Human capital–because we’re worth it…
When I had influenza, I needed a little fresh air so I went out for a while and took this photo of the tree changing colour as autumn passes. I like writing and I like wandering around taking photos, so I’m doing what I like to do.
I also help students a little because they have to write their papers and dissertations and I’m quite good at writing! I like investing on the stock market too, it adds a element of risk to life. The market is down today, but I did reasonable well yesterday so I’ll keep an eye on it today and watch and learn. That’s what my life has always been about, watching and learning, sometimes trying too hard and not really mastering a subject, but at least I try and it makes life interesting.
I helped a student with a HRM (Human Resource Management) paper last week. It was about human capital. We have knowledge, experience and skills and so for an organisation that contributes to their worth. For example a cosmetic surgery clinic might be worth a lot of money, with it’s fine building and latest equipment, but the staff are also part of the assets of the business. It wouldn’t make much money without the surgeons would it? The human capital can be calculated by multiplying the cost of the person (salary) by a value multiplier.
I think there are a lot of people who are worth a lot who aren’t doing much these days. In the example I have just given, the surgeon is very valuable doing his own work, but not so valuable working as a cleaner. That is why cleaners are employed to keep the place and the theatres clean. Value can be collective, for example the surgeon might use his knowledge of bacteriology to advise the cleaner on infection control and prevention.
Lots of disabled people are limited in what they can do, but they still have value and some organisations could use them. There is an army of older people, many of them sitting at home bored, who would like something to do, especially if it meant mixing and communicating with other people. Many older people do voluntary work, but it could be improved and more opportunities could be created.
There has been talk where I live of volunteers running local services like libraries. I don’t think older people will want to work Monday to Friday in the library for no pay. There must be some kind of incentive. It has to be more casual, so people can do a few hours assisting the permanent staff members. Libraries have changed, it’s not just about lending books, but offering computer access and learning now. Many older people might drop in and help when the libraries get the rush of kids in after school.
Hospitals too, might get more volunteers, if they encouraged people more and showed them some respect rather than seeing them as free labour. We have to look at people differently and see their true worth and their true potential. Unemployed people are being treated like slaves and sent for any job whether it’s suitable of not, that just wastes everyone’s time. The government tries to punish non conformity and sets targets to control people’s behaviour. We need to value people and think what they can contribute and use that human capital to the best advantage.
My blog post from Monday was published in my local paper too, so I think I can do things that are quite useful. It seems incredible that when I offer my services in a voluntary capacity, people aren’t very interested. The students I help appreciate me, but most of those are Chinese now. The Chinese are less competitive and consider acting collectively more. Maybe it’s our competitive mind-set in the west that is the problem?
I think I’ll continue to do things I like doing and refuse anything that I don’t want to do. I think I’ll photograph the Halloween events and bonfire events soon and write about them. That will keep me busy!
What do you think? Do we make the most of people’s potential. Are we all worth it or just the privileged few? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.