Combating Burnout with Technology: Using AI to Promote Employee Well-Being

Learn how AI can help leaders prevent burnout, build their ideal company culture, and acknowledge potential pitfalls with implementing AI in the workplace.

a woman and man using technology to make work easier.

If you asked, all businesses would say they want to prioritize employee well-being and a supportive work environment. However, employee burnout is just one of the many issues that prevent people from feeling valued and thriving.

With the increasing availability of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, we have new, powerful tools to address this problem and enhance the overall employee experience to scale. Organizations that adopt leading technology early on will see a more energized and fulfilled workforce.

Let’s explore how AI can help leaders prevent burnout, build their ideal company culture, and acknowledge potential pitfalls and concerns associated with implementing AI in the workplace.

Importance of Prioritizing Employee Well-Being

Modern leaders acknowledge that prioritizing employee well-being has significant benefits for both workers and the business, including increasing productivity and lowering turnover rates. When employees feel supported and valued, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated, which is great for them and the company.

In a recent interview with Wagner Denuzzo, an executive coach and future-of-work expert, he says, “Don’t underestimate the intelligence of your people.” Denuzzo also gives organizations a deadline of three years to convince new hires to stick with the company.

Your people will know when you don’t have their best interests in mind, and they will leave, costing you time and resources. Investing in their well-being and their growth is investing in the future success of the organization.

Understanding Burnout and Its Impact on Teams

Burnout is not just a corporate buzzword, with the World Health Organization (WHO) updating its definition to be a syndrome and occupational phenomenon. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that is caused by prolonged periods of stress. It is a problem that affects many workers, and it can have a significant impact on teams and businesses as a whole. What’s more, 53 percent of high performers who keep the gears of an organization running report that they suffer from burnout.

Some common signs of burnout include fatigue, irritability, decreased productivity, and a lack of motivation. If left unchecked, burnout can lead to serious issues, including depression and anxiety.

Employee burnout doesn’t just affect individuals—it also can have a ripple effect on entire teams, leading to decreased morale, absenteeism, and eroding trust and camaraderie between colleagues if not addressed correctly.

How AI Technology Can Help Combat Burnout

Burnout is an issue that must be detected and addressed before it reaches a critical stage. Managers and supervisors are responsible for identifying signs and symptoms of burnout and intervening before it hits the tipping point. For large teams, this can be a daunting task.

AI technology now can be used to monitor employee stress levels and provide personalized support to employees who may be at risk of burnout. For example, AI-powered chatbots provide employees with real-time and personalized support based on work hours and stress levels.

AI technology also can be used to identify potential burnout risks before they become a problem. By analyzing business conversations, AI can flag teams with an increased risk of burnout. This information then can be used to provide targeted support.

But to address burnout in the long term, companies must prioritize their employees’ experience and foster a work environment where individuals can thrive. With the help of AI technology, HR teams and people leaders now can gain valuable insights into the employee experience and identify areas that require attention. AI-powered tools can suggest targeted actions to improve employee well-being and monitor the effectiveness of well-being programs by collecting data on engagement, participation rates, and outcomes. This data then can be analyzed to help companies fine-tune their well-being programs to meet the needs of their employees better and achieve their desired outcomes.

Challenges and Considerations when Implementing AI

With trust being an extremely important element in every successful organization, leaders need to ensure that AI is transparent and respects employee privacy and autonomy.

While AI can provide valuable insights, it is only as effective as the data it analyzes. Ensuring that the data is accurate, relevant, and inclusive is essential to produce the most meaningful results. Even more importantly, this data must be kept anonymous and aggregated to protect employees.

Another crucial aspect to consider is the need for human oversight. While AI can effectively monitor stress levels and provide support, it is crucial to acknowledge that social support from humans is a powerful deterrent to burnout. AI should be used to enhance and empower human empathy and interaction rather than replace it.

Ultimately, the responsible and ethical use of AI in promoting employee well-being requires a people-first approach, focusing on building a supportive work environment that values its employees’ mental and physical health.

Future of AI and Employee Well-being

AI has the potential to revolutionize how we support employees. By analyzing real-time data, we can better understand and address their needs, ultimately making us more effective at promoting well-being in the workplace.

Like all powerful tools, with AI comes great responsibility. As we integrate AI into the workplace, we must ensure that proper safeguards are in place to protect employee privacy and autonomy, and that the limitations of AI are communicated.

At the same time, we need to have honest conversations about the potential drawbacks and limitations of AI and work together to create people-first solutions that prioritize the well-being of employees above all else.

Teams such as Erudit are committed to this mission. By working together, we can create a future with AI where each employee is happy and thriving at work.

Alejandro Agenjo
Alejandro Agenjo is a Madrid-born engineer, psychologist, and entrepreneur whose passion is understanding people and improving communities and their systems. He was named one of the top social entrepreneurs in 2019 for his ed-tech startup seeking to detect students’ strengths and learning styles to improve learning and future opportunities. Today, he’s the co-founder and CEO of Erudit, an AI SaaS empowering executives with real-time workforce insights to drive better decisions and build healthier work communities.