Specialty outdoor retailer virtually trains temp workers

EVO VR training

Evo is helping seasonal warehouse associates quickly learn the company playbook with interactive virtual reality (VR) training.

The digitally native retailer of action sports lifestyle gear, which now operates four flagship stores, typically triples its 50-person headcount at its 170,000-sq.-ft. warehouse during the lead-up to Black Friday. During this period, Evo will ship over 15,000 orders per day, up from a daily average of 750 orders. 

Needing to quickly and accurately train seasonal warehouse workers, the company worked with corporate virtual reality (VR) solutions provider Pixvana to develop a training experience that could easily scale for groups of any size and help new employees establish core competencies. 

In the resulting virtual orientation, new seasonal employees receive an overview of the company and review onboarding details. They then virtually “job shadow” a warehouse lead. Through interactive 360-degree video and an augmented reality (AR) component, new warehouse employees orient themselves to the warehouse space and learn critical process training.  

The virtual training saves time, streamlining the training process and freeing up company supervisors to perform other job functions. The training module also ensures each new employee receives an orientation directly from the warehouse lead themselves and that the learning material is consistent and efficient.

“Virtual training offers the potential to do many things in addition to getting workers ready to have a productive first day on the floor,” said Spencer Earle, director of operations and technology for Evo. “Our HR department is excited to do some empathy training, and our customer service and retail teams can get consistent training on how to engage with an unhappy customer.”

Perhaps the most notable retailer engaging in virtual employee training is Walmart. The discount giant is leveraging leading-edge VR solutions to ensure employees are ready for the myriad challenges of customer service. Employees view virtual reality videos filmed in actual Walmart stores that recreate a wide variety of real-life events they will likely encounter during their shifts. Walmart also recently started leveraging Oculus Go VR headsets to evaluate candidates for internal promotion.

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