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Colombia’s Feelenials uses AI to understand employee emotions

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

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Contxto – Workplace environments are at an interesting point in history. In a mix of “work hard, play hard” ethos, burnout abounds.

At the same time, organizations are increasingly aware of the importance of the emotional state in relation to employee productivity. As in, happy employees are productive employees.

But unless you’re their psychologist, gaining a genuine glimpse into their emotional state is not easy. In that sense, Colombian Feelenials wants to make a difference. 

By using artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics, this startup is offering technology for businesses to better understand their staff’s emotional state.

Related article: 10 startups giving Brazilians peace of mind

“Great” work environment

Institutions often use internal surveys to get an idea of how staff is faring. Are they happy? Are they mad? Sad? 

As someone who’s filled out these inquiries before, I’d say they aren’t the best tool to know what’s going on within an organization. 

It’s not that you lie on them, but they lack the structuring to actually flesh-out what you’re thinking/feeling. The questions tend to be impersonal and square. Plus, they’re often a pen and paper-type task so it’s limiting just how much you can splurge out.

Not to mention a person’s comfort level when it comes to discussing his or her emotions. 

colombia’s feelenials uses ai to understand employee emotions

These motives help to explain the rise of Feelenials

And while it is in a bootstrapping phase, according to a recent press release, the startup is planning the commercial release of its emotional analytics platform sometime in June.

Related article: Infinity Life Tech from Chile anticipates launching app to measure emotional well-being

AI + emotions = Feelenials

The startup from Bogotá uses machine learning to identify micro-facial expressions, tone of voice, and text analysis to grasp how a person is feeling. And because some have a better poker face than others, it also factors in an individual’s personality.

The data is anonymously gathered among staff to let an organization’s leadership get a picture of their overall well-being. 

This can come in handy for when positive events take place, such as awarding everyone an unexpected bonus. Or when there’s layoffs and most are downtrodden watching their coworkers leave.

Consequently, this tech provides a more tangible measurement of an otherwise qualitative feature (human emotions). The startup also assures that its emotional analytics platform is capable of predicting how the organization’s environment will evolve.

Innovative and neat. Although I think I’d be a bit uncomfortable with an algorithm playing shrink with me by watching and listening to what I say.

That’s also why Feelenials so greatly emphasizes its anonymous use of data. No names, emails, or information of that sort is stored by the startup.

Emotion-detecting AI or not, all businesses should encourage a healthy work environment where staff members are comfortable speaking up, reporting unethical conduct, or proposing ideas.

If they want to simply hand off that task to technology or impersonal surveys, their hellish work environment is their own doing.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Colombia!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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