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Fidelity Investments Trains and Educates 140+ Employees Through Virtual Reality

Fidelity Investments, a renowned financial services firm, embraced virtual reality as a way to fight the global pandemic and educate and train their employees. Fulfilling its commitment to innovation and investment in technology, and with the help of the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology (FCAT), the firm devised a way to engage a mass group of incoming employees.

More than 140 employees went through their remote onboarding process with the help of virtual reality headsets. This helped replace Fidelity’s conventional in-person training process in May. The participants connected in a digital meeting space as an “avatar”. The virtual reality experience allowed them to explore the new medium, get to know about one another, and also engage with digital technology.

Adam Schouela who heads Emerging Technology at FCAT has said that the virtual reality pilot program was a way to practically solve for an immediate need. He further said that the company had been prepared to operate remotely. They shifted almost their whole workforce to their respective homes and were thinking to develop and improve that experience. The VR headsets facilitated employees to build deeper connections across divisions and site locations in a better way than if their training were done on a video call.

Fidelity Investments trains and educates employees through Virtual Reality. Image: fidelityinvestments

During the process, the participants indulged in word games and scavenger hunts, thus teleporting between indoor and outdoor environments which helped them become familiar with technology and also socialize with fellow trainees. In addition to this, the employees were also able to exercise their “elevator pitch” in real-time and obtain feedback from others in the room. Starr Redic, a Durham-based Financial Operations Senior Associate described his experience while donning the headset during online classes. He could block out his physical world and become entirely focused on collaborating with his peers. Redic further said that it was quite refreshing to interact with others while surpassing difficulties like physical location in a creative way.

Apart from networking, the participants could leverage FCAT’s present VR proofs-of-concept as part of the process. Employees also tested FCAT’s experimental Retirement Readiness Tool. It helps clients understand retirement planning’s main factors and lets them visualize their position on their retirement planning journey. Additionally, employees also witnessed examples of VR training modules that are used to train customer service staff on empathy. The training offers participants a view into a customer’s life and the call situations they are likely to experience to improve call handling. The virtual reality pilot program was the firm’s first use-case in a training and onboarding scenario.

The virtual reality experience’s participants were part of the Fidelity YOU program – Year One University – which aims to develop Fidelity Operations leaders for future, ranging from new graduates to expereinced staff in Fidelity new to Operations. This program’s participants work at Fidelity locations across the nation, and this experience of virtual reality let them form connections across the company to excel in their role. While the session involved a fully virtual environment, one thing remained the same: the commitment to helping employees prosper.

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