AR) may be the solution.

The Technology Industry

One of the most difficult industries for employee retention during the onboarding process is the technology industry. The average tenure of an employee at Google, for example, is only about 1.1 years. There are several factors that contribute to this incredibly low tenure, such as stress, but lack of adequate job training is prominent among the list.

Especially for tech-giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple, AR could revolutionize employee onboarding simply by familiarizing each employee with their tasks in real time. For example, Apple recently created an AR application to show visitors what their brand new facility looks like. For new employees, this technology would be vastly beneficial, because they could walk around the campus and see how each department works in real time. It will be important for large tech companies to implement AR because it will vastly improve employees’ ability to develop relationships across departments, as in the previous example, which in turn improves job satisfaction and performance.

AR also has the ability to allow users to bring back the human component. New employees require connection in order to do well at their positions, so it is essential that they are able to interact with those in their environment, and what better way than to do so while acclimating to the technology they will be working with. With AR, employees can ask questions, get answers, and train without being confined to their own desk. With this innovative technology, interaction with other employees will occur naturally and job satisfaction will increase.

The Financial Service Industry

In the financial industry, the social training of new employees can be very costly, especially when involving actual clients. Financial service people such as bankers, planners, accountants, etc. tend to be more analytical, and as such may require more interpersonal training. Through AR-fueled employee onboarding, individuals can cultivate these skills without potentially losing clients.

AR can also help employee retention because it transforms the way they currently memorize policies and procedures. In the financial industry, the list of information to learn before being comfortable in front of clients can seem overwhelming. AR vastly benefits new employees in this arena, because it allows them to interact with the documents they need, and can help them practice using company-specific terminology with clients.

This innovation has the potential to improve employee onboarding in the financial industry because they will develop a closer connection to their clients and a greater understanding of their policies and procedures.

The Healthcare Industry

AR has vast potential to revolutionize many of the world’s workplace.

Healthcare contains exciting opportunities for AR during onboarding. For example, with an app called EyeDecide, patients can see simulations that show how relatively minor eye symptoms can affect their long-term vision. Using similar technology, nurses could experience simulations of the effect their job has on their own patients, and can show them the results of good or bad practices. For example, they could interact with a simulated patient, and in real time, see how asking a wrong question or failing to follow procedure can lead to serious consequences.

It could also train nurses on the policies and best practices of their particular hospital, in an interactive way, so that they can retain the information more effectively. They could be reading a policy and be able to touch a video that shows the policy in action. The fact is, the more the employee onboarding process excites the mind, the more likely it is to be effective and retain employees, which is essential to the healthcare industry.

While there is some speculation as to how Augmented Reality will fit into our future, one thing is clear: it has vast potential to revolutionize many of the world’s workplaces. It will introduce a world of interaction, movement while learning, and simulation of real-world scenarios. As employee retention continues to diminish, it will be important for every employer to organize new methods of employee onboarding, and AR could be the tool they are looking for.