Laura Putnam Share why companies are reluctant to invest in AI solutions to solve workplace wellness issues and what to do instead.
With all the hype around artificial intelligence, it’s easy to believe that AI is the panacea for the burgeoning mental health problems in the workplace, such as burnout, depression, and anxiety. While this technology sounds promising, evidence suggests that most AI-based solutions still target individuals and are less helpful than tackling the larger organizational problems currently occurring. increase.
solve the wrong problem
According to recent information, McKinsey Institute for Health Research 2022 Survey Of nearly 15,000 employees in 15 countries, a quarter report symptoms of burnout, despite increasing mental health resources being made available to employees. reason? These programs are solving the wrong problem. Most of the resources provided to employees are often personal interventions. According to leading burnout researchers Michael P. Reiter and Christina Maslach: 6 causes of burnout Nothing to do with individuals, everything has to do with the workplace itself.
Having worked with many organizations, CEOs, and managers to implement workplace well-being strategies, I have found that AI-based solutions do not allow companies to improve workplace well-being, rather than enabling them to check boxes and separate resources. I am concerned that it may give the wrong impression that the use of can improve well-being in the workplace. We are working hard to fix the workplace culture itself. As a McKinsey Institute for Health Research reveals, most employers fail to adopt a systematic approach, and despite increasing investment in mental health care, most employers Little success has been achieved in addressing the problem.Over the years, as their research shows, Gallup surveyit is leaders, especially managers, who have a great influence on culture.
Top leader endorsement can create widespread acceptance of well-being at the organizational level, but it is at the team level that the problem arises. In fact, according to one A study of 19 countries According to research conducted by the ADP Institute, the “culture” that employees experience in the workplace (whether in person or remotely) is primarily experienced within the context of a team. Therefore, all team members ask their direct supervisors for “permission” to actually engage in wellness, and they go along with the signals they send. What this means is that every manager has the opportunity to act as a gatekeeper or multiple to the well-being of their team members. For example, consider the amount of time spent sending emails outside business hours. The more time managers spend sending emails after hours, the more time team members spend as well.a Microsoft Analytics Survey We found that for every hour of after-hours email time a manager spends, an additional 20 minutes of after-hours email time is added to team members.
On the positive side, research shows that in organizations where managers have learned to be happiness multipliers, both participating managers and their team members report greater job engagement, increased happiness, They report increased productivity.
Creating a happier, healthier workplace
AI-based solutions are scalable and can provide employees with greater privacy and anonymity to discuss sensitive topics, but they can also lead to a lack of autonomy, unsustainable workloads, and false values. , or uncooperative managers and leaders, do little to improve workplace organizational issues.The most frequent Central to the culture of burnout.
In addition to this land studies It turns out that most workplace wellness programs don’t achieve their intended goals, with 80% of eligible employees opting out. The reason is that these programs fail to address the root cause of the problem. The root causes of problems are often organizational in nature and rooted in the workplace itself.
Rather than investing in AI solutions to solve workplace well-being issues, companies would be better off taking a serious look at the workplace culture itself. Not only would this be more cost-effective, but the results would be much better, making the workplace happier, healthier and more productive.