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How investment in tech and AI is supporting wellbeing

HR professionals across the UK reveal priority shift with hopes an investment surge in HR technology will bolster employee wellbeing initiatives. Practitioners are looking towards AI-powered tools and other innovative HR solutions to offer personalised support, helping employees manage stress and provide readily accessible mental health resources. This is according to research commissioned by the organisers of HR Technologies UK, the country’s meeting place for HR and recruitment professionals.

A HR professionals across the UK reveal priority shift with hopes an investment surge in HR technology will bolster employee wellbeing initiatives. Practitioners are looking towards AI-powered tools and other innovative HR solutions to offer personalised support, helping employees manage stress and provide readily accessible mental health resources. This is according to research*.

A survey of over 1,000 UK-based HR practitioners has indicated a noteworthy shift, with over half (68%) acknowledging the pivotal role HR technology plays in enhancing employee wellbeing, advocating for the value of tech-driven intervention. The positive ripple effect of prioritising a satisfied workforce is demonstrated within the survey results, with an overwhelming majority (93.71%) reporting a tangible link between technology adoption and improved employee engagement and retention.

The increased focus on employee wellbeing comes as HR practitioners report significant growth in investment, with 56% reporting to have invested at least £50,000 in HR technology in 2023. This investment reflects a growing awareness of the positive impact technology can have on employee engagement, retention, and overall well-being. Looking ahead, 37% of respondents anticipate their investment in HR technology to increase by 20% or more over the next five years.

However, employee retention, hybrid work management, and staff wellbeing remain the biggest challenges for HR professionals. To tackle these complex issues, survey participants identified HR information systems, performance analytics, and employee engagement platforms as the most beneficial technologies. This highlights the growing demand for solutions that offer personalised support, address mental health needs, and foster a more connected and engaged workforce.

Emerging technologies show even greater promise in addressing these needs. AI-powered chatbots, and virtual assistants have been touted as a potential solution, offering round-the-clock mental health support – the research highlights that over a fifth (22%) of HR practitioners believe AI will be important in this area in 2024. Automated technology is also helping HR professionals to manage and improve employee satisfaction, with rewards automatically gifted when certain milestones are met, designed to improve productivity and fulfilment.

In support of greater investment in wellbeing tools is Paige Bennett, Director Experiential Marketing at Awardco, who states: “At Awardco, we are thrilled to witness the growing trend of businesses recognising the paramount importance of investing in HR technology to enhance employee wellbeing. Our commitment to fostering a positive workplace culture aligns seamlessly with the surge in organisations prioritizing the holistic health and happiness of their workforce. The results of this survey underscore the pivotal role HR technology plays in shaping a thriving and resilient workplace. As a leader in this space, we remain dedicated to providing innovative solutions that empower organisations to prioritize their most valuable asset – their people.”

Commenting on the findings, Nicki Morris, Group Exhibition Director at HR Technologies UK, said: “These findings showcase a significant shift in how businesses approach employee wellbeing. They recognise the power of HR technology to personalise support, address mental health needs, and foster a more engaged and productive workforce.”

*Research commissioned by HR Technologies UK

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