Foster Better Social Interactions

Soft Skills

The workplace is automating, increasing the value of soft skills required for positive social interactions, such as customer service, management or giving feedback. Immersive Learning allows learners to have interactions and explore real-world emotional responses, and the opportunity to reflect on and assess their own performance.

Case Study

Sprouts

Culture & new hire onboarding

As onboarding moves to be more remote, VR has the ability to give realistic experience in the workplace before every stepping onto the new job site. Candidates get first-person experience in the role and work environment before ever stepping onto the new job site. They get immersed in the company’s culture and values right from the start, which helps recruit and retain new talent. 

In a time when grocery stores were especially busy and stressful, Sprouts Farmers Market found that implementing an Immersive Learning platform transformed its ability to deliver memorable, safe, and game-changing onboarding at scale.

Challenge

Scale unique culture, standardize learning, and provide an optimized training experience as the company grows quickly

Solution & Results

Sprouts implemented an Immersive Learning platform so new hires could experience the six Sprouts values in action. Learners build a “customer-first” mentality through complete immersion in Virtual Reality.

X

more likely to remember all six company values vs. non-VR learners

Customer service

Dealing with unhappy customers and complex situations is pretty common, yet can still be uncomfortable and requires empathy and emotional intelligence. 

De-escalation

Recreate typical interactions with impatient or unhappy customers, so that associates get to practice de-escalation methodology, active listening, and decision-making while managing their emotions. 

Empathy building

Associates are transported from the store or the call center, to inside the home of the customer. They are able to experience the lives of their customers in VR, rather than simply read or watch videos about it, which helps them relate more sincerely and offer better assistance.

We need to be able to immerse people in an experience with a customer before they can provide live customer service.

Cleo Scott, Director of Global L&D, Verizon

Watch: Elevating Verizon customer service with VR

New Manager training

Good managers often demonstrate a combination of good communication skills, adaptability, resilience, coaching, and empathy. For first time managers, VR allows for practice in a safe space. At the end of simulation, learners have an opportunity to watch and listen to themselves for self-evaluation, and to better assess their performance.

Crisis communication & difficult conversations

Navigate difficult situations, tough conversations, restructuring, incorrect customer service practices, and team conflicts. Learn how to recognize and respond to situations in appropriate ways that diffuse problems and circumvent challenges. 

Coaching: Feedback & performance review

Simulate conversations based on generic or proprietary methodology. Learners are sitting across from a direct-report who is struggling to work effectively with a colleague and are guided through the feedback session and offered a playback of their conversations for self-evaluation. 

Sales training

Sales requires preparation, product knowledge, and confidence. VR training provides mental repetitions to handle a variety of sales scenarios – listening for the right cues, how to talk about each product, and how to handle objections. For these kinds of selling skills, VR training offers realistic practice and the ability to make mistakes in a safe environment.

Case Study

Walmart

Diversity and inclusion training

It is everyone’s responsibility to help foster a strong, inclusive work environment and create successful, diverse teams. But how do we teach and encourage inclusive behaviors and prepare teams and managers for tough conversations with employees or colleagues about these topics?

Walmart uses Immersive Learning to help managers and employees tackle these questions. First, they are immersed in a realistic scenario where an employee or colleague exhibits non-inclusive behavior. Next, they participate in an interactive face-to-face conversation with that person to talk about why that behavior doesn’t represent Walmart’s values, and how the employee can recognize and counter their biases in the future.

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Challenge

Practice interpersonal skills and leadership tactics so employees recognize and respond to situations in appropriate ways that diffuse problems and circumvent tricky situations.

Learning Objective

  • Understand how participating in a difficult conversation in a controlled setting can work to increase confidence.
  • Bridge the gap between training and real world application, by developing a fully immersive experience simulating a real conversation.
  • Provide a more effective “role play” activity that will complement their current training program.
  • Build confidence for successfully handling a difficult conversation

The Strivr platform monitors employees‘ quantitative progress through the program, and also record & transcribe trainee responses, which lets trainers tailor how they measure performance and identify insights.

Candidate assessment

It is generally difficult to objectively assess employees in the company-specific tasks they’ll face in the next role. VR-based assessments test aptitude for a given position during hiring or promoting, and capture how a candidate might prioritize different tasks, communicate with co-workers in times of conflict, and exercise a variety of leadership skills. Assessments are based on predictive analytics models that combine both decision data and immersive attention data and help predict which candidates would perform well in real-life. VR assessments add an additional layer of insight, especially for skills that are traditionally hard to measure, that can help paint a more accurate picture of candidates. 

We use VR to assess their listening and problem-solving skills to see if, for example, they’re a good fit for a team leader role. It’s just one data point, but what we’re seeing is that VR can make the same, if not better, predictions for who will succeed in a role than a human.

-Heather Durtschi, Sr. Director of Content Design Development, Walmart

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