Best Ways to Deal with Employee No-Shows

Employees who do not show up for work can cause major headaches for managers. This is because when an employee doesn’t show up for a shift, it can create a hole in the staff, and in many cases, the manager may actually have to fill in personally for the missing employee. This can prevent the manager from doing other work that he or she may need to do, and can throw everything off course. Here are some tips for dealing with employee no-shows.

Lay out a clear attendance policy beforehand

Your employees should be aware of the attendance policy, and they should know the rules. For example, your attendance policy should indicate how many days in advance time off must be requested, how to request time off, what the consequences for missing a shift are, etc. The more clear it is to your employees what the rules of your company are surrounding attendance, the less likely they will be to not show up for work.

Enforce the consequences

In your policy, you could have a three strikes rule. This means that if your employee does not show up for a shift three times, then he or she could be fired. The first two times, he or she could get off with a warning. However, if you choose to go with a three strikes policy, then you need to make sure that you document it every time an employee does not show up for work. Otherwise, you will not know when they have missed work for the third time.

Speak with your employees

If more than one employee is routinely not showing up for a shift, then you should speak with your employees to try to find out what the problem is. There may be a problem that you are not even aware of. For example, perhaps employees are not showing up for Saturday morning shifts because they are tired from the going out the night before and they are struggling to make it on time to open the store. If this is the case, then you could consider opening your store an hour later to help reduce employee no-shows.


Employee no-shows are a major problem. However, it is not wise to fire every employee who misses a shift. This is because it can actually cost you more time and money to replace an employee. If it becomes a pattern, then you should consider firing the employee. Following the tips in this blog can help you reduce the amount of no-shows at your business.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic - Head of Marketing

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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