Two-fifths of UK companies plan to adopt AI to support employees’ mental health

By Kate Norris,
updated on Jan 24, 2024

Two-fifths of UK companies plan to adopt AI to support employees’ mental health

According to new data from Unmind, the burnout crisis sweeping across UK organisations has prompted nearly two-fifths of HR leaders to consider implementing artificial intelligence to address workplace mental wellbeing

A new study by workplace and wellbeing platform Unmind reveals nearly nine out of 10 UK HR leaders intend to implement AI in their organisation to help streamline people management, with two out of five using it primarily to help with workforce mental wellbeing.

The research, based on insights from 2,000 HR leaders across the UK reveals 86% believe AI will be important to the success of workplace mental health strategies by 2030. Organisations have already begun preparing for the implementation of AI to aid in workforce mental health, with one-third of HR leaders reporting that their company has a well-established AI protocol in place, and another 35% stating that they are developing their current approach.

However, 43% of HR leaders are concerned that widespread AI adoption will result in a loss of empathy and human touch, while 38% believe it will cause ethical issues. Despite the concerns, if implemented correctly, an overwhelming 93% believe AI will be critical to the success of HR as a whole by 2030. 

While the benefits of AI in employee wellbeing are clear, it's important to address any data privacy concerns that may arise. Employers must strike a delicate balance between leveraging AI-driven initiatives and protecting personal information in order to create a secure and trusting work environment. 

The burnout epidemic is a key trend identified within the study, with 89% of HR leaders recognising it as a significant issue in many workplaces and 72% citing an increase in mental health-related absences. The findings reveal companies must be prepared to handle the issue, with only 44% reporting that their leadership is fully committed to making wellbeing integral to organisational performance.

Dr Nick Taylor, CEO and Co-Founder of Unmind commented on the findings, emphasising the widespread issue of poor mental health training and management in UK organisations. He highlighted the crucial role of HR leaders in creating environments in which every employee can thrive and the profound potential this new technology has to help employees achieve their goals while cautioning the importance of using AI safely and responsibly.

“There’s a widespread issue in the UK of poor training and management of mental health issues in organisations. Our data shows the extensive consequences.

HR leaders and managers have a key role in tackling burnout and mental health challenges within their organisations. They need to go beyond just fixing issues – they should actively create work environments where every employee can flourish.

The potential for AI is profound. It can offer personalised support 24/7 so that employees can overcome challenges and reach their goals. Managers can use AI for instant guidance and tailored education to build strong, psychologically safe teams. But it’s important to use AI safely and responsibly, and the tools are built by qualified people.

While this technology is in its early stages, its potential for creating more engaged and productive workplaces is evident. The time to get ahead is now.”

Unmind is a workplace mental health platform that enables employees to confidentially track, measure, and understand their mental health while also assisting employers in understanding their workforce's wellbeing.

If you're struggling with your mental health, you may benefit from working with a professional. Visit Counselling Directory to find a therapist online or near you.

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