HR and VR? Walmart is Going for it
There’s little doubt that in the past two decades, technology has changed nearly everything around us and will continue to do so. Companies are now looking at how the budding technology of Virtual Reality (VR) can help them train employees and enhance the overall customer experience. In a recent article at Retail Dive, Wal-Mart set to embrace VR technologies with the help of STRIVR, a firm which utilizes VR in HR training.
According to a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart, the company has already begun testing the technology at 31 of its training facilities. The company is hoping that VR can help employees be ready for holiday shopping season or during other busy periods as well as being able to execute tasks without interrupting workflows. Wal-Mart estimates approximately 140,000 associates will annually go through its training centers where the VR technologies will be utilized.
Retailers such as Lowe’s, Best Buy, AT&T, and Wayfair are also making use of VR in their retail settings to enhance customer experience directly. Wal-Mart, however, sees a clear path for using VR to improve employee performance and hopefully attract and retain more of them than it has in the past. They are doing this by investing in its employees in terms of both training and technological resources.
Giving customers the best experience possible at a local level is all a part of the company’s desire to maintain an edge in the ever-increasing competitiveness of the marketplace from online retailers such as Amazon. The way to do this, Wal-Mart contends, is through their workforce.
It’s a given that if workers like their jobs and feel valued enough for their company to invest in them, they are far more likely to stay. To that end, Wal-Mart paid some $200 million in performance-based cash bonuses to its hourly workers. This was in addition to the increase in salary that the company spent on 1.2 million of its workers. In the end, Wal-Mart is looking to make a $2.7 billion investment in its workers in order to keep the company competitive for potential new hires.
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