How AI Can Help Promote Employee Mental Health

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Priyanka Prashob
Priyanka Prashob is an organizational psychologist with 6+ years of experience in the field of Content and Psychology. She is a passionate writer and has authored 2 books. She has designed content for corporate training programs, worked on organizational behavior reports and numerous individual personality assessment reports. Several research articles written by her are published on platforms like Academia and Research Gate. The articles have gained recognition and appreciation from universities, academicians, and researchers across the world.

As employees navigate uncertainty, manage the blurred lines between home and work, and support new workplace requirements – more and more employees are falling victim to burnout, stress, and anxiety. Mental health indeed has reached a tipping point today. Several studies done on employee well-being suggests that employee mental health needs to be the top priority for HR and the organizations they support. Fortunately, HR leaders across are stepping up to help and promote employee mental health. So, what types of support are your employees asking for or expecting? Want to know how your peers are addressing employee mental health?

The answer is AI. HR leaders today are turning to technology, like AI for help. The good news is, employees are already accepting AI as an important tool for their work-life balance and mental health support. So, are you meeting their needs as the nature of work adapts and evolves?

To help you on this journey, we have explained how AI can help promote employee mental health.

Here are some ways AI is helping HR promote employee mental health 

1. AI-powered support through bots

Today AI technology with the employee-related insights it is gathering from different sources is helping HR address employee concerns and promote their well-being. In other words, AI today is making an effort to understand the pulse of the people depending on the data it collects and align the appropriate resources to support people in distress. For instance, HR today is using bots to ‘check’ on employee health and wellbeing and align resources that could help them.

Not just that, AI is also helping HR prevent employee burnout. Did you know? Today, due to workload burnout and pandemic-induced stress – 1 in 4 women are looking to quit their jobs or downsize their roles in order to take care of their families. Fortunately AI technology can ensure that your employees are not burning themselves out unnecessarily. It is doing so by keeping a tab on them, advising them when to take breaks, and restricting excessive access to business systems outside of contracted hours except for special cases. And this of course requires them to log in and submit a request as to why they need access at that hour. 

2. Virtual counseling sessions

There is much research underway into how you can use AI technology to detect and diagnose mental health conditions, and this has potential within the workplace, too. For now, HR is resorting to virtual counseling to address mental wellness issues rising from isolated working and living. Unfortunately, there is a lot of stigma surrounding counseling even today. So, as leaders, it’s important to create awareness and remove this stigma and encourage the consumption of such tools.

Very soon, AI systems will be able to monitor an employee’s enunciation of words and tone of voice for stress. Also, it could detect linguistic cues that might predict depression, analyze irregularities in heart rate, keep a check on the typing speed, or detect a slowdown in productive output. Thereby, keeping the HR informed of warning signals that demand their attention – so that they can extend their timely support. 

Also, smartwatches or biometric data that captures facial expression, for instance, could also aid real-time detection of mental health issues. With this information, you can assign tasks depending on an individual’s stress levels and be able to offer the assistance they need.

3. Health and fitness needs

Today, digital therapeutics is growing and has gained prominence. Online consultations/virtual healthcare services are helping employees cope through extended hours of work and other stress/concerns that are taking a toll on their health. Many organizations are even organizing virtual yoga or light exercise sessions for employees and their families with a vision to promote employee mental health.

4. Virtual meetings and get-togethers

‘Connection’ is a basic human need. We are social animals after all. Though pandemic has separated us physically, technology has helped us come together virtually. As per a recent KPMG research, one of the top ways companies supported employee wellness was through HR e-connect and Leadership calls/connects. 

Therefore, various communication, collaboration, and video conferencing tools have helped all of us remain sane in these difficult times by giving us the opportunity to connect with our friends, family, and peers. Digital town halls and team-bonding catch-up have enabled candid conversations and increased a sense of belonging and inclusion. 

Wrapping up

Your organizational health depends on your employee wellness. The actions you take or fail to take now will determine your organization’s future resiliency and survival per se. Because wellbeing is a strong engagement and retention tool for modern-day employees. And this is where AI can help you maintain that balance and promote employee mental health. AI is not here to take anybody’s job. But is here to only simplify that job for you and help you to do it more efficiently. AI tools with their machine learning models can:

  • Automate your workplace tasks,
  • Identify stress and burnout among workers, and
  • Even offer therapeutic services to relieve stress and promote employee mental health

And if leveraged correctly, AI will not only prevent workplace stress but will also boost employee productivity.

Also read: How AI is Revolutionizing HR Functions Today?

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