Published on October 27th, 2021 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Bank Of America Turns To VR For Soft Skills Training
Have you ever done role playing for company training? One word. Awkward. Soft skills training in virtual reality can mean the end of awkward (mostly). As Bobby Carlton reports in VR Scout, companies like the Bank of America have turned to VR for skills training in customer interactions and other tasks with encouraging success. VR allows the employee to do the training whenever they want, the content is consistent from one learner to the next and no one has to pay the role of “disgruntled customer.” And Bank of America can gather key analytics in learner performance and identify skills gaps to target areas for improvement. Yes, putting on a VR headset can be awkward and talking to a virtual customer can be awkward but not as awkward as the traditional role-playing exercises for soft skills training departments have done for decades. Let’s hear it for the end of awkward.
Image Credit: Bank of America
VR training designed to help Bank of America employees better understand the diverse needs of their customers.
One of the largest financial institutions in the nation, Bank of America, has announced that it will soon begin using VR for soft skill training in almost 4,300 financial centers across North America. Roughly 50,000 employees will use VR to practice a number of tasks, bothroutine and complex, as well engage in various client interactions employees are likely to encounter on a daily basis.
Created by The Academy—Bank of America’s award-winning onboarding, training, and development organization—the program is part of the company’s commitment to providing the most cutting-edge professional development tools to their employees to ensure they are successful in their roles.
VR training will roll out by the end of next year. Employees will access to 20 different VR simulations that will them how to strengthen and deepen relationships with clients, navigate conversations, and listen and respond to empathy.
In a Newsroom post on the Bank of America website, John Jordan, Head of The Academy at Bank of America said, “At Bank of America, our commitment to being a great place to work for our teammates fuels our focus on innovation,” adding, “VR is highly effective at helping teammates build and retain new skills and it is one of many ways we are using technology to support internal mobility and provide best-in-class learning opportunities.”
Through the power of VR, Bank of America learning leaders will have access to real-time analytics collected as part of the VR training. Branch managers will be able to identify skill gaps and then provide personalized feedback to an employee and their teammates, improving their individual performance and collaborative skills.
The company launched a successful pilot program with 400 employees using the Oculus Go. According to the report, 97% of the participants left feeling more confident in their abilities.
“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do,” said Hari Gopalkrishnan, Head of Retail, Preferred, Small Business, and Wealth Management Technology at Bank of America. “We are focused on creating and implementing technologies that offer advanced solutions. With VR, we’re rolling out a proven learning tool that will empower teammates with the skills they need to better serve clients and help make financial lives better.”