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

Mumbai Metro: Delay on Tracks

In Mumbai, the ninth most populous and congested city on the planet, high rentals compel citizens to spend five hours on an average travelling to work every day. Mumbai’s Metro Rail System extending towards Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) will not only provide East-West connectivity

Sustainable tourism is responsible tourism

Tourism is a huge part of global culture nowadays and is also one of the biggest sources of revenue across the world. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in 2019, the tourism industry contributed $8.9 trillion or 10.3% to the global GDP. The industry witnessed a massive lull in 2020 d

Fernandes: A Life as Legacy

The Life and Times of George Fernandes By Rahul Ramagundam Penguin/New India Foundation, 624 pages, Rs 799 Amer

India set to enter 5G era

After years of intense preparation, India is about to take the next step in information and communication technology. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch 5G services in India on October 1 and also inaugurate the 6th Edition of India Mobile Congress 2022 to be held till October 4, at Pragati Maidan, Ne

Ram Shravan Manan: A musical venture that leads to self-reflection

There is this popular saying that epics are never told, but always retold. Ramayana is one such epic and needs no introduction. Its plot is grounded in sacrifice and the end brings out hope that the good always wins. But how is a centuries-old tale of the prince of Ayodhya still relevant for today’s

Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana extended for three more months

In pursuance of the pro-people announcement made by the prime minister in 2021 and successful implementation of additional food security under PM Garib Kalyan Ann Yojana, the union cabinet has approved its extension for a further period of three months, from October to December 2022. At a ti

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter