Learning in the Metaverse: HR will be the champions of this new way of work

The Metaverse blurs the lines between the real world and the virtual one. Have you heard of the Internet of Things? This is the Internet of Places. It’s an immersive 3D digital experience, born from gaming, that includes everything from virtual reality (VR) to augmented reality (AR) to complete digital immersion into a virtual world.

For a long time, the idea of the Metaverse had a dystopian ring to it. That’s now changing, and the Metaverse holds the potential to bring virtual environments to the masses in ways that will propel work forward. It enables the creation of more realistic, immersive, personalized digital experiences in human capital management — including compelling learning, hiring and collaboration moments.

That’s why Strategic Market Research reports that the global market value for the Metaverse is currently $47.48 billion — and is expected to surpass $678.80 billion by 2030. So, where does Immersive Learning fit into this world? 
We can answer that question with another question: Well, what if learning could become a truly seamless experience? That’s the promise of learning in the Metaverse.

The Metaverse and Immersive Learning

According to a McKinsey report, three of five business leaders expect the Metaverse to change the way their industry operates. Derek Belch, Strivr founder and CEO, recently provided a great take on how enterprises can co-evolve with the Metaverse in an interview for Protocol

“Securing early wins through impactful use cases will be the most impactful evolution to improve (or advance) the Metaverse.” 

VR is already in place in the mainstream of learning for a lot of enterprise organizations such as Walmart, Bank of America, and Verizon, helping them scale all kinds of training to large workforces spread across locations in a cost-effective, consistent, and high-quality way. Research has found that Immersive Learning via VR can create 33% higher learning retention (when compared to video) and makes learners significantly more likely to change their behavior after the training is over. 

The Metaverse could create a deepening of those types of Immersive Learning experiences, but we are still in the “test and learn” stage right now. Our efforts will play out over a series of years. Use cases will include hiring, recruiting, onboarding, collaboration, and socialization. 

“Collectively,” as Belch says, “this will bridge us closer to realizing the true vision of the Metaverse. It has great potential to make online collaboration more personal and engaging, to visit factories across the world to better understand supply chain issues, or to establish standardized, unbiased, digital credentials to level the playing field in the employee hiring process. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.”

From Quartz: The Metaverse will mostly be for work

The Metaverse(s) already in place

The term Metaverse is a bit of a misnomer, of course, because there will not just be one Metaverse but, ultimately, many. Some are already in place. Accenture’s Nth floor is a thriving example of an enterprise-specific Metaverse that is already bringing people together across a globally distributed workforce, enabling them to go beyond “browsing” and into “inhabiting” a shared virtual experience. 

Nth floor was built with 3D, AR, and VR tools as a place for people to meet, collaborate and learn in virtual environments that are “digital twins” of many of Accenture’s physical offices, from Bangalore to Madrid to San Francisco. One of the primary applications of Nth floor revolves around onboarding new hires — a traditionally expensive and not consistently effective endeavor.

The experiences new employees have are critical to shaping their impressions, engagement and attitudes about their company and job. This type of immersive “orientation” is more personal than traditional types of remote onboarding, and 150,000 new hires will experience the Nth floor this year alone at Accenture.

What’s going to tip the Metaversal scales

Accenture is ahead of its time, and right now, learning in the Metaverse is still a bit of a novelty. It will take collective investments into creators, content, and infrastructure to move it into the zeitgeist. 

Hugo Swart, vice president and GM of XR at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., says, ”We believe in the potential of the industrial Metaverse. The reason is that cloud computing adoption is stretching across the enterprise landscape: think education, learning, training and 3D design.

So what’s needed to cross the bridge to prime time? 
Enterprise VR training could be the exact connector. Many enterprise organizations are already using VR in the form of Immersive Learning to influence and uplevel how their teams learn and work. Workplace-driven VR apps are now giving hundreds of thousands of employees across all kinds of sectors exposure to VR in a professional environment. They and their L&D organizations are gaining enormous confidence around Immersive Learning’s effectiveness.

Meta Immersive Learning and HR

It will ultimately be HR and L&D leaders who bring the Metaverse into the mainstream. WIth the movement toward a remote workforce, HR has already begun to take center stage as well as a seat at the leadership table. HR decision-makers are no longer the unsung heroes of any organization; they’re moving to the center of attention as the new champions and creators of the employee experience.

The Metaverse is coming, and it will be fascinating to see what role HR and L&D will take in its rise — and what role the Metaverse itself will play in improving learning and development across the work world.

Why should CLOs, CHROs, and other L&D leaders care about the future of the Metaverse? Download this free, on-demand webinar to learn more. 


Why CLOs should care about the future of the Metaverse

Speakers: Derek Belch Founder & CEO, Strivr Krista Taylor Global Immersive Learning Lead, Accenture You’ve seen the news and read the opinions, and by now you’re presumably bought into the idea that the Metaverse is coming, maybe even in a…

Watch Webinar

Related Content