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According to recently published second edition of Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work, burnout might be the next worker pandemic. At Modis, we believe cognitive technologies are an innovative way companies can support physical and mental wellbeing in the new normal.
Feeling the burn
Globally, working hours increased by 14% in the past 12 months, with 63% of survey respondents say they worked 40 hours or more per week in the last 12 months. Driven by feelings of being ‘always-on’ across work and family responsibilities, burnout is a significant cause for concern for almost 4 in 10 workers, with 32% saying their mental health had deteriorated over the last 12 months. More than half of young leaders (54%) have suffered burnout, the same group who shoulder significant responsibility for future progress.
Spotting the signs
67% of non-managers, around the world, say leaders do not meet their expectations for checking in on their mental wellbeing in today’s hybrid world. At the same time, more than half of all managers find it hard to identify when staff might be struggling with mental wellbeing (53%) or overwork and burnout (51%). Burnout does not happen overnight, yet the early warning signs (think: lethargy, cynicism, absenteeism) often go unnoticed in a virtual environment. Managers who miss the daily in-person interactions, facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language struggle to spot looming problems.
Decoding burnout and its predictors
As we move deeper into hybrid working, modern, tech-enabled real-time pulse checks are replacing the lengthy engagement surveys that employers traditionally wheeled out each year. Now, algorithms spread out hundreds of questions around engagement, attitudes, and other key indicators to give leaders comprehensive real-time engagement data on how their teams are doing. Machine learning engines predict risk indicators and point out signs of burnout or attrition. This gives today’s overworked managers smart, actionable, and tailored recommendations to help with specific employee situations. At the same time, conscious monitoring of meta-data (while protecting employee privacy) around activity on corporate email and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams can provide vital clues as to whether employees are at risk of burnout.
Countering compassion fatigue
Cognitive technology can help nurture a more emotionally intelligent and empathetic workplace – while offsetting burnout – by tuning into employees’ behavioral and emotional dynamics. Just as wearable tech is already cutting out dull, repetitive tasks for warehouse associates, intelligent algorithms can deliver in-the-moment coaching, say, in a call center setting, augmenting employees’ natural abilities. On-screen emotional prompts help agents better support customers while protecting against burnout and driving operational value for the organization.
So, how are you doing at increasing visibility into burnout warning indicators?
At Modis, we harness the power of data and machine learning to turn the art of the possible AI experiments into market-ready solutions that deliver tangible ROI for our clients. We can help you drive value out of smart tech and seize the opportunities of this new hybrid working world.