Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: what to do when an employee is a no call no show.

No Call No Show

Anyone who has worked in the hospitality industry is familiar with a no call no show (NCNS). For those that are new to the term, it’s typically used to describe an employee who does not show up to work and did not notify their employer of their impending absence. Although every single manager has some sort of experience with a NCNS, there are little statistics documenting how often it happens, making them hard to plan for.  

When workers fail to show up to their shift, managers are left tracking down the employee while trying to find alternate coverage. Usually customers are the ones to receive a brunt of the damage if service suffers, leading to issues such as extended wait times, longer ticket times, and spread-thin employees. 

Unfortunately, no call no shows are becoming increasingly common during the interview process as well. Some businesses have turned to scheduling more candidates during allotted interview times to account for those who won’t show up.  

There are a variety of occurrences where a NCNS can happen, but the reasons behind doing it are usually similar; disregard for employment, the worker has another job, there are lack of communication options, or an emergency came up. Besides the latter, no call no shows can often be avoided. 

There are a few ways to help avoid employees from committing a NCNS; one of those is by having a clear line of communication where workers can contact management. Depending on the business, it’s not always easy to get a manager on the phone. By having a dedicated phone number or email that is frequently checked, employees will know they can always reach someone if need be. This is especially important for candidates coming for an interview, in case they have questions about directions or parking.  

Another way to avoid NCNS’s is by encouraging your team to call off a shift if absolutely necessary. This also works for interviews by allowing candidates to reschedule (although we suggest limiting the number of reschedules). Ideally, no one would ever call off a shift – but by showing your team that it IS an option if they’re sick or have an emergency, they’ll feel like they have other choices besides not showing up at all.  

Finally, consider having an on-call team. While it differs from business to business, an on-call employee is typically expected to be available and arrive to work quickly if another worker does not show up. By utilizing a staffing partner like LGC, clients can request temporary employees on short notice to either supply their on-call team or fill a last-minute vacancy. (Learn about LGC’s flexible staffing solutions here.) 

Alexander Graham Bell once said, “before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” By doing your best to prepare for the inevitable no call no show, you’ll create a better environment for employees and customers.