4 Steps to Address No-Shows Because Employees Didn’t See the Schedule

November 4, 2020 | 1,034 views

4 Steps to Address No-Shows Because Employees Didn’t See the Schedule
4 Steps to Address No-Shows Because Employees Didn’t See the Schedule

We all know what it’s like when an employee does not show up for work unexpectedly. It can make a shift disproportionately difficult for others on the team who take up the slack. A restaurant that is down one cook or server means that everyone works harder, often with poor results and high frustration levels.

Before reprimanding an employee, first understand what is going on to prevent future absences. Ask questions before assuming anything, no matter how frustrated you feel. An employee might have an excellent reason for not showing up to work. There could have been a true family emergency or an unusual situation that left them stranded without a way to communicate. Everyone on the team will understand that anomaly (as long as it is a rare occurrence).

We’ve all forgotten a shift or overslept, yet these cannot be recurring errors. A candid conversation about the person’s importance and role on the team will emphasize your expectations and the organization’s need for them to be at work on time, ready to go. In addition to affirming their importance, clearly define consequences without being dictatorial. An employee needs to understand what will happen if they oversleep again. It’s not about punitive actions, however, it’s about keeping employees working smoothly together. After a calm and frank conversation, an employee can then do what is needed going forward.

But what if the employee says he didn’t know he was supposed to work because he didn’t see the schedule? This reason is something that employers must manage with simple, strict, and clear procedures:

  1. Plan Ahead. Many states require that schedules be available to employees two weeks in advance. This is more difficult when staffing levels change unexpectedly, but most businesses know which days demand higher levels of staff. It is a manager’s responsibility to schedule well enough in advance to ensure optimum coverage.
  2. Ask for Input. If you can modify schedules to satisfy their preferences, employees are much less likely to miss a shift. If an afternoon schedule is not desirable for someone who must pick up children at school, you shouldn’t be surprised when that employee is late if you do it anyway. Work with employees to find a satisfactory balance between shifts and personal needs.
  3. Utilize Scheduling Software. Manually producing schedules is time consuming and rife with errors. Scheduling software will help prevent errors such as overtime or double shifts. It can also add specificity for certain skill sets to ensure that you always have a fully staffed team to meet demands. Some software sends schedules to any mobile device that the employee chooses. It can even send reminders as well as any changes that could result in a no-show.
  4. Ask for Acknowledgement. Employees should acknowledge all schedules and changes within a specified timeframe. With this safeguard in place, a manager will know when a particular employee has not seen the posted schedule. It might not eliminate the problem of a no-show, but it does allow a manager time to make necessary adjustments to keep things running smoothly.

Employee no-shows are disruptive to any business, so eliminate the problem with open conversations, cooperative scheduling, and software and procedures that streamline scheduling. Employees should never be able to say that they didn’t see the schedule.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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