Impacts of Soft Skills Management Training on Productivity and Worker Retention and Welfare

We propose to implement and evaluate a soft-skills training program among mid- and upper-level managers in textile factories in India. The goal of the intervention and evaluation is to investigate constraints to firm performance due to managerial human capital, and to contribute to the understanding of how improved management can translate into better working conditions for workers. We will evaluate this program through a multi-step randomized controlled trial in 41 factories operated by a large textile firm based in Bangalore, India. The trials will take place in 41 factories among about 1500 upper-level managers and 4000 supervisors overseeing around 70,000 workers. The intervention for front-line supervisors will be randomly phased in across two phases of supervisors within each factory, with saturation of phase 1 trained supervisors randomly varied across production floors to capture spillovers. The upper-management training intervention will be cross-cutting and randomly phased in across 2 phases at the factory level to be able to capture direct effects of both levels of training as well as interactive impacts. Measurement is based on hourly productivity data from computer-based production monitoring systems, attendance and retention from biometric-based personnel records and measures of attitudes, perceptions and incidences of abuse and harassment from several rounds of surveys.

Policy implications 
Adhvaryu, A., Nyshadham, A. (forthcoming). 'Impacts of Soft Skills Management Training on Productivity and Worker Retention and Welfare'. Ongoing research.