• Oleg Voronko

How to reduce the turnover rate with VR/AR training solutions

Why Does Your Business Have a High Employee Turnover Rate?

Employee turnover is an expensive headache that costs companies time and money. When employees in customer facing roles leave, businesses need to go through the recruitment process to replace them. Not only is this costly, but it means losing valuable institutional knowledge and starting over with a training process for new team members.

Employee turnover is normal in every organisation. A percentage of your employees are going to leave every year. Either they retire, move away, or are looking for a new opportunity elsewhere. According to a LinkedIn analysis of half-a-billion professionals across 10 sectors, a global rate of 10.9% turnover isn't unusual. is normal.

However, when companies notice a spike in employee turnover - above that rate - it could be an indication of problems within an organisation. Problems with training, management or company culture that need addressing. Let’s look at why employees leave, the impact that has on companies, and what can be done to solve these problems. improve training and retention amongst new employees.

Impact of high employee turnover rates

According to LinkedIn data, the three sectors with the highest turnover rates aren't terribly surprising: restaurants (17.2%), retail (16.2%), and supermarkets (15.4%). Often, the job roles with the highest amount of turnover are lower-level, seasonal, or ones that students gravitate towards during term time, such as retail (19.3%), food service - restaurants and bars - and hospitality (17.6%).

Although we need to be careful with this data. LinkedIn, now Microsoft-owned, has over 610 million professionals on the platform. The emphasis on this is that the majority are professionals, the majority have college degrees and are what advertisers classify as ABC1 decision makers and budget holders.

Lower-level, seasonal and front-line employees are not as heavily represented on LinkedIn. It’s a very useful network for new and seasoned professionals, executives, directors, business owners, investors and board members; those who interact with the public and customers aren't prolific LinkedIn users.

Other studies show that amongst lower-level, seasonal and front-line employees, turnover rates are between 30 and 70 percent worldwide. Sectors where turnover rates are at those sorts of levels include financial services (customer service, sales roles), healthcare, retail, tourism and hospitality, and government agencies.

Replacing employees at the front line of customer services is an expensive and ongoing problem for businesses in these sectors. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) data, replacing staff can cost between 50-60 percent of an employee’s annual salary, including recruitment and training costs. Now let’s look at why staff leave - when this is a result of problems within an organisation - and what can be done to improve training and retention when hiring new employees to replace those that leave.

Why businesses have high employee turnover rates?

#1: Relationships with managers

One of the main reasons employees leave is their relationship with direct line management. Around 75% of people leave jobs because they don't get along with those who manage them. Managers are the conduit for company policies, processes and culture, so if those in charge can’t convey the right policies, processes and culture for employees then pretty soon those employees are going to be taking their knowledge and skills somewhere else.

Senior leadership teams should invite 360 feedback for managers. Give them training so that line managers can work more effectively with front-line teams.

#2: No praise/recognition

Employees want to know they're doing well at work. Managers are the first to criticise and provide feedback, but at the same time, are they recognising those who are doing well?

Praise doesn't have to be expensive. A simple thank you, in an email or team meeting is enough. Running prizes for Employee of the Month is another way to encourage a culture of praise and rewards. Without this positive feedback loop, staff can feel disheartened and unlikely to want to give their best efforts.

#3: Insufficient training/progression opportunities

Staff in front-line roles need to know there are ways they can make progress advancing their career or skills. If career progression isn't possible, learning and development is an important way that companies can encourage higher levels of employee engagement and productivity.

A Gallup poll found that 32% of employees quit because there is a lack of training and career progression. Instead of risking the costs associated with a high staff turnover, find ways to implement training programs that up-skill employees and engage them more effectively.

One method that companies are looking into for training front-line staff is augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). Better trained staff that have been newly recruited are more likely to stay, reducing the costs associated with a higher employee turnover.

Could AR/VR be the answer?

Introducing AR/VR as a staff training solution

It seems that AR and VR technology could make a positive impact in corporate training rooms, which is exactly what companies need when hiring new staff. According to a study, published by the University of Maryland, participants trained via VR demonstrated a 9% better information recall and made 41% fewer errors than those trained using eLearning or with a training coach in a classroom.

In another study, 85% of participants preferred VR training to traditional methods, and most Millennials (58%) say that they would prefer to use AR and VR at work. Training new hires using these methods could improve retention rates and accelerate the time it takes for front-line staff to have the skills to make a positive impact in the workplace.

For front-line employees, AR/VR is more engaging than traditional methods. It would give them and improve the “soft skills” that are invaluable and difficult to teach using coaching and observing more experienced staff. Employees can only learn these through doing, watching someone else interacting with customers, or through trial-and-error. Using AR/VR technology is more effective than those methods as it gives team members the ability to practice skills that can’t be practiced effectively in a classroom environment.

For employers, the benefits of deploying voice-enabled VR technology includes the following advantages:

  • Scalability: Companies can train employees on-the-job, giving new staff the skills they need more quickly, without trainers and without distracting busy front-line-employees; therefore saving everyone time and money.

  • Best practices: As team knowledge and skills improve, and people learn from mistakes, best practices can be updated across the company and these changes introduced into the training programs in real-time.

  • Speed: Businesses train front-line employees more quickly and upkeep the level of training regularly without taking them out of the customer environment for too long. Ideal when implementing changes throughout your front-line teams.

  • Data-driven: VR apps give data on each employee's performance allowing HR and learning and development managers analyze this data and make decisions about the impact of training programs. Real-time data and reports can show what improvements are needed and how to improve training going forward.

With the right approach and technology supporting training, employers can more effectively train front-line staff without costing as much or taking as much time as traditional approaches. When this is combined with management training and the right approach to culture and company policies, your front-line staff are more likely to stay with the company and continue to create and contribute ongoing value.

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