Using Virtual Reality to Train your Employees | Blend Media

Interactive virtual trainings are transforming the way organizations recruit, train and develop their employees, using 360 video and virtual reality (VR) to simulate real-world, on-the-job scenarios for enhanced learning.  Virtual training is being hailed as ‘The New Powerpoint’ – as VR engages people in immersive and social environments, ultimately solving the problem of isolation and lack of engagement.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is now using VR to train one million employees in topics such as management and customer service which require employees to have higher empathy and emotional intelligence (EQ).  Their pilot study showed that VR training boosts confidence and retention, whilst improving test scores by 10-15%. 89% of learners said they felt more prepared after a VR training session.

“The great thing about VR is its ability to make learning experiential…When you watch a module through the headset, your brain feels like you actually experience a situation.”  – Andy Trainor, Walmart’s Senior Director of Walmart US Academies

Lloyds Bank is also using VR to test potential recruits for their graduate and emerging-leadership development programs in situations that are otherwise difficult to recreate.

“Using VR to assess candidates has helped us predict real life behaviour more accurately. By revealing authentic ability rather than practiced responses, it’s leading us to better hiring decisions.” – Arbi Rai, Senior Recruitment Manager Lloyds Banking Group



To attract the best talent and deliver to the digital natives, it’s important to showcase how innovative a company or brand you are.  Employee interests have shifted: people are no longer looking at just salary, as culture fit has become equally, if not more important.  By giving prospective employees a headset to wear and immersive themselves in your office environment, you are providing them with a rare opportunity to gain a more authentic understanding of your culture.  It also gives you the chance to highlight the positive aspects that you can offer them in return.

“It was one important factor in my decision to accept the job … Banking is moving towards digital tech. The VR made me think Lloyds was at the forefront.” – Eros Rrodhe, 26. Graduate who now works in Lloyd’s Digital Implementation team.


Easily improve the quality of your induction and on-boarding process, especially for companies with high staff turnover.  By immersing new recruits in the brand values, VR helps train new staff quicker and more consistently, which saves the company time and money.  For consumer-facing employees either in retail or business, having emotional intelligence (EQ) is essential. VR is the ultimate empathy machine in driving an understanding of a situation, like for example, in the insurance industry.

Increasing attention span & engagement

Attention span is now the world’s most valuable commodity.  Traditionally dull and uninspiring mandatory trainings can be transformed into something much more engaging and with higher learning retention results.  Humans retain only 20% of what they read and hear, 40% of what they observe and a staggering 90% of what they experience! VR also enables users to ‘monotask’ – to be present, in the moment and focused.  We are no longer distracted by our ringing cell phones, email or social media feeds. Twice the number of viewers will watch 360 videos to completion as compared to non 360 video.

Retaining staff

Sustained usage of VR and other technologies will show your workforce that you are continuing to innovate for their benefit.  Employees will be more engaged for training, more excited to learn and more encouraged to recommend the company to others. VR is also a good way for employers to analyze behaviour and common patterns that arise during training and make improvements accordingly.

Reducing stress

VR experiences offer a great opportunity for staff to relax and unwind at the office, as they serve brilliant distraction therapy and stress busting benefits.  VR has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety by 75%!

Getting ahead

VR is no longer the future, it is already here.  It is estimated that by 2020, over one billion people will be regularly accessing VR and AR content.  So what are you waiting for?


Deloitte asked Blend Media to produce something to help with their efforts at an upcoming recruitment fair.  We created a virtual tour of one of their London offices to showcase to prospective employees the office culture they can expect from working there (showcasing your ping-pong table is always a great idea!).  As a result, the number of their applicants post event significantly increased by three times. Deloitte has discovered multiple uses for what we created for them – not only for recruitment but also as part of the on-boarding of new employees and workplace mobility.

L’Oréal’s professional training division Matrix approached Blend to help create a one-of-a-kind 360 educational experience, to help with the professional development of branded salon owners and staff around the world.  The experience stars Tabatha Coffey, Matrix’s brand ambassador, who takes users through a self-guided, educational virtual tour addressing the emotional journey a customer goes through when visiting a salon – from entering the reception area to how to set-up your backbar.

Clicking on a hotspot button and teleporting to new scenes in a realistic environment has been proven to heighten the intensity of a fully interactive experience for the user.  The effect of the final product feels more like a 1-on-1 conversation with Tabitha than a one-way training video, as the viewer can navigate their own path through the salon and the 7 steps of Salon Emotion.

Ready to start creating your own virtual tours?  Yes!  Here is some helpful information about the best 360 cameras to use to film content for your virtual tour. Find out more about how to create your own virtual training using our super easy-to-use platform 360 Stories, or get in touch with us by filling out the form below if you want us to create one especially for you.