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Preventing No-Shows in the Workplace

Updated: Feb 28


No shows are a common problem in the hospitality industry. A no show is when a staff member simply decides they’re not going to come into work for one reason or another. No shows have a negative effect on your workplace, creating tension and causing delays with service as your remaining staff struggle to cover. Here are some tips to help prevent these.


Have an Efficient Rostering System


Many no-shows are simply staff members who are a bit disorganised. They aren’t able to juggle their work commitments with out-of-work and social engagements, especially if they don’t know what their shifts will be from one week to the next. If you let staff know their shifts in advance, (ideally, up to 4 weeks in advance) even the more disorganised among them have time to plan in advance.


Involve Staff in Rostering


Employees who are involved in the rostering process are less likely to be no shows. After all, if employees are able to swap a shift, work extra when they need the money, or take the day off so they can go to that party, then what reason do they have to bunk off?


Allocate the Choice Shifts Fairly


Many staff become disheartened with work when they feel as though they are being passed over for the best shifts (the shifts that are either less stressful or offer more tips). An effective and fair rostering system will share these shifts evenly between all staff, to help prevent resentment that can bubble over into no-shows.


Create a supportive and enjoyable work environment


Employees that are happy are more likely to stay at a job longer, put more effort into their performance, and show up to work when they’re expected. Create a supportive environment where employees feel appreciated – this can be simple things like giving staff an early shift before two days off, followed by a late shift when they return (effectively, 4 days off), and allowing staff to bring in their favourite music to play (within reason) can really make a difference to the amount of no-shows.


Deal with no-shows swiftly before they become an issue.


No shows can seriously impact your business’s bottom line, creating a poor customer service experience and leading to fewer customers and bad reviews.


Create a robust policy around no-shows and follow through with warnings as soon as you see a problem arise. Often a verbal warning is all that’s needed to change the staff member’s behaviour.


There are some excellent tools out there – such as goRoster – that allow for managers to make quality roster decisions and make changes with ease. This can be a vital tool in the war against no-shows in the workplace.


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