No Call, No Show: Tips for Salvaging Your Shift

There are several reasons that can make a person decide not to show up for their shift. As a manager, this is infuriating; work doesn’t get done without workers. Still, this doesn’t mean that your entire day or night is unsalvageable. The next time you’re missing an employee and hope to make the best of the situation, keep these tips in mind:

Prioritize Your Tasks

The first thing you should do when someone fails to show up is prioritize the tasks of your entire team. Determine which of the items on your to-do list need to get done today and which ones can be put on the backburner. Don’t feel as though you need to do everything yourself. Make sure to delegate tasks whenever possible or at the very least, assign each of your employees one extra chore.

Call for Backup

If no-shows are a common occurrence in your company, consider offering incentives for employees who can come in on a whim. Whether this is financial (time and a half, for instance) or something else (the opportunity to choose their shifts for a week), put it out there and see who bites.

Be Open With Your Customers

One of the biggest problems with a reduced staff is that customers suffer. This is especially true during busy times – happy hours at restaurants or the holidays at department stores. Some customers will be difficult no matter what you do, but most people are reasonable. Explain to them that you’re short on workers and apologize. It’s much better than leaving your customers waiting without any explanation at all. 

Put Your Own Job on Hold

As a manager, odds are good that you do a lot of your work behind the scenes. You set the schedule, you respond to emails, you deal with vendors and marketing. If you have a no show, however, you might have to give yourself a demotion, if only for the day. Whether this involves manning a cash register, answering phones, or bussing a table, be willing to do whatever it takes to keep things afloat.

On the other hand, doing this too often can cost your company money. An atmosphere that encourages shift sharing and open communication among employees lets you remain at the manager’s desk where you belong.

Rethink Your No-Show Policy

Things out of a person’s control do happen from time to time, but it should be sporadic, not something that you can expect to happen consistently every Friday night. If you have an employee who routinely forgets to show up for a shift, rethink your policy; it may not be clear or strict enough. It’s also important to reinforce the concept of asking coworkers for help. Encourage your staff to get someone to take their shift rather than simply not showing up and leaving you in a bind.

People who don’t show up for work impact a company in a negative way, but instead of mandating steadfast attendance, advocate for courtesy. Ask your workers to get their shifts covered, and sign up for our mailing list to learn how to help your staff find more enjoyment in employment.