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Walmart is launching workers into the future

2018 is a significant year for Walmart as it prepares its employees for the evolving economy. The American retailer is employing a two-pronged strategy to enhance job skills.

The first involves the adoption of new hardware, while the second involves the adoption of a new perspective.

A novel situation

Walmart is increasing the scope of its virtual reality-based training for in-store employees in anticipation of the holiday surge. This will involve the use of a tethered VR headset to immerse employees in a hypothetical world of fictional customers.

VR apprentices at over 200 Walmart Academies in the United States have been instructed on how to prepare for high-pressure situations, including the holiday shopping rush and disasters.

“Life transpires in 360 degrees, not in two-dimensional video.” Brock McKeel, Walmart’s senior director of digital operations, disclosed to CNBC that: “We evaluate our employees on the content they encounter.” “The associates who implemented VR as part of their training achieved a higher score than those who did not.”

Walmart has observed a 10% to 15% increase in employees’ exam scores within the first year of the VR training program, and training candidates are eager to test the device.

The company is introducing the VR headset to 4,600 stores this season in order to train a million additional employees outside of Walmart Academies.

Future-oriented competencies

Nevertheless, the digital upskilling does not conclude at this point. The retailer has established a US$4 million educational fund to allow frontline employees to continue their education in order to refine their skills in the following areas: supervisory management, medical coding, IT infrastructure, and IT support.

The company indicated that the necessity for agility and flexibility is underscored by the necessity of expanding one’s knowledge, skills, and training in a rapidly evolving economy in order to advance in one’s career.

Walmart is of the opinion that the future is represented by a “stronger, more highly skilled frontline workforce,” as employers continue to express apprehension regarding a persistent skills shortage.