Study using new artificial intelligence reveals that 68% of public sector workers have low wellbeing scores

In tandem with #TimetoTalk day 2020, a new report has been published entitled Brain States: Mental Health and Wellbeing of the Public Sector

The report details the results of a unique pilot study conducted by Wellbeing with Cari in cooperation with The Public Services People Managers Association (PPMA).

14,373 public sector employees, from council and Government organisations across the country, were given access to a confidential online wellbeing consultation with ‘a robot’ called Cari. ‘She’ is a new artificial intelligence (AI), developed in Sussex, that provides personalised wellbeing support, along with invaluable data for senior management teams.

The aims of the study were threefold:

● firstly, to measure the levels of mental wellbeing and resilience in the public sector workplace
● secondly, to test the accuracy of wellbeing consultations using innovative artificial intelligence technology
● thirdly, to understand the performance outcomes and return on investment if public sector funds are used for neuroscience-based wellbeing interventions like Cari.

The results:

● By simply offering the online AI wellbeing consultations, the number of people talking about mental health and wellbeing increased from 11% to 29%
● 92% of people said the AI technology was spot on in assessing their mental wellbeing needs - with many saying it was 'mind blowingly accurate’
● 46% of public sector employees are operating at a low 'reactive level of wellbeing', 22% are damaged or ill and only 32% are presenting as ‘healthy’
● Employees’ brains are functioning at 57% which means problem solving, decision making and co-operative behaviours are seriously compromised

The outcomes and ROI:

● By using AI, the public sector organisations involved in the study achieved a wellbeing and performance boost of 8.2%
● This means a predicted saving on the current costs of poor mental health of £2.1m per year, or £150 per person per month
● Based on Deloitte's original predictions (2017), these results will be boosted even further with the continued use of AI such as Cari. And this extends to driving more ROI from all the organisations’ existing investments in mental health and wellbeing provisions
● In January 2020 Deloitte’s published a report entitled "Mental Health and employers - refreshing the case for investment". It said that a return of over 10 times (£10.80 for every £1 spent) could be achieved (and likely higher), if employers focus on investing in a best practice set of interventions. The interventions bringing the highest ROI are:

✓ preventative
✓ large scale
✓ use technology or diagnostics
✓ provide tailored support to those most in need

With AI we have been able to meet all the Deloitte criteria for achieving these high returns and improving performance in the workplace.

Maria Paviour, Founder of Wellbeing with Cari, said “A number of the councils involved in this study are working extremely hard on their strategies for proactive wellbeing for their people. They want to build resilience into their culture and achieve optimum performance levels. It’s so useful for them to now have the data from Deloitte’s borne out by this specific public sector exercise.

There is a strong business case for investing in new artificial intelligence wellbeing interventions, providing these are being used to enable more human to human connection - not less!  The science shows that we need more personal connections at work in order to be at our peak of health, but if AI can facilitate this, then it may be the answer to our falling levels of mental health in the short and medium term.”

The study included organisations from various locations across the UK, including Berkshire, Greater Manchester and the West Country. Their use of the AI, Cari, also enables them to meet all the HSE guidelines for Management of Stress at Work, as well as meeting core and enhanced Mental Health Standards from the Thriving at Work 2017 Government whitepaper.
The full report detailing results and analysis of public sector wellbeing levels, performance, culture and financials is freely available to download from the Wellbeing with Cari website.

Wellbeing with Cari