A successful business needs both effective leaders and team players. Good leadership provides direction, sets priorities and motivates employees to achieve objectives. It also creates a positive work environment and builds morale.

On top of that, bad supervisors cause people to leave their jobs. According to data from Barry-Wehmiller, 35% of Americans quit a position they loved because of a disliked boss. After all, people usually don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers. 

Proper teamwork, on the other hand, can increase the productivity and creativity of employees delivering results better than the sum of the work of individuals. But before we go into the benefits of VR teamwork training, let’s think for a minute about why some companies struggle in this field.

Why do companies struggle?

There are a number of reasons why some companies struggle with poor teamwork and leadership. In many cases, it can be traced back to a lack of communication and trust between employees and management. This can lead to a feeling of insecurity and mistrust, which can in turn lead to employees feeling like they are not valued or heard.

Additionally, a lack of clear goals and objectives can make it difficult for employees to work together towards a common goal. Finally, a lack of training and development opportunities can leave employees feeling undervalued and unqualified, which can lead to a lack of motivation and morale. All of these factors can contribute to a cycle of poor teamwork and leadership that can be difficult to break.

Besides significantly impacting productivity, such problems also make it hard to retain highly skilled employees. And constant recruiting generates costs and disrupts the work in an organization. Built-In, a recruitment company, stated it costs around 100% to 150% of their salary to replace employees working in technical positions (source: Barry-Wehmiller)

“Great teams make clear and timely decisions and move forward with complete buy-in from every member of the team, even those who voted against the decision. They leave meetings confident that no one on the team is quietly harboring doubts about whether to support the actions agreed on.”

― Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

What are the solutions?

So, we know how important leadership and teamwork are. We also know why many companies struggle with both. What can be done to combat these issues? First, you need good company policies and procedures. Policies that encourage open communication. You also have to make sure your employees feel valued and heard.

Next, your employees and leaders have to find the areas where they need to improve. Your job is to assist them in the process by providing the essential tools and resources. Offer them a way to improve and effectively train the skills they lack. This is where we introduce VR teamwork training.

Why do we believe in virtual reality training so much? It’s a proven method of increasing productivity and efficiency. A well-designed VR teamwork training promotes cooperation and communication. Most importantly, it’s truly engaging and effective.

Benefits of leadership & teamwork training in virtual reality:

  • High participant engagement. Through the use of gamification, VR training solutions get people fully committed to the tasks in-game.
  • True immersion. Using a virtual reality headset minimizes outside distractions.
  • Simulated environments. VR can recreate realistic team working conditions as well as situations that would be hard to stage physically.
  • Can be repeated. You can carry out the training as many times as needed until the employees are properly trained.
  • Money savings. Pay for the virtual reality training platform once and use it an unlimited amount of times.

An experts view on VR leadership training

I wanted to talk to someone with hands-on experience in creating VR teamwork training & training for leaders, hoping to get some valuable insights. I arranged a video call with Piotr Soska, who took part in completing such a project at 4Experience. It’s a VR soft skills training platform called MissionOne.

Piotr Soska - Creative Director at 4Experience

Piotr Soska – Creative Director at 4Experience

Good to see you again, Piotr! Before we get into the details of MissionOne, could you tell us a little about yourself?

Of course. I studied Applied Computer Science at Jagiellonian University as I always wanted to work in the IT industry. My next step was an internship at Reality Pump, a development studio famous for its game called Two Worlds.

While I was studying, I began creating hidden object puzzle games for mobile devices. Next, I worked with Nintendo Switch games at a company called 7LEVELS. All my jobs were connected to game design, including level and narrative design. I also started my own company with a friend and we provided various game dev services for businesses around the world.

I ended up at 4Experience as a Creative Director. My job includes game and level design, but I also delegate tasks, assist our team of designers, organize their work, help them and create processes. On the other hand, I talk to clients and help with project estimations. 

Great! So what were some of the most interesting VR projects you’ve worked on?

As already mentioned, I’ve worked in the entertainment industry most of the time creating PC, Nintendo and VR games. So my most interesting VR game from before 4Experience was Tales of Dalmyria VR. It was an action RPG with warriors, monsters, different weapons & skills, the main character you could level up and an engaging narrative. I wrote the GDD and designed the levels & game mechanics.

When I first came to 4Experience, I got involved in a project codenamed Omaha – a VR teamwork training platform for teams and their leaders. I worked with the editor, created maps, designed levels and parametrized the mechanics in Unity. We closely cooperated with our client, I made sure we knew what their needs and requirements were. My job was to translate these requirements into actual mechanics, developing them with the team and gathering feedback from our partner.

Please, tell us more about the training’s mechanics and design.

MissionOne submarine interior

MissionOne is an asymmetrical, cooperative multiplayer application for virtual reality. By asymmetrical, we mean that each player has a unique set of mechanics at his disposal and is responsible for a few specific tasks.

In the training scenario, the user doesn’t know what other players can do, unless they tell him or her. Except for the crew’s main objectives which are listed in the interface and can be viewed by every player. One of the goals might be reaching a specified destination, acquiring a resource or saving shipwrecks. Enemies appear from time to time, so we have to avoid getting our vehicles destroyed by them.

There are two vehicles in this VR teamwork training app, a helicopter and a submarine. The former can be manned by either one or two people and the latter requires a crew of three to five people. In total four to seven users can take part in the training at a time. Usually, the leader or manager takes the role of the submarine commander, as he has up to four players under his command.

MissionOne submarine interior - helm post

Sounds like it’s well thought out. And what practical benefits does this training application bring?

Every participant has the opportunity to improve their teamwork and communication skills. Players see only their instruments, so they have to communicate with each other. For example, if the crew wants to reach a certain destination, they have to ask the helmsman to choose the right heading and trust that he or she did so.

So everybody has different tools and competencies and only through good communication and combining forces can they reach a common goal. It’s just like in a real work environment. As an example, I as a designer don’t know exactly how a developer implements my mechanics. On the other hand, the developer has to rely on me to design it. Only if we trust each other and communicate well, can we reach our mutual objective.

What’s more, participants can also – to a degree – train good communication between different teams. Like in an office setting, the helicopter and submarine crews have different goals but one main objective. The fact that they have to communicate and look towards their main target simulates how different departments of a company work together.

I can confirm the effectiveness of this training, as I’ve tried it myself. What are the other advantages of the application?

The application has a good UX design, which is very important. You don’t have to waste time familiarizing the mechanics and UI, as the main goal is to train communication and teamwork. Each position has a small but practical amount of available interactions. The entry threshold is appropriately low.

In terms of visuals, the app offers a clean, simple and appealing graphic design. Slightly futuristic. It’s really impressive if you consider the hardware limitations of the Meta Quest 2. The optimization is absolutely first-class, so there are no uncomfortable frame drops although the device is being used to its limits.

Oh, and I almost forgot. There is one more participant besides the members of both crews. It’s the facilitator, the person who handles and oversees the whole training process. The facilitator is also somewhat of a coach whose job is to talk to participants and help them find areas for improvement. This maximizes the benefits.

Sounds excellent, thanks for your insight!

Thank you for having me and I look forward to chatting again!

Try VR teamwork training in your organization

Group of employees using VR teamwork training

In today’s business world, it’s more important than ever for companies to have strong leaders who can effectively manage and motivate teams. Good leadership and teamwork skills are essential for any company that wants to be successful.

If you’re feeling like there are some issues and internal conflicts or problems with communication, we strongly recommend developing a VR teamwork training platform. First, it will let you assess and categorize the problems. Next, it’s going to help you work on them in an effective and engaging way.

We encourage you to develop your own VR teamwork training program. A custom-built solution will allow you to fit your company’s culture and needs the best. And with dozens of experienced developers and designers as well as 200+ completed projects, we guarantee to turn your idea into a success.

Thinking about using XR in your organization? Not sure where to start? Schedule a free 60-minute consultation with our experts. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and help you find the ideal solution!

The author generated this text about VR teamwork training in part with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. Upon generating draft language, the author reviewed, edited, and revised the language to their own liking and takes ultimate responsibility for the content of this publication.

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