Bridging the Gap: Using Virtual Reality for Subject Matter Posterity

By: Elle Field

Many of us have been fortunate to have worked with a special mentor or trainer that took a vested interest in us, or our career path. They were not only interested in the success of the project and company, but interested in the success and learning of all of their colleagues; interested in the continued success and progress of their industry. These people took tremendous pride in learning their craft, and sharing that with others. With so many changes in our workforce, what happens to all the experience and critical skills of those that are soon to retire? They are leaving and taking the value and benefit of their experience with them.

By 2026, a quarter of the workplace will be “aging.” Although that age range is defined differently, it seems to cover anyone in the workplace that is over the age of 65. According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, “The number of older workers is growing at a rate that outpaces the overall growth of the labor force….”  That population is expected to retire within in 5 years of reaching the “aging workforce” threshold, which means that your organization could potentially lose 25% of its workforce in span of a few years. But the real loss is where the “Human Capital” concept comes into play. All at once you will experience a massive loss in the critical skills and knowledge that these valuable subject matter experts brought to your organization.

Sometimes it is only after the departure of a skilled employee that we find out truly how much knowledge was lost, or is missing in their absence, once that door shuts behind them.

The burden of retaining crucial capabilities and knowledge within organizations and industry is not a new headline. So why are we all just wringing our hands and closing our eyes, turning away from this massive transition? Why not bring in technology and capture these tremendous humans and give their skills a chance to reach unending audiences for years to come.  It is our belief at trainPOINT that Virtual and other mixed reality mediums are the future of educational posterity, and it’s a part of our mission to bring that hyper realistic training experience to our community.

Utilizing virtual reality to capture these trailblazers and their skillsets as it pertains to procedures, project knowledge and even soft skills is tremendously important. Sometimes it is nearly impossible to document this information, and even more complicated to recapitulate it with traditional learning mechanisms. This is where virtual reality can be very special and transformative.  

With the use of Avatars, AI, hyper realistic engagements and interactions, 3D animation, gamification, wearable’s (and other exciting technology), these scenes and knowledge that define your critical skills, culture and community can be transferred into an endlessly renewable training resource that will benefit your people and programs for years to come.