World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Human Capital Index 2013, released this week, has revealed that Singapore is the third most successful country and the top most in Asia to nurture and develop its talent. The report was done in collaboration with Mercer Consulting and Harvard University.
Singapore comes close on the heels of Switzerland and Finland, which emerge first and second place respectively in this list. The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, Denmark and Canada correspondingly complete the top 10 list. Japan was the only other Asian country to make it close to the top 10 list, at the 15th place.
The Index, which seeks to identify which countries are most successful at maximizing the economic potential of their human capital and establishing industry-ready workforces, has arrived at this conclusion by consolidating and analysing data from a base of 122 countries. This base represents more than 90% of the world’s population.
“Singapore companies can set the tone by making the work environment healthier and in turn, improve employee morale. For example, the Singapore Health Promotion Board offers a Workplace Health Promotion grant that any small or medium sized Singapore-incorporated company should tap.”
Countries were assessed along four pillars, namely 1) education, 2) health and wellness, 3) workforce and employment and 4) enabling environment. 51 indicators fall under these pillars
According to WEF, the education pillar encompasses aspects such as access, quality and attainment of education across primary to tertiary levels. The health and wellness pillar measures a population’s physical and mental well-being. The workforce and employment pillar quantifies the experience, talent, training and skills mismatches in a country’s working-age population. The enabling environment pillar captures the legal framework, infrastructure and other factors that enable returns on human capital.
Although Singapore scored well across the education, workforce and enabling environment pillars – coming in at 3rd, 2nd and 5th places respectively, its score was not as stellar for the promotion of health and wellness (13) among its workers. According to WEF, this is in part due to the high levels of stress as well as deaths from non-communicable diseases among Singaporeans under the age of 60.
Commenting on the results, Mr. Satish Bakhda, Head of Operations at Singapore company registration specialist Rikvin said, “Singapore companies can set the tone by making the work environment healthier and in turn, improve employee morale. For example, the Singapore Health Promotion Board offers a Workplace Health Promotion grant that any small or medium sized Singapore-incorporated company should tap. The funding, which includes a quantum of S$15,000 ensures that even small firms can roll out health promotion activities. We are optimistic that companies can do better when it comes to the promotion of health in the workplace.”