By now a number of industries, sectors and businesses have established that the immersive nature of virtual reality (VR) makes it an idea way to train staff in a way that is realistic, but lacks the inherent risks in training new employees in the real-world scenarios. Another company which has now come to this conclusion is retail giant Walmart.
Walmart previously brought VR headsets to its Walmart Academies in an attempt to improve training. Having seen positive results from that project, the company is now planning to offer Oculus Go headsets to all its US stores.
From next month, over 1 million Walmart employees will be given the opportunity to try out the VR training. This will mean that four Oculus Go headsets will be arriving at every Walmart supercenters, while neighbourhood market and discount stores will get two headsets each. The aim is to allow every member of staff to have access to the same kind of training given to managers and department managers.
“The great thing about VR is its ability to make learning experiential,” said Andy Trainor, Walmart’s senior director of Walmart U.S. Academies. “When you watch a module through the headset, your brain feels like you actually experienced a situation. We’ve also seen that VR training boosts confidence and retention while improving test scores 10 to 15 percent – even those associates who simply watched others experience the training saw the same retention boosts.”
The Walmart training scenarios were created using software from leading VR training company STRIVR, who have also worked with athletes and sports teams to deliver training content that is realistic, relevant and repeatable.
“We are entering a new era of learning, and Walmart continues to lead the way,” said Derek Belch, CEO of STRIVR, which worked with Walmart on its initial launch of VR in Academies last year. “The power of VR is real, and when offered as a cornerstone of learning and development, it can truly transform the way an organization trains its people.”
For future coverage on how VR is being used in training, keep checking back with VRFocus.