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The rise of humans: How can artificial intelligence improve employee wellbeing?

Pressure in the workplace and an ‘always on’ culture is causing a global crisis around mental health. But a new technology, Glooo, is using natural language to support the work of HR departments, recognising emotional stress in staff before it’s too late.

You might offer your employees gym membership. You may provide them with fresh fruit and free coffee. No doubt you give them opportunities to learn, chances to feel challenged, work that enthuses and excites them. But sometimes, a seemingly perfect package still can’t satisfy. More often than not, music, MacBooks and freeform furniture aren’t enough.

Today, we face a global crisis; one rarely discussed, but widely felt. Approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem. 39 per cent of staff report feeling under excessive pressure at least once or twice a week. The most common cause of long-term absence is stress.

This crisis is even more scarcely documented in marketing and advertising. Though many may argue that the fast-paced nature of our jobs inherently generates the strain we often find ourselves under, it is this strain that can lead to serious issues with devastating consequences, such as anxiety, sleep disorders, mental and physical illness.

The proof? 84 per cent of industry personnel have noticed an increase in the demands placed upon them. 71 per cent of marketers have admitted to feeling burnt out. Meanwhile, 65 per cent in the creative and media sector say they’ve reached points in their career where they’ve felt so stressed, they were unable to cope.

Thanks to our ‘always on’ working lives, a third of marketing, media and public relations practitioners have suffered from, or been diagnosed with, mental ill health.

It’s no wonder that sickness is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars a year – including £6.5bn in the UK alone. And it’s no surprise that, as our businesses get bigger, the opportunity we have to talk to each and every employee becomes smaller. Still, by using the technology now available to us, we can turn things around. We can tackle the tension that’s no doubt affecting you or many of your colleagues. We can begin to fix things with Glooo.

Glooo is the cognitive employee-wellbeing application, taking action by automating that first touch to effortlessly extend the HR function. It uses Volume.XO’s experience and expertise in content creation, digital innovation and employee retention – and IBM Watson’s cognitive technology – to talk to your workforce, spot the signs of sustained low mood, and connect staff with those who can provide early positive intervention.

It starts work when your employees do, asking them how they are and building relationships with your workers by striking up conversations, remembering previous feelings and actions, and adapting to suit each user’s current emotional state. It alerts managers of potentially worrying patterns, or out-of-character behaviour. All in natural language, in an instant… before it’s too late.

Driven by proof that people feel more comfortable talking to a computer, and

developed using a vast and varied selection of IBM Watson APIs – including Natural Language Classifier, Dialog, Emotion Analysis and Sentiment Analysis – Glooo is available at any time, from anywhere, on any device… even when your HR team isn’t around. It’s increasing productivity and improving attitudes, while reducing absenteeism and staff turnover.

It’s the sticky stuff that can support your staff. It’s the rise of AI. It’s the rise of humans.

To get going with Glooo, visit www.volumeglobal.com/xo.

This article was first published in The Drum's AI issue, guest edited using IBM Watson technology.

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