Why You Should Avoid the “No Call, No Show”

Absences happen, but make sure you handle them responsibly.

Your kid is sick; your car won’t start; you didn’t hear your alarm—at Penmac, we understand that life happens, and that you will occasionally miss work. You may be nervous about calling in to report an absence, but it is always better to keep your employer informed about last-minute absences than to appear unreliable.


What is a “No Call, No Show” and why should you avoid it?

A “No Call, No Show” is a term employers use, especially in the staffing industry, to describe when an employee does not show up for his or her scheduled shift and does not let the supervisor know about the absence ahead of time. A “No Call, No Show” makes employees appear unreliable and is extremely damaging to employee records. In some cases, a “No Call, No Show” can be cause for termination, or at the very least, can prevent you from being hired for future assignments.


Is it important to call to report an absence even if it is at the last minute?

Yes. You may have an emergency happen at the last minute that prevents you from going to work; you only find out just minutes before your shift starts—what difference does it make if you call that late? A huge difference! Calling, even at the last minute, shows that you value your employment and gives you an opportunity to explain to your employer what is happening. If the reason for your absence is legitimate and you typically have good attendance, your supervisor will understand.


I’m a great employee; does it really matter if I “No Call, No Show”?

There are many elements of being a good employee—having experience in the industry, knowing the skills to excel at your job, and sometimes having relevant training and certifications for your positions—but often, the most important things are soft skills. While employees can be trained to do job tasks (i.e, welding, typing, etc.), there are some qualities that people develop over time, such as attitude, flexibility, and punctuality, that also make an impact on your performance at work. The bottom line is, if you have to be absent, be courteous and pick up the phone.


How can I improve my attendance?

Things will always happen that make it difficult (or impossible) to make it to work every day, but there are things you can do to improve attendance. For one, try to stay healthy—eating well, exercising, and washing your hands can boost your immunity and prevent the spread of germs. While you still might get sick, at least you know you’ve given yourself better odds. What about non-illness related events—maybe you have a flat tire or your kid catches the flu? Try having back-up plans in place; know the bus schedule or have the phone number of a coworker who is willing to carpool so you can still get to work. Have a grandparent or neighbor on call that would be willing to take care of your kid. If your back-up plans fall through, just be sure to call to let your employer know.


Before you start your job, check with both your staffing company and your on-site supervisor to learn what the policy is for last-minute absences. You may be asked to call both places to let them know you can’t make it in. In most cases, you should call your employer; an email doesn’t always get to the appropriate person quickly enough for them to find a replacement for the day. Have a plan before that emergency absence happens so you know exactly what to do and who to contact, and you can avoid having a “No Call, No Show” on your file.