By Megan Johnson
Mar. 22, 2022
The Society for Human Resource Management reports that unscheduled absences (also known as no call, no shows) cause a 36.6% loss in productivity. This loss in productivity can not only have a big financial impact on the business, but it can also place a strain on other employees. However, continuous employee absenteeism could reveal issues in company policies that are up to leadership to address. While fully preventing 100% of no call, no shows is virtually impossible, employers can use the following tips to reduce employee no call, no shows.
One of the reasons why staff might not show up is that they are not aware of their scheduled shifts. This can either be because of a miscommunication, or they simply forgot. It’s important to give your employees the benefit of the doubt — one-off no call, no shows are not a huge cause for concern. However, continuously missing work without a good excuse is a warning sign of job abandonment.
But it’s still important to make sure all staff are aware of their shifts. This can be done by having a clear schedule, where employees always know which shifts they are working.
Employers should also do the following:
To avoid the typical “he said/she said” excuses from absent employees that might sound like “The manager said I could have today off” or “I didn’t know I was supposed to be working today,” require staff to accept their shifts with management, so there is no confusion. Both staff and management will know who is scheduled to work.
If you have an employee who has a high track record of no call, no shows, this could expose a scheduling issue. Employers should work with employees to address any scheduling problems.
One way to tackle employee scheduling problems is to allow shift replacements via a mobile workforce management app. This is where employees exchange scheduled shifts with managerial approval. Instead of the responsibility of finding a replacement falling squarely on a manager, shift replacement software streamlines the whole process, automatically picking the best fit employees as replacements – all a manager needs to do is approve the swap. Managers can also post open shifts in a centralized location where qualified employees can receive notifications about available shifts.
Presenting employees with flexible shift options like this leads to fewer no call, no shows.
On-call lists should be used as a last resort for last-minute spontaneous absences when there is no time for shift swaps. Make sure that the on-call list is well planned and handled by management to eliminate further confusion.
At the beginning of each week (or whenever you are shift planning), ask employees if they are available to be on an optional on-call list for each day.
Make sure employees know what the on-call list is and how it works. Think of ways to incentivize staff to be on the on-call list. You could offer a few dollars an hour extra for workers working on-call shifts.
Outline a clear procedure for the on-call list. It could look something like this:
Loads of no call, no shows could indicate issues with your employee attendance policy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a service worker in the service industry has an average absence rate of 4.2%.
If your employees have an absence rate higher than this, it’s possible that your employees are not familiar with the attendance and absence policy.
There are a few things to consider:
Absences could also be due to unusual circumstances (medical emergencies, car accidents, etc.), and it’s important that your attendance policy accounts for unexpected occasional absences.
Creating a formal no-show policy that has consequences such as disciplinary actions or written warnings will reduce no call, no shows. When employees realize there are repercussions for their actions, it can make them reconsider their conduct.
However, it’s important that the no-show policy is fair; having a zero-tolerance policy (one strike and you’re out approach) for no call, no shows is ineffective. You might end up risking high-quality employees over one mistake, and it is already challenging to attract quality workers in today’s job market.
Instead, consider an approach like this:
Identifying potential problems and taking actionable, preventative steps will help reduce employee no call, no shows. Workforce.com can assist you with this by optimizing your shift scheduling and timekeeping requirements to best mitigate unforeseen employee absences. Master your attendance and contact us today to reduce the damage no call, no shows can have on your business.
We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.
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