It’s a partnership more than a year in the making, said Graham Dodge, announcing Sickweather’s deal to help a leading employee benefits company predict workers’ sick days.
The Kansas City-based startup is piloting a program among the more than 10,000 employees at Unum Group to give managers more data and insights to plan for absenteeism.
“We believe illness tracking can be a game-changer for companies looking to get a better handle on employees missing work because of sickness.” said Dodge, CEO of Sickweather. “The partnership with Unum provides the perfect platform to better understand how improved absenteeism management can reduce overtime costs and minimize gaps in service delivery.”
The annual direct costs associated with influenza in the United States are an estimated $6.4 billion, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That impacts employers with 17 million lost workdays because the flu and an estimated $7 billion in sick days and lost productivity, Sickweather said in a press release.
Sickweather is the world’s first real-time map of sickness and the largest crowdsourcing community of its kind — processing millions of illness reports each month. The company has been recognized for accurately forecasting outbreaks up to 15 weeks in advance.
Click here to read about Sickweather’s predictions for Kansas City’s flu season.
The concept of using illness prediction technology for staffing is novel and has the potential to provide financial benefits for companies with large employee populations, especially for shift-based roles, Dodge said in the release. With employees being one of the largest expenditures for many companies, even a small improvement in staffing efficiency can affect financials significantly, he said.
“The benefit of this integration is removing some of the guesswork to ensure a workplace is staffed as efficiently as possible every day.” said Susan Stowell, assistant vice president, Workforce Solutions Group and Healthcare Segment Leader at Unum. “Managers and HR departments now have more insight into when unplanned absences may occur, so staffing modifications can be made in advance.”
Click here to read about Sickweather’s recent partnership with Mycroft to introduce cough detection sensors in Kansas City.