Soft skills training in India boosts productivity, say US researchers

Workers with well-honed soft skills tend to work at better firms and fetch higher wages

GN Bureau | February 3, 2017


#Productivity   #Skill India   #Wagers   #Employment  
Representational image
Representational image

Workers with well-honed soft skills—time and stress management, problem-solving, communication and good teamwork, for example—tend to work at better firms and fetch higher wages, showed research carried out by researchers from US universities. Employer surveys suggest that this set of skills is just as highly demanded as technical know-how.

Read: Skill Development in India: Big Promises, Tall Failures 

Achyuta Adhvaryu, assistant professor of business economics and public policy at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, wondered whether providing soft skills training to female garment workers in India could improve their workplace outcomes.    

"We found that despite a high overall turnover rate in the industry, more treated workers are retained," Adhvaryu said. "And treated workers
are 12 percent more productive than those who did not receive the training in soft skills."

Adhvaryu, along with co-authors Namrata Kala of Harvard University and Anant Nyshadham of Boston College, partnered with Shahi Exports, the largest ready-made garment exporter in India, whose clients include Gap Inc., Walmart, JC Penney and Target, according to its website.

The firm is also the single largest private employer of unskilled and semi-skilled female labour in the country. The program Adhvaryu and colleagues evaluated aimed to empower female garment workers with training in a broad variety of soft skills, including communication, time management, problem-solving and decision-making and legal and financial literacy.

Read: Skill India: How Uber is generating livelihood opportunities for youngsters


To assess the program's impacts, the researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial in five garment factories in Bengaluru. Workers enrolled in a lottery for the chance to participate, and then were chosen at random to take part in the program. Those who were not randomly selected served as controls.

Nine months after the program ended, productivity gains, along with an increase in person-days due to retention changes, helped generate a whopping 256 percent net return on investment.

"Wages rose very little—about 0.5 percent—after the program period, indicating that the firm keeps most of the gains from the increased productivity of labour," Adhvaryu said.
 

Comments

 

Other News

BSNL, MTNL to be revived, merged

The union cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for revival of public sector telephony companies BSNL and MTNL by administrative allotment of spectrum for 4G services, debt restructuring by raising of bonds with sovereign guarantee, reducing employee costs, monetisation of assets and in-principle appr

Modi wave, it seems, shows no signs of stopping

The voters’ trust in Brand Modi is not a short-term affair – if anything, it is only increasing, or so it seems going by the numbers exit polls have given after the Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections. Predictions from three TV channels differ widely but each has the BJP/NDA in the top p

All you wanted to know about Maharashtra, Haryana elections

Fact Sheet: Maharashtra assembly elections * Date of polling: 21 October * Date of counting 24 October * Assembly Constituencies: 288 * 2014 results: The BJP contested 260 states, and won 122, with a voting percentage of

Manmohan Singh favours ‘time-tested measures’ for economy

The much hyped ‘double engine’ model of governance on which the BJP is seeking votes has utterly failed, and Mumbai and Maharashtra have had to face some of the worst effects of economic slowdown, former prime minister Manmohan Singh has said. A lot of problems facing Maharashtra

“If the oppn is weak you can’t blame the govt for that”

A three-term Rajya Sabha member, Sanjay Raut is the Shiv Sena spokesperson and its voice in parliament. He is also the executive editor of Marathi newspaper Samana, started by Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray. Raut spoke with Geetanjali Minhas on his party’s seat-sharing agreement

Ashish Shelar of BJP says, “We are very confident of victory”

Ashish Shelar, 47, was the president of the Mumbai city unit of the BJP, before he became the minister of school education, sports and youth welfare in the Maharashta government this year. He has represented the Vandre West constituency in the state assembly and seeking re-election. In a chat with



Archives

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter