Employers invariably ask the key health-investment question: “Why should I invest in the health of my workforce? They don’t stick around long enough for us to get the return on that investment.” This view is usually heard from employers with high turnover rates or those with a relatively young, healthy workforce.

Implicit in this comment are two perspectives: Any investment in health will have a long payback period, and the only thing that is important is saving medical and pharmacy claims costs. However, many of the conditions that drive an employer’s total, bottom-line costs are manageable, even in the short term. Depression, and its many symptoms that create lost time both on and off the job, is an example of a costly condition that new workforce measurement tools can uncover and direct short-term interventions.