How Employees Learn

Why The Rising Demand for Learning Has JetBlue and Virgin Taking It to The Skies

If you’re a frequent traveler, you know the drill all too well: You scan your boarding pass, find your seat, and then plug into whatever mind-numbing entertainment options are available to you on your flight. Sure, you could be working on that upcoming presentation you keep putting off, or discovering the latest in your industry, but you could also watch six episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Two millennial-facing airlines are looking to change the way the newest crop of business travelers fly, and it’s not by mistake that the newest in-flight entertainment option is learning.

Instead of reality TV or new releases, both JetBlue and Virgin America have added instructional videos and eLearning to their entertainment options. Now, travelers can kick back and enjoy a primer on non-fiction writing, neuroscience, traditional French cooking, and even espionage.

This additional entertainment option is a clear reflection of not only two airlines looking to improve customer satisfaction, but a commentary on what  Gen Y values and the rising importance of learning. Gone are the days when learning something new meant going to class or heading to the library: Today, knowledge-hungry millennials have the opportunity to learn anywhere–even at 30,000 feet.

Why is learning so important to this generation? 

The rise of the learning generation is directly linked to the speed knowledge can be transferred.

Whether an employee needs product specs or you’re curious about a historical figure, a few clicks and a couple of seconds is all it takes to have the information delivered to a screen. That points to a generation where we are drowning in information, but also expects data to be available at all times and in all places.

To break that down, basically, this generation values high quality, relevant content that can help them solve a problem they are having right now. Information and knowledge is the equivalent of today’s version of gold. If you have the knowledge to create the vision you have, or solve a problem that’s holding you back, you can accomplish a great deal in today’s world.

And say what you will about the attention spans of younger generations, but their multitasking abilities can be a benefit for the perpetually time-crunched organization. The learning generation doesn’t wait around to take a course to solve their immediate problem: the learning generation locates the information themselves and quickly moves onto the next challenge.

This Generation Believes In Life-Long Learning

The courses offered by JetBlue and Virgin America are general knowledge-based and really for curious minds rather than someone looking to learn any solid skills. Still, consider the type of traveler who would rather take a course on WWII history rather than zone out with a movie: A motivated individual who values learning above entertainment (but prefers a mixture of the two).

A motivated individual who values learning above entertainment (but prefers a mixture of the two).

It’s true that some employees are content to simply learn what they need to know to do their jobs and move on. But it’s those that are a part of the learning generation that understands learning isn’t a task, but a lifelong journey. Learning about something new brings a profound joy to this generation, and provides continuous growth and self-development. Offering “extracurricular” learning opportunities, courses, and conferences (the kind that could lead to promotions and new responsibilities) are the types of eLearning and training that will most appeal to these self-starting, innovative employees.

Offering “extracurricular” learning opportunities, elearning, and conferences (the kind that could lead to promotions and new responsibilities) are the types of learning solutions that businesses need to take seriously and offer to appeal to these self-starting, innovative employees. JetBlue and Virgin America are leading the inevitable move towards taking that one step further and offering customers the same value by providing them educational value.

The move towards casual learning experiences is the new norm. Whether they’re in the conference room, a smartphone screen, or even somewhere high over the Atlantic, learning is making a powerful statement, and it’s only going to continue growing in importance.

Not provide learning opportunities or even worse, providing bad, outdated elearning experiences sends one clear message from your business to your employees: “We don’t care about you!” Companies who value their talent invest in them, and one of the top ways to show employees you value their time and work is by providing them with great elearning to help them progress in their career. Innovation stems from employees that feel valued and care enough about the company to want to make it better.

Connect with us here to find out how we can help you build elearning that says to your employees: “We Value You!