It should come as no surprise that when the term human capital first appeared in the annals of economic theory some 60 years ago it was characterized as a fungible resource similar to the machinery of what was, after all, a manufacturing based economy. (1) This characterization of human capital changed at the speed of light in the aftermath of the Soviet’s launching of Sputnik in 1957 and President Eisenhower’s determination that the United States to never again lose to another nation in the race for information, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) and soon thereafter, the internet was born. (2) Prior to Sputnik, approximately 40% of the US GDP was derived from the manufacturing sector. (3) From the dawn of the Information Age however, a virtual servicization of the US economy has occurred with 80% of US GDP in 2011 being derived from the service sector. (3) With this transition from a manufacturing to a service economy, the US workforce evolved from one dependent on its brawn to one that is based almost entirely dependent on its brains; consequently the employee health issues that are most likely to impair their work performance hav (5) Mental illness is the single largest contributor to disability on the globe accounting for 33% of the total and the single largest cause of impaired work performance in the United States. (6) While 70 to 90% of people with a mental illness improve significantly with treatment only 1 in 3 workers with mental illness are ever even diagnosed much less effectively treated. (7) What is more is that always preceding a persons first or repeated episode of a full blown mental illness, there is a sub-threshold form of the illness in which functional impairment is the only harbinger of the malady that will soon follow. (8) Organizations that effectively monitor and appraise the performance of their employees as a component of their Balanced Scorecard are in a unique position to leverage these performance metrics in a way that will have an order of magnitude impact on both the health of their workforce and their bottom lines.
Please stay tuned for my upcoming post,
Organizational Health in the 21st Century:
Employee Performance; the New Vital Sign in the New Economy
Until then remain healthy and remain effective.