Soft Skills Training for Line Managers

S.T.I.T.C.H. (Supervisors' Transformation Into Change Holders) is a soft-skills training for line supervisors on factory floors. It addresses issues of abuse and harassment and team productivity to improve workplace outcomes and the general work environment.

  • The content of the training was drawn from an extensive survey of the managerial practices at Shahi.
  • Using econometric methods, we identified aspects of managerial quality which are the most important determinants of productivity.
  • The experiment covers 2002 supervisors - 1039 receiving the treatment and 963 part of the control group, receiving the treatment in the second phase.

Department for International Development, UK Government | Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) | Boston College | University of Michigan | University of Maryland | Boston College | University of Michigan | Shahi Exports | Options and Solutions







In a high-intensity work environment like that of garment production, problems of psychological, verbal, and physical abuse are common. This negatively impacts workers’ psychological well being inside and outside the workplace. 1. To address this challenge, Shahi Exports, and Options and Solutions has designed a soft skills training program called S.T.I.T.C.H. (Supervisors Transformation into Change Holders) for production line supervisors (factory floor managers supervising the work of front-line machine operators and helpers). 2. The course content was optimized on the basis of the most important aspects of managerial quality identified by GBL research. 3. We are evaluating impacts of the training on changes in the overall work environment for workers (harassment and abuse), retention, attendance, and productivity. 4. Cognizant of the need for a holistic approach to transform the work environment on the production floor, we intend to develop a training module for the upper managers on the factory floor as well.


  • To optimize the content of the training, we first conducted an extensive survey of the managerial practices and styles, workplace behaviors, and personality characteristics of all supervisors at Shahi.
  • We then matched this with historical data on productivity, and by using frontier econometric methods identified which aspects of managerial quality are the most important determinants of productivity.
  • We were also able to understand which of these qualities were most deficient across all supervisors, in order to design the modules such that they can tackle these deficiencies.
  • The experiment covers a total of 2002 workers, wherein 1039 are receiving the treatment and 963 are part of the control group, which will receive the treatment in the second phase.
  • The program is being delivered by STITCH-certified trainers, through weekly one-hour group sessions at the factory, over a period of 25 weeks.

Media Mentions

Job growth in India: Development means creating good jobs

By Financial Express / 21-Mar-2018

Job growth in India that accompanies output growth is anemic, although not absent. We need to focus on the process of creating jobs in which workers are more productive.

Role of private sector in the holistic skilling of India’s workforce

By Ideas For India / 14-Mar-2018

Businesses in developing countries are characterized by low labour productivity. This suppressed productivity is reflected in the remuneration workers receive.

New foundation promotes soft skills for workers in India

By Michigan News / 21-Mar-2018

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.

Good Business Lab: New foundation promotes soft skills for workers in garment sector

By The Economic Times / 31-Mar-2018

"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."

Investing in Worker Welfare Increases Welfare and Firm Productivity: Good Business Lab

By BusinessWorld / 11-Jan-2018

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.