Employee absenteeism can significantly disrupt workflow in your call center, leading to reduced productivity, weakened morale, and lower revenue. This is especially true in the case of a no call, no show, given the sudden, unexpected nature of this kind of absence.
When an agent doesn’t show up for work and doesn’t call to explain, managers and supervisors are faced with a difficult situation, and the whole team is impacted as a result.
No call, no show refers to an instance when an employee fails to show up for work and doesn’t call to inform their employer either. This is entirely different from pre-approved days off, which every employee is entitled to throughout the year. A no call, no show is frustrating for everyone involved, requiring a quick response from leadership and, in many cases, a greater effort from other team members.
An instance of no call, no show has ripple effects extending far beyond the employee in question. It’s damaging to team performance, leadership authority, and company revenue—especially in a call center environment that depends on efficient agents and quick resolutions for customers.
In fact, research has shown that absenteeism costs UK employers $14 billion. Let’s look at some of the most common negative impacts of a no call, no show.
When an agent fails to show up for work, it puts additional strain on the rest of the team, who are often tasked with compensating for the absence of their coworker. This can mean a bigger workload for other agents, extra stress, missed deadlines, and a decline in the quality of customer experience on offer.
No call, no shows can chip away at the integrity of the call center, establishing a bad precedent in the organization. If an agent fails to show up without notifying their employer, another agent may think, “Well, if they can get away with it, maybe I can too.” This can filter through the team, leading to further absences and issues with staff morale.
To cultivate the best working environment, it’s important that a call center manager has the respect and trust of their agents. A no call, no show goes against this, undermining the manager’s authority and the entire leadership structure. This makes it more difficult for them to pull the rest of the team together and cover the absent employee’s tasks.
High agent turnover is a persistent issue for call center leaders across the industry, with an average contact center attrition rate of over 42 percent. With agents already at risk of churning, the negative impact of a no call, no show on morale could push more employees to look elsewhere for work.
As noted, a no call, no show can be extremely disruptive to the overall call center productivity, adding to the team’s workload. With efficiency taking a hit, your organization’s revenue generation is likely to be affected as well.
If you’re in a management position, it’s likely that you will have to deal with no call, no shows. The important thing is that you’re fully prepared, with clear procedures in place to handle these absences. This will allow you to deal with them when they occur or, better yet, minimize the chances altogether.
Here are the best practices for dealing with no call, no show instances in your contact center.
The first thing to do in the event of a no call, no show is to reach out to the agent in question. There are legitimate reasons for an unexpected absence, so it’s always best to give your employee the benefit of the doubt—perhaps there was an accident or family emergency, and they couldn't get in touch.
By contacting the agent to check on their wellbeing, you can get a first-hand account of what happened and strengthen your relationship.
Make sure to let your team know what it means to be “absent,” how you define a no call, no show, and what the procedures are around recording and requesting absences.
Ensure that this information is readily available in the employee handbook or an online knowledge base and consider using visual illustrations like infographics to reinforce the message.
Defining attendance guidelines is one thing, but you must also have a system in place to track attendance in your call center. It can be as simple as the classic clock-in, clock-out approach or something more complex like workforce management software. It entirely depends on your business needs.
Whatever system you prefer, make sure your agents know its purpose and how to use it. If agents use this system consistently, it will improve attendance and help them be more accountable.
Perhaps the biggest step you can take to prevent no call, no shows is to create a dedicated policy. By formalizing the definition and consequences of a no call, no show instance, you can provide clarity for your agents and minimize the chances of these absences in the future.
Add the policy to your employee handbook, including procedures around emergency time off and what disciplinary actions may occur following a no call, no show. Detail the difference between an emergency and an NCNS and outline the process for calling in the former.
Remember that this policy must adhere to state and federal legislation, so it’s a good idea to get a legal professional to review the policy before publication.
A mismanaged scheduling system can contribute to all kinds of employee absences, including no call, no shows. If you’re facing frequent unexpected absences, it may be time to reevaluate your scheduling system. The more straightforward it is for employees to request time off, the lower the chances of a no call, no show.
To refine your system, you should consult with the employees that actually use it. Get their feedback about what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly. Perhaps you could allow agents to cover shifts for each other—pending manager approval—or implement an on-call list of staff willing to pick up extra shifts.
Don’t wait for absenteeism to become a recurring problem in your call center. Be proactive and take steps to cut out the issue right from the start.
By reaching out to agents who have a history of no call, no show, you can learn about root causes and use that information to help prevent future cases. One-one-meetings can help gather this feedback and also present an opportunity to explain the impact of a no call, no show on the rest of the team.
Recognizing the contribution of responsible, high-performing employees goes a long way to keeping morale up and limiting the chances of unexpected absences.
Consider offering your top performers the first pick when assigning shifts or even giving them a bonus after a sustained period of excellent work. This doesn’t only reduce the chances of absenteeism, it feeds into wider company culture, encouraging agents to stick around and grow within the organization.
We’ve touched on this point already, but it’s an important one to focus on. There must be clear disciplinary procedures in place to handle a no call, no show where the agent cannot provide an acceptable reason for their absence.
Ideally, you will be able to nip the issue in the bud before disciplinary action is necessary, but sometimes you must resort to sanctioning agents as a last resort.
While there’s no guarantee that you can 100 percent eliminate instances of no call, no show in your call center, you can significantly reduce the chances. Follow the steps below to mitigate absenteeism among your call center agents.
Transparent relationships between agents and supervisors ensure employees are comfortable reaching out with their problems and notifying management if they’re worried they might miss a shift.
Tools like call center scorecards allow you to monitor performance, better engage agents, and prevent absenteeism.
For example, you might notice an agent is consistently showing up to work late. You could then follow up and help them manage their timekeeping better before it turns into an instance of no call, no show.
In addition to encouraging open communication, it’s useful to establish a clear line of reporting when it comes to absences. If an agent needs to miss a day of work due to an emergency, they’re more likely to report their absence when they know whom to notify and how to do so.
Make sure your new hires know exactly what is expected of them and how NCNS instances are handled in your contact center. To do this, clearly explain the no call, no show policy as part of your onboarding process.
Don’t just include one line in the employee handbook or their contract; dedicate an entire onboarding module to illustrating the importance of the policy.
All the tools and guidelines discussed above won’t be effective if you fail to lead by example. If managers and supervisors are guilty of frequent no call, no shows, how can you expect agents to abide by the rules? Emergencies happen, of course, but you must strive to set high attendance standards for your agents.
When you’re running a call center, it’s likely that you’ll have to deal with unexpected absences now and then. Thankfully, you can take steps to prevent no call, no shows and learn exactly how to handle them. Things like open communication, exemplary leadership, and a strong NCNS policy can go a long way to reducing the likelihood. If a no call, no show does occur, you can limit the impact on productivity and morale by establishing clear guidelines around absenteeism and cultivating a positive working environment.
Scorebuddy includes tools like custom scorecards, personalized dashboards, and an in-depth reporting suite, so you can build stronger relationships between agents and supervisors and track instances of absenteeism across the team. Find out how Scorebuddy can help you handle no call, no shows—request your 14-day free trial today.