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How to Ease AI Anxiety: 10 Steps for Supporting Employees in 2024

10 Actionable steps to reduce employee’s AI anxiety in 2024

AI has become an extensive part of our life. With the rapid use of AI it is both exciting as well as fearful. It will be not an exaggeration to say that it is surely a threat to our civilization.

There is a section of people who says that AI will transform the way we live, walk and interact with each other.  But you cannot deny the fact that AI has become an important aspect of our life and is not going away.

With the growing use of artificial intelligence in business, it is hampering the mental health of various employees. There are a lot of people who are experiencing anxiety and greater fear over their future. As per latest research, the mental health of employees has been impacted. Nearly 38% of the employees think that one day AI might replace them.

As per research, 78% of the total employees thinks that government should intervene to play a bigger role in the regulation of AI. It is quite surprising that employees want to see regulation of AI by the AI developers and the government.

AI indeed is a fear for most of the employees.  Most of the employees trust the technologies associated with AI whereas others have many concerns related to it.  It has various negative consequences such as job displacement, which is making workers quite anxious about fully appreciating this technology. 75% of the employees are concerned about AI.  They think that AI will make their jobs obsolete. 65% of the people says that they are quite anxious about AI replacing their job.

AI is used in the workplace but it is affecting the mental health of its employees. The business leaders must consider the issue related to anxiety, stress and uncertainty caused by the growing fears of AI among employees.  As per a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 2 among 5 workers are worried that AI might take their job.  The workers said that AI is causing a negative impact on their mental health.

 These workers have reported that AI is responsible for the poor mental health, stress, emotional imbalance, low motivation, less productivity and the belief that they are no longer needed by their employer. It Is no matter of surprise that almost half of the total employees are worried about AI to took their job in the coming years.

Companies should communicate about their plans of using AI in the workforce.  More than half of the employees are not aware of the usage of AI in their companies.  While 78% of the leaders says that their company is using AI today.

It should be noted that AI is just an application and it can have a little impact on the employees either it is positive or negative. When the organizational leaders themselves will share these applications, then AI can be considered as less provoking.  It will become quite normal for the employees.  75% of the total employees have said that they are more excited about AI if the company is transparent about its usage.

A latest report say that training and work consultation are needed for better outcomes.  Workers are needed to be trained about the usage of AI tools and they must be engaged in the planning of company.

AI is immensely beneficial in workplace mental wellbeing. There are various AI powered virtual assistants which can communicate with employees and can detect the sign of mental health disorder and suggest potential resources which would be confidential.

AI powered virtual assistant can also help employees to access the resources of mental health. Employees can be educated about the importance of managing mental health or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques.

AI is introduced to ease the technology.  Employees should understand that AI enhances productivity and it has mental health benefits like cognitive reframing for anxiety. Out of 1000 HR leaders, 95% felt that their workload is increased over the last year and 91% of them experience and it has increased their responsibilities.

Nearly 77% of the respondent says that AI has the potential to revert to revolutionise the work process as it reduces the time consumption of task and ultimately ease their work. Risk doesn’t go when the technology is avoided. Employee should understand the potential of AI tools and they should be experimenting with the tools.

There are many companies who want their employees to adopt the AI technology, but plenty of workers thinks that AI will take their job in the coming years.

Business leaders should prioritise the psychological safety of the employees and they should pay their concern on the mental health and impact of AI in their employees. Due to uncertainties raised in the work field, human brain is making judgement about what is safe and what is not.

We have the tendency to underestimate our own ability and overestimate the threat which is coming.  This is the place where the business leader should come ahead and help their employees in navigating where they can apply their best skills and develop new ones simultaneously.

Here are some steps which can help in reduction of anxiety caused by AI

  • Employees should be provided a comprehensive education and training programs by the company about the usage of AI tools. By providing the employees a better understanding of AI technologies their benefits and limitation leaders can address the fear and uncertainty caused due to the use of AI.
  • Leader should create an environment where employees can freely express their concerns about anything. Leader should create an environment where employees can freely express their concerns about anything. With this open communication within the organization, employees will feel comfortable and they will be able to express their concerns related to AI. Hence, leaders can actively listen to their problems fear and anxiety associated with AI and can address the problem with clarity.
  • Leaders can emphasise on the concept of machine and human collaboration. Employees should be assured by their leaders that AI tool is used to enhance skill and productivity of employees it is not to replace them. It will enable the employees to see that AI is just a tool which is needed to improve the workforce and work experience.
  • The fear of job loss, privacy concern, lack of skill discrimination and lack of control is quite common when it comes to the fear of employees. Leaders should reassure its employees about the security of their job that AI is meant to ease their work not to replace them entirely.
  • A clear policy and ethical guidelines should be issued by the company for the use of AI in the workplace.
  • Employees should be offered various skill programs that will uplift they skill and their faith in themselves. They will be able to learn the new updated skill which is required in the age of AI. Thus, the fear and anxiety related to AI tools can be reduced.
  • Leaders should promote inclusion in AI development and deployment and they should focus on diversity. Once the employees will be involved in the implementation of AI systems and its designing then they can provide feedbacks through which leaders can empower employees and help them to feel more in control of AI process.
  • AI can be added into the workforce with the strategy prioritising mental health of the employees, communicates and trains the employees about the usage of various AI tools.

Conclusion: –

In the era of AI, companies are developing various technology that will help the employees to feel more confident.  Company or the organization is responsible to educate and train their employees on the benefits of AI.  Employees should understand that AI is used in the organization not to replace them but to enhance the work potential.

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