Workplace Tactics: Tackling AI Anxiety for Employee Wellness

Key points:

  • Employees’ anxiety over job loss due to AI needs to be addressed by employers with proactive communication about AI plans and how they will impact the workplace.
  • Training employees on how to use AI tools and involving them in planning helps alleviate fear, stress and uncertainty over AI.
  • AI-powered tools can be beneficial for monitoring and improving employees’ mental health.

A recent American Psychological Association survey indicates that almost two in every five workers are worried about job loss due to AI, and they had a higher likelihood of experiencing mental health issues linked to negative work experiences. These effects were seen more among vulnerable workers. Employers subsequently need to proactively communicate their AI strategies and what this advancement means for their workers. The proper use of AI tools can actually enhance jobs, making them more engaging and enjoyable.

Consequently, organizations need to create awareness about their AI plans and clarify how they intend to use this technology in their operations. According to a survey by UKG, over half (54%) of the workforce does not know how their company is using AI, while about 78% of company leaders revealed that their organizations are utilizing AI. However, this technology should not be feared; there are numerous applications that can have a minimal or positive impact on employees. 74% of employees would be more excited about AI if there is more company transparency.

Firms should also consider training their employees on how to use AI tools effectively. A recent OECD report indicates that training and consulting with workers can lead to better outcomes in the company.

Furthermore, AI can play a key role in enhancing mental health in the workplace. AI-powered assistants can communicate with employees, detect any signs of mental health distress and recommend potential resources while ensuring confidentiality. Access to resources on mental health education, such as the significance of managing mental health or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques can be facilitated by AI platforms.

To preserve trust, well-being, and retention, it is important for organizations to consider mental health when planning for new AI tools and utilise a strategy that emphasises communication, training, and prioritising mental health. With this approach, AI can effectively complement the workforce and the future of work as a whole.