UK wealth management group St. James’s Place is rolling out virtual reality technology for training and role-playing across the business.
SJP's learning and development team have already begun to use the headsets for virtual presentations and workshops as well as social events, allowing users to meet and get to know each other in a virtual setting.
Virtual reality role-playing is currently being used by Academy delegates, allowing them to practice client meetings, fact finding and building rapport with clients.
Trainees are provided with headsets that allow them to experience the role of an adviser and engage in conversations with virtual clients through a series of multiple-choice questions. They can then watch the encounter back to increase their understanding from a client’s point of view and also receive feedback by hearing their clients’ thoughts played out.
The immersive learning experience, created with VR specialists Make Real and 55EFIVE in collaboration with experts within SJP, uses 200 Oculus Quest headsets, with 50 more being rolled out in the coming months.
Di Macdonald, divisional director of learning & development at St. James’s Place, comments: “The intention is to give people a safe space to practice in, so that they can gain confidence without the need for access to trainers, coaches or peers. It also enables us to utilise resources more effectively and train more people in a shorter space of time. We are able to enhance existing soft skills training and capture areas that may need more practice than others.“