Improving Human Performance
Whether you are a Fortune 500 company or a startup, being told that your sales force is grounded, your product and engineering teams need to work from home, and your customers are closing down operations wasn’t a positive start to 2020. It also wasn’t immediately seen as one of the biggest workforce transformation opportunities of the century.

With figures showing that more than 40 million people can make “work at home” a regular part of their jobs, companies of all sizes are adapting how they optimize the performance and well-being of their workforces.

As the founder and CEO of an experiential training solution that uses virtual and augmented reality to improve employee performance and scale in-person training Virti saw a huge uptick in demand during 2020.

More Time For Learning
A reduction in travel and employees being stuck at home in front of their computers means many organizations are focusing on how to upskill their current workforce to maximize downtime and deliver value and reassurance to their employees.

With the majority of in-person training now impossible, remote, online solutions are seeing a surge in usage.

Travel, distractions and poor engagement have traditionally meant that it could be a challenge to get employees in front of learning solutions. Many people now have a little more spare time and an increased desire to learn not only work-related skills, but also complementary skills such as mindfulness, yoga and soft skills.

Increased Productivity And Focus
A range of studies have shown that remote work can increase productivity. Flexible working from home, if implemented correctly, can lead to feelings of empowerment and improved focus for your team.

By training and empowering employees today, the best teams and companies can mitigate the negative effects caused by losing out on the close proximity of working together in an office environment and help employees develop new skill sets they might otherwise not have had the opportunity to discover.

Remote learning for workforce training is likely to stay around after face-to-face training resumes. Integrating newer technologies around existing tools to help improve learning and save costs on traditional employee training will be key for companies that wish to future-proof their workforces.

Future-Proofing Learning Culture
CEOs and HR teams have been faced with tough decisions regarding headcount and employee well-being with the change in work environments and business operations. Many employees are struggling with working away from their usual offices, along with the closure of gyms and social hubs and, in some geographies, the inability to leave their homes without compromising their health.

That is why organizations must focus on improving their organizational culture and prioritizing employee wellbeing. These positive impacts will need to be integrated to any return-to-normal strategies such that training does not simply revert to the old way of doing things. Focus on learning and well-being will need to be maintained in our “new normal.”

As with many sectors, the changes forced upon large organizations and restrictions to budgets and operations have caused significant upheaval in a short span of time. Many organizations are seeing the current climate as an opportunity to invest in training and upskilling staff, even with budgets reduced.

Technology is now becoming an increasing necessity to future-proof the workforce and scale face-to-face training. One thing is for sure: Companies of all sizes must remember that the ways in which employees are trained, onboarded and upskilled will not be returning to the old way of doing things for quite some time, if ever.

Virti is a multi-award-winning corporate training company offering an end-to-end, VR/AR-based immersive learning platform that improves how people train, learn and perform. With a mission to elevate human performance by making experiential training affordable and accessible to everyone on the planet through digital training experiences, Virti are shaping the future of learning for corporates and healthcare. Virti are a TIME Best 100 Invention, have been featured on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square and have won multiple awards while scaling up fast.

Virti founder Dr Alexander Young is a trauma and orthopaedic surgeon with degree in education, masters in surgical science and a passion for training and making things better for the workforce. He is also a gamer and previously founded an education technology company. The best training that he received was on-the-job, face-to-face training from expert surgeons however this wasn’t always convenient, wasn’t repeatable and there was variation between training techniques and trainers.

The dream was to build a scalable training platform that could be accessed on demand, was fun to use and that could turn subjective information (like communication skills) into objective data for comparison to improve human performance and reduce error.

Founded in 2018 Virti have offices in Bristol, UK as well in Texas and California in the US. The Virti team is made up of games developers, engineers and learning and development experts with a passion for improving human performance through technology.

Virti’s technology is used by healthcare providers, medical device and pharmaceutical companies and FTSE 100/250 companies to help reduce variability in training and improve employee performance.

Virti’s cloud-based platform is accessed by employees on mobile, desktop and virtual and augmented reality headsets with a focus on data-science analysis of training data that can be uniquely captured across these mediums. The system, which has multiple patents, allows any employee, to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment with a focus on training essential workplace skills and practicing difficult conversations.

One of the big issues with traditional training is recreating the stress and emotion of real life and being able to collect data on performance at scale. Skills such as emotional intelligence and communication and team working skills are essential for employees of all stages but are traditionally taught using in-person role play which is costly and hard to scale.

Content is broad, spanning diversity and inclusivity HR training to sales and support soft skills to surgical procedures with a focus on infrequently used but high-risk hard-skills together with soft-skills training for all sectors. The company are more problem-focused than fixed to a specific industry or type of technology with emphasis on capturing unique data insights that would be otherwise impossible with traditional in-person training.

To highlight the problem, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States and costs health providers upwards of $20Bn in payouts. Outside of healthcare data from LinkedIn’s network of over 660+ million professionals and 20+ million jobs people with emotional intelligence, also known as EQ, are getting hired and promoted at a faster rate than others with evidence also suggesting that poor communication skills being the cause of most customer complaints and dissatisfaction, hence Virti’s focus on soft-skills training.

Traditional training is delivered via text books, videos and expensive face to-face training sessions. These experiences lack the emotion and stress of the real world leaving employees under-prepared with no objective way to know if they will perform when it matters.

One of the goals at Virti is to take traditionally subjective data from important skills such as communication, team work and decision-making under pressure and make them objective, quantifiable and validated to provide organisations with better insights on how prepared their workforce really is while making on-the-job training more equitable to access and more scalable.

To do this Virti’s platform uses computer vision and natural language processing analysing both solo user performance as well as multiplayer environments to quantify team work. Content added to the platform can itself be analysed allowing trainers to better predict variability in procedures and training methods. In healthcare this ability to collect, store and analyse training video and user data is all geared towards reducing outlier variability and improving patient safety.

Virti are the first and only education company to be accepted onto the NHS’ National Innovation programme, which selects the 10 best evidence based health tech companies each year and helps them to scale throughout the NHS and are also alumni of the Digital Health.London accelerator and the Texas Medical Center’s Innovation Programme.

The Series A-stage company has raised over $12M in just 2 years and has seen revenue growth of over 1000% year-on-year. Virti’s product has been validated through independent research showing improved knowledge retention of upwards of 230% for employees and reduced anxiety around performing infrequent but high pressure roles.

The company has won a number of high-profile awards including The Mayor of London’s Startup Award and The VR Award for Healthcare. During 2020 Virti won the NHS’ COVID-19 challenge for work done helping upskill frontline healthcare workers and were featured on the Nasdaq Tower in Times Square.


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