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Verizon protects & empowers retail associates with immersive learning

With the increasing prevalence of theft and armed robberies occurring across the retail sector, Verizon wanted to better protect and prepare its frontline associates to act quickly and confidently in the face of high-stakes workplace safety threats.

Verizon retail associates trained in XR
XR training deployed at over 1,600 Verizon retail store locations
of learners felt more prepared for dangerous situations after XR training

The challenge

It’s one thing to talk about safety and security for your employees. It’s another thing to bring that idea to life.
Michael Mason
Senior VP & Chief Security Officer, Verizon

Safety and liability are critical concerns for every company, and Verizon is no different. As the leading wireless carrier in the United States, Verizon offers the latest in smartphone technology through over 1,600 retail locations across the country. But with such high-value, high-demand devices on display, safety threats like smash-and-grab thefts and armed robberies pose a real risk.

For the safety of employees and customers, it’s critical that Verizon store associates know what to do in the event of an armed robbery or smash-and-grab theft. But traditional safety training methods have proven ineffective at equipping employees with the tools and tactics necessary to act quickly and confidently in the face of an active threat.

Having identified safety skills as a critical training initiative ripe for innovation, Verizon partnered with Strivr to deploy an immersive learning solution that would give its 22,000+ frontline employees the hands-on experience they need to recognize, respond to, and mitigate an armed robbery scenario.

The solution

We focus on the safety of team members and customers, not the inventory. That’s one of the things we want to make sure they know: The inventory is replaceable. You’re not.
Lou Tedrick
VP of Global Learning & Development, Verizon
Snapshot from Verizon’s Armed Robbery VR training simulation.

Building on existing security camera footage from real in-store robberies, Strivr’s team of curriculum designers and immersive content specialists captured new live action footage for Verizon’s custom Armed Robbery VR training simulation using 360° video cameras and hired actors at one of Verizon’s retail store locations to create a custom Armed Robbery VR training course.

The course consisted of three modules, each simulating an armed attack at various points during a typical workday, with a debrief between sessions to allow learners to reflect on the nuances of a proper response in each scenario.

Course details

Target learners

Retail store associates

XR content modality

Live action VR

XR use case(s)

  • Safety & security
  • Emergency preparedness

TRAINING duration

20 minutes

Learning objectives

  • Recognize early warning signs of a potential safety threat
  • Practice and build confidence in applying proper threat response tactics and risk mitigation techniques in different scenarios
  • Gain hands-on experience in safely navigating an armed robbery

The impact

Their hearts were racing. They felt like they had experienced a robbery. By the time they got to the third module, the amount of confidence they’d gained was astronomical.
Lou Tedrick
VP of Global Learning & Development, Verizon

Verizon deployed Armed Robbery safety training across all 1,600 of its retail store locations with the intention of equipping every frontline employee with the skills, confidence, and hands-on experience they need to safely navigate similar situations in real life.

Out of 22,000+ retail associates, 97% reported feeling more confident and prepared for dangerous situations after completing Strivr's XR training program.

Verizon leadership also noticed a dramatic change in training engagement. “It’s impossible to wear those goggles and not be fully engaged,” said Michael Mason, Senior VP & Chief Security Officer at Verizon. “At the end of the day, that’s going to lead to better outcomes when people ultimately have to face a robbery situation.

Strivr empowered
  • Provide a realistic and engaging safety training experience for its employees
  • Help employees feel more prepared for a potential armed robbery situation at work
  • Significantly enhance employees’ confidence and self-efficacy in safely navigating and responding to workplace safety threats

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