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Apr 06, 2023

10 Simple Ways to Reduce Employee No Call No Shows

Having team members out is to be expected, but giving you zero advance notice is not. It’s time to tackle no call no shows once and for all.

Is your company noticing a higher rate of no call no shows lately? Don’t worry—you’re not alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average absence rate in America is 3.6%.1 On top of that, in 2022, there were over 2 million Google searches for "excuses to miss work." That's up from around 300,000 in 2018.2 Now, of course, you’re going to have absent employees sometimes, but employees who don’t call out ahead of time can cause your company’s productivity and employee morale to go down.

No call no shows can really throw a wrench in your workflow. And whatever term your company uses for it—employees not showing up for work and not telling you about it is a problem. Let’s dig into how to handle this kind of absenteeism with 10 ways to reduce no shows at your company.

What is a no call no show at work?

A no call no show happens when an employee is late or absent from work and does not communicate that to a supervisor or manager. That’s right, a no call no show is pretty straightforward.

Just like it sounds—an employee is out and never gave other employees or you a heads up about it. We’re guessing this has probably happened to you before. While you can’t expect every team member to show up for work 100% of the time, that doesn’t mean that you have to sit by and let absenteeism happen without taking any disciplinary action.

Does my company need a no call no show policy?

In a word—absolutely. Every company should have a no call no show policy worked into their standard employee attendance policy template. If you don’t, you’ll leave yourself open to employee complaints and even potential legal issues if you try to enforce “rules” with no official policy in place.

Creating a no show no call policy is easy and should be added as a subsection within your attendance policy in your company employee handbook. Be sure to take this simple step in order to protect your company and your team.

How to Address No Call No Shows

At every company, the process of how to deal with no call no shows will look different. But in general, here are five easy steps you can follow to deal with no call no shows at your company.

1. Talk with your employee.

When the employee returns to work, schedule a meeting with them right away. Don’t delay and kick the problem further down the road. Take the time to talk with your employee ASAP.

2. Find out what happened.

Here’s where you need to gather all the details first-hand from your employee. You might have jumped to the conclusion that they just overslept when they didn’t show up, when they were really taking care of a family medical emergency first. You’ll never know until you ask the employee exactly why they didn’t show up for work.

3. Follow your no call no show policy.

Once you have a clear sense of what happened, you can follow your company no call no show policy (now that you have all the details). If it’s a first offense, you might just need to give a verbal warning or written warning to your employee. But if this has happened before, you’ll likely need to issue some consequences to your employee.

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4. Communicate consequences.

Whatever you do, be sure your disciplinary actions line up with the no call no show policy in your company handbook (told you you’d want to have this). With a clear no show no call policy in place, you won’t have to wonder what consequences to give, because they will be laid out clearly for you already.

Be sure you follow everything fairly across the board to each employee. Never show favoritism to one employee over another. If you follow the company policy the same way every time, you’ll never have to worry about it.

5. Set future expectations.

Don’t forget to clearly set attendance rules, policy rules and expectations for the future here too. Depending on how many times the employee has done this before will impact this.

If this is their third offense in the last six months and the fourth offense equals a termination letter, be upfront and clearly communicate that. The last thing you want is for your team member to walk away without realizing how serious the next set of consequences will be if they don’t change their behavior.

10 Ways to Reduce Employee No Call No Show

So how can you cut back on no call no shows from happening in the future? It might sound like a nice fairytale, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The truth is, there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure that your team lets you know when they’ll be absent. Here are 10 practical tips to reduce no call no shows from happening at your company.

1. Have a Clear Attendance Policy

Yeah, we probably sound like a broken record at this point, but we can’t stress this one enough. Having a clear policy when it comes to no show no calls will let your team know exactly what will happen if they skip work (and don't tell their supervisor about it). This policy is the foundation you need to help reduce no call no shows from happening at your company.

2. Improve Open Communication

Your leaders and managers should constantly prioritize having open communication with their direct reports. When management and their team can trust one another, it makes for a better working environment and boosts morale within the team.

And here’s a bonus: If there is trust, all your employees will be more likely to notify you if they can’t make it to work that day. So focus on developing trust and mutual respect with each of your direct reports—the benefits are well worth it.

3. Make Sure Every Employee Knows Their Shift

This one might sound silly, but you’d be surprised how many employees get their shift schedule confused sometimes—especially if they are working constantly changing shifts. Two great ways to keep your team on the same page? Use an online shift schedule that employees can view anytime and message your team if their schedule changes.

4. Encourage Your Team to Use PTO

Paid vacation time is there for a reason. Whether your employees are taking a week-long vacation to the beach or just need a mental health day, paid time off is there when they need it. Encourage existing employees on your team not to let too much time build up before they take a break. After all, you don’t want a bunch of overworked employees on your hands.

5. Support Employee Wellness and Mental Health to Avoid Burnout

Employee burnout has become an ongoing workplace issue, especially in the years since the pandemic, with 52% of employees saying they feel burned out.3 With employee burnout rates so high, employers should be doing everything they can to support their team with wellness and mental health benefits.

And guess what? That effort goes a long way. In fact, 91% of employees believe a company’s culture should support mental health.4 By supporting your human resources team to take action against employee burnout, you could reduce no call no show rates and retention rates overall.

6. Boost Employee Engagement

Did you know employees who are more engaged at work are less likely to be absent? It’s true, a high level of employee engagement can reduce employee's absence and absenteeism costs by as much as 81%.5 So ask yourself what your company can do to increase employee engagement? It could be as simple as taking the time to send out engagement surveys to help employees make their voices heard, or as involved as starting special interest groups for your team to connect.

Engagement Survey

7. Create a Healthy Company Culture

When you have a solid company culture, your team will be more likely to show up to work. Why? Because it’s a place they actually enjoy being at. Now, it goes without saying that you could have a great company culture and still end up with no call no shows. But you should still work toward creating an excellent company culture your team wants to be a part of.

8. Be Consistent with Policy

Wherever you land with your no call no show absence policy, be sure that it is applied fairly across the board to every employee. The last thing you want is claims that you are being unfair or singling out employees. When your team sees that the rules apply to employees equally to everyone, they will be more likely to take your policy seriously.

9. Consider Flexible Schedules

Having no call no shows can be a sign that your employees might need more flexibility when it comes to their schedules. For some companies, that might mean offering remote or hybrid working situations. And for other companies, that could mean offering flexible working hours that support a better work-life balance.

10. Don’t Make Calling Out Complicated

If your company’s call out process is complicated and requires a lot of effort, be prepared for plenty of no shows and no calls when it comes to absent team members. If an absent employee is sick or can’t make it in at a moment’s notice, odds are they don’t want to fill out five pages of paperwork and call two different supervisors at 5:00 a.m. Truth is, they’d probably rather take the write-up than go through your 12-step call out process.

Make it easier on everybody with a simple, straightforward, easy to remember call out process. The simplest way to do it? Use text messages to call out. It removes the friction for them and means you’ll get fewer no shows.

Let Your Employees Call Out with Text

If you really want to reduce no call no shows, it’s time to make it simpler for your team when they need to call out for the day. Absence management can be complicated, but TeamSense makes it simple.

With text messages, your team can easily communicate their absence—no technology gaps or fancy apps needed. Get started with the only absence management solution you need. It’s time to cut back on no call no shows and make it easier than ever for your team to keep you in the loop.

Out With The Apps In With Text

TeamSense provides an attendance management and communication method that your hourly employees don't mind and supervisors love. See how text unites everyone on your production floor and those off of it.

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