Training, Communications Patterns, and Spillovers Inside Organizations

We study direct productivity changes and spillovers after a randomized training program for the frontline workers in a Colombian government agency. While trained workers improved their individual production, we also find substantial spillovers that affected managers' productivity. We use email data and a survey to explore the mechanisms behind these spillovers and find that managers' increased output arises from reductions in the need to help lower level employees. Accounting for spillovers to manager productivity changes the organization's implied return on investment from the training program, expanding the set of training investments that can be supported.