The real deal: Using virtual reality to enhance employee training & retention

When parcel packers make mistakes, repercussions can be felt at every stage of the shipping and delivery process. Employees are more likely to worry about their job performance, damage rates increase, business is potentially lost to competitors, and the customer unboxing experience can be compromised.

But thanks to the virtual reality (VR) training tools, businesses can enhance their training to get employees up to speed quickly and efficiently, while supplying them with the knowledge they need to succeed.

Training better with technology
Leading companies like Walmart are embracing VR because the technology makes simulated training sessions look and sound like real-world experiences. Due to the sensory immersion of VR training, our brains process VR as though it were reality, and that enables workers to retain far more of what they’re learning, according to NPR. This form of active learning – in which employees learn by doing – stays with them in a way that passive learning – watching someone else do something – simply can’t match.

Walmart recently purchased 17,000 VR goggles to train the majority of its workforce – about a million employees scattered across 4,700 locations – this year. The big-box retailer has introduced a new machine used to retrieve orders placed by customers online, and in years past, several workers would have had to visit each store to train employees in how to set it up, maintain it and incorporate it into store operations. With VR, the company simply loads training modules onto the goggles, eliminating the need for dedicated trainers, NPR reported.

Athletes in the NBA, NFL and other professional leagues also are turning to VR to gain game-like experience without the physical toll, NPR said.

Confidence and consistency: The impact of Pregis’ VR training
By using VR training tools, Pregis is able to help companies capitalize on this promising technology as well. Pregis has developed a series of VR tutorials to expedite and standardize packer training on its protective packaging solutions. Lasting approximately two minutes each, these innovative program videos can benefit a wide variety of ecommerce players to ensure new and existing employees are successful in their roles.

VR allows shippers to train workers in less time and using less personnel, so when an employee does leave after just a short while, the company was able to strategically minimize the resources necessary to train that individual.

The 360-degree videos ensure that all employees are trained precisely the same way, regardless of geographic location or the skill level of the training supervisor. The uniformed training reduces damage rates and increases customer satisfaction by improving package consistency. When customers are confident that their orders will be shipped the right way, they are more likely to reward that brand with their loyalty, extending their customer lifetime value. If a consumer has the opposite experience, there is a 73% chance that they will not do business with a company again.

VR training also gives workers the self-assurance they need to fully excel on the job; success means satisfaction, and satisfaction means a better chance of employee retention. Seasonal hiring can additionally benefit from VR. Workers hired only for peak season can be brought up to speed quickly, boosting throughput at the most critical time. VR allows shippers to train workers in less time and use less personnel, so if an employee leaves after a short time, the company was able to strategically minimize the resources necessary to train that individual.

With big-name companies in a variety of business sectors embracing VR training and seeing measurable results, it’s vital that shippers recognize the benefits sooner rather than later. Those that don’t follow suit could stand to lose employees, customers and the upper hand on competitors for lack of innovation—and that reality surely does bite.–retention/

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