Have you ever heard of the Ringelmann effect?
Also known as social loafing, it is the tendency of individual members of a group to become less and less productive as their group size increases.
Ringelmann found that members of a group who work together on an outcome achieve a relatively lower result than when they work independently. Furthermore, he identified that as more and more people are added to a group, the group becomes less and less efficient. Thus, levels of decline in individual performance are caused by a loss of coordination amongst group members.
Several studies have verified that the Ringelmann effect occurs in various contexts, including physical and cognitive performance tasks. In particular, it is a significant problem that managers and team leaders face daily in companies.
How can virtual reality training help overcome the circumstances that hinder the success of teamwork?
Identifiability: As groups grow in size, anonymity thrives as individuals are less valued and less accountable for their actions. But it has been found that social loafing actually disappears when individuals are aware that their output is measured. VR training can remove individual anonymity by measuring performance on a personal level by offering feedback to users. Studies show that measuring performance on an individual level forces unmotivated individuals into action. This gives them a purpose to showcase their abilities and develop their potential.
Individuality: When individuals think their own worth is invalid, they fail to commit 100%. VR training can generate teamwork without a hitch giving each member the impression that they are the primary focus of the virtual trainer. The first person perspective that virtual reality offers to all users places the individual at the centre of the experience, increasing feelings of importance and ownership.
Fatigue: Although offline group training triumphs in interaction and involvement, it cannot prevent individual fatigue. Instead, virtual reality offers group and individual training that can have set times or at times of personal preference. VR applications are not susceptible to human errors in repetitive activities such as fatigue and injury, which can treat the activities of other training methods.
As challenging as eliminating the Ringelmann effect from any work or training group, virtual reality offers a unique experience capable of addressing the factors of social loafing, making it a brilliant tool for teamwork or organisational training.