TECHNOLOGY

Report: Walmart leverages VR to aid promotion assessment

BY Dan Berthiaume

Walmart is reportedly utilizing leading-edge technology in its review of internal management candidates.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the discount titan is having store associates who apply for a promotion to higher-paying middle management positions don a $250 virtual reality (VR) headset. The headset then displays VR simulations of potential issues a middle manager would have to resolve, such as an upset customer, cluttered store aisles, or workers not doing their jobs.

A Walmart executive told the Wall Street Journal that observing how associates respond to VR simulations of situations they would need to handle as a manager helps the retailer understand their leadership capacity.

In October 2018, Walmart launched VR-based employee training at store-level. Employees use 17,000 store-level Oculus Go VR headsets to access more than 45 activity-based modules. The VR training program focuses on teaching employees about new technology, soft skills like empathy and customer service, and compliance.

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