In the evolving landscape of employee training, augmented reality (AR) has emerged as a powerful tool for onboarding and development. AR onboarding programs provide immersive, interactive experiences that enhance learning, boost engagement, and ultimately lead to higher retention rates and a more efficient training process. Here, we explore five successful examples of AR training programs used by companies, highlighting how AR can revolutionize onboarding to deliver substantial ROI.

Introduction to AR Onboarding

Augmented reality blends the digital and physical worlds, offering an interactive layer of information that enhances real-world experiences. This technology is particularly effective for training and onboarding, providing new hires with a hands-on, engaging way to learn about their roles and the company. The benefits of AR onboarding include improved retention, faster training times, and more effective learning outcomes.

1. Walmart’s AR Training Programs

Walmart has been at the forefront of using AR for employee training. The retail giant implemented AR training to prepare employees for new technology rollouts and seasonal rushes. By using AR headsets, employees can simulate real-world scenarios, such as handling Black Friday sales, in a controlled and repeatable environment. This approach has led to a 10-15% increase in employee retention and a significant reduction in training costs. Walmart’s initiative showcases how AR can create realistic and immersive learning environments that enhance employee readiness and performance  .

2. Boeing’s AR Training for Aircraft Assembly

Boeing has utilized AR to train workers on the intricate processes involved in aircraft assembly. Using AR glasses, trainees can see overlaid instructions and guidelines while working on real components. This method has decreased assembly time by 25% and reduced errors by 50%, showcasing the efficiency and accuracy improvements AR can bring to technical training. Boeing’s use of AR ensures that employees are better prepared to handle complex tasks, leading to higher productivity and reduced operational costs .

3. UPS’s AR Driver Training

UPS employs AR in its driver training program, allowing new drivers to experience and react to various driving conditions and delivery scenarios. The AR system provides real-time feedback and coaching, which has led to a 40% reduction in accidents during the training period. This innovative approach has also shortened the training duration, allowing drivers to get on the road faster and more safely. UPS’s program highlights how AR can improve safety and efficiency in logistics and transportation training .

4. Siemens’ AR Maintenance Training

Siemens uses AR to train maintenance technicians in complex industrial environments. Technicians wear AR glasses that overlay step-by-step instructions and diagnostic information onto the equipment they are working on. This has improved the speed and accuracy of maintenance tasks by 30%, and has also reduced downtime, leading to significant cost savings. Siemens demonstrates how AR can enhance the technical skills of employees, ensuring high-quality maintenance and operational efficiency .

5. Hilton’s AR Customer Service Training

Hilton has introduced AR training for customer service staff, simulating interactions with guests in a virtual environment. Trainees can practice handling various scenarios, from check-in processes to handling complaints, with real-time feedback. This has resulted in a 20% improvement in customer satisfaction scores and a more confident, competent front-line staff. Hilton’s use of AR exemplifies how hospitality training can benefit from immersive and interactive learning experiences.

6. Unilever’s Global AR Onboarding

Unilever has implemented AR for onboarding new employees, providing them with interactive tours of their facilities and hands-on training modules for various job functions. This approach has not only accelerated the onboarding process but also enhanced employee engagement and retention. More details can be found on their website.

How AR Onboarding Boosts ROI

AR onboarding programs can significantly increase the return on investment (ROI) for training by:

1. Enhancing Engagement and Retention: Interactive AR experiences are more engaging than traditional training methods, leading to better retention of information and higher employee satisfaction.

2. Reducing Training Time: AR can accelerate the learning process by providing hands-on, practical experience without the need for physical resources.

3. Improving Accuracy and Performance: By offering real-time guidance and feedback, AR reduces errors and improves the overall quality of work.

4. Lowering Costs: AR training can minimize the need for physical materials and in-person trainers, leading to substantial cost savings.

5. Scalability: AR programs can be easily scaled across multiple locations, ensuring consistency in training quality and delivery.

Industries That Benefit from AR Onboarding


In manufacturing, AR can provide hands-on training for complex machinery and processes. Employees can practice and understand the operations in a virtual environment before handling real equipment, reducing errors and improving safety.


AR can simulate medical procedures, allowing healthcare professionals to practice and perfect their skills in a risk-free environment. This technology is particularly useful for surgical training and emergency response drills.


Retail employees can use AR to familiarize themselves with store layouts, product placements, and customer service scenarios. This ensures that they are well-prepared to provide excellent service from day one.


In the construction industry, AR can be used to visualize building projects, understand blueprints, and follow safety protocols. This technology helps in reducing on-site errors and improving project efficiency.


AR can simulate cockpit environments and flight scenarios, providing pilots and cabin crew with realistic training experiences. This helps in enhancing their skills and preparedness for real-life situations.

AR onboarding and training programs are transforming the way companies prepare their employees for their roles. By providing immersive, interactive, and efficient training experiences, AR technology not only improves learning outcomes but also delivers significant ROI. As more industries adopt AR for training, the potential for this technology to revolutionize workforce development continues to grow. By leveraging AR, companies can ensure that their employees are better prepared, more engaged, and more productive, ultimately leading to a more successful and competitive organization.