Indian garment companies often hire rural women, and their relocation from villages to cities is a significant transition for the workers and the company.
As people migrate from rural to urban areas in 'search of a better life', it is crucial to understand what role firms can play in ensuring that this migration experience is as pleasant as possible for their workers.
Given the obstacles faced by migrants to assimilate life in cities, it becomes crucial to understand the role firms can play in ensuring they are happy with their living conditions.
We divided the hostel takeover into two phases. In phase 1, hostels of 10 factory units were randomly allocated to 'treatment' (take over), while those of the other 9 units were assigned 'control' (delayed takeover i.e. takeover in phase two which was around five months after phase 1). This resulted in around 50 hostels becoming a part of the treatment, and 30 becoming a part of control.. To understand the imapct of the takeover, we looked at administrative data, extensive worker surveys, and independent ennumerator evaluations. We also looked at a sample of over 200 new joiners i.e. workers who joined after the takeover during phase 1, but before phase 2 began, to see how important setting of expectations is in cases like this. In theory these new joiners received the same treatment, the only distinguishing factor beingthe difference in expectation setting. Over 2,200 workers were randomly chosen to be a part of our worker surveys.
We found that:
Training workers with soft skills like time and stress management, problem solving, communication and teamwork can have big impacts on the productivity of workers and company profits, says a University of Michigan researcher Achyuta Adhvaryu, assistant professor of business economics and public policy at Michigan's Ross School of Business.
"Our goal with starting a foundation is to study interventions that have the potential to impact worker welfare while also promoting the growth of firms," Adhvaryu said in a statement. "We incubate new ideas and serve as a platform to disseminate findings from our research."
In an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld, the three co-founders of Good Business Lab, Achyuta Adhvaryu: Assistant Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, University of Michigan, Anant Nyshadham: Assistant Professor of Economics, Boston College and Anant Ahuja: Head of Organizational Development, Shahi Exports discuss the research of Good Business Lab and why it is wise for firms to invest in its workers’ welfare.