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University of Michigan

How to Create a Good Business

University of Michigan via Coursera


Prioritizing the wellbeing of workers is not just a good - or ethical - thing to do, but because it makes business sense. A happier, healthier workforce is a more productive workforce. A productive workforce is more likely to attend, perform their best work, and add more value to an organization.

Unfortunately, investing in the well-being of workers isn’t so simple.

In this course, you’ll unpack what “worker wellbeing” means across different contexts, explore how to use research techniques to find the sweet spot between worker interests and firm interests, and understand how to design scalable solutions to enable both parties to thrive.

University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business Professor Achyuta Adhvaryu, Ph.D., co-founder of research nonprofit, Good Business Lab, will guide you through the course, and share how research-based interventions can affect worker and business outcomes. Leaders from academia, research, business, and workers themselves, share their perspectives coupled with academic research to help you design a worker wellbeing intervention of your own.

Whether you’re a student interested in social business, an executive exploring ways to support your teams, or just passionate about this space, there is something in this course for you.


  • Is Worker Wellbeing Good Business?
    • Creating a good business involves aligning the priorities of workers with the priorities of management. In this module, we will be joined by leaders from industry, labor, and research, who will share expert insights, and provide real-world context to help us understand the relationship between worker wellbeing and business performance.
  • Impacts of Soft Skill Development on Life and Workplace Outcomes
    • This module will explore how investing in the soft skills of workers can have positive impacts on business outcomes. Covering topics such as self-confidence, effective communication, and wider life-skill development, we will use case studies from blue-collar settings to understand the role of rigorous research in developing soft skill training programs that are effective for workers and scalable for firms.
  • Worker Voice
    • In this module, we will begin by exploring the history of worker voice and the importance of worker–management communication. Using the case study of “Inache” – a worker grievance redressal tool developed by Good Business Lab in partnership with one of India’s largest exporters of ready-made garments – we will go through the end-to-end process of researching worker and business requirements, designing a solution, evaluating the effectiveness of the solution in a real-world pilot study, and then adapting an intervention for implementation at scale.
  • Workplace Environment & Mental Health
    • The mental, physical, and holistic health of workers greatly determines the success of any organization. In this module, we will explore how the workplace environment can influence the wellbeing and productivity of workers. Through multiple research case studies, we will also learn about how firms can improve productivity and retention of their workforce by designing interventions that address health and safety challenges workers face.
  • The Importance of Managers
    • In this module, we will explore the importance of managerial quality on worker wellbeing and business outcomes. We will go through multiple case studies from different industry settings across the globe to explore how managers can be better trained, supported, and utilized, in order to be more effective in their roles and contribute to creating a good business.
  • Worker Wellbeing Plan
    • In this module, you will draw on all the lessons covered in this course to design a program that addresses a real, specific challenge in your workplace. This final assessment will be submitted for peer-review, providing a unique opportunity to connect with your peers in the worker wellbeing and good business community.

Taught by

Achyuta Adhvaryu


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