Branding Strategy of Hul

Adult learners have characteristics that set them apart from ‘traditional’ school or college learners. All adults come to courses with a variety and range of experiences, both in terms of their working life and educational backgrounds. This impacts on how and why they participate in learning.

While each student has individual learning needs, there are some characteristics that are common to adult learners: | Adults have accumulated life experiences. Adults come to courses with experiences and knowledge in diverse areas.

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They tend to favour practical learning activities that enable them to draw on their prior skills and knowledge. Adults are realistic and have insights about what is likely to work and what is not. They are readily able to relate new facts to past experiences and enjoy having their talents and knowledge explored in a teaching situation.

| | Adults have established opinions, values and beliefs which have been built up over time and arrived at following experience of families, relationships, work, community, politics, etc. These views cannot be dismissed and must be respected. | | Adults are intrinsically motivated.

Learners increase their effort when motivated by a need, an interest, or a desire to learn. They are also motivated by the relevance of the material to be addressed and learn better when material is related to their own needs and interests. For learners to be fully engaged in learning their attention must be fully focused on the material presented.

| | Individual differences. Adults learn at various rates and in different ways according to their intellectual ability, educational level, personality and cognitive learning styles. Teaching strategies must anticipate and accommodate differing comprehension rates of learners. | Adults learn best in a democratic, participatory and collaborative environment . Adults need to be actively involved in determining how and what they will learn, and they need active, not passive, learning experiences. | | Adult students are mature people and prefer to be treated as such.

Being ‘lectured at’ causes resentment and frustration. | | Adults are goal oriented / relevancy oriented. Adults need to know why they are learning something. Adults have needs that are concrete and immediate. They can be impatient with long discussions on theory and like to see theory applied to practical problems.

They are task or problem-centred rather than subject-centred. Adults tend to be more interested in theory when it is linked to practical application. | | Adults are autonomous and self-directed. They are self-reliant learners and prefer to work at their own pace. Individuals learn best when they are ready to learn and when they have identified their own learning needs.

Where a student is directed by someone else to attend a course, e. g. by an employer, then that individual may not be ready to learn or may not see the value in participating on that course.

This can lead to a mismatch of goals between all parties – student, employer and trainer. | | Adults are practical and problem-solvers.

Adults are more impatient in the pursuit of learning objectives. They are less tolerant of work that does not have immediate and direct application to their objectives. Problem based learning exercises are welcomed as they build on prior experience and provide opportunity for practical application of materials/theories covered. | | Adults are sometimes tired when they attend classes. Many students are juggling classes with work, family, etc.

They, therefore, appreciate varied teaching methods that add interest and a sense of liveliness to the class.

| | Adults may have logistical considerations, including: | Family and caring responsibilities including childcare and/or eldercare | | Careers | | Social commitments| | Time | | Money| | Schedules| | Transportation| | | Ageing concerns. Adults frequently worry about being the oldest person in a class and are concerned about the impact this may have on their ability to participate with younger students. Creating an environment where all participants feel they have a valuable contribution can work to allay such concerns. | Adults may have insufficient confidence. Students come to class with varying levels of confidence. Some may have had poor prior experiences of education leading to feelings of inadequacy and fear of study and failure.

This can manifest itself in many ways, as indicated in the next section. | Adults As Learners Part of being an effective instructor involves understanding how adults learn best. Compared to children and teens, adults have special needs and requirements as learners. Despite the apparent truth, adult learning is a relatively new area of study. The field of adult learning was pioneered by Malcom Knowles.

He identified the following characteristics of adult learners: * Adults are autonomous and self-directed. They need to be free to direct themselves. Their teachers must actively involve adult participants in the learning process and serve as facilitators for them. Specifically, they must get participants’ perspectives about what topics to cover and let them work on projects that reflect their interests. They should allow the participants to assume responsibility for presentations and group leadership. They have to be sure to act as facilitators, guiding participants to their own knowledge rather than supplying them with facts.

Finally, they must show participants how the class will help them reach their goals (e. g. , via a personal goals sheet). * Adults have accumulated a foundation of life experiences and knowledge that may include work-related activities, family responsibilities, and previous education. They need to connect learning to this knowledge/experience base. To help them do so, they should draw out participants’ experience and knowledge which is relevant to the topic.

They must relate theories and concepts to the participants and recognize the value of experience in learning. Adults are goal-oriented. Upon enrolling in a course, they usually know what goal they want to attain. They, therefore, appreciate an educational program that is organized and has clearly defined elements. Instructors must show participants how this class will help them attain their goals. This classification of goals and course objectives must be done early in the course.

* Adults are relevancy-oriented. They must see a reason for learning something. Learning has to be applicable to their work or other responsibilities to be of value to them.

Therefore, instructors must identify objectives for adult participants before the course begins. This means, also, that theories and concepts must be related to a setting familiar to participants. This need can be fulfilled by letting participants choose projects that reflect their own interests.

* Adults are practical, focusing on the aspects of a lesson most useful to them in their work. They may not be interested in knowledge for its own sake. Instructors must tell participants explicitly how the lesson will be useful to them on the job. * As do all learners, adults need to be shown respect.

Instructors must acknowledge the wealth of experiences that adult participants bring to the classroom. These adults should be treated as equals in experience and knowledge and allowed to voice their opinions freely in class.

Motivating the Adult Learner Another aspect of adult learning is motivation. At least six factors serve as sources of motivation for adult learning: * Social relationships: to make new friends, to meet a need for associations and friendships.

The second aspect of their HRD initiatives consisted of integrating more closely the appraisal, the career planning, the succession planning, to involve individuals in choosing a stream of work that they enjoyed most. These and other personnel practices were attempted to be linked towards the philosophy of individual growth. A third measure consisted of redesign of jobs to provide greater scope of autonomy and development to individuals.

And the fourth aspect consisted of choosing four anchor points which would help managers to transform an idea into an experience. The anchor points chosen by LIC were the following: .

Supervision. how best superior subordinate relationships of mutual dependence be developed. How best to provide relevant experiences to the subordinate to become concerned about self-development.

. Problem-solving. how best to move away from short-term measures to deal with the immediate to solving what has caused the problem. If the cause of the problem is not analysed, identified and solved, it is likely that the problem would manifest itself in some other form. 24 Human Resources in Organisations . Decision-making.

how to obtain, collate and interpret the data to decide on issues rather than rely primarily on hunch.

Seeking alternatives and evaluating consequences of these would encourage maturing of both the decision maker and those affected by the decision. . Counselling. how best to help an individual understand his own problem and solve it. This approach would build capability and confidence of the individual to solve his present and future problems.

This approach would also improve relationships between the superior and the subordinate . LIC. s is a comprehensive HRD approach. The specific approaches were developed from an assessment of their own situation.

Indian Oil and CMC chose different anchor points, based on their own specific circumstances. The experience of many successful HRD initiatives shows that a number of mutually reinforcing activities are likely to serve the purpose of human development rather than any single activity such as training or appraisal system or a house journal or any such measures (Schein, 1985).

People have to experience at work in concrete ways what is stated in the policy. It is when people experience, and derive learning from these experiences, would the policy intention become meaningful to them.