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As Baby Boomers Fade From the Workplace, Millennials and Gen Z Will Benefit from Cloud-Based Time & Attendance Tools


A rapidly changing workplace is transitioning the way employers track, communicate and collaborate with employees. This is especially true with hospitality venues, hotels, resorts, and restaurants where many employees are required to be in various locations in order to perform all of their duties.

Quickly disappearing are the days of punching in and out and following a strict 9-to-5 day and 40-hour week. Companies today can benefit from automated cloud-based solutions where employees can clock-in from any location and provide the company with real-time information in an instant. This includes accurate time and attendance records, the need for accurate payroll processing, and the elimination of inaccurate reporting. Companies are also looking for a flexible integrated time and attendance system with a scheduling module that allows them to schedule staff for shifts, allow employees to request time off or pick up open shifts if available.

These systems need to be able to track time by hour, day, and month. They need to track absenteeism, paid time off, and sick leave. And it all needs to be software based for accurate reporting purposes.

Unlike the fading days of paper timecards, today’s employee tracking tools offer employers a chance to design and build a system to meet their specific needs.

When vetting market solutions, companies should look to see if they offer solutions such as:

  • Time & Attendance Software that offers customizable dashboards; real time reporting; various language packs; advanced messaging; ability to track employee and organizational productivity in real time; individual rules for employees that require special monitoring; reports based on employee information or work record information, and much more.
  • Absence Management Software that helps businesses manage, approve, and track leaves, holidays, and absence of their workforce; dramatically reduce administrative overheads; improve management reporting; help with legislative compliance; and support operational or global differences.
  • HR Management Software that helps managers locate, recruit, screen, hire, evaluate, retain, and promote deserving candidates; improve their decision-making process and make the most of their talent and human resources; provide employees with information and answers to inquiries to ensure everybody is on board; take over critical business functions and consequently reduce labor costs.
  • Employee Scheduling Software that makes it possible to implement on-demand and real-time employee scheduling to a remote workforce; allows companies to optimize staff productivity; automates the creation of work schedules; tracks staff availability and time-off; allows employees to submit time-off requests subject to approval; allows employees to use their phones to access the system; integrates time clock with timesheet and payroll; identifies idle time or staff productivity loss; and aids in budget, sales or weather forecasting.
  • Mobile Workforce Management that manages employees working outside the company premises; tracks the procurement, deployment and management of mobile devices; assigns work orders in batches or individually; generates work orders individually or in batches; drives greater efficiencies from field operations; offers GPS location management to help avoid expensive buddy-punching problems; helps reduce manager workload and fill empty gaps in the schedule through self-service portals; and provides automated overtime alerts that helps managers avoid scheduling employees for too much time.

What does it mean for your business?

In the early and mid-1980s, Baby Boomers accounted for a majority of the nation’s labor force. Not so anymore. With more Boomers retiring every year, the size of the Boomer workforce will continue to shrink. Stepping into their place is the Millennial generation (1981 – 2000) who are expected to account for 50 percent of the workforce by the year 2020. They are followed closely by Generation Z (post-Millennials, born after 1995) who are just now entering the workforce.

Both these generations relish opportunities to grow and learn. They respond best to collaborative, media-rich, technology-driven training, which makes fully-automated cloud-based time and attendance tools a perfect fit for them.

To be ready for this generational shift in your workforce means implementing the solutions described above sooner rather than later. It is not a difficult transition if you plan accordingly. A few things you’ll need to think about include:

  • System requirements — If you’re only replacing punch cards, you’ll need a simple system that lets workers sign in electronically at shared stations. If you also have to track workers’ time or track mobile workers, you’ll need a system that’s a bit more complex.
  • Security requirements — Magnetic cards or badges are great but be aware that workers can then sign each other in, or third parties can sign in with lost cards. PINs are slightly more secure since they can't be lost or misplaced. Systems with fingerprint or facial recognition logins offer the highest level of security.
  • Reporting requirements — Ask about data formats, database compatibility and file formats. Make sure the system processes data that you can use. 
  • Purchase and Installation — Get proposals from at least three suppliers who can offer systems with the capabilities you need. If a supplier's system lacks some of the essential requirements, ask it to add the necessary features, or request a proposal from an additional supplier. When you have found the perfect fit for your company, purchase the chosen system and have the supplier install it and set up the software. Assign employees to work with the supplier team to get hands-on experience with the new system. Have a supplier representative show the employees how to use the new system and make sure the supplier has provided instruction manuals. Run a test with a complete cycle of logins, log-outs, data processing, payroll, etc., to make sure the system works to your satisfaction.
  • Responsibility for support and the start of live operations. Keep a close eye on the process and data for the first few processing cycles, looking for any signs of problems. Check the output and reporting on a test basis before actually integrating any of the above solutions into your daily routine.
  • About the author

    Peter Bellotti specializes in Database Technology, Security, Cloud and Big Data Solutions at Mitrefinch (, a global provider of Employee Management Systems in USA (also Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand).

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